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Religion & Belief (Alor Pothay) => Hinduism => Topic started by: Shamim Ansary on October 04, 2011, 09:48:43 AM

Title: Goddess Durga
Post by: Shamim Ansary on October 04, 2011, 09:48:43 AM
The worship of Devi Durga in the month of Ashwin is called 'Akalbodhan'- an uncoventional time for inauguration of the worship. It is so called since the period of this worship differs from the conventional period (during the spring - 'Basanta').

Mythological tract:
In the ancient times, a demon called 'Mahishasura' earned the favor of 'Lord Brahma' through extreme austerity and prolonged meditation. Pleased with the devotion of the demon, the lord blessed him with a boon that no man or Deity would be able to kill him. Empowered with the boon, Mahishasura started his reign of terror over the Earth and Heaven.

Invasion of Heaven:
People were already being killed mercilessly and even the Gods were assaulted.
Yet the worse was yet to come. It came when an strong army of demons was gathered to siege the abode of the Deities. The army was led by the king Mahishasura, the green skinned demon with the form of a giant buffalo. With its weapons of iron, and its phalanxes of elephants and charioteers the army finally marched on the king of gods, Purandara or (Indra), defeating him. Then, Mahishasura usurped the throne of heaven.

The victory was complete, and all the gods were driven out of the heaven. Routed they went to the trinity of the Supreme Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva to save themselves and the men on the world.
The orgy of violence vis-a-vis the the invasion of the heaven by the evils enraged the Supreme Gods. Their faces were flushed with anger and a dazzling luminescence flooded forth. Great flames and thunderbolt streaked through all directions. The fires illuminated all the three worlds: the heaven, the earth, and the nether-world with penetrating beams of light.

The Birth of Durga:
At a single point, the energy of all the fires coalesced and assumed a shape, in the form of a young woman. Her face was from the light of Shiva. Her ten arms were from Lord Vishnu. Her legs were from Lord Brahma.

The dispossessed gods were awed by the supreme energy and enchanting beauty of the conceived Goddess. They praised her and equipped her with their divine gifts: Shiva gave Her a trident with a spear-end. Krishna gave her rotating disc. Varuna, the God of sea, gave her a conch and the God of fire gave her a missile. From the wind, Vayu, she received arrows. The king of gods, Indra, gave her the thunder-bolt, and the gift of his white-skinned elephant Airavata was a bell. From Yama, the god of death, Durga received a rod, and from the Ruler of Waters she was given a noose.

Durga received many other precious and magical treasures-- gifts of jewels, new clothing, and a garland of immortal lotuses for her head and breasts. Heaven's architect gave her a bright axe and magic armor. God of mountains, Himalayas gave her jewels and a magnificent lion to ride into battle.

Now equipped with the fearsome weaponry and magical powers of the gods, and dressed in golden armor and jewels she set off, seated gracefully upon the lion. His thunderous roars shook the three worlds. Oceans swelled up to scrape the sky and surf broke over the land. Continents were torn at their granite foundations as whole new chains of mountains rose, while older ranges crumbled, cracked, and gave way to dust in a thousand landslides. Seeing these cataclysmic ripplings in waves through all the three worlds, Mahishasura and his demon allies found their attention drawn from heaven to Earth. Though confident of their power and control in heaven, even the conquering demon host could not help being awestruck.

The demons had little time to admire the radiant visage of their new adversary, for soon she engaged them on the battlefield. First, the army of Chikasura, and then that of Chamara, the two chief commanders (also called Shumbha and Nishumbha,of Mahishasura by some) were met. They were destroyed in a great battle. Now it's turn for Mahishasura.

The Termination of Mahishasura:
Confident but confused by the humiliating defeat of his loyal and powerful commanders Mahishasura did his best in arranging and equipping his personal army.

This time the heaven was led by Durga as the boon of Mahishasura could only make him invincible against all but woman. Surrounded by chants of praise, the blowing of horns the beating of drums and songs of worship Durga roamed the battlefield on her mighty lion. From her divine breath her army was constantly replenished with new warriors, each able, brave and resolute.

Shocked and enraged by the disastrous events on the battlefield. In a mad desperate bid Mahishasura then reverted to his own form, a buffalo, and charged about on the battlefield. In a wild rage he charged at Durga's divine soldiers wounding many, biting others and all the while thrashing with his long, whip-like tail. Durga's lion, angered by the presence of the demon-buffalo, attacked him. While he was thus engaged, Durga threw her noose around his neck.

But through magical spell Mahishasura kept changing his shape and form from one to another so as to puzzle the Devi.

