Friday, September 03, 2004

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.

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