Durga Puja 2023 – What’s different this year!!

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Written By Santana

Unveiling India's Treasures from the eyes of an insightful author

Durga puja 2022 – सर्वमंगल मांगल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थ साधिके। शरण्ये त्र्यंबके गौरी नारायणि नमोऽस्तुते।।

The above written is the divine mantra of Goddess Durga, which is believed to fulfill your wish if you ask wholeheartedly.

Durga Puja or Durgotsva is a Hindu festival (though all religions participate in this with full enthusiasm) that originated in the Indian subcontinent and is celebrated every year from the sixth to the tenth day in the Ashwin month (seventh month according to the Hindu calendar).

Though it is majorly celebrated in Bengal, Assam, and other eastern states as Indians need a reason to celebrate something, it is also celebrated in other parts of the countries like Delhi, Mumbai, and major cities.

But there is no doubt that the celebrations of Bengal have no comparison. People from all over India and even from different parts of the world visit Kolkata, Assam, and Bengal places to participate in this festival.

durga puja 2020

The mythology behind Durga Ashtami:

Lord Bramha once granted Mahishasura, the king of the Asuras, a boon that no man or god would be able to kill him. The immense power fueled his desire to rule the world. He began torturing heaven and its inhabitants.

He invaded the world with his Asura battalion, looting and brutally killing the people. The gods were exiled from heaven, and Mahishasura captured the throne. Fearful and unable to combat him, the Gods appealed to Lord Shiva, Lord Bramha, and Lord Vishnu to end Mahishasura’s oppression.

In response, the three Gods united their divine energy and summoned a bright feminine form. Devi Durga, a beautiful yellow woman with ten arms riding a lion, appeared from the glow. This collective power fell on Sage Kattyana’s residence on Krishna Chaturdashi (the fourteenth day of the new moon) in the month of Ashwin (September-October).

Beautiful Durga, fully grown and armed by the gods, was named “Kattyani” because she was born in the ashram of sage Kattyana. For Shukla Saptami, Ashtami, and Navami tithi, the sage worshipped her. Then, on the Dashami tithi, she killed Masishasura.

She was sent to fight against Mahishasura armed with godly power symbols such as Vishnu’s discus, Shiva’s Trishul, Varuna’s conch shell, Agni’s blazing dart, Vayu’s bow, Surya’s quiver and arrow, Yama’s iron rod, Indra’s thunderbolt, Kubera’s club, and a garland of snakes from Shesha, and a lion.

Finally, when Mahishasura charged against Durga, disguised as a buffalo, the Devi beheaded the buffalo, and Mahishasura appeared in his original form. Durga used the Trishul to stab his chest, freeing the world from the evil power.

She is known as ‘Durgatinashini Durga,’ our mother goddess who destroys evil, protects her devotees and brings world peace and prosperity. We worship Durga as the mother goddess, the embodiment of ‘Shakti’ (divine power), to protect us from evil and bring us peace and prosperity.

A fascinating feature of Durga Ashtami is that instead of placing Durga in a temple and worshipping her from afar, Bengalis welcome her in their hearts and make her an inseparable family member.

As the daughter returns to her parent’s home every year, Goddess Durga is welcomed. Durga stays for four days—Sashti, Saptami, Ashtami, and Nabami—along with her children, Ganesha, Laxmi, Kartik, and Saraswati—before departing for her husband’s home on Vijaya Dashami.

The scriptures describe Durga’s journey to Earth in great detail. The modes, which include an elephant, a horse, a palanquin, and a boat, represent good fortune or a prophecy that influences life on Earth.

The elephant symbolizes prosperity and a bountiful harvest, whereas the horseback journey means drought, a palanquin represents a widespread epidemic, and the boat signifies flood and misery. On the other hand, the worship of Devi Durga in October can be traced back to Krittibas Ojha’s “Ramayana.” Sree Rama worshiped Durga, the goddess of ‘Shakti,’ before departing for Lanka to save Sita from Ravana.

Puranas state that King Suratha used to worship the goddess Durga in the spring. As a result, Durga Ashtami was also referred to as Basanti Puja. However, Rama delays the Puja and worships the Devi in autumn, known as ‘Akal Bodhon,’ or untimely worship. This Akal Bodhon has become a tradition in Bengal.

Goddess Durga, History and Independence:

The festival is also celebrated as a victory over the darkness of Demon Mahishasur, who got a boon from Deity Brahma that no man in the whole universe can kill him.

He didn’t even bother including females in his boon as he thought females were no threat to him. Still, Goddess Parvati, incarnated as Goddess Durga, symbolizes women’s power, and she killed the demon Mahishasur to protect the universe.

But how this festival is related to India’s Independence:

As said, this festival is celebrated at its grandeur in Assam, and the festival symbolizes power and victory. The aura of this festival was so strong that Goddess Durga became an essential part Indian independence movement. Later, the movement made this festival to be celebrated around the whole world.

How do we celebrate this festival?

If you are at any place located in Bengal or Assam, the point where you will stand and see in any direction, you will surely not witness any darkness around.

All the streets, homes, shops, pandals, temples…anything you say, will be decorated with beautiful lights and Diyas (pot lamps).

Many places must be organizing Led shows, and you will hear the temple bells and loud chants in happiness. Schools and colleges get ten-day off for this grand celebration.

People worship, devotees present Indian culture dance to Goddess Durga. All the ladies will be seen in Bengali Saree dressed up graciously.

The puja is a five-day continuous festival in West Bengal, Siliguri, and Kolkata, and all three places will give you mesmerizing, enchanting, and unforgettable life memories.

durga puja 2020

Durga puja 2022 – During Covid Celebrations:

Well, 2022 has been the roughest year of this generation, and even for the elder generation, there are no gatherings, no celebrations, and nothing is going on.

Durga puja means victory over darkness, and we think and wish that people should wake up in the happiest mood, prepare everything as they do each year. If there are no gatherings, then also they should practice their prayers, food, and gifts at their home or with their neighbors by taking all the precautions.

Why not make a virtual celebration record? Streets will be decorated, make them reach everyone if everyone can’t come…what say!

This year, the celebrations will be even grander as it marks the end of the Covid 19 pandemic. While the government of India has relaxed some norms, it’s important to continue to follow the instructions of the local authorities and follow Covid guidelines.

Frequently asked question (FAQ) :

1. How is Durga Puja celebrated?

Durga puja is a ten-day celebration.

Day 1st – The festival starts with Mahalaya. On this day, Hindus perform tarpaṇa by offering water and food to their dead ancestors. This day marks the beginning of Durga from her mythological marital home high up in Kailash.

Day 6th – The sixth day (Sashthi) is the significant day of the festival, on which devotees welcome the goddess and mark the beginning of festive celebrations.

Day 7th – The seventh day (Saptami),

Day 8th – The eighth day (Ashtami)

Day 9th – The Ninth (Navami) day, the goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha, and Kartikeya are revered. This day is the primary day of worship. Scriptures and puja are recited. People socialize and visit the decorated and illuminated pandals (temporary stage and structure built for hosting the puja).

2. Why is Durga Puja celebrated?

Durga Puja celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura. It is also a harvest festival celebrating the goddess as the motherly power behind the creation and all life.

3. When does the Durga puja start? Durga puja date 2022

Name of the DayDayDate
Maha ShasthiSaturday01st October 2022
Maha SaptamiSunday02nd October 2022
Maha AshtamiMonday03rd October 2022
Maha NavamiTuesday04th October 2022
Vijaya DashamiWednesday05th October 2022

For a more detailed read, you may visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga_Puja

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