“Sarva Mangala Mangalye Sive Sarvartha SadhikeSaranye Trayambike Gauri Narayani Namostute”
Wishing a very happy Durga Puja to everyone. May Goddess Durga bless you and your family.
Durga Puja or Sharad Utsab is a most popular festival in Bengal. And also for us who are living outside Bengal. Durga Puja called Sharad Utsab because its celebrated in Autumn or Sharad season.
Goddess Durga took nine forms to kill Mahishasura, the demon. Each form has its own significance. Nine day of Navaratri devotees worship all the nine form of Godess Durga.
We celebrate it from 6 day of Navaratri to 9 day. Puja end on tenth day called Dasami or Dussehra.
For us its celebration time. Its autumn season. Clear blue sky with white cloud, different types of flowers including Shiuli or harsingar are the significance of Durga puja.
why it is celebration time?
According to mythology, Goddess Durga visits her paternal home with her four children, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik at this time every year and after staying here for four days, she returns to her husband lord Shiva on Dasami or Dussehra. The immersion ceremony on Dussehra represents her journey back home. We will discuss on this day at the end. And a big thank to Sujata Shukla for suggesting me to write this post. Thank you so much.
Today is Sashthi or sixth day of Navaratri. Starting day of Durga Puja. We celebrate the homecoming of Goddess Durga. Maa comes home for few days. So it’s not only celebration time but also a feasting time. Many people thought why we all not observe fast on these days. No for us these four days are the happiest days of the year. So enjoy it with different kinds of veg and none veg dishes. You don’t have to restrict yourself.
You can see everyone wearing new clothes. Specially faces of our happy kids makes us more happy.
Today is the first day of Durga puja. In morning is the time for Ghat Sthapna. Ghatasthapana or Kalash Sthapana is the most significant ritual of tha first day.
Mothers keep fast on this day for the well being of their kids.
Idol prepared in the pandal or Puja mandap. But it will be decorated and the priest will do all the ritual in the evening.
On sixth day of Navaratri is the time to preparing for 4 day Durga Puja. Kalparambha ritual is perform in the beginning of Durga Puja.
Preparations on Sasthi consists of three aspects-
c> Adhivas and Amantran
Kalparambha- This ritual is done in the early hours of the morning. It deals with the Sankalpa to conduct the puja properly and by abiding all the rituals and customs. The ritual consists of installing the ghata, water-filled copper pot, at a corner of Durga mandap and offering worship to Durga and Chandi.
Bodhan – This is performed at the dusk. Durga Puja falls midway through the sleeping period of the Gods and hence they need an ‘awakening’; which is nothing but the Bodhan.
Adhivas and Amantran– The procedure of invocating the Devi in the bel tree, post the Bodhan , is known as Adhivas. The ritual consists of the following steps-
- Devi Durga and the Bel tree are first worshipped
- Twenty-six sacramental things are sanctified by touching Devi Durga and the Bel tree with them.
- To get rid of evil effects, a red coloured thread is tied around the altar where Puja is done.
- Then ‘amantran’ is done, which is not but inviting the Devi to accept the Puja the next day. Then the Devi is worshipped and arati is done. These marks the end of proceedings on Mahasasthi and the daily Puja starts on the next morning. Source
Day 2 Maha Saptami or seventh day of Navaratri.
On this day puja began with Vedic hymns and playing of Conch and beating of drums. As prasad different types of fruits and sweets offered to Goddess. And distribute among the devotee.
In afternoon moong dal or yellow lentil khichdi, mixed vegetable, five types of fried vegetables, chutney and kheer or rice pudding offered to Goddess.
Aarti ceremony or waving of lighted lamps will be performed in the evening. Aarti with the sound of conch blowing and drums makes the environment divine.
Picture from Google
Maha Ashtami today.
The eighth day starts with elaborate puja and pushpanjali rituals followed by the Sandhi Puja. Sandhi Puja is performed when Ashtami Tithi ends and Navami Tithi starts.
In Sandhi Puja ritual offering of 108 lotuses and lighting of 108 lamps is must.
Garland of 108 lotus offered to Goddess.
And 108 lamps are ready to be lit.
Photo courtesy Shoumik Bhattacharya
Picture credit Suchismita Roy
Usually luchi and halwa offered as prasad in Sandhi puja. After Sandhi Puja prasad is ready to be served to the devotees.
In evening devotees performe dhunuchi naach or dance. This dance is performed holding a dhunuchi or earthen pot. Some burning coconut husk placed in these earthen pot with dhuno or powdered essence sprinkled in it. I don’t have any pictures but got these two beautiful pictures from Google.
Ninth day or Maha Nabami today 🙏
After all the ritual puja, pushpanjali, hawan and bhog. Today’s bhog or offering platter consists of pulao, peas and potato curry, eggplant fritters, tomato chutney and kheer or rice pudding. Sorry forgot to click today.
And last day for panda hopping.
10th day today. Happy Dussehra or Happy Vijayadashami to everyone.
As I have mentioned after staying here for four days, she returns to her husband lord Shiva on Dasami or Dussehra. The immersion ceremony performed on this day.
On this day after morning puja and offering dahi chivra or flattend rice and curd priest perform darpan visarjan ritual.
Before the idol is lifted from the stage priest symbolically immerses the idol, by capturing its reflection in a mirror which is dipped in a bowl of water. This ceremony known as darpan visarjan or mirror immersion. People take their last darshan of the Goddess through the mirror. Here is a picture from Google.
Married women apply sindur or vermillion on the forehead of Goddess and then apply sindur on each other. Its called sindur khala. And women also offers sweet and beetle leaf or paan to Godess.
Now Goddess Durga prepared to leave to back home.
After all the joy and festivities now its time for devotees bid farewell to Maa Durga with tears in their eyes. Praying mother Godess to come again next year.
A large number of devotees join the procession to carries Goddess for immersion or visarjan in the river.
May Goddess Durga bless you and your family with all the happiness, wisdom, health and success 🙏
Photo courtesy Suchismita Roy