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Why Durga's idol cannot be completed without using soil from a brothel?
The idol of Goddess Durga made during the most auspicious time of the year 'Durga Puja,' is said to be incomplete without using soil from a brothel. There is also a belief that one must beg to get soil from the hands of a prostitute as a gift or blessing. But have you ever wondered, why mud from only a whore's place is required to make an idol of a deity?

While a concrete answer is hard to find, it is believed to be one of the most hypocritical practices of modern Indian society, and for all the right reasons. The condition of prostitutes in the country is not hidden from any one of us. Throughout the year, they are dodged, ill-treated and badly insulted. They are seen as a ridiculed product of an unkind male dominated society who treat women as just sex objects. But then comes 'Durga Puja,' and they are honored, valued and cherished. Strange!

The biggest irony is that, the same prostitute's place becomes the holiest to get soil, while it is considered as land of sins, rest of the year.

The soil that is collected from the prostitute's place is known as 'punya mati' and the place where they live is called as 'nishiddho pallis.' It is a Bengali term which means forbidden territories. Another fact about this soil is that it is gathered by people who make the idols a month before the Puja starts. There is a belief that if people who worship the goddess do not collect blessings of the prostitutes, the Goddess will be displeased.

Seeing the situation of prostitutes in the current scenario, the practice seems quite odd and can be termed as the quirk of fate. Let's find out other beliefs that are associated with the practice and might be a reason behind this custom. Actually, there are many beliefs regarding this age-old practice. However, the priests of modern society just veil it under the clout of tradition.

Some believe that it is the 'purest soil' on earth and they also have a reason. It is said that when a man visits a prostitute's place, he leaves his loyalty and purity at her doorstep. As all that purity of men lies outside the home of the whore, therefore that soil is purest. And this is the reason why it is used for making the idol of Maa Durga.

While it can be a reason, some questions are still unanswered as to why the priests or the one's who make the idol, need to beg for the soil? And isn't the touch of a prostitute and handing it over to the person make the soil impure, as she and her place both are considered impure? Notably, just the soil from outside her home is considered as pure. Thus, the belief has failed to answer most of the questions!

The another belief is that it is a symbol of female energy. It is said that, in the fight between Mahishasura and Maa Durga, Mahishasura tried to molest Durga. However, the goddess prevented it from happening and turned up victorious from personal assault as well as in the war. Now, the same is linked with use of soil from a prostitute's home. It is believed as a way to pay respects and revere to women who have been oppressed, exploited and humiliated by society.

However, modern belief presents a different story. It is said to show an inclusiveness of all. As this part of society suffers a lot, this practice is to make them feel valued. It is to show them that they too belong to the world as much as any other person. However, this thought is unconventional as the rest of the year they get treated badly and looked upon with hatred.

In another view, it is said that the process of the punya maati is executed to clear out of the "sins of the prostitutes." While taking the soil, the priest chants a mantra. This mantra is said to clear their souls.

While there is no precise reason, the practice is still continued, especially in Bengal. Unsurprisingly, there are many other rituals and traditions that we follow blindly without knowing their true meaning. Thus, this brings no surprise to us. Sadly, the true origin behind this wonderful tradition is forgotten and people today are using it just to shed light on the state of the sex workers for a few days.

Prostitutes are never welcomed by majority of the society in any of our celebration. They are always trampled and left to live in filth and never given any significance. Thus, this also can be a reason to give importance to them through this act. Our ancestors might have added upon this custom to include people who are outcasts during auspicious occasions.

Though for a moment, this customs give us a chance to think about them and shed light upon their sorry state of affairs. Whatever, the fact is, such rituals remind us to maintain a balance in this world. We always need each others support as everything in this creation is relied on an unanimity.

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