Events : History

Illustrated talk on “Goddess Worship in Karnataka” by Vatsala Iyengar. Mrs. Sreelakshmi Gururaja chaired and moderated the session

Held on Friday, 29th October, 2010 at 6.30 pm

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.