1) Navratri, which translates to “the nine nights”, is an occasion of pure joy and worship in India, celebrated in every corner of the country honouring womanhood and the victory of good over evil.
2) This is also the time when the artisans or idol makers of the East begin the creation of Durga idols or Chinmaya.
3) However, the idol of the goddess is incomplete without four elements, the soil from the river Ganga, cow dung, cow urine and the Punya Matti or the soil from outside a brothel.
4) The priest and even the artisan goes to beg for the soil from the prostitute’s house and keeps begging until she agrees to give him what comes to be known as the “Punya Matti” or the soil of virtue.
5) Many believe that when one enters the brothel they leave behind their virtue on the soil of the brothel rendering the clay virtuous.
6) According to tradition, Maa Durga had used her rage to defeat the demon Mahishahura who looked down upon women and had tried to taint the dignity of the goddess before their battle.
7) Prostitutes represent those women who have been humiliated by society but still find a place within the heart of the goddess. This tradition still exists and this blessed soil is still sought after.