Thursday, July 8, 2010
Invocation and Lament for Annapurna, Grain Goddess
Watch Urania on YouTube dancing her composition in honor of Indian grain goddess Annapurna. A prayer for the earth, a lament.
Chandra Alexandre writes about Vandana Shiva’s ecofeminist approach: “…as proposed by Vandana Shiva, the call is to embracing the notion of Prakriti as living nature or Feminine principle, a principle that according to her, is the entirety of nature, inclusive of its ability to create, sustain, and destroy. Shiva believes that such a philosophy can accomplish a more balanced worldview while promoting environmental sustainability and the well being of diverse, autonomous communities. Her work is important, I believe, in part because represents a non-dominant perspective, one garnered from India and proposed by an Indian woman. I also value Shiva’s contribution because she has been willing to bring spirit to the table as a viable source of empowerment in the larger ecofeminist discourse.”
After some research I discovered the food and grain goddess Annapurna. Ajit Mookerjee writes: “The ancient image of vegetation emerging from the body of the goddess reappears in c. A.D. 400 in the Devi Mahatmya where the Devi …is said to nourish her needy people with vegetation from her own body.”
The dance I created based on my research can be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIuwM9qg8hQ. I discovered that Annapurna is known primarily as goddess of cooking and food. Her image can be found in kitchens and restaurants. She symbolizes the divine aspect of nourishment, and is said to bless food and convert it to amrut, or the divine nectar of immortality. Like all goddesses, there are many stories connected with her, telling of how she came to be associated with food and nourishment. Her name means “she who is full of food”; she is usually depicted with a cooking pot and spoon. In the springtime, when she is celebrated during a festival associated with sprouting rice “her image and temple are decorated with green rice sprouts.” Because of her connection to food, she is considered the sustainer of life, and is worshipped accordingly.