Finally the Goddess beheaded the buffalo and from it emerged Mahishasura in his original form. Durga pierced his chest with the trident and relieved the world from the evil power.
The gods returned to heaven, and along with the sages of the earth, they sang praises and showered floral compliments to the Goddess Durga. Henceforth, and to this day, the Goddess Durga is worshipped by all the gods in heaven, and all human beings on earth. Mahishasura is there too--frozen in his moment of final defeat, impaled by Durga's spear and seeking pardon beneath her left foot. The Goddess Durga then continued to be worshipped in this form.

According to Puranas (the epics) , King Suratha, used to worship the goddess Durga in spring. Thus Durga Puja was also known as Basanti Puja (Basanta being Spring). While the vernal worship of Durga still goes on but it is the Ram's Akalbodhan during the autumn that came to be a most widely accepted practice.
In the 'Ramayana', as it goes, Rama went to 'Lanka' to rescue his abducted wife, Sita, from the grip of Ravana, the king of the Demons in Lanka. Before starting for his battle with Ravana, Rama wanted the blessings of Devi Durga . He came to know that the Goddess would be pleased only if she is worshipped with one hundred 'NeelKamal' or blue lotuses. Rama, after travelling the whole world, could gather only ninety nine of them. He finally decided to offer one of his eyes, which resembled blue lotuses. Durga, being pleased with the devotion of Rama, appeared before him and blessed him. The epical battle started on the 'Saptami' and Ravana was finally killed on the 'Sandhikshan' i.e. the crossover period between Ashtami (the next day) and Navami (the day after). Ravana was cremated on Dashami. This is why Dashera is celebrated in India with so much of fanfare and the effigy of Raavana is burnt.

In course of time Bengalis adopted the autumnal worship of Durga performed by Rama and made it their main festival. The Pujas span over the four days, the time taken by Rama to finally kill and cremate Ravana.

Source: http://www.theholidayspot.com/durgapuja/akalbodhan.htm (http://www.theholidayspot.com/durgapuja/akalbodhan.htm)
Title: Re: Goddess Durga
Post by: Shamim Ansary on October 04, 2011, 09:53:06 AM
Five Days of Durga Puja



Mahasasthi, the sixth day from the new moon, marks the beginning of the fascinating and impressive Bengali festival, Durga Puja. People of Bengal dance with the melodious tunes of Dhak, a musical instrument, to welcome devi Durga with her four children to the well decorated homes and pandals. Durga Puja Pandal on MahasasthiThe entire Bengal gets into the mood of celebration from the evening of Mahasasthi. Pandals get crowded when well dressed men and women congregate on the pandal premise to celebrate the occasion. Renowned artists, celebrities and ministers are invited to various pandals to inaugurate the Durga Puja pandals.

The face of the deity is unveiled in the Mahasasthi evening. This interesting ritual is popularly known as the Bodhon of Devi Durga. Traditional and ethnic families of Bengal emphasize on Devi Bodhon as one the most important ceremonies of Durga Puja.

Lot of Puja authorities still are seen busy in giving their pandals a beautiful finishing touch. People are busy to decorate the throne and pandals. The crowd of the roads slowly starts moving towards the Puja pandals. The atmosphere changes with the tunes of dancing numbers and melodious music.



Kala Bou for MahasaptamiMahasaptami, the very next day of Sasthi, is the prime day of the five days long fiesta when “pran pratistha” into the idol is done. “Pran pratistha” is completed soon after the bathing of the “Kola Bou” (A tender banana plant) is done. “Kola Bou” is generally wrapped with white colored saree which has a red border. The “Kola Bou” is used to carry out the rite of “Pran Pratistha” into the devi idol.

Bengalis believe that the “Kola Bou” is the wife of Lord Ganesha, the son of the deity Durga. So, “Kola Bou” resides beside Lord Ganesha.

A ghot or brass pot, filled with water of pond or river, is kept at the feet of Devi Durga and is worshipped as a feet of the devi.



Kumari Puja on MahashtamiMahashtami, the eighth day from the new moon, the most important day of the five days, is the day when “Kola Bou” is worshipped. “Chandi Path”, Kumari Puja and Aarati attract local people to their adjoining puja pandals. This was the auspicious day when Devi Durga killed Mahisasura, the demon. The ceremony of Mahashtami continues from the early morning till the late night.

The evening of Mahasthami is the time when roads and pandals witness huge numbers of people. Traffic police works really hard to control the traffic. A number of people hire their own vehicles to see idols of different corners of the city of Kolkata.

The most important part of Mahasthami puja, is Sandhi puja which takes place in the juncture of Mahasthami and Mahanabami.



Maa DurgaThis is the last day of the goddess in her paternal house. Hindus believe that Devi will go back to Kailasa after Mahanavami and she will again come back after one long year. This is a day when everyone feels bad thinking that after few hours the deity will be immersed. Bengali mothers treat devi Durga as their own daughters. Mothers feel the pain when their daughters go to the house of their father in laws.



