Dasara in Punya Bhumi vs Dasara in Karma Bhumi

Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, scion of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, in conversation with Shyam Sundar Vattam of Deccan Herald:

“You cannot compare today’s Dasara with the one that was conducted by my forefathers. The present Dasara is neither a festival nor an exhibition of military power. It is not held as mentioned in the Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana and according to me it is off-track.

“Mysore has a rich history and it is believed that 15 demons were vanquished by Goddess Chamundeshwari. These are mentioned in Kayaka Purana, Markandeya Purana and Padma Purana.

“In West Bengal, according to Bengalis, their region is known as Punya Bhumi and the Mysore region as Karma Bhumi. The only difference between West Bengal and Mysore in regard to celebration of Dasara is that there the celebrations are held as per the Puranas whereas it is not so in Mysore especially after the government took over the responsibility of holding Dasara festival every year.

“The last three days of Dasara is celebrated with pomp and pageantry in Bengal, whereas in Mysore it is a colourful celebration on all the 10 days. While Bengalis immerse the idol of Goddess Kali, in Mysore the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken out in a colourful procession on elephant.”

Read the full article: Royal Touch

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

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15 Responses to “Dasara in Punya Bhumi vs Dasara in Karma Bhumi”

  1. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Ee vivarane keLi dhanyanaade.

  2. MallaPottell Says:

    My conclusion – ‘Load of Crap’

    Jai Hind

  3. sathya Says:

    If everbody performs their duty sincerely then that land definitley becomes punyabhoomi. Withoug expecting the fruits one has to do the karma/duty. Then we can celebrate Dasara everyday. DUrgamaatha will have less work to do. Now what has happened?

  4. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    I think Shri Wodeyar’s concern that sanctity, sacredness of a major religious event shd be preserved is widely shared by people of (say) Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bengal on Ganesha-utsav, Navratri, Durga Puja respectively as well.

    Propagation of rituals, public observance depend on many things- while Mysore Kings could give support to Dashera till 1947, the last major Hindu empire of Bengal ceased to exist some 800 years back (Invader Bakhtiyar Khilji sacked Bengal, Nabadwip a great learning center in 1204 after destroying the Nalanda University). So, in eastern, northern India its driven more by religious leaders, people, popular culture in the absence of royal support. That’s why its different in Mysore and Bengal.

    Goddess Kali:
    As far as Goddess Kali is concerned, I don’t think this particular form was so popular earlier prior to Paramhansa. Earlier, Kali was more subaltern- its Paramhansa who brought it to mainstream and gave a very respectful position. Vivekanand, a Vendantist, himself worshipped Goddess Kali and described Kali-Puja as his ‘special favorite”. Many nationalist groups of Bengal including those who used violence, or likes of Subhas Bose were great follower of Goddess Kali.

    Worship the Mother:

    Whether its Hinduism, or Sikhism (auto-biography of warrior nationalist saint Guru Govind Singhji – “Bichitra Natak”, or Dasven Patshah Da Granth – the final codification of Sikh Scripture by same Guru has many chapters dedicated to Mata Chandi), or Buddhism (many forms of Tara, the woman form of Abolokiteshwara) – India has richest heritage of worshipping Mother in many forms since antiquity by many religious groups.

    Muslims also worship Mother in parts of Eastern Bengal, the Sundarbans- Ban Bibi etc.

    Impact on Indian freedom struggle:

    “Vande-Mataram” could connect with people all over India instantly because its underlying idea was worshipping the country as Mother. Due to long history of worshipping Mother in many forms in India, it could be understood by people so easily.

    Sri Aurobindo’s Mother:

    He was one of the greatest worshipper of Universal Mother. The Matrimandir at the center of Auroville is full of symbolism.

    Hail the Mother.
    Hail the Mother Land.

  5. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    Oh, discussion on Universal Mother cannot be completed without refering to Maa Bhavani, another form of Shakti.

    Sri Aurobindo, prophet of Indian nationalism, once wrote, the fate of Mughal Empire was sealed the day Maa Bhavani temple at Tuljapur, was attacked by Aurangjeb’s forces. It was Her wrath that destroyed the mighty Mughal Empire.

  6. Atisha Shantideva Says:

    Dear Srikantadutta,

    I hope you are not Rip Van Winkle who has woken up from deep slumber of several decades. India became a nation governed by a constituion half a century ago. The kings and queens in India exist as ornamental people apart from their existence in playing cards. Be happy that the people of Karnataka have at least this much of regard to your family. Don’t crib.

    Obviously you cannot compare today’s dasara to what is mentioned in Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharatha. You are neither Rama, Krishna or any of those puranic kings. Better sense will dawn upon you if you carry out an Ashwamedha yagna and see how many will respect your horse and territorial rights.

    “Mysore has a rich history and it is believed that 15 demons were vanquished by Goddess Chamundeshwari. These are mentioned in Kayaka Purana, Markandeya Purana and Padma Purana.”

