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The term 'Durga', in the Sanskrit language, means "She who is difficult to reach." The Ugra (fierce) and Soumya (gentle) forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped by the devotees, especially in India. She is the storehouse or the representative of the collective power of the universe. She is found as formless and in form everywhere.
She is also known as Parvati, Ambika, and Kali. The destruction of demons on these nine days led to the celebration of this moment on Navratri. Performing Durga puja at least once a year will bestow wealth, health, and peace of mind.
Durga Puja is done especially during the Navratras which come twice a year. Navratra literally means '9 nights'. As Durga, sitting on a Lion, she manifests herself as Shakti and as the power which we use to breathe, walk, digest etc. Durga Puja bestows wealth and offspring and protects from all dangers as well as fulfils desires. Read on!
Setting up of Altar
Place the image of Durga on a chowki and decorate as per your abilities. Rangoli designs should be drawn from rice flour, grains, legumes or even with flowers.
A devotee sips water three times with his left hand placed in the palm of his right hand and chants a mantra to infuse themself with piety and purity of mind body and soul.
Clay, or metal lamps inside which ghee or oil is poured, symbolise knowledge. Devotees light the wick and folding their hands and chant the vighneshwara stotra dedicating some specific hand gestures to Lord Ganesha so that the puja will go on unhindered.
Then the devotees practice pranayama the art of breath control and undertakes a sankalpa or a vow for realizing some desire in their lives.
Āsana Pujā (Worship of the seating on which puja is performed)
The devotee invokes Mother Earth.
Ghanta Pujā (Worship of the Bell)
A devotee uses a bell to invite the Divine and dispel negative forces during the puja.
Kalasha Pujā (Worship of the pot/vessel)
A worshipper invokes the governing deities of several sacred rivers into the kalasha that needs to be offered during puja to God.
Atmā Pujā (Worship of the Divinity in the self)
A Devotee invokes their soul during the puja.
Guru Dhyānam (Contemplation on Guru)
He seeks Guru's blessings through whose grace the puja will succeed. There are five steps within the Shodashopachara puja, known as Panchopachara puja. The Pancha Upachara are gandham, pushpam, dhoopam, deepam, and naivedyam.
Dhyānam & Āvāhanam
The worshipper invites the divine into his home through meditation.
A seat is offered to the divine with a mantra recitation.
Pādyam, Ārghyam & Āchamanyam
Water is offered to God to wash Gods hands, feet, mouth and face just as you would offer to a guest.
A mixture of honey, sugar, ghee, curd , or water is offered by the devotee to the Divine form for refreshment.
Water is used to bathe the idol. In elaborate pujas, panchamrit is used for bathing the idol. Panchamrit is a mixture of honey, sugar, milk, curd, and ghee. Sacred hymns are chanted during this process.
Silk clothes are offered to the idol now.
After bath, the sacred thread is offered to God.
Ornaments are placed on the idol and songs are sung in praise of the divine.
Sandalwood paste, kumkum or vermillion, and haldi (turmeric) or vibhooti (sacred ash), are offered to God.
Flowers are used to decorating the idol. For each offering of flower, the divine name is chanted. Just a few well-known or favourite names of the Divine form are chanted with each flower being offered.
Incense is offered.
A lamp is lit.
Fresh food is offered by the devotee and again water is offered to cleanse the mouth of the deity after the naivedya has been accepted by the Lord.
Betel nuts and leaves are offered to God after food. Coins or notes are also offered along with it.
Aārti for the Divine form is shown and offered by the devotee.
Pradakshina & Namaskāram
Devotee walks three rounds around the deity idol and bows down to God for the forgiveness of any mistake committed during the puja.
Pradakshina & Namaskāram
After this, he turns around three times clockwise which means that the devotee has God as his main concern in life. Lastly, he sends off the deity with grace and gratitude.
Benefits of Durga Puja:
- Goddess Durga is said to ward off all evil planetary effects and evil eye or black magic.
- It protects from distress, sorrow, and pain and replaces them with happiness and cheer.
- By performing this puja, women can enjoy marital harmony, long life for the spouse, and content in life.
- Spiritual knowledge peace and prosperity is obtained through the puja of the Goddess.
- Durga Puja makes a person wealthy and protects him from all perils. This puja fulfils every wish.
Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Boldsky does not believe in or endorse any superstitions.
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