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
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)