DURGA PUJA CELEBRATION – AN INSIGHT OF NAVRATRI FESTIVAL
Have you always wonder what goddess Durga symbolises, what is her significance in Hindu mythology and why we celebrate Navratri and Durda puja?
To answer your curiosity, in this article, we have gathered all the information regarding Navratri and Durga Puja celebration.
Goddess Durga, the mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya, is believed to be a symbol of immense strength and intellect. With anger raging in her eyes, she is the destroyer of atrocity. Self-contained in every sense, she is trusted to direct the course of survival and continuance of the universe as a whole.
To address and praise Goddess Durga, India celebrates Navratri (nine divine nights) which also labels the commencement of autumn. Durga, one among the nine forms of Shakti, is offered with earnest prayers on each day of Navratri.
Read more: Kolkata Durga Puja
On the tenth day, Mother Durga’s triumph over evil is celebrated (Vijayadashmi). In northern India, this also marked as Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana (Dussehra). Durga puja celebration is also done to acknowledge the return of the goddess to her home and her reunion with her husband (Shiva).
Origin Of Goddess Shakti
The Hindu mythology states that Goddess Durga took birth to annihilate Mahishasura who was undefeatable by any god or man. When the demon commenced a war on Gods, Devas led by Indra is repressed .
The Trinity (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) on the request of other gods combine their powers which gave rise to the mighty Durga to slay Mahishasura and thus saving all gods. This is the reason why she is believed to be the most powerful of all and the saviour of the universe.
Creation Of Sculptures
The creation of sculptures or idols for Durga Puja celebration holds a lot of importance. Akshaya Tritiya, the day on which Ratha-yatra is held marks the day for collecting clay from the river banks.
Sculptors prefer collecting mud from the Ganges as it is the holy river of India. People also collect soil from nishiddho pallis of Calcutta which is then amalgamated in the clay to be used for making the idol.
On the last new moon before the commencement of Durga puja, known as “Mahalaya,” the eye of the sculpture is painted. This process is called chokku daan, and the artisans keep one day fast before they start painting the eye of the goddess.
Durga Puja Celebration
On the first day of Navratri, the beautiful sculpture of mother Durga is placed in a home on adorned platforms. The idol is decorated with garlands, and people offer their prayers each day to the goddess.
On the seventh day of Navratri, a ritual called “Pran Pratisthan” is performed. A Kola Bou which is a small banana plant also called as a banana bride. This day Kola Bou is bathed in a river and draped in a sari. It is believed that Kola Bou carries Mother Durga’s strength and vitality.
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On ashtmi (8th day), the goddess is praised in the form of a virgin girl which is called “Kumari Puja.” Young unmarried girls are worshipped with the belief that the holiness of the goddess will transfer in them.
On navmi (9th day), a maha aarti is performed to wind up the celebration of Navratri. On the last day, the idols are carried in a large procession to the river for the immersion. On this day, married ladies offer red vermillion powder to the goddess which is a symbol of marriage and gradual fertility. This day marks Mother Durga’s return to Lord Shiva.
Durga puja celebration is widely acknowledged across India and is the most prestigious and renowned festival of West Bengal. Navratri is believed to bring positivity and strength to one’s own heart. It is an embodiment of flushing out the evil within us and bringing in the holy values and power by the grace of mother Durga.
To the goddess who in all humans resides in the form of energy and vigour, every devotee bows their head down in front of the mighty goddess.