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Durga Puja 2022: Date, Time, Origin And History, Legend, Significance, And Celebrations

Durga Puja is the day Goddess Durga annihilated the intimidating demon Mahishasura and reduced the misery of the Devas. To celebrate this divine moment, Hindus celebrate Durga puja all over India. Durga puja begins during Navratri, which is a nine-night festival that Northern and western Indian states observe. This is the day the 'stree shakti' or feminine power proved itself to be of colossal significance in the divine scheme of creation.

Durga puja starts on Mahalaya, the day which started the war between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura scores of yugas ago. This day was when the Goddess appeared as a culminating point of the powers of all devas. Celebrated from 01 October to 05 October, Durga puja will be chiefly observed in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Odisha, and Bihar. It is tremendously significant for Bengalis for whom this spells the dawn of freedom and a spiritual release from all the ills that shroud the pristine human soul.

This is a timely reminder that god exists, for the human good, and he comes to time and again, for releasing us from the clutches of ignorance and evil influences. After defeating the demon, the goddess is believed to visit the earth along with her children.

Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava, is a 10-day long festival, the last five days of which are deemed most important. All other female deities are also worshipped alongside Goddess Durga on these days. Durga Puja is the day when you can come across beautiful pandals that are constructed in myriad designs, the exquisitely carved idols, cultural extravaganza and awe-inspiring rituals that stir you out of your ignorance and slumber. It is traditionally mandatory to buy new clothes and gifts for family and friends. Menu is delectable and of mind-boggling varieties and served in grandeur to give a sense of completion to the festival. Durga Puja is celebrated from 6 to 10 days in different parts of the country.

Apart from being a religious festival, it has several other connotations. It is an occasion for reunion and rejuvenation, and a celebration of traditions and culture. The rituals entail ten days of fast, feast and worship, out of which the last four days-Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami-are celebrated with grandeur in India, especially in Bengal,. Possessing ten arms that carry lethal weapons and riding on lion, she is also called by names such as Bhavani, Amba, Chandika, Gauri, Parvati, and Mahishasuramardini.

Durga Puja 2022: Date And Shubh Muhurat

Durga puja festival usually coincides with the month of Autumn during September / October. The first nine days of Ashwin are chalked out for this observance.

Maha Shashti falls on 01 October. Maha Saptami is on 02 October. Maha Ashtami will be marked on 03 October. Maha Navami will take place on 04 October. Bijaya Dashmi will be grandly celebrated on 05 OctoberThe shubh muhurat for Ghatasthapana begins on 01 October from 6:17 am to 7:55 am. The Shukla Paksha Pratipada Tithi will begin at 03:24 am on 26 September and end at 3:08 am on 27 September.

  • Maha Shashsti: October 1
  • Maha Saptami: October 2
  • Maha Ashtami: October 3
  • Maha Navami: October 4
  • Maha Dashmi: October 5

Durga Puja 2022: Origin And History

Goddess Durga puja was first conducted in the late 1500s. As per the folklore, it was the landlords, or zamindar, of Dinajpur and Malda took to the public worship of Goddess Durga in Bengal. The twelve friends at Guptipara in Hoogly, Bengal, joined hands, collected funds, to conduct the first public Durga Puja called the Barowari puja or the 'Twelve friends' puja in the late seventeenth century. Slowly the Baro yari puja later grew in stature and it was performed as a community puja in early 19th century. Durga Puja is now celebrated pan India. The community puja gave a fresh new identity to the Hindu Bengalis who became a part of the new cultural milieu.

Durga Puja 2022:Legend

Rama's 'Akal Bodhan'

Durga Puja is celebrated every year in the Ashwin month (September-October). Lord Rama woke up Goddess Durga when it was not time, to submit his prayers to her, for empowering him to kill Ravana. This was in autumn which was out of season, or Akal Bodhon. He worshipped her by offering 108 blue lotuses and by lighting 108 lamps, at this time of the year.

Goddess Durga And Mahishasura

Mahishasura was an evil demon, with an unparalleled devotion towards the Goddess. He had received a boon after performing hard tapasya for years, that no god or human will ever be able to kill him. Soon after this, Mahishasura grew into a menace that could not be confronted by all the devas put together. Dismayed by the development, Devas took refuge in Lord Vishnu for a plausible solution. Lord Vishnu asked all the devas summon all their powers in one place and the collective power took the form of Goddess Durga. This day came to be called Mahalaya, which is the first day of the Durga puja series.

Goddess wore the weapons that Devas handed over, in her ten hands and then went ahead to call the Asura for a duel. Durga fought with him for ten days and killed him on the tenth day. This was the day the world got back to safety to regain its spirits that was worn out due to the demon's tyranny.

Durga Puja 2022: Significance

In India, Durga Puja is a declared public holiday in several states although the names and dates may slightly differ. Durga Puja in Kolkata has been marked on the Intangible cultural heritage list of UNESCO in 2021.

Goddess Durga is worshipped all over the globe as a pan India celebration as a feminine power that creates, preserves and destroys. Before waging war with Ravana, Lord Rama invoked the goddess to win the war, and the same day, Goddess wiped Mahishasura out of existence and hence these two divine events happening on the same day, bring the festivals of Durga puja and Dussehra together.

Although, it is about the war waged between Goddess and the demon, it also is an important part of the harvest festival celebrating the motherly love of Goddess that is behind the creation of this universe.For those of the Shakta tradition, this festival is all the more important as they revere Shakti and view her as the ultimate power of the universe.

Durga puja is celebrated as Kullu Dussehra in Kullu Valley (Himachal Pradesh), as Mysore Dussehra in Mysore (Karnataka); as Bommai Golu in Tamil Nadu, as Bommala koluvu in Andhra Pradesh, and as Bathukamma in Telangana.

Durga Puja 2022: Celebrations

Durga puja is conducted for ten days, the last five days of which are dedicated to certain rituals. It begins on the Mahalaya day where the worshippers appease their departed forefathers, by an offering of Tarpan ( food and water). This is the day Goddess Durga descends from the Kailash to the homes of her devotees. On the next day, it is time for the festivity to begin.

On the Saptami, Ashtami, and Navami days, other goddesses namely Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Kartikeya are worshipped along with mantra recitations and elaborate shodashopachara puja. Devi Mahatmya that extols the feats of the Goddess also has to be recited during these days. Known as Durgashtami, the eighth day of the celebrations requires one to fast, if possible for the entire duration of the Durga Puja.

On the day of Ayudh puja, the weapons, and instruments, are worshipped by devotees who pray to her for protection. On the last day, devotees immerse Goddess Durga's idol in the holy water of the river Ganges, which they call the Durga Visarjan. Before finally immersing the Goddess, the devotees carry out processions, beat drums, sing and dance throughout the way to the river.

People who follow the Shakta tradition conduct it in the comfort of their own homes and dance forms like Dhunuchi are performed, during this occasion. Vijayadashami or Dashain or the last day of Navrtri is meant for officially bidding farewell to Goddess Durga by immersing her in the nearby waterbody.

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. Kindly consult the concerned expert before practising or implementing any information and assumption.

Story first published: Thursday, September 29, 2022, 11:24 [IST]
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