Durga Puja 2022: One of India’s most important festivals, Durga Puja is observed with grandeur and great enthusiasm. Durga Puja is a particularly important festival in West Bengal, although it is also widely observed in the states of Odisha, Tripura, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat. As it commemorates the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura, the Buffalo demon, it is another celebration that shows the triumph of good over evil. On the final day of Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped. The Durga Puja rituals are a series of traditions that were developed in religious writings hundreds of years ago and are expected to be observed over the full nine days, from Mahalaya to Dashmi, with each day having a unique significance. Here is all you need to know about puja rituals and dos and don’ts of Durga Puja.
Durga Puja rituals:
- Goddess Durga is asked to visit Earth for a week, during the “Mahalaya” festival. The deity idol, also known as Chokkhu Daan, attracts everyone’s attention.
- On the first day, a sizable, exquisitely made idol of Maa Durga is installed on decorated Podiums all over the city, and at houses, the worship space is cleansed, and a Kalash is placed as a sign of the Goddess. A ceremony is performed on Saptami after the idol has been set up in order to make her holy presence. This is called Pran Pratishthan.
- A little banana plant known as Kola Bou (banana bride) is bathed in the surrounding river, adorned in a sari, and said to be able to absorb the goddess’ spirit and divinity. Prayers are offered to the Goddess each day with a pure heart in various forms.
- The Goddess is worshipped on Ashtami in the form of a virgin girl known as Kumari Puja, and this is celebrated to maintain the holiness of the female energy and its spread in society. It is stated that after the puja, Goddess Durga transforms into a Kumari (a girl).
- On Navami, prayers are offered to the Goddess with the fire ceremony known as Maha Arti.
- Goddess returns to her husband’s home on the final day of Puja, and the idol is brought outside for immersion. Every married woman offers Maa Durga red colour powder (Sindoor) and daubs herself with marriage, fertility, and childbearing.
- At the end of the celebration, a huge rally is paraded in the city to provide an opportunity for devotees to see the deity once. Disciples dance, enjoy and gratify the divinity and then immerse the idol in water.
Durga Puja dos and don’ts:
- First of all, don’t treat women disrespectfully. During the celebration of Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped in her nine different manifestations. Thus, this event should emphasise respecting the women in your immediate vicinity. In order to gain Maa Durga’s heavenly blessings, constantly remember to respect women, not just during these nine days.
- It is believed that early bathing during Navratri, followed by puja rites, brings good luck.
- When lighting a “Akhand jyot” for the Goddess, make sure to point it toward the southwest. Make sure you don’t break any Puja regulations or rituals if you observe an “Akhand jyoti” for nine days.
- Keep in mind that a calm home promotes happiness and prosperity all year round. During the nine days of Navratri, try to keep your home free from any type of strife, arguments, or fighting.
- It is recommended to refrain from consuming non-vegetarian food, alcohol, and smoke during Navratri.
- Make sure that the offerings you give to Maa Durga don’t contain any garlic or onions. Instead of using conventional refined salt, use rock salt.