(With picture) Like rivers of spiritual lava, the Shakti of Goddess Durga flowed with special power throughout India-especially Bengal and Western India-during annual October Navaratri and Dassera festivals. Indra Bhattacharya, from Bengal, reminisces: "There was no school. Images of Durga were immersed in the river. Young boys would dance with fire in their hands. Ladies put a little sweet in the mouth of the Mother just before immersion and then fed each other in the same way, like sisters. Then we would all go to houses and do pranams to the elders and they would give us sweets. It was fun, but I saw the older women really sad that the Mother had returned to Her husband, Siva. Right: One of the oldest bronze masterpieces of Devi and the final work of Kashmiri sculptor Gugga. 4' ft. 700ce.
- Hindu Basics