"Lust, anger and greed, these three are the soul-destroying gates of hell." Bhagavad Gita
A quick glance at any news program serves as a modern day reminder of the perils of lust, anger, and greed. Wars rage on as others die from poverty. Hate and hostility spur terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. Thousands die everyday from these soul-destroying gates of hell. Yet there is still hope to mend the wounds. People must liberate their anger and come together in peace. And every year, during Durga Puja, we have a chance to do exactly that. We have a chance to relive our traditions, join in unity, and share joy with all.
One thing makes Durga Puja experience unforgettable: the culture. Every year, our community comes together to celebrate Durga Puja. It is an occasion of spiritualism, celebration, dance, music, and all the things that make our culture unique. For me, Durga Puja is a time to relive the magic of Bengali culture. But I also believe that Durga Puja has significance to do more than give us heartfelt enjoyment. Besides the spiritual liveliness, the festive dhols, colorful dances, and the overall culture of the event, Durga Puja has a deeper significance for all Bengalis. Now I may not know the complete underpinnings of Durga Puja, the spiritual significance of Vijaya, or even the meaning of the scriptures read by priests. But I do understand this - Durga Puja is the ten most important days for a Bengali. A simple Google search for "Durga" returned 2,430,000 results.
Durga Puja is celebrated everywhere from Kolkata, to Japan, to almost every city in the United States. It is a time when friends and foes join together to celebrate this truly auspicious and authentic event. It is my firm belief that occasions like these can bring people together, and diminish the raging violence in the world. We must simply embrace the moment.
These ten days of celebration are a chance for us to mend our own wounds, to let free of our anger, and to share this tranquility and joy with all. Durga Puja is a chance for everyone to come together, to forget about past quarrels, and to simply enjoy in peace. This Durga Puja, I encourage everyone to experience this harmony; release your own anger, lust, and greed, and share the culture and serenity of Durga Puja with friends, family, foes, and children. Though our celebration may not be as grand as ten days of celebration back home, we still have the power to make this event a significant step towards peace. This is our chance to love and care for the world. Embrace the moment.