Maid Worship As Tradition On Durganavami In Odisha’s Sonepur Palace
Sonepur: Young and unmarried girls are felicitated at the Durgadevi temple in Sonepur palace as part of the Navakanya Puja during the Navaratri Celebrations here.
This is a rare tradition followed in the Sonepur Palace wherein women on Kuanri Vrat worship virgin girls as representatives of Goddess Shakti. It is believed that the presiding deity showers blessings on the worshippers who take a Navaratri vow and wash the feet of young girls, offer new clothes and sweet delicasies on the day of Durga Navami.
The worship of maids as a tradition coincides with Navami puja at the Devi shrine. According to mythology, the tradition of virgin worship originated long before the birth of Sri Krishna when virgin girls were not safe in the kingdom of Kamsa.
Worship of nine virgins, addressed as Bijlikanyas (thundergirls), ensured peace, happiness and prosperity in the kingdom, says Ganesh Dash, priest of Sonepur Kanaka Durga Temple. Virginity as a symbol of biological and spiritual purity is the first pre-requisite of Tantrik cult which has evolved into the Navakanya Puja, he added.