About the celebration
According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga who was married to Lord Shiva returns to her paternal residence during the Puja, and it begins with Mahalaya which is the preparation for the welcome of the divine homecoming. Agomoni is oratorio of chants to invoke and welcome Goddess Durga by praying, "Jago, tumi jago" – "Arise, O thou arise!
Durga Puja is the foremost Hindu religious festival in eastern India. Goddess Durga, the embodiment of supreme power who visits earth to annihilate evils, is worshipped every autumn. The sunrays making its way through the clouds when bestows its warmth upon the Earth, the feeling of happiness fills the heart. The fragrance of the flowers and the drizzling rain are a gentle reminder of the time when Maa Durga along with her children comes from her husband Shiva’s abode in Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, to her parental home.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga was requested to appear for destroying the powers of the demon Mahishasur, who otherwise had become the most powerful being on the planet. Since he had got the blessings that no male God can destroy his powers; mother Durga had to appear on earth and destroy him. This is why she is considered as a manifestation of ‘Shakti’, which means ‘Power’. Durga Puja is celebrated in the honour of women power and to recognize that the good is always more powerful than the evil.
The relationship with mother is one of the most sweetest and adorable relations among all the other relations in this world. This is the reason Shakti or the supreme power is also known as Maa Durga. Greetings to the heavenly mother, Maa Durga subsists in all human beings in the form of mercy, intelligence and beauty and is the companion of Lord Shiva one of the Holy Trinity of Hinduism who devastates the universe so that it can be recreated by Lord Brahma and protected by Lord Vishnu.
The Puja commences on the sixth day of the full moon in the month of Aswin when the Goddess Durga is invoked at night. Then the worship continues for the next three days in daytime on the seventh, eighth and ninth lunar days of the full moon. Durga Puja venerates Lord Rama’s prayer to the Goddess Durga before embarking on a fearsome battle with the Demon King - Ravana. Hindu Mythology has it that Lord Rama first worshipped ‘Mahishasura Mardani’ by offering 108 blue lotuses and lighting 108 lamps during this time of the year for her divine blessings before the battle.
- Piece scripted by Ms. Antara Chatterjee