Indore: From worshipping to planting trees, women prayed for prosperity and participated in customary celebrations of ‘Dasha Mata Poojan’ at various temples in the city.
Starting early in the morning women worshipped ‘peepal’ (sacred fig) tree, read tales about the significance of the day and sang devotional songs among performing many other traditional rituals to observe the occasion which continued till late in the evening. Teaching the morals and recognising varied strengths of women, nine stories that conclude the ten-day festival were also shared in small groups.
Talking about the festival, homemaker Pooja Jaiswal said, “Time does not wait for anyone. There are times when we experience challenges and at times, we are blessed with fortune… this is what is called ‘dasha’.” She elaborated that every time, whether challenging or the blessed one, is essential for human growth.
“During this poojan, we pray to the goddess of time and circumstance to bring prosperity to us and help us learn from challenges,” Pooja said. She explained that praying brings comfort and reignites faith.
“Many a times in life, women tend to forget their power but the truth is women hold power to bring and take away life,” entrepreneur Shweta Sharma said. She explained that this poojan was a reminder to women of their strength and power.
“We fast throughout the day. Though earlier it was observed for ten-days, we now do it for a day and recall all the inspiring stories of ‘Dasha Mata’,” Shweta said. She explained that fasting is considered must to balance diet and recognise inner strength of control.
“On a practical view, the poojan helps keep the respect for trees and nature in human beings alive not allowing people to fell trees at will. It is believed that goddess stays in sacred fig tree and thus, people avoid cutting it,” homemaker Meena Khatri explained.
“Peepal tree releases oxygen even at night. How much more beneficial can a tree become for a human,” Meena asked. She explained that worshipping and being grateful to trees is must as they are regulating oxygen and facilitating life on earth in so many ways.
Discussing the activities of the poojan, social worker Yamini Upadhyay said “Before starting the ‘pooja’, the whole home is cleaned by the devotees and then after bathing and getting ready (‘shringaar’), the women move to a ‘peepal’ tree to worship Dasha Mata.” She added that a yellow string also known as ‘Bael’ is worn by the devotees after the customs and regular tasks are continued.