Author's Note: The poem, 'Durga, with hope' manifests the feminist qualities in this Hindu goddess that are much needed to harmonize the gender inequalities that persist. Yet Durga is a unitive goddess who aims to bridge the gap through an emphasis on wisdom, courage and strength, by invoking these characteristics in both genders.
Durga, With Hope
An independent warrior goddess created by the gods, she could wrest their weapons and relegate them to the margins. She fought a solo fight against the demon-buffalo, with flying mane, slaying it in a splattering of blood and gore. She raised her own army of fierce women warriors who loved a good fight when they saw one coming. With time, she was morphed into a unitive goddess, fit to be worshipped during a community festival that celebrated the arrival of new crops. As Shakti, she retained her independence, her devotees – Saktas, worshipping her as the primordial principle of the universe. As Siva’s consort, she was not just loyal and virtuous but the inalienable power of the potent god she partnered. United but independent, fiercely active yet controlled. Standing not just for womanhood but for the principle of femininity in all. Standing not only as feminist but as potential destroyer of the vexed divisions in gender relations, the gross imbalances. The unitive power that combines and balances, with hope, with hope, with hope the male and female the female and male in all.
©2022 Neera Kashyap
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