Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Garba-deep - the Representation of a Mother

An earthen pot with a flame inside. The flame that is lit on the first day of Navratri, and kept burning for Nine Days and Nine Nights. The Garba-deep which is worshiped as the symbolic representation of the Mother Goddess; which is the Mother Goddess.

The name says it all. Garba, the womb. Deep, a flame. The flame burning brightly in a womb. The Mother nourishing her child.

It is not a Goddess who is worshiped. It is the Mother who is worshiped as a Goddess.

When religion demands worship, why then are Women treated as badly as they are?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.
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Saumya said...

I love this! It really sheds light on the true essence of garba. I'll be dancing away this weekend :) The last question is very true and always makes me dejected. Why are women revered in one realm and oppressed in another?

Not Hannah said...

Oh, I love this. Love it so.

Jessica Bell said...

Wow ... if you perhaps thought outside your drabble box for a minute, this would make a remarkable poem, Rayna! I'd so love to see you try! The sound of this is just flows like literary water.

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - What a wonderful Drabble! It is really poetic, and expresses so well the essence of motherhood. Haunting question you ask at the end, too...I hope you will consider turning this into a poem or short story. It's got magic in it...

Cruella Collett said...

Why indeed? Most religions have certain strong, central female characters (at the lack of a better word), and most (or all?) of them fail to value women as they should. It's still a man's world.

And that picture is absolutely gorgeous. I love it!

Theresa Milstein said...

Thank you for explaining the meaning behind the words.

It is a nearly impossible question to answer. When one bears children, one is vulnerable. The design of our bodies makes us vulnerable. When a religious text and/or religious and/or government lets abuse go unchecked or even advocates the abuse... we see the consequences.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That's the question, isn't it? Why don't we all see the Divine in ourselves and in each other?

Dyche Designs said...

That's an interesting question.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I like the Garba-deep.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I learned something new today!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is beautiful, Rayna. And I do love candles.

Thanks for your wonderful compliment regarding my book covers. That really made my day!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

If only someone could answer that question!

LTM said...

I love love love this--the picture, the concept, and you pose the eternal question.

I have my theories... ;p

Julie Musil said...

Holy cow, I don't know how you do this. I think you need to publish an anthology. Have you already done that? Because this stuff is amazing.

Jemi Fraser said...

Beautiful pic! I totally agree with Julie!

Mary said...

Very insightful, Rayna. Beautiful picture and writing.
I have no answer to your final question. Wish I did.

Ellie said...

Well done and so reflective of why?
We are the womb where the flame is kept and burns bright until birth.
It doesn't make sense, I love the idea of it, what it represents, but
why then a lack of respect?! I feel it is this way in the U.S. with our elders. Once you are a certain age, your input isn't important. I think we should show more respect to everyone, especially women and Seniors.

raji said...

nice information,thanks.i never knew what "garbha " was!

dipali said...

How I wish I knew!
So much easier to imbue a mythical mother figure with perceived powers than to encourage the empowerment of the real women in one's life.

Anu said...

Nice pic and even better writing! so true... its the mother we revere as a goddess but its the woman who is abused all the time! lets pray for a change for the better!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Good point! I think Dipali has it right...easier to deal with it on a mythical level.

And a gorgeous photograph.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Saumya- have fun this weekend. The first garba I attended was a really traditional one in Ahmedabad, and the beauty of the unadorned garba deep has never left me. Have fun this weekend.

@ Heather- thank you.

@ Jessica- poetry is something I stay clear of- just don't know enough of the art to attempt it :-( But, thanks

@ Margot- thank you. I have to admit, you are giving me ideas for a short story. But short stories is something I haven't attempted since moving to Bombay three and a half years back!

@ Cruella - so true. The Hindu goddesses were something else, specially Durga, but are women accorded the same status? I think not.

@ Theresa- sometimes I wonder if it is insecurity at not being able to create children that drives religious fundamentalists to dehumanise women the way they do.

@ Debra- specially in Hinduism, where your religion actually commands you to. Incidentally, this post is for you!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Dyche- one that bears thinking about, isn't it?

@ Holly- the first time I saw one was at a traditional garba festival in Ahmedabad. Dark night lit with faintly glowing bulbs, cool breeze and frenzied bodies dancing around this beautiful pot with a flickering flame visible through the decorative holes.

@ Alex- most welcome.

@ Diane- me too. I am a confirmed pyromaniac. Can spend hours watching the flame.

@ Jane- the ones who can would treat the women with respect, so no answers there :-(

@ Leight- thank you, and thank you and thank you. What theories?

@ Julie- thank you so much. No, never published, nor really thought of publishing drabbles. But nice to know you think I should try.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jemi- thank you so much.

@ Mary- thank you. And no, I don't think we will ever find the answer. If enough people start questioning, we may not even need to look for the answer

@ Ellie- so true. The elderly have so much to give, if only we ask them. But we never do, and since we don't, they crawl into worlds from where they no longer make sense. What a pity. What a waste.

@ raji- thank you.

@ dipali- so true. Worship, put on a long tikka, and go your way.

@ Anu- what a pity, isn't it?

@ Elizabeth- it is, isn't it?

Jules said...

Late I know..but that was beautiful. If only we had an answer.

I hope your life is a bit more rhythmic today :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Ann Best said...

This is very interesting, and such a beautiful photograph. The flame that represents a mother. She is indeed a goddess, and should be treated with more reverence than she is, it seems, in so many parts of the world.

I need to start dropping by your blog every day. You can teach me SO much!!

I just read your comment on Blood Red Pencil - about getting ideas from your children. Definitely! I write down my daughter's witticisms, when I remember to. I should have done this regularly over the past 20+ years since her accident, and I'd have a book by now!

Hope you have a great day "over there."

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Thank you, Jules. If cacophony is a rhythm, my life is rhythmic today!!!

And that question has been around so long, you can never be late with a comment.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Ann- I would love to have you drop by every day! My posts are so short, you can read them in half a minute!

And yes, we get so many story ideas from our kids.


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