Navratri 25th Oct to 3rd Sep, 2014
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Durga Puja
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Durga Puja Essay

Worshipping Durga Mata
Durga Mata is known as the Goddess of Power. People worship Ma to invoke her blessings for materialistic gains such as positions of power or money. Others propitiate Ma to win control over negative feelings and materialistic desires. Besides, people in search of Moksha or salvation also worship Durga Ma with full sincerity.

According to the Hindu mythology, when Rakshasas (demons) were creating troubles for the Devatas (Gods) the latter went to Shiva and requested him to release them of their troubles. Lord Shiva promised to protect them by seeking help of Goddess Durga to act upon the Rakshasas.

Then God Shiva asked Shakti Mata to take an incarnation and defeat Rakshasas who were creating troubles for the Devatas. Durga Mata / Shakti fought with Rakshasas and killed them all. Devatas were thus made free of their troubles. They felt extremely grateful for the Durga Ma and made a Stuti for Her;

Sarba mangal mangleya shibe sarbath sadhike ,
Sharanyam trambake Gauri Narayani nomo stute.

Sarba swarupe sarbse sarba shakti samannite,
Bhabas trahino devi durge devi namostute.


Likewise there are other Stutis written in Shreemad Devi Bhagawata Purana. People willing to know more about Ma must study Puranas thoroughly. According to the Puranas, there are nine names of Durga Mata. During the nine-day-long Navaratri Festival Hindus worship Ma according to her name for each day. Some people also sacrifice animals/birds in the name of Mahakali during Durga Puja. But it does not seem to be logical in any sense. In real sense Durga Mata do not like blood of animal/ bird at all. There are several other ways to make Puja. People should stop killing innocent animals/birds in the name of Durga/Mahakali.

Tulsi Ram Neupane



Dussehra Festival
The festival of Dussehra lasts for ten days and most Indian communities celebrate it with great fanfare. During the festival ‘Ramleela’ or the story of Rama is enacted by professional dance companies and amateur troupes. On the last day of the festival tableau depicting scenes from Ramayana pass from the streets. Young men and small boys enact Rama, his brother Lakshman, the demon King of Lanka Ravana besides others. Tableau depicting Rama and Ravana engaged in battle and Ravana’s defeat are quite popular.

Effigies of ten-headed Ravana and other demons are burnt at sunset in a colourful ceremony. Person enacting Lord Rama fires an arrow aiming the huge effigies of Meghnada and Kumbhakarna first. Finally an arrow is shot into Ravana's effigy amidst the shouts of "Ramchandra ki jai" by the people who gather in large numbers to witness the annual event. The ceremony is symbolic of victory of good over evil.

In Bengal, Dusshera is celebrated as Durga Puja. Idols of the goddess Durga are worshipped for nine days. On the tenth day the idols are immersed in a body of water, such as a river or pond. In Mysore, caparisoned elephants lead a colorful procession through the streets of the city.

Vipul Tiwari



Duga Puja Then and Now
We as a child used to enjoy a lot on the eve of Durga Puja. Now a days, the Puja has become commercialized to a great extent, at least in Delhi. Earlier we used to eagerly listen to various Puja committees what they are offering to the public on cultural front at the time of puja. But, now one gets to hear only recorded songs and other nasty things. Neither anyone wants to listen to Chandi Stuti nor anybody wants to listen to Bhakti Sangeet or Katha. Everybody is trying to keep themselves busy by doing showy business. Half of the priests are only busy in be-fooling public and they are doing puja only for their pocket not for any bhakti. Young boys keep themselves busy chasing girls or talking on their mobile phones and doing all sorts of nonsense. Very often I think that whether this very particular Durga Puja Festival will remain with Bengalees or go with anybody else.

Readers may find my essay negative or outdated. Well, I am orthodox in my thought at least as per Durga Puja is concerned. Worshiping of Durga is not easy thing and everybody has to understand it. Only then we can make Sonar Bangla and produce children like Shaheed Khudiram, Ramkrishna, Netaji Subhash Bose, Kazi Nazrul, Vidyasagar, Rabindranath or talented people like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak.

Supratik Bhattacharya



The Significance of Durga Puja: Embrace the Moment
"Lust, anger and greed, these three are the soul-destroying gates of hell." Bhagavad Gita

A quick glance at any news program serves as a modern day reminder of the perils of lust, anger, and greed. Wars rage on as others die from poverty. Hate and hostility spur terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. Thousands die everyday from these soul-destroying gates of hell. Yet there is still hope to mend the wounds. People must liberate their anger and come together in peace. And every year, during Durga Puja, we have a chance to do exactly that. We have a chance to relive our traditions, join in unity, and share joy with all.

One thing makes Durga Puja experience unforgettable: the culture. Every year, our community comes together to celebrate Durga Puja. It is an occasion of spiritualism, celebration, dance, music, and all the things that make our culture unique. For me, Durga Puja is a time to relive the magic of Bengali culture. But I also believe that Durga Puja has significance to do more than give us heartfelt enjoyment. Besides the spiritual liveliness, the festive dhols, colorful dances, and the overall culture of the event, Durga Puja has a deeper significance for all Bengalis. Now I may not know the complete underpinnings of Durga Puja, the spiritual significance of Vijaya, or even the meaning of the scriptures read by priests. But I do understand this - Durga Puja is the ten most important days for a Bengali. A simple Google search for "Durga" returned 2,430,000 results.

Durga Puja is celebrated everywhere from Kolkata, to Japan, to almost every city in the United States. It is a time when friends and foes join together to celebrate this truly auspicious and authentic event. It is my firm belief that occasions like these can bring people together, and diminish the raging violence in the world. We must simply embrace the moment.

These ten days of celebration are a chance for us to mend our own wounds, to let free of our anger, and to share this tranquility and joy with all. Durga Puja is a chance for everyone to come together, to forget about past quarrels, and to simply enjoy in peace. This Durga Puja, I encourage everyone to experience this harmony; release your own anger, lust, and greed, and share the culture and serenity of Durga Puja with friends, family, foes, and children. Though our celebration may not be as grand as ten days of celebration back home, we still have the power to make this event a significant step towards peace. This is our chance to love and care for the world. Embrace the moment.

Sumit Kar



The Nine Boons for Navratri
The auspicious Navratri days are here,
O Divine Ma Durga,grant me these nine boons,
One for each day most sacred,
Each dedicated to thoughts of only you.

First and foremost I entreat,
Mother of the World bestow on me
Devotion without end to Thy lotus feet.

Second, I ask
That may I never speak a falsehood
And ever hold fast to the way of Truth.

Third, I seek
That no matter what ordeals befall me
I never swerve from the righteous path.

Fourth, I pray,
Banish all anger from my mind
So peaceful it may always be.

Fifth, bless me
So these eyes behold Thy Radiant Beauty
At the final moments of my life.

Sixth, dispel
Evermore this web of Maya
And from all attachments set me free.

Seventh, do grant
That my mind be filled forever
With thoughts of Thee and only Thee.

Eight, I implore
That in my heart is ever kindled
The undying flame of Wisdom's light.

Finally O Compassionate Mother,
Bless me, so that for all time,
In the lotus of my heart is enshrined
Thy ever Blissful form Sublime.
O Mother Divine, for as long as I live
Grant to me Thy wondrous Grace,
So Thy endless glories I may sing
For each one of my remaining days.

Kiran Dhar


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