1 . Durga Puja
Durga Puja is a festival dedicated to the worship of the most revered Hindu goddess Durga. MaaDurga or Shakti is worshipped rigorously over the last five days of Navratri, in the Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar. The deity is depicted as a warrior goddess with fierce look, ten arms, and each hand holding a different weapon symbolic of power and rage.As per legends, Maa Durga defeated the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura,vanquishing him with a spear whilst astride a lion, after nine days of fierce battle. The festival thus exemplifies the triumph of Good over Evil.Durga Puja is extensively celebrated in West Bengal, principally in the Bengali Hindu society, where it is not just a festival, but a major sociocultural event. This Pan India festival is also celebrated with much fervor and devotion in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Tripura, Delhi, Gujarat and Kerala to name a few.
2 . About Goddess Durga Maa
Goddess Durga is worshiped especially in West Bengal. According to Hinduism, Goddess Durga is a symbol of female dynamism and Destroyer of demons. Who hold the infinite power of the universe and said to be as mother of the Universe.Goddess Durga, wife of Lord Shiva, is called by many other names, such as Parvati, Ambika and Kali. She has two sons, Ganesha and Karttikeya, and two daughters Lakshmi and Sarashawti. Goddess Durga depicted as having ten arms, riding on a lion, carrying weapons and a lotus flower, maintaining a meditative smile.Navratri 2014 in India Traditionally, Durga Puja is a Hindu festival celebrated during the month of September or October in India. Current year Durga Puja will start on Tuesday, 30th September, 2014 and will continue to Saturday, 4th October, 2014. The festival Durga Puja specially is celebrated in West Bengal surrounding the capital city of Kolkata or in Bengali communities of other states. Dussera or Navaratri is the similar festival of Durgapuja celebrated rest part of India except eastern India.
3 . Durga Puja Traditions
Durga puja is the most awaited festival for the Hindus especially in West Bengal, which situated in the eastern province of India. The puja involves many intricate rituals. Also known as Durgotsav, this festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga, the most powerful of all Hindu Goddesses. The people of West Bengal share the belief that Maa Durga descends on earth on the sixth day of the puja and the people welcome her with great devotion and fanfare. During the festival pandals are set up in every nook and corner, worshipping the idol of the Goddess. Many of the big pandals compete with each other and try to outdo each other in terms of decoration and artwork. They spend plenty of money in the designs of the pandals as well as the idol. Usually, the puja is organized by the local clubs or communities, who take donations from the people. The money thus collected is spent on the idol and the decoration of the pandals. Every year many of the clubs create history by building something innovative and aweinspiring.
4 . Appearance of Durga
Brahma, the leader of god and goddess, had given Mahishasura an inhuman force/demon the power not to be defeated by a man or a God. So, Mahishasura had unleashed a reign of terror on earth, heaven and the nether worlds, and he could not be defeated by any man or god, anywhere.Hearing this Vishnu, Shiva and all of the gods became very angry and beams of fierce light emerged from their bodies. The combined energy of all Gods was appeared as power of infinity or the goddess Durga. Each of her weapons was given to her by various gods Rudras trident, Vishnus discus, Indras thunderbolt, Brahmas amendable, Kubers Ratnahar, etc.After this Goddess Durga had announced battle with Mahishasur, Durga fight for a long time and killed Mahishasur.
Mahalaya accompanies in the atmosphere of Durga Puja. The countdown for the Durga Puja begins from Mahalaya. It is only from the day of Mahalaya that the preparation for the Durga Puja reaches the final stage. This year Mahalaya is held on 23rd September, 2014 Tuesday.The day of Mahalaya is also the day of remembrance. On this day, people offer Tarpon in memory of their deceased forefathers. Devotees and worshipers buy clothes and sweets to offer to their forefathers in their nearest river. Tarpon is to be performed in empty stomach. After offering tarpon, people eat at the same place.
5 . Names
In Bengal, Durga Puja is also called Akalbodhan untimely awakening of Durga, Sharadiya Pujo autumnal worship, Sharodotsab Bengali festival of autumn, Maha Pujo grand puja, Maayer Pujo worship of the Mother or merely as Puja or Pujo. In East Bengal Bangladesh, Durga Puja used to be celebrated as Bhagabati Puja. It is also called Durga Puja in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.Puja is called Navaratri Puja in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and Maharashtra, Kullu Dussehra in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, Mysore Dussehra in Mysore, Karnataka and Bommai Golu in Tamil Nadu and Bommala koluvu in Andhra Pradesh.
