Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Durga Puja Begins Today

Navratri, the festival of nine days reaches its peak on the last five days called Durgotsava or Durga Puja. This is one of the biggest festivals of Bengalis and one of the most widely celebrated festival in India. Read on to know more about Durga puja...

Durga Mata

The last six days mark the beginning of Durga Puja and the celebrations soar high with the approach of Vijayadashami or Dussehra, which marks the Victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga, the most powerful creation by the Trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh, was sent to earth to put an end to the evil buffalo King, Mahishasura.

Click here to know which Durga to worship according to your Zodiac signs - Durga Puja

History & Origin Of Durga Puja 

First Celebrations of Durga Puja can be dated back to the 16th century. Although its popularity started to rise in the late 17th century. In the beginning, the British were active participants in Durga Puja, done as a means to please influential Hindu officials. This was continued until the British Government issued a ban on such participations. This festival was mostly a high level. Elite family affair who could afford to organise the festive celebrations, but only until the early 17th century. After which, the “Baro-Yari” Puja came into existence.

Baro-Yari Puja & Sarbajanin Puja

 Baro-Yari Puja or community worship was started by 12 young men of Guptipara in Hooghly, West Bengal. This was started as a result of the festival being a costly affair and only the ones who had the riches could afford it. As such the 12 friends decided to collect funds and contributions from local residents; and organised a community worship event for everyone to attend Baro-Yari Puja. This Baro-Yari Puja gave way to the origin of Sarbajanin Puja. The first Sarbajanin Puja was organised by the Sanatan Dharmotsahini Sabha in Kolkata in 1910. This is the first Durga Puja celebration which had the complete public contribution and participation.


Giving Life To The Idols

There is so much details and customs attached in the making of idols of Goddess Durga for the Navratri festival. Along with Goddess Durga’s, idols of Goddess Laxmi & Saraswati and Ganesha & Kartikeya (known to be her children) are done for this occasion. This type of idol, which has all the 5 Gods is called “Ek-Chala” meaning ‘one cover’. The making of the idol involves; firstly, gathering of the clay and secondly, Chakshu Daan meaning offering of eyes. The Pratima or clay idol of Durga is then adorned with Sholar Saaj that are white in color and are usually found in marshlands. Finally, when the idols are done and full of life, they are placed inside beautiful Pandals, where mass Pujas take place.

Worshipping Maa Durga brings strength, wisdom and the devotees are blessed with a fruitful and prosperous life.

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