Sidur Khela on MahadashamiOn the day of Mahadashami Devi Durga start her journey towards her abode in Kailasa. Before the devi starts her journey towards Kailasa with her four children, married women flock to the pandals to apply sindoor on the forehead of Devi and ask devi to return back again to her paternal house next year. Married women greet the deity with sweets. In the evening Devi durga is immersed in the River.

Mahadashami marks the end of the five days long carnival.

From the Source: http://www.theholidayspot.com/durgapuja/five_days_of_durgapuja.htm
Title: Re: Goddess Durga
Post by: Shamim Ansary on October 04, 2011, 09:53:59 AM
108 Names of Devi Durga

Please surf for details...http://www.theholidayspot.com/durgapuja/names.htm
Title: Re: Goddess Durga
Post by: Shamim Ansary on October 04, 2011, 10:02:23 AM
Durga Bhajans

Durga Puja is celebrated with fun and fervor by Bengalis. All through the ten days of celebrations, people in West Bengal are busy in the merrymaking. They enjoy fasting and feasting with equal pleasure. Ma Durga, the deity of courage and strength, is worshipped for nine days and her idol is immersed at a nearby river or lake on the tenth (last) day of the festival. Bhajans are sung by the devotees at the puja pandal, all through the nine days. It is believed that Goddess Durga is provoked through bhajans, if they are sung with immense devotion. Given below are the lyrics of popular Goddess Durga Bhajans.

Ma Durga Bhajans

Aadi Divya Jyothi Mahaa Kaali Maa Namo
Devi Shakthi Mahaa Shakthi Kaali Maa Namo
Kaali Maa Namo, Sathya Sai Maa Namo
Shringa Shaila Vaasini Kaali Maa Namo
Sankata Haarini Mangala Kaarini Kaali Maa Namo
Kaali Maa Namo, Sathya Sai Maa Namo

Ambey Bhavani Maa Jai Ambey Gauri Sai Maatha
Kasht Nivaaro Maiyya Bhakth Janonke
Sankatahaarani Maa Jai Ambey Gauri Sai Maatha
Kasht Nivaaro Maiyya Bhakt Janonkey
Parthipuri Sai Maa Jai Ambey Gauri Sai Maatha
Prem Bhaav Sey Pooja Karey Theree

Shambhavi Shankari Namo Namo
Shanta Swaroopini Namo Namo
Sathya Sai Maheshwari Namo Namo
Namo Namo Namo Namo
Namo Namo Namo Namo

Naada Brahmamayee Sayeeshwari
Bhagavathi Maatha Kripa Saagari
Naada Brahmamayee Sayeeshwari
Varaahi Vaishnavi Vageeswari
Maathangi Mahaamaye Mookambikey
Parameshwari Hari Sodari
Bhava Bhaya Haarini Sathya Sayeeshwari

Dayaa Karo Dayaa Karo Dayaa Karo Maa
Rakshaa Karo Rakshaa Karo Sathya Sai Maa
Hey Maa Hey Maa
Dayaa Karo Krupaa Karo Sathya Sai Maa
Sathya Sai Maa Sathya Sai Maa

Durgati Nashini Durga Jai Jai
Kaala Vinashini Kaalini Jai Jai
Uma Rama Sarvaani Jai Jai
Seetha Radha Rukmini Jai Jai
Jai Jai Jai Hari Narayana Jai
Jai Jai Gopeejana Vallabha Jai Jai
Bhaktha Vatsala Sai Naathha Jai Jai

Durgey Durgey Durgey Jai Jai Maa
Karuna Saagari Maa
Kaali Kapaalini Maa
Jagadoddharini Maa
Jagadambey Jai Jai Maa

Dehi Sharanam Simha Vaahini
Dehi Sharanam Asura Vinaashini
Dehi Sharanam Bhava Bhaya Haarini
Dehi Sharanam Hari Naaraayani
Dehi Sharanam Brahma Sanaatani
Dehi Sharanam Sai Naaraayani

Devi Bhavaani Maa Sai Bhavaani Maa
Parthi Nivaasini Jaganmaata
Deena Dayaakari Parama Kripaakari (2)
Hey Jaga Vandini Maata
Mangala Kaarini Moksha Vidhaayini
Deena Samrakshini Maata

Source: http://festivals.iloveindia.com/durga-puja/bhajans.html
Title: Akalbodhan
Post by: mondal on October 04, 2011, 10:37:09 AM

Durga Puja - Bashonti Puja
Evoke goddess Durga by offering prayers.
The worship of Devi Durga in the month of Ashwin is called 'Akalbodhan'- an uncustomary time for commencement of the worship. It is so called since the period of this worship differs from the conventional period (during the spring - 'Basanta'). Ramayana says that when Rama was engaged in the fierce battle with Ravana, he wanted to secure the blessings of victory from Devi Durga. He held the puja to evoke the goddess during autumn to his dire plight, thereby worshiping Durga untimely (in Akal). Hence this puja is called Akalbodhon.