    And when did Puranas become ‘rich history’. No credible historian belives in the texts you have mentioned. Get real. Your forefathers especially Krishnaraja WOdeya IV did some great work in Karnataka for which you are respected. Be happy and please do not overshoot your limits.

  7. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    Atisha>>And when did Puranas become ‘rich history’. No credible historian belives in the texts you have mentioned.

    Hello, You are fully unaware that dating of ancient Indian history wholly depends on royal lineage as mentioned in the Puranas.

    India was first mentioned in Judeo-Xtian history during the period of Alexandar. So, how our history prior to that period is written? That’s where the Puraas come into play. You can consult any senior level history book on ancient India- you will see how its used.

    Time has come to wake up and throw out colonial history that has deliberately discredited our past by illogic.

  8. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    Here is a beautiful article on another incarnation of Mother- Hinglaj Mata, in Baluchistan written by Aveek Sarkar, boss of the Anandabazar Group, who visited there as a part of entourage of Jaswant Singh.


  9. Atisha Shantideva Says:

    Mr Mukherjee,

    The royal lineages mentioned in the puranas depicts the tribal, clan chiefs of India very vaguely. Historians just use it as a means to extrapolate on other concrete evidence. Puranic Hinduism was created and pervalent only from the time of the Guptas (4th – 5th AD). No credible historian uses the puranas to date anything about ancient india (before 500 BC). The puranas have their value in only depicting some aspects of history allegorically from the 4th century.

  10. anonymous Says:

    The Wodeyar needs to know about “srikula” and “Kalikula”

  11. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    >>No credible historian uses the puranas to date anything about ancient india (before 500 BC).

    Ancient Indian history’s foundation is based on royal lineage as depicted by Puranas. As Tagore said, Puranas are our Itihaas – what judeo-xtians call history. Without help of Puranas, Indian history will start what 300 odd BC – Alexandar’s period.

  12. kannadiga Says:

    I agree with Tathagata Mukherji. Why should Indian history have a reference point of western dictated time frame ? Can someone explain to me why we are still using this BC and AD nonsense, when it purely applies to the christian history/timeline?

    Did nothing exist before AD ? Why is AD considered the starting point for all historic references?

  13. Tathagata Mukherji Says:

    The Kumari Puja (another form of worshipping Mother) at Belur Math, the HQ of RK Mission:


    Unfortunately, the commentery is in Bengali which may not be understood by many people.

  14. A Says:

    Wodeyar avare, take off that stupid “french” beard. Whatever happened to the royal indian moustache twirling at both ends?? Like the one Dr. Raj wore majestically as Krishnadevaraya. This foreign style beard doesn’t make you a “modern” royal. It only reminds of the servile attitude of indian royalty to the britishers …

  15. jeevaratna Says:


    Thanks for that link about Hinglaj Mata. But i almost missed the fact that the report is dated 2006. Yet the following passage in the report shows the reporters lack of knowledge about umraokot :

    All across the route, Pakistanis lined up to welcome the Indian guests. In Umraokot, where Emperor Akbar was born, flower petals were thrown on the Indian cars. This was a spontaneous act of goodwill, given the fact that the parivar is unlikely to have engineered support in Pakistan and the ISI would hardly be that ingenious.

    Actually it is known as umerkot. Originally it was known as Amerkot/ Amarkot. For details see

    Though in pakistan, it is a Hindu majority town with traditional links to Rajasthan and more so to Jodhpur , Barmar and other dessert districts. As you can glean from the above web link, Sodha’s still hold sway over the place and have occupied Ministerial posts in sindh government. Incidentally it has some oblique link with Mysore Royal family. Maharaja’s grandson ( son of princess Vishalakshi Devi ) is married to Kunwar Hamir Singh’s dauhter Kumari Deval Sodha !!!

    shantideva’s blurb on SDNRW again shows lack of historical perspective and also ignorance of even Indian constitution.

    SDNRW is as much a citizen of this country and has freedom of speech to express his opinion on a subject which happens in his back yard. We have a funny constitution which detains Art.363 side by side with Art. 363 A and defines Rulers in different idioms just to save the Indian Government from its legal obligation !

    we have a preamble to the constitution which states India as … Socialist Secular … republic , the words introduced by the 42nd amendment in 1976, yet in Ksehavananda’s case says preamble is a basic feature of the constitution and beyond the power of the parliament to amend !

    Again Right to property was a fundamental right under Art. 19(1)(f) but was repealed by the 44th amendment in 1978. Ironically in a recent SC verdict in sept 2008 , Justice Dalveer Bhandari says Right to Property is now part of Human Rights !

    So poignantly in the case of SDNRW, Karnataka government has defied a writ of mandamus and not only has it refused to hand over his House ( PAlace) back to him, but has passed a one man act to confiscate the same. Yet the come back year after year and pay him rentals to use his heirlooms to celebrate dasara ! A secular state conducting a religious festival as a state festival in anachronism of sorts. Probably it does not happen in any other state in India. It is travesty of justice for some one to say the man cannot express his religious beliefs as guaranteed under Art. 25 & Art 26.

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