Puja is a grand festival of joy and gaiety…a festival of ceremonies,
rituals, and prayers. It brings people together irrespective of different
social and economic background and finds an echo of unity and friendship
all around the globe.
festival has spiritual and social dimensions which fosters compassion,
friendship, peace and harmony and inspire each one of us to work for the
progress and betterment of society and uplifting humanity in the pursuit
a year, in the autumnal month of Ashwin, Goddess Durga
comes home to her parents, together with her four children, Ganesh, Laxmi,
Karttik and Saraswati, and enjoys all the love and attention lavished on
her. Unfortunately, this visit lasts only three days, and on the fourth
day she starts on her journey back to her husband's abode in the mountain
- Goddess of deliverance - comes to earth on the seventh day after the
autumn new moon. She is depicted by the 'kumors' or potters as a
resplendent golden figure standing on a lion's back, each of her ten arms
bearing a particular weapon, as she triumphs over the demon Mahisasura.
is a very special festival when everybody buys new clothes and outfits and
exchange presents that helps to set new trends in the fashion world in all
its endless verities. It generates tremendous impetus for the trade and
commerce to grow and flourish along with the advent of the new designs, in
Saris, clothing and jewelleries. The event inspires writers and poets to
flood the market with their new publications for enlightened the readers.
Music, Arts and Crafts also find new expressions to enrich civilisation
and community. Family, holidays, visiting places of interest and
pilgrimage are very popular pastimes during this season.
to Gita -The Holy book of the Hindus – whenever evil rears its ugly
head, the Almighty comes to rescue of humanity to establish victory of
truth over untruth, and good over evil. Durga Puja symbolises the eternal
struggle between good and evil. Goddess Devi Durga is a mother figure and
reflects all aspects of our daily life. She dwells in us all in the form
of Divine Mother and guides us in our imperfections to increase self
awareness to control evil tendencies to restore peace and harmony in life.
has it that, thousands of
years ago a long drawn battle was fought between the gods and the demons
in which the Demon King (Mahisasura) emerged victorious. The Demons then
unleashed a reign of terror on earth with its wanton and senseless
atrocities, violence and destruction. This divine celestial form was
bestowed with the most powerful weapons.
the concept of Shakti – the conglomeration of all the celestial powers.
And it is this form that Goddess is propitiated to the incarnation of
Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Shaktiirupena Sansthita
Namastasyai Namo Namaha”.
Goddess is worshipped along with other Gods. She holds special weapons in
Durga( the goddess Durga) is the supreme goddess as she embodies the
immeasurable power of the universe and is a representation of female
dynamism and creative energy. The goddess Durga with ten hands carrying
weapons, sitting on a lion or a tiger and assuming mudras (symbolic hand
gestures) plays a conventional male role.But dressed in imperial red saree
and adorned with gold ornaments, maa looks stunningly beautiful. Durga
Puja Traditions reflect the essence of joy, gaiety, fun but also the
celebration of the victory of good over evil.
to tradition, the images of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartick and Ganesh are
also separately worshipped along with that of Durga. The image of Durga is
framed at the centre, and the background behind the whole group is called
the chaal-chitra. It is a circular canvas of mat containing paintings of
heavenly scenes and drawings of other important gods and goddesses.
– popularly known as the elephant headed deity with tusks – is the
harbinger of good omen and success. A mouse is his vechile and he is held
in high esteem by all that aspire for success, achievement, recognition,
social status and excellence in life. He is known as “Siddhidata Ganesh”.
– A handsome young look with magnificiant bearing riding a peacock and
saddled with the bow and arrow symbolises valour, courage and steadfast
approach. He also stands for heroism and devotion.
– A very graceful deity with great charm and beauty is seated on a lotus
and a swan is her vechicle and she holds a stringed instrument and is
worshipped as the goddess of learning. The students and devotees of
learning in any field always seek her blessings to excel their pursuits.
All educational institution and seats of learning celebrate special puja
to receive her blessings in spring. Presently Saraswati and Lakshmi seem
to have joined forces to bless the aspirants in their efforts to achieve
success and fortune. The saying goes – if one has the blessings of
Saraswati, Lakshmi automatically seems to follow in its trail.
main puja starts from Shasthi, which is the sixth day after the new moon.
On Saptami, the image of the goddess is infused with life through a
process called Bodhon. Early in the morning, the pran of the Devi is put
inside the image after it is brought from a nearby river through the
medium of a banana plant, called the Kola Bou. The Kola Bou, bathed and
draped in a new yellow saree, resembles a newly wed bride. Ashtami is
universally accepted as the culminating point of the four day
chanting of Mantras, the beating of the drums, Kashi and ghanta, the sound
of conchsells and the smell of incense sends a distictive vibration right
through the heart of the people.
was on this day that Durga had killed Mahishasura. The ritual of
Sandhipuja marks Sandhikkhan, the juncture between Ashtami and Nabami. The
main attraction of Nabami is the Maha-Arati held in the evening. On
Dashami, the image is immersed in a river, and people bid a sorrowful
farewell to the Mother Goddess, and the wait begins for yet another year.
Bijoya is a special ritual whereby peace and good relations are
reaffirmed. Families exchange sweets and people embrace each other, vowing
brotherhood. Bijoya continues till the next new moon, when Kali Puja is
PUJA IN THE MODERN WORLD
Sanskrit Durga means
" She who is incomprehensible or difficult to reach ." Goddess Durga
is a form of Shakti worshipped for her gracious as well as terrifying
aspect. Mother of the Universe, she represents the infinite power of the
universe and is a symbol of a female dynamism.
Durga, a beautiful warrior
seated upon a tiger, was the first appearance of the great goddess. Also
called by many other names, such as Parvati, Ambika, and Kali. Destroyer
of demons, she is worshipped during Durga
puja, most popular among Bengalis
a communal worship of the Goddess or Sarbojanin Durga Puja, we see a large
number of people participating together to raise funds and establish the
Durga Idol and the auspicious mandap. The word Sarbojanin has tremendous
power to pull the hearts of every Bengali and unite them under the
umbrella of Durga Puja. So much so that this word has been adopted as the
name by several Durga Puja committees. Every town and every city has
atleast one Sarbojanin Durga Puja.
up to the name, every Sarbojanin Durga Puja calls for equal and unanimous
participation of people. Several games, quizzes and cultural programs are
held for the entertainment of people. In this fast paced world, one has no
time to rejuvenate their selves and meet the loved ones. Sarbojanin Durga
pujas are a fabulous platform to reconnect with dear ones and enjoy the
blessings of Maa Durga under one roof.
Apart from cultural programs, Bhog (prasad or food containing Devi
Durga’s blessings) is another factor with unites all the people and
makes everyone smile with joy. Bhog is given to all the devotees of Maa
Durga irrespective of caste, creed and race. While sitting down to eat the
traditional Khidchi, made of rice, and Ghant, mixed vegetables, every
human gleams with joy for it is the Bhog of Devi, who never creates
disparities amongst her children.Durga Puja is a tremendous platform for
people to come together and celebrate in harmony
communal worship of the goddess the
most-coveted festival in the year, has transcended geographical boundaries
and reached every son and daughter of the soil across the globe from
on Tyne and from
!! The four-day fair - with its splendour and mesmerising look - is too
beautiful to be a called a mere festival. It has become an indispensable
part of every one's life...