Swami Vivekananda performs the Kumari Puja as a part of the Durga Puja celebrations.
Why did Swami Vivekananda introduce the Kumar Puja as a part of Durga Puja celebrations) in Belur Math? The answer is to be found in Sri Ramakrishna's life. Though he established different relations with God in the course of his various sadhanas, the most abiding and nearest to his heart was God as the Divine Mother. As he beheld nothing but God everywhere, it was the Divine Mother that he saw in everything and in everyone. He saw no distinction between the Mother he worshipped in the Temple, his own Mother Chandradevi, and his divine consort the Holy Mother.
Sri Ramakrishna said: “Why do people worship virgins? All women are so many forms of the Divine Mother. But Her manifestation is greatest in pure-souled virgins... I worship virgins because I see in them the Divine Mother.' Haven't you observed the Kumari Puja? Why should you worship a girl who has all the physical limitations of a human being? It is because she is a form of the Divine Mother"
At Kanyakumari in December 1892, Swamiji himself worshipped the little daughter (Kumari Puja) of Sri Manmatha Bhattacharya. In August 1898, Swamiji worshipped a Muslim boatman's four year old daughter as Uma (Kumari Puja), the Divine Mother, during his visit to Kashmir along with some of his Western disciples.
The Kumari Puja conducted at Belur Math has become a special attraction to the thousands and thousands that pour in the Math (Belur Math ) premises year after year to participate in the Durga Puja celebrations, to pray to the Divine Mother and to fill their lives with the Mother's Grace.
About the author
Swami Vimalatmananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna order is one among the members of the governing body of Ramakrishna Math and Mission. In this article, which is an excerpt from 'The First Durga Puja at Belur Math', he discusses about the joy experienced by Swami Vivekananda on celebrating it.