Thursday, March 31, 2005

Durga Puja

This festival has a special place in the hearts of Indians specially Hindus. This festival is remembered as the end of the daemon, Mahisa Sur by Goddess Durga. According to Hindu mythology the daemon Mahisa Sur was a great trouble and threat to the lives of people in the earth. He was blessed with a superpower that no God, human, or any daemon can ever kill him. He was a great threat to the mankind. All the Gods gathered together to transfer their powers to a lady known as Durga. She fought bravely with Mahisa Sura and finally killed him to the save the earth. Hence Goddess Durga is regarded as the immense source of power to diminish and kill evils.

The ten days of the fight between Goddess Durga and Mahisa Sura is still remembered and celebrated as great festival of Durga Puja.

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Durga Puja: Festival for victory of good over evil

In the state of Tamil Nadu, they have Navararatri celebrations. Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) is worshipped for the first three days. The next following three days are dedicated to Saraswati, Goddess of learning, and the final three days to Shakti (Durga).

In this state, a pot container made of either brass or silver is decorated with mango leaves and coconut and smeared with turmeric and vermilion (kumkum). This container, which is known as Kalasam, is the object of worship here. Goddess Durga has also several names like Annapoorani, Gajalakshmi, Meenakshi, Tripurasundari, Kali etc. The idols of the Goddess Durga are taken round in procession around the temples. Married ladies recite Lalitha Sahasranamam to invoke the Goddess. This puja is done to gain prosperity and well-being of the family through the blessings of Goddess Durga.

Ayudha pooja is performed on the eight or ninth day of Dasera in South India. Owners of organizations and shops worship their machines or equipments, while other people perform pujas to their most prized possessions.

In most of the houses on the eighth day prayers are offered to Goddess Saraswathi, the Goddess of learning. Books of children are placed next to the deity in the hope that the goddess will bless them with knowledge.

Vijayadasami day is considered auspicious to begin new ventures in areas such as business, education, travel and so on. During the festivities, women are dressed in Kancheepuram saris. They also wear jewellery with jasmines flowers. Soondal (cooked pulses) is the most popular dish made during this festival.

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Durga Puja some legends

The festival is celebrated with intense enthusiasm in West Bengal. It is popular as Durga Puja there. Other whole state The festival is celebrated for a different reason here. The festivities last for ten days. The tenth day is dedicated to the worship of goddess Durga. Durga embodies ‘Shakti’, the life force. The idols are kept in pandals specially constructed for this occasion for a period of nine days. And on the ninth day they are taken for visarjan (immersion ceremony) in rivers and ponds.

As the legend goes, a mighty demon named Mahisasura had conquered Indralok (heaven) thereby forcing the gods and their king Indra to flee. The gods then approached Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the holy trinity in the Hindu pantheon. They, in turn, prayed to the divine mother Durga to intervene and put an end to Mahisasura’s tyranny, as the latter was bestowed a boon that his death would come only at the hands of a woman and nobody else. Goddess Durga riding her vehicle the lion defeated the demon king. Since then, Durga has been revered for her invincibility. Durga is also a manifestation of Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva.