Worship of Devi gives not only prosperity, but liberation from all bondage’s. It leads to the attainment of Knowledge of the Self. The story of the Kena Upanishad, known as the Yaksha-Prashna, supports this view. Uma taught the Truth to the Devas. She can do anything. She can mend or end. Durga Puja is one of the most awaited religious festivals of India which is celebrated with full zeal all over the country. Though it is celebrated by the Hindu community in all over the country but the Durga Puja of West Bengal and Kolkata is well known. This puja is dedicated to mother Durga who governs all the cosmic creations and changes. It has been believed that the mother Durga has emerged out after combining the energies of all the gods, including Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Mother Durga then vanquished the demon Mahishasura whom no other god could defeat.
It has been believed that the first Durga Puja was held in 1606 in the state of West Bengal. And after that the Puja spread in whole of the country. Nowadays, no matter in which part of the world Hindus are living, Durga Puja is celebrated with extreme fervor. This puja is done in the festival of Navratri, which falls either in October or November. The Navratri Festival is comprised of “nine nights” in which the different forms of Mother Durga are worshipped. Though whole the nine days are celebrated with full dedication, but the celebrations are at their best on the tenth day, which is celebrated as Vijayadashami in West Bengal and as Dussehra in the Northern India.
Durga Puja celebrations are also known as Akal Bodhan. There is a mythology related to this name. It has been believed that Lord Rama showed full devotion towards Mother Durga, because he wanted her blessings for saving his wife from the clutches of demon Ravana. Delighted and pleased with lord Rama’s devotion, Goddess Durga blessed him. This incident is known as “Akalbodhan”.
Now, Durga Puja festival has reached every corner of India and is celebrated on the large scale. Along with organizing the puja in temples, it is also organized in each locality by the community. This shows the devotion of people towards the Goddess Durga. The puja lasts for three days and on the last day after the puja is done; the decorated idols of the mother Durga are immersed in the big water bodies. In addition to the traditional ritual of worshipping Goddess Durga, many other cultural activities are organized to make the celebration more exciting. Professional singers are invited for praising the Goddess Durga, dance competitions are held to encourage to people, games and fetes are also organized on big level. It can be easily depicted from all this that what significance does Durga Puja holds in the Hindu religion.
Moreover the temples, homes and even the markets are decorated with artificial lightening and candles. This is the indication of the belief that Mother Durga lightens our lives with happiness and joy, and gives us the courage to overcome the difficult situations of our life. Delicious foods and dishes are also an integral part of the Durga Puja festival. Though the dishes show some variations when you will move among states, but every state has its own rituals and beliefs about it.
Benefits of Devi Puja:
1.She can turn silence into speech.
2.Ignorance into knowledge.
3.Defeat into a victory.
4.Ugliness into beauty.
4.Poverty into wealth.
5.Selfishness to friendliness.
6.She also unfold the reality behind the appearance and save us from being deceived by something and by someone.