Navratri 14th October to 23rd October, 2015
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Durga Puja Essay

When the scents of shiuli fill the air and kaash sway with mirth, its time to celebrate Durga Puja. Pujor Gandho can be felt in Durga Puja when sky is blue in color and happiness fills the heart of devotees of Ma. New clothes, decors, pujobarshiki and pujor gaan adds to the fun of the festival.

For Bengalis, Durga Puja is the biggest and the most important festival of all. In fact Bengalis become a cheerful lot with the onset of Sharat, a month in the Bengali calendar in which Durga Puja is celebrated. This is the month Ashwin according to Hindu calendar.

Dhaak beats and so does our hearts. Younger ones of the family are exalted and why shouldn't they be? They get days off from school to celebrate the Puja and then even the elders do not pester them to study at home. Sisters, kakimas, boudi didis all get busy selecting saris and jewellery for the festive occasion. Even the dadas, kakas and mamas aren't far behind when it comes to dressing up for the grand Puja festival. For, Durga Puja is the time to look good and feel great.

People wait for Durga Puja to gorge a variety of traditional delicacies. Hop into pandals and receive the glance of the pujo sundaris of para pandals. Its also the time to stretch adda sessions way beyond midnight and wake up late with the sounds of dhaak.

So what are you waiting for this year? If you are desperately missing the fun of Pujo in your para or city or in good old Kol all you need to do is to immerse yourself in the spirit of Durga Pujo - the festival of happiness, togetherness and a lot lot more.

Debipokher agomoney Maa er abhirbhav mrinmoyi rupey.
Meaning: With the beginning of Debipokhkho Maa Durga appears on the earth in Her earthly form!



The Almighty Shri Durga

Shri Durga is the Mother-creatrix. She is revered as Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, Maha Saraswati in the Durga Sapta Shati. She is the cause of that is inferred from, perceived through and intuited upon to understand the higher realms of Moola - Trigunamayi- Prakriti. There are thousands of names of Durga, but She is popularly revered as Devi/Shakti/ Durga/ Amba. A Shloka of the Devi Suktam supports this view, which reads as:

“Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshi Shakti Roopena Samasthita
Namastasyai- Namastasyai -Namastasya -Namo Namah”


The translation runs as:
My Namaskar to that Devi who abides as "Shakti/Energy" in all the embodied souls. My Namaskar be to that Shakti, Namaskar to that Shakti Namaskar- Namo- Namah to that Shakti.

Atharva Veda says the Devatas (Gods) could not understand the quintessential of Shri Durga therefore all the Devatas submitted before Devi and asked: "O Maha Devi! Who you are and what are you?"

Durga Ma said: I am Absolute Brahman. It is because of Me that Purusha and Prakriti has evolved forth, which is void and non-void. I am bliss and non-bliss. I am physical as well as transcendental understanding. I am both Brahman and what is not Brahman. I am of the five cosmic elements and different from that five elements of Earth-Water-Fire-Air-Space. I am whole universe. I am the Vedas and Agamas. I am vidya/ knowledge and avidya/ignorance. I alone abide in the Rudras-Shiva incarnation and the eight Vasus. I move in the Twelve Adityas and the Vishva Devas I raise all the Mitra -Varuna-Indra -Agni and Ashvini Kumars. I hold Soma-tvashtaa, Pushaa and Bhag. The Three Potentials-Brahma Vishnu and Maheshvara function because of my will alone. I hold the Soma and Havi for the Yajmana, who makes the Anushtthana for Homa/Puja/Archana/ Samkirtana/ Naam Smirana. Iam Ishvari - the Supreme Sovereign of this whole existence. I have created the whole space. This is all, what Vedas stand for.

After giving a thought in the Atharva Vedic saying, it is concluded that Devi is the Supreme Mother. She is All that is to be seen, visualized and understood. She is the primal cause of this universal flux. Durga is revered with Bhakti, with Puja and Archana and through the specific Anushtthanas. A fine exposition of Shri Durga is seen in the Markandeya Purana, Devi Bhagwatam and the Tantra Shastras.

To conclude, Durga is the beauty of Vishnu, creativity of Brahma and the Tandava of Rudra Sri Aurobindo has said in his famous epic Savitri about the Divine Mother Durga:

“I wear the face of Kali when I kill
I am charged by God to do his mighty work
I reason not of virtue and of sin
But do the deed he has put into my heart.”



... (Savitri Book Seven-Canto Four)





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