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For the First Time Women Priests to Perform Pujas during Durga Puja in Bengal

Four women in Bengal have passed the priesthood course conducted by Uttar Pratik Sangashkirita Shuiksha Prachar Shangashtha (North Pratik Agency for Expansion of Sanskrit Education) and qualified to perform pujas and rituals of Hinduism. They have also become members of the Bangiya Purahit Parishad (West Bengal Priests' Association), the largest association of Hindu priests in West Bengal, which nominates priests for Durga Puja rituals.

This means daughters of Goddess Shakti will be performing pujas to Mother – Durga Maa during this Durga Puja. Women always perform all the pre-puja arrangements in all important Hindu festivals and rituals. Now they have moved a step ahead and will conduct pujas also.

DNA reports

According to Somnath Shashtri, the chief instructor of Uttar Pratik Sangashkirita Shuiksha Prachar Shangashtha, the women – Shampa Roy, Aparna Chatterjee, Sujata Mukherjee and Mita Mukherjee – have graduated from the programme with distinction. "This is the time that four aspiring women came to us for training in priesthood and all four did very well," Shashtri said.

Shashtri, in fact, is so confident that he feels they will soon become good enough to officiate in marriages. The training programme was open to Brahmin women this year. From next year, doors will be opened to non-Brahmins as well.

According to Pinaki Chakrabarty, an official of the West Bengal Priests' Association, by becoming priests, women have simply made the religious experience more complete.

This Blog had earlier written on numerous occasion regarding appointments of women priests in various cities in India. A small orthodox group of priests still oppose women priests but devotees who have had the experience of conducting pujas with the help of women priests are of the opinion that women priests perform pujas neatly and with more devotion and never skip a single step.


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