Bangalore International Centre under its Karnataka- Vibrant and Diverse Series had arranged an illustrated talk on “Goddess Worship in Karnataka” by Mrs. Vatsala Iyengar, on Friday, 29th October, 2010 at 6:30 pm. The Talk was moderated by Mrs. Sreelakshmi Gururaja.
Through a PowerPoint presentation of slides, Mrs Iyengar elucidated the various forms of village Goddesses in Karnataka, their traditions, legends as well as ritual practices built around them and their elevation to a higher status. She explained that Goddess cult does not just include worship. Each goddess symbolizes a particular aspect of life and thus there is a goddess for protection of the city, a goddess for agriculture, a goddess for knowledge, a goddess for epidemic disease, a goddess for wealth, and even a mighty goddess to kill evil forces. In short the goddess worship is multidimensional.
A very interesting aspect of Mrs. Iyengar’s well- researched talk was the way some of the village goddesses in Karnataka got transformed into Brahminical and Jain deities at a later stage. There was also general amusement when she talked about a female deity who could not bless people nearby due to her family vision; people had to come from a distance to get her blessings.
The very interesting interactive session that followed brought out more information about goddesses around our country- goddesses, both primitive and sophisticated, who are worshipped by many. It was a very informative and rewarding evening for those who came and attended the talk.