Date: 29th September 2019
Durga Puja is a yearly Hindu celebration devoted to Goddess Durga. Durga Puja is celebrated during Devi Paksha which is 15 days period of Ashwin lunar month according to Hindu calendar. Devi Paksha starts on the following day of Sarvapitru Amavasya and finishes on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja. Devi Paksha actually means "Fortnight of the Goddess".
The day also marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. The name Vijayadashami also comes from 2 Sanskrit words "Vijaya-Dashami" literally meaning the victory on Dashami. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri or Sharada Navratri and culminates on the tenth day as Dussehra.
Durga Puja is broadly celebrated in the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Manipur and Tripura. In West Bengal, Durga Puja alludes to all the six days during Devi Paksha observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami. Durga Puja is also known as Durgotsava and Sharadotsava.
How did Durga Puja originate?
As referred in different Hindu religious scriptures, before the period of Lord Rama, Chaitra Navratri used to be the most significant time to revere Goddess Durga. The significance of Chaitra Navratri was reduced and Durga Puja was given greater importance during the period of Lord Rama.
According to Puranic legends, Lord Rama revered Goddess Durga and performed Chandi Homa to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga before the battle with Ravana. As it was an untimely invocation of Goddess Durga, the worshiping of Goddess Durga during this time is otherwise called Akal Bodhan. As Lord Rama was honoured with triumph over the incredible evil spirited Ravana, this time is considered the most appropriate to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga and to perform Chandi Homa.
According to Devi Mahatmya, Durga Puja celebration denotes the triumph of Durga Devi over Mahishasura. Mahishasura believed that nobody in the world could cause Him any harm and thus attacked Trilok with His army. The Gods decided to wage a war against Mahishasura but due to Lord Brahma's boon, nobody could defeat Him. All the Gods approached Lord Vishnu for help and thus Lord Vishnu created a female form to defeat Mahishasura.
Goddess Durga then fought Mahishasura over a period of 15 days during which He kept changing His shape to become different animals to mislead Her. Finally, when He transformed into a buffalo, Goddess Durga stabbed Him with Her Trident and defeated Him on the day of Mahalaya. Consequently Durga Puja celebration is seen as the triumph of good over malice.
Deities worshiped along with Durga Maa:
Durga Devi is the principle divinity who is worshiped during Durga Puja. Durga Puja likewise incorporates the love of Lord Shiva as the associate of Goddess Durga, a part of Goddess Parvati herself.
It is believed that when Durga Maa arrives, she is accompanied by her four kids, specifically Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. In West Bengal, all these four Gods are viewed as the offspring of Goddess Durga. Subsequently, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya are additionally revered during Durga Puja.
Durga Puja begins -(sixth day) of Ashwin (seventh lunar month) Shukla Paksha
Durga Puja ends - (tenth day) of Ashwin Shukla Paksha
Durga Puja Calendar:
In West Bengal, Durga Puja starts with Akal Bodhan, the day when Goddess Durga is welcomed and culminates with Vijayadashami, when Goddess Durga is given a ceremonial goodbye.
Day 1 – Akal Bodhan, Kalparambha (6th day of Devi Paksha)
Day 2 - Navpatrika Puja, Kolabou Puja (seventh day of Devi Paksha)
Day 3 - Durga Ashtami, Sandhi Puja (eighth day of Devi Paksha)
Day 4 - Maha Navami, Navami Homa (ninth day of Devi Paksha)
Day 5 - Vijayadashami, Durga Visarjan, Sindoor Utsav (tenth day of Devi Paksha)
Lord Rama killed the powerful and fierce demon Ravana and this is why Dussehra is also called Vijaya Dashmi (victory day). In order to honor good’s victory over evil forces, people burn the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran (Ravan’s brother) and Meghnaath (Ravan’s son). The burning of effigies implies that we should also destroy the evil force that resides within us and inculcate virtues.
Observance of Rituals:
Various customs are pursued during Durgotsav particularly in the Indian territory of West Bengal. Most common rituals that are observed are:-
The 7 Mukhi Rudraksha (Seven Mukhi Rudraksha) blessed by Goddess Lakshmi is believed to bless a person with wealth, prosperity and abundance. While wearing the Laxmi Wealth Pendant around the neck, one should also keep two beads of 7 Mukhi Rudraksha in the Cash Box, locker or purse to attract the blessings and grace of Goddess Mahalaxmi.
The Nine Mukhi Rudraksha is said to be graced by Navadurga and is considered promising when empowered and worn during Navratri. The Nau Mukhi Rudraksha is a multidimensional, powerful bead that can harness and disseminate this vitality endlessly according to the sacred writings.
The Durga Shakti bracelet made up of the 9 Mukhi Rudraksha is also very beneficial as it helps radiate the power of Durga from within and opens the heart to the divine. It forms a protective shield against negativity. It is believed that Durga Shakti bracelet provides women with fearlessness, self-confidence, and a strong mind. It enhances women's empowerment as it gives confidence, power, dynamism and mental strength to women who wear it.
