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2021 Durga Puja Vidhi and Durga Puja Vrat Katha - Know Story Behind Durga Puja Celebration

DURGA PUJA FESTIVAL: WELCOMING THE GODDESS OF SHAKTI

Durga Puja Vidhi and Durga Puja Vrat Katha

A Festive Introduction
The Bengali community is known for its rich culture and literature. That's why when they celebrate their most awaited festival—Durga Puja, they celebrate with so much zeal and enthusiasm. Through this festival, they try to unite the community members from all walks of life for sharing their love and affection through their dance, music, and cuisine.

Durga Puja is a community festival where communities come in groups and pray together in beautifully decorated puja pandals. In Kolkata, preparations go in full swing at least three months in advance. The traditional craftsmen, passed from generation to generation sculpt the idols of Goddess Durga out of clay in a small town called Kumartali.

Meaning of Durga Pooja
Durga Puja is rejoiced to hail the annual homecoming of Goddess Durga along with her four children—Ganesha, Lakshmi, Kartik, and Saraswati. She arrives during the autumnal month of Ashwin (September-October) for only four days. Thereafter, she starts her journey back to her mountainous kingdom-Kailash.

Durga Puja Rituals and Celebrations
The Bengalis begins their preparations seven days earlier to usher in the aura of Durga Puja. This auspicious occasion is called as Mahalaya, where the artisans give the final touches to the idol by drawing the eyes.

Debipaksha
Debipaksha is an auspicious occasion for the Bengalis. They depict the image of Devi Durga as "Dashapraharana-dharini", meaning that each of her hands carrying ten different weapons gifted by other gods to kill the demon--Mahishasura.



Maha-Shashthi
On this day Goddess Durga arrives, accompanied by her children. She is welcomed with much joy amidst the beats of dhak—a traditional beating of the Indian drums. On this day, the face of the idol is unveiled during a puja called 'bodhan'. On this day, women observe the Durga Puja fast for the whole day for the prosperity of the family. The fast is broken in the evening with fruits and luchis (a kind of bread made of flour), usually eaten with sabzi (vegetables).

Maha Saptami
It is the first day of Durga puja. 'Kola Bow' or 'Nabapatrika' is given an early dawn bath. This is an ancient ritual of worshiping nine kinds of plants. They are together worshiped as a symbol of the goddess.

Maha Ashtami
The day begins with a recital of Sanskrit hymns in community puja pandals. The priest breathes life into the idol of Durga as he performs the sandhi puja to the chanting of shlokas. All these special ceremonies are interspersed with the usual rounds of Anjali, prasad, and bhog.
Here, Durga is worshipped in her Chamunda form, where they killed Chando and Mundo the two generals of Mahaisasura. This day is important as it celebrates the victory over demon Mahishasur. Here the devotees recite the mantras and offer flowers to Devi Durga (pushpanjali) and pray for her blessings.

Maha Navami
On this day, the Navami bhog—a typical Bengali vegetarian meal, is offered to Goddess Durga. Thereafter, it is feast time where devotees sit together and relish all kinds of vegetarian Bengali dishes and sweets.

Dashami
Dashami is the day when Goddess Durga departs her journey back to Kailash, her husband's abode. With a heavy heart, the Bengalis immerse the clay idol of Durga in the sacred waters and bid her goodbye earnestly waiting to see her again the next year.


Durga Puja Vidhi: Method of Worship

1. On first day do Ghat Sthapana
2. After that light an earthen lamp
3. First day recite the mantra of "Maa Shailputri 108 times".
"Shailputri Mantra: Om Shaam Sheem Shoom Shailputryai Swaha"
4. Say, "O Mother! I offer this recitation in your lotus feet."
5. In the evening do a small fire sacrifice with that same mantra.
6. Things required for fire sacrifice: A small piece of cow dung cake, Ghee and a spoon, Camphor, Water of Ganga river in a bowl, An earthen lamp, Raw rice, A small stone
7. Now place the stone on the place of fire sacrifice
8. Gather all required things at this place
9. At first heat the cow dunk cake
10. When it becomes smokeless then remove it from flame.
11. Place the cow dung cake on the stone seat
12. Light the earthen lamp
13. Pray to the mother Shail Putri
14. Say "O Mother!  Come and receive offerings"
15. Now put some ghee on cow dung cake
16. Now burn a camphor piece on a spoon
17. Now place it on hot cow dung cake
18. Now give 11 sacrifices by mantra of Shailputri
19. Chant this mantra " Om Shaam Sheem Shoom Shailputri swaha"
20. Touch water bowl after every 11 offerings.
21. Pray "kindly receive these offerings"
22. Now put some water on both of place of sacrifice.



How to do Dispersal?
1. Take some raw rice in the right hand
2. Offer rice and pray
3. " O' Mother! Receive these offering and stay in our house till Navami"

Durga Puja Katha: Story of Durga Puja

Story of Mahishasura Slaughter According to mythological beliefs, Mahishasura was the son of Asura Dambha. He did penance of Brahma ji and asked for the boon of immortality. Brahma sought to avoid it by saying that birth and death are irrevocable truths. Therefore a thing like immortality doesn't exist. Hearing Brahma ji, Mahishasura stated that if death is certain then he should be given such a boon that no human, nor deity nor any demon can do his loss of life.

Brahma Ji was obliged to give the boon, so he gave him this boon. After achieving this boon, Mahishasura's ego reached the seventh Asapan. He subdued the Earth and Hades and attacked Indraloka and conquered heaven. Seeing the increasing tyranny of Mahishasura, all of the gods reached Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu requested help from the Goddess of Power.

All the gods invoked the goddess of power for the slaughter of Mahishasura. Every divine glory emerged from the body of all of the gods and a figure appeared within the form of the supreme beautiful woman. After this, all the Gods and Goddesses gave them their weapons. On this, Bhagwati was happy and warranted to free him from the concern of Mahishasura quickly.

After this fierce battle of Mahishasura and Mata Durga broke out. One by one all the soldiers of Mahishasura were killed. This battle continued for 9 days. The decisive battle came about between Mahishasura and Mata Durga. According to the legend, Mahishasura tried to kill the goddess with deceit by creating a different kind of elusive type but in the end, Bhagwati killed her.

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