5th October to 14th October, 2013
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
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 Ravanas defeat are
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.
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.
The Significance of Durga Puja: Embrace the
"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.
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.
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.