It was customary to worship Durga with 100 neel kamals (blue lotuses). Rama could gather only 99 of them; he offered one of his eyes as a substitute of the 100th lotus. Pleased with his devotion Durga blessed him. The battle started on Shaptami and Ravana was killed at the Shandhikshan (in between) Ashtami and Navami; he was cremated on Dashami. Therefore the four days of the puja that we celebrate ends in the triumph of the good over evil.

Title: Re: Goddess Durga
Post by: Shamim Ansary on October 05, 2011, 10:39:22 AM
Mythology of Durga Puja

Durga Puja
known as the divine spouse of Lord Shiva
According to Hindu mythology a demon named Mahishasura, earned the favor of Lord Shiva after a long and hard penance. Lord Shiva, impressed with his devotion, blessed him that no man or deity would be able to kill him and that only a woman can kill him. Mahishasur was very pleased with this boon as he thought that a woman can never defeat him. Arrogant Mahishasura started his reign of terror over the Universe and people were killed mercilessly. He even attacked the abode of the gods and conquered the heavens and became their leader.

The Defeat Of Gods
After their defeat and humiliation at the hands of Mahishasur, the gods took refuge under Lord Brahma, who took them to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The only solution left was the creation of a woman who possess the ultimate power to fight and defeat Mahishasur. Pure energy blazed forth from Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - the trinity forming the pure energy of Godhood, all concentrating at one point that took the form of Goddess Durga.

Culmination Of Energies
Her face reflected the light of Shiva, her ten arms were from Lord Vishnu, her feet were from Lord Brahma, the tresses were formed from the light of Yama, the god of death and the two breasts were formed from the light of Somanath, the Moon God, the waist from the light of Indra, the king of gods, the legs and thighs from the light of Varun, the god of oceans and hips from the light of Bhoodev (Earth), the toes from the light of Surya (Sun God), fingers of the hand from the light of the Vasus, the children of Goddess river Ganga and nose from the light of Kuber, the keeper of wealth for the Gods. The teeth were formed from the light of Prajapati, the lord of creatures, the Triad of her eyes was born from the light of Agni, the Fire God, the eyebrows from the two Sandhyas,ie, sunrise and sunset, the ears from the light of Vayu, the god of Wind. Thus from the energy of these gods, as well as from many other gods, was formed the goddess Durga.

Power Of Weapons
The gods then gifted the goddess with their weapons and other divine objects to help her in her battle with the demon, Mahishasura. Lord Shiva gave her a trident while Lord Vishnu gave her a disc. Varuna, gave her a conch and noose, and Agni gave her a spear. From Vayu, she received arrows. Indra, gave her a thunderbolt, and the gift of his white-skinned elephant Airavata was a bell. From Yama, she received a sword and shield and from Vishwakarma (god of Architecture), an axe and armor. The god of mountains, Himavat gifted her with jewels and a lion to ride on. Durga was also given many other precious and magical gifts, new clothing, and a garland of immortal lotuses for her head and breasts.

The beautiful Durga, bedecked in jewels and golden armor and equipped with the fearsome weaponry of the gods, was ready to engage in battle with the fierce and cruel Mahishasura. Mahishasura and his demon allies found their attention drawn from heaven to Earth, as Durga's power moved its way towards heaven. Though confident of their power and control in heaven, the demons could not help being awestruck.

The Battlefield
As Mahishasura's armies were struck down effortlessly by Durga, it became obvious to him that he was not as secure in heaven as he had thought. No demon could fight her and win. Her breath would replenish her armies - bringing back to life all of her soldiers who fell. The demons were in chaos and were easily defeated and captured. Mahishasura was shocked and enraged by the disastrous events on the battlefield. He took on the form of a demonic buffalo, and charged at the divine soldiers of Durga, goring and killing many and lashing out with his whip-like tail. Durga's lion pounced on the demon-buffalo and engaged him in a battle. While he was thus engaged, Durga threw her noose around his neck.

Mahishasura then assumed the form of a lion and when Durga beheaded the lion, Mahishasura escaped in the form of a man who was immediately face to face with a volley of arrows from Durga. The demon escaped yet again and then having assumed the form of a huge elephant, battered Durga's lion with a tusk. With her sword Durga hacked the tusk into pieces.

The Victory
The demon reverted once more to the form of the wild buffalo. He hid himself in the mountains from where he hurled boulders at Durga with his horns. Durga drank the divine nectar, the gift of Kuber. She then pounced on Mahishasura, pushing him to the ground with her left leg. She grasped his head in one hand, pierced him with her sharp trident held in another, and with yet another of her ten hands she wielded her bright sword, beheading him. At last he fell dead, and the scattered surviving remnants of his once invincible army fled in terror.

Source: http://www.durga-puja.org/mythology.html