6 . Origin of the autumnal ceremony Sharadiya
The actual worship of the Goddess Durga as stipulated by the Hindu scriptures falls in the month of Chaitra, which roughly overlaps with March or April and is called Basanti Durga Puja. This ceremony is not observed by many and is restricted to a handful in the state of West Bengal. The more popular form, which is also known as Sharadiya Autumnal Durga Puja, is celebrated later in the year with the dates falling either in September or October. Since the Goddess is invoked at the wrong time, it is called Akaal Bodhon in Bengali.One of the earliest evidence of the autumnal celebration can be found in the Tripura Buranji, where it is described that the envoy of the Twipra Kingdom, Rameshwar Nyayalankar, was invited to witness the Durga puja at Rangpur, the capital of the Ahom kingdom, in 1711.
There is also a mythological belief that Lord Ram, who was a Durga worshiper, worshiped Goddess Durga before going for a war with Ravana. Rama had performed Chandi Homa and invoked the blessings of Durga, who blessed Rama with secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. On the day of Ashvin Shukla Dashami, Ramas party found Sita and defeated Ravana. This day is thus also celebrated as Dussehra.
7 . Customs
Durga puja mood starts off with the Mahishasuramardini a twohour radio programme that has been popular with the community since the 1950s. While earlier it used to be conducted live, later a recorded version began to be broadcast. Bengalis traditionally wake up at 4 in the morning on Mahalaya day to listen to the enchanting voice of the late Birendra Krishna Bhadra and the late Pankaj Kumar Mullick on All India Radio as they recite hymns from the scriptures from the Devi Mahatmyam Chandi Path.During the week of Durga Puja, in the entire state of West Bengal as well as in large enclaves of Bengalis everywhere, life comes to a complete standstill. In playgrounds, traffic circles, ponds wherever space may be available elaborate makeshift structures called pandals are set up, many with nearly a years worth of planning behind them. The word pandal means a temporary structure, made of bamboo and cloth, which is used as a temporary temple for the purpose of the puja. While some of the pandals are simple structures, others are often elaborate works of art with themes that rely heavily on history, current affairs and sometimes pure imagination.
8 . Durga puja mantra
Mantras, the integral part of Durga puja are accompanied by the rhythmic beatings of the dhak, smell of the incense sticks, dhoono, and flowers. These create the atmosphere of Durga puja. Chanting of mantras in Sanskrit is essential part of the Durga Puja festival. This is a part of Durga Pujas Pushpanjali Mantra
Om Jayanti, Mangala, Kali, Bhadrakali, Kapalini. Durga, Shiba
Kshama, Dhatri, Swaha, Swadha Namahstu Te.
Esha Sachandana Gandha Pushpa Bilwa Patranjali, Om Hrring Durgaoi Namah.
Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu Matri rupena samsthita
Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu Shakti rupena samsthita
Ya Devi sarva bhutesu Shanti rupena samsthita
Namestasyai Namestasyai Namestasyai Namoh Namah
9 . Durga Puja Fast
Durga Puja has been one of the most important Hindu festivals since time immemorial. Today, Durga Puja is celebrated on a grand scale by innumerable devotees all over the country. Mata Durga is worshipped on a grand scale and her idols are consecrated. The idol of Durga Maa is elaborately adorned with magnificent jewelery and embroidered saris. Prayers are offered and rituals are performed to honor the Goddess Durga. People also observe fast during the puja as part of the rituals. The custom of fasting during Durga puja has been followed for centuries with complete sincerity and devotion. There are many devotees who fast during Navaratri 9 days every year. The fast is observed to please Goddess Durga and to seek her blessings. There are different methods of fasting, followed by different people, but the purpose is the same for all, which is seeking the blessings of goddess Durga. Read further to learn about the significance of fasting during the holy occasion of Durga puja.
10 . Durga Puja Thali
Durga Puja or Durgotsava is one of the most prominent Hindu festivals and is celebrated in various parts of the country with great vigor and fanfare. Like all other festivals, Durga Puja has also been associated with mythological folklore. It is believed that the dwellers of the earth and heavens were tormented by a demon called Mahisasura. He was so powerful that even the Gods trembled in his presence. Out of earnest prayers, Maa Durga rose from the fire to vanquish the demon Mahisasura. An embodiment of Shakti and valor, Maa Durga attacked the demon and an intense m