CELEBRATION OF 'DURGA PUJA' - THE GREATEST FESTIVAL OF BENGAL
Worship of 'Shakti'
'....Ya Devi sarbabhuteshu Shaktirupeno sanksthita
Namostasyi NamostasyiNamostasyi Namonamah.......'
-- Two lines from the sanskrit sloka,which is chanted during Durgapuja
( The Goddess who manifests Herself as the Entity of Power,
I salute Her again and again, I bow in front of Her...')
The season of 'Sharat' (autumn) in Bengal..... time for the Autumn Festival. We call this festival 'Sharadiya Durga Puja' in Bengali.This celebration,with worship of 'Durga' at the core , has its roots in Hindu mythology like others with their origin in Hindu religion,
But, this festivity, which starts on the sixth day of the lunar cycle after new moon in the month of October and continues upto the tenth day of the same cycle, has now acquired many dimensions other than the religious one.It is the time when the Bengalis buy new clothes, travel out of their home to enjoy a week's break from routine, savour the literary publications and music which are published every year this time ,move around to enjoy the decorated 'pandals' which house the images of the Goddess and Her family as well as offer a oeuvre of wonders in folk arts, decoration and lighting or enjoy intimate time with friends and relatives .
The mythological story of Durga centres around the battle between good and evil.A demon king ,'Mahishasur',blessed with the power of changing his appearance was vanquished by the Goddess Durga,who came into Being with the Power of several gods .Her ten hands represent the combined strength of ten gods and Her third eye represents Her wisdom and insight.The lion she rides represents courage She pierces the heart of the demon .** This imagery has gradually evolved to represent the 'State'.... She represents the Head,accompanying gods Kartick,Ganesha and the goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati represent the Military,the Commerce,the Wealth and the Culture !
This event of celebration used to be patronised by landlords and wealthy persons earlier.Now-a-days, people of a locality pull to-gether resources through subscriptions and advertisements of 'sponsors'.The huge crowd of revelers is targeted by sponsors as well as media ......one can sit at home and enjoy a lot of the visual offerings of 'Durga puja' sitting at home in front of his/her TV screen.
Internet sites are also springing up. You may please visit :
** NOTE 1 : Literally translated, ''Mahishasur' means 'Buffalo Demon'.Think of this story.......there used to be a lot of fights and battles between the Aryans and non-Aryans when the former started to spread their kingdom in India,along the coast of rivers of the Sind area and later along the coast of the Ganges.A non-Aryan king from the southern states, whose totem was the Buffalo,put a lot of pressure on the gods ,i.e.,satraps of the Aryan race.He was dark,handsome and a great warrior.As his greed grew,he coveted a relationship with a queen of Aryans when these satraps united under the umbrella of this queen and a great fight ensued.The 'Asur'...the Demon king.....was defeated, critically wounded by a spear and eventually fed to a lion.
This Tale later on bloomed to that of 'Mahishasur' being killed by Goddess Durga in 'Puranas', the Hindu scriptures.
Please read : http://hubpages.com/hub/festival_2
This hub continues to draw viewers well after the autumn festival of 2009 ! Therefore, I thought of adding 3 photographs of from my collection of photos of Puja 2009.
Photos from my HDD/flickr.com site