Puja

Durga means the one who is difficult to reach. Devi Durga in the Hindu religion is the name of the Goddess who is the reincarnation of ‘Shakti’. She is also known by many other names like Parvati, Ambika or Santoshi Mata. Destroyer of demons and demolisher of evil, she is worshiped during the ten days long festival of Durga puja. During this festival, people all over the country celebrate the puja through community efforts. Idols of Maa Durga are established at temporary temples and a grand pooja is organized. Even in the temples, special Puja is performed during the Navratras. We perform Aarti of Maa Durga three times a day along with bhajans and bhog.

MAHALAYA: The traditional six day countdown to Mahasaptami starts from Mahalaya. Goddess Durga visits the earth for only four days but seven days prior to the Pujas, starts the Mahalaya. This is a very auspicious day when  MAA  comes with  her  children Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati  from  Kailash  to  Dharti ( her  parents home). Sarat in its bloom,mingled with the festive spirit of Durga Puja reaches its pitch on the day of Mahalaya. From this day starts ‘Devipaksha’ and marks the end of ‘Pitri-paksha’. It is the day when many throng to the banks of river Ganga, clad in dhotis to offer prayers to their dead relatives and forefathers.People in the pre-dawn hours pray for their demised relatives and take holy dips in the Ganges. This ritual is known as ‘Torpon’. This day bears immense significance for the Bengalis. It is according to the myths that Shree Rama hastily performed Durga Puja just before he set for Lanka to rescue Sita from Ravana.

Durga Puja is celebrated from Shasti to Bijoya Dashimi and it starts as  Kattayani  Puja or the sixth form of the Durga.

SHASTI  &  ADHIBAS: According to Puranas, King Suratha, used to worship goddess Durga in spring. Thus Durga Puja was also known as Basanti Puja. But Rama preponed the Puja and worshiped Durga in autumn and that is why it is known as ‘Akal Bodhon’ or untimely worship. It was considered untimely as it is in the myths that puja was performed when the Gods and Goddesses were awake, “Uttarayan”.

SAPTAMI: DURGA  Maa Puja as Naba Patrika. This  means  nine  trees  i.e.. Banana  tree, Kochu  tree,  Haldi  tree, Jayanti  tree, Branch  of  the  Bel tree,  Dalim tree,  Ashoka tree, Paddy plant, Aprajita are  tied  to  the  Banana  tree.  Then  this  Banana  tree is  given  a bath  and then dressed as a bride, and  is called Kola Bahu . This is Naba Patrika as Maa Durga, which means Naba Patrika is Mother of Ganesh.

Maa’s  AGAMAN: Every  year  Maa  comes  either  on a  Palki ,  or  on an Elephant , or  on  a  Boat  or on a Dola  ( Swing), etc..

ASHTAMI  PUJA : This  is  the  main  day of all the  days.  On  this  day  Maa  Maha Gauri or  Sandhi  Puja are offered 108 diyas and 108 lotus. This  is  the moment  when  Ashtami  Puja  ends  and  Nabami  Puja  begins  so  the  name  SANDHI  PUJA . This  is  the most vital  time ,   the  meeting (or  sandhi) of  Ashtami  and  Nabami Puja.   The  duration of this Puja  is  45  minutes,at  this  moment  Maa  is  CHAMUNDA. There  is  a famous  story, that   Lord Ram  prayed  to  Maa  Durga  offering  108  lotus  at her  feet to  defeat   Ravana. But  to his   surprise,  he  found  one  lotus  missing and  to  replace  it  he  wanted  to  sacrifice his  eye and  pray  to  Maa. At this  moment  Maa  appeared  is  front  of  him and  stopped him and returned  the missing  lotus  to him. She blessed him to  defeat and  kill   Ravana and  RAM  had  victory  over  RAVANA.

BIJOYA  DASHIMI  is  also  the  Day  Maa  is  going  back  to  KAILASH  with  her  family, after  her  victory over  MAHISHASUR  and   all the  GODS  and  GODDESS are  offering  flowers and  garlands  from  HEAVEN.