Durga Puja signifies the triumph of Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura for which Durga/Shakti was born to slay. This festival is a celebration of triumph of good over evil.
This Puja also worships Shiva as a consort of Durga as she is Parvati. Also the other dieties included in this worship are Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya as they are considered Durga’s children.
In Kumortuli, India the idols of these gods are made with sacred soil also known as punya mati or ‘blessed soil’. This blessed soil is from the houses of prostitutes.
The priest of the Durga Puja ceremony must beg the sex worker for this soil. Durga would be greatly displease if her worshipers did not get the blessing of the prostitutes. The priest must change a specific mantra as the prostitute scoops and gives the clay.
This tradition began as tribute to the courtesan and her deep skills as an artist. An honoring of the being of Tantric arts through which they were reminded of God and breathed the fibers of their own Divinity. She who is vessel and portal of Divine guidance and sacred union. Whom by touch of flower to skin reminds life in body. She [or he] who dispels doubt of infinite oneness. The Returner.
Received with humility the Courtesan is remembered in this sacred reception of her blessing of punya mati.