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Monday, January 4, 2016

Traditional Lakshmi Puja In Bengal

It is the month of Poush (পৌষ) in Bengal. Goddess Lakshmi is being
worshipped in many household by many ways. Painted 'Lakshmi sara'
(লক্ষ্মী সরা) is one of the main material of Lakshmi Puja. Lakshmi
puja is use to perform to the clay idols, 'sara' or 'jhanpi' (ঝাঁপি)
of goddess Lakshmi. The people of East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
generally perform Lakshmi Puja by 'sara' or clay idols. And the people
of West Bengal perform Lakshmi puja to a 'container of paddy'
(ধানপাত্র) or 'ghot' (ঘট) of goddess Lakshmi. Some other people have
family symbol of goddess Lakshmi who perform pujas to that symbol. In
undevided Bengal, 'sara' was in vogue within the states of Dhaka,
Faridpur and Barishal. After the partition, those artists of 'sara'
art belonged to 24-Parganas and Nadia district. They used to paint
there burnt convexed discs and declared it as 'Lakshmi sara'. Once
upon a time, Acharya Brahmins used to paint those 'sara', so it was
called 'Acharjee Sara'. Later, potter, carpenter or limner - all
thronged to paint 'sara'. Usually, images of Lakshmi, owl, beard
(ধানের শীষ), কড়ি etc. are depicted on 'sara' pot. In certain cases, it
can be seen that two female companions are also there on both side of
goddess Lakshmi on the 'sara'. One of the main feature of images of
'sara' is its strong lines and bright colour. There are different
names of 'sara' in different places such as 'Dhakai sara' (ঢাকাই সরা)
made in Dhaka, 'Sureswari Sara' made at village Sureswar in Faridpur
district of Bangladesh.

A. B.

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