The Ten Mukhi Rudrakshaa tones down the malefic effects of the Navgrahas (nine planets) and the Kaal Sarp Dosh. The 10 Mukhi Rudraksha is a good tool to remove pessimistic thoughts and negative energies and helps in rectifying and toning down Vaastu Dosha.
Sixteen Mukhi Rudraksha helps the wearer get victory in court cases, legal entanglements and adversaries. 16 Mukhi Rudraksha is believed to be a very good bead for people who are engaged in the import-export business, pharmaceutical, chemical, etc.
The Laxmi Wealth Pendant is made with 7 Mukhi Rudraksha attracts wealth, abundance, prosperity and success in any endeavor one takes on. It is believed the bead helps one overcome financial struggles and worry and provides insight and wisdom to navigate through the path of success.
The 7 Mukhi hanging is a combination made with Sphatik beads and one bead of 7 Mukhi Rudraksha. The 7 Mukhi Rudraksha blessed by Goddess Mahalaxmi is believed to bring in wealth and bestow prosperity.
The Ganesh Laxmi Bandh is made of two beads of 7 Mukhi Rudraksha and one bead of Ganesh Rudraksha. It is blessed by both Goddess Mahalaxmi- the Goddess of wealth and Lord Ganesha- the Lord of overcoming obstacles and is believed to bring in a wealth and prosperity.
The Wealth bracelet is made with three beads of 7 Mukhi Rudraksha and strung along with 5 Mukhi Indonesian beads and black stone. Represented by Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth bestows the person with financial gains, growth and stability. It helps to overcome financial difficulties and struggles, and protects the wearer from any kind of misfortunes or failures. It attracts abundance, success and prosperity.
Kali Netra Pendant is a 9 Mukhi Rudraksha believed to provide energy, dynamism and makes it wearer fearless. It is said to be good for career oriented women and is known to be good for the stomach, body pains and skin allergies. It is said to increase devotion towards God and is believed to be beneficial in removing Kaal-Sarpa Dosha. This pendant is made in 22 carat hallmark gold pendant.
Recommended Online Puja:
If you cannot perform the Puja at your home, we provide Online Puja at your convenience. You can opt for the following Online Puja services –
Dusshera Puja: Different manifestations of Devi Durga are worshipped during the nine-day long Navratri festival each year. The tenth day is dedicated to Durga as Vijayadashami. The divine feminine energy is worshipped as Shakti and celebrated during the festival. The celebration ends with Dussehra on the tenth day, when the idol of Devi Durga is immersed in a river or a lake. The day also marks the end of Durga Puja, where people revel and recount Devi Durga’s victory over Mahishasur, thus restoring the balance of Dharma.
Vijayadashami is also the day that marks the victory of Shri Ram when he slayed Ravana- King of Lanka. Puja service offerable for this day is the Akhand Ramayana Paath - Beneficial for peace, prosperity & happiness in the family. Akhand Ramayan Paath is held before the beginning of any new venture, the birth of a child, marriage, etc. It is usually recited to overcome miseries, ailments, unfair competition, etc.
Nav Chandi Puja/Yagna: The Nav Chandi Puja can be performed to atone for sins or misdeeds committed. It is believed that this Puja resolves issues related to health and family disputes. The nine days of Navratri are auspicious for performing Chandi Puja. Also, auspicious days like Ashtami, Navami, Chaturdashi, Maagh Amavasya, Jyeshta Amavasya, Chaitra and Kartik Purnima are good for performing the Puja. The Online Puja involves full recitation of the Durga Saptashati for 9 times and a Yagna / Homa is performed with the 10th path of Durga Saptashati. In Durga Saptashati, there are 700 mantras in praise of Devi Durga in which she defeats various demons. With the recital of each of the 700 shlokas, an Ahuti (Offering) is made to the sacrificial fire.
Nav Durga Puja: The nine different manifestation of Devi Durga are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skand Mata, Katyayani, Kaal Ratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri. As per Durga Saptashati, Devi Durga confers strength, courage, victory over adversaries and protection from malefic energies. She bestows Iccha Shakti (indomitable will power and intent), Kriya Shakti (the energy of creation) and the Jnana Shakti (the strength of intellect, wisdom and intuition) on ardent devotees thus giving them both Bhoga & Moksha.
Shat Chandi Puja: The Shat Chandi Puja / Yagna, is an exclusive and extremely powerful ritual that invokes the Saptashati mantras. This Puja is a rare, unique and an elaborate ritual and performing it brings in immense merits and the blessing of Devi Jagdamba. Therefore one overcomes immense hardships that may seem to be insurmountable are overcome them easily. It rids one from debts and protects one from all kinds of misfortunes and obstacles. It grants the devotee success, authority, power, fortune and health.
The nine days of Navratri are auspicious for performing Chandi Puja. Also, auspicious days like Ashtami, Navami, Chaturdashi, Maagh Amavasya, Jyeshta Amavasya, Chaitra and Kartik Purnima are good for performing the Puja. It is preferred to perform the Homa during daytime and finish the rituals before sunset.