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What I love about Durga Pooja..

The countdown has finally begun. From today starting one of the biggest Indian festivals - Durga Pooja. My cook aunty is a Bengali and for her, nothing else is more exciting than this festival. She looks forward to the festival of Durga Pooja very keenly. While discussing with her about this festival she said a few things which made me think for a while. Durga Pooja is actually more than just customs and rituals. This festival stands for the dynamism of women power and rejoicing the existence of human beings.  

I belong to a Brahmin family and for us, Navratri is one of the auspicious times of the year. These divine nine days, we spend worshipping Goddess Durga for seeking her blessings for the whole family. But Navratri and Durga Pooja are not just for trivially worshipping Maa Durga. And I realized this after having a little chit-chat with my cook aunty. Although I've been witnessing this triumph since many years but a few things we understand only when the time comes:


* Durga Pooja is about celebrating the power of a woman. The entire festival is dedicated to Maa Durga, the mother goddess who also represents power and completion. Maa Durga annihilated the demon Mahishasura after a relentless battle lasting nine days. So these days are for reminding our society that women are equally powerful and have an important contribution to the creation of this society and nature. Durga Pooja reinforces the fact that a woman can be as soft as a flower and as tough as a rock when she is a mother. So these nine days remind us to realize the strength which lies in every woman.

* Durga Pooja celebrates lives. People from every class celebrate this festival with the same spirit. This festival is about forgetting our problems and woes of life and enjoying the spirituality and forgiveness. Many times, I have seen Bengalis celebrating this festival with music, dance, and colourful rituals. I noticed every person from kids to adults, from girls to boys and from saas to bahus, all of them completely into the mood of cherishing the best moments of their lives. Delicious food and Prashad, colourful new clothes and good music, what else does anyone need to celebrate the essence of this universe which is Live Life to the fullest.

* Durga Pooja celebration is not a one-man job, it's a collective effort. Everywhere you can see beautiful pandals where mesmerizing idols of Maa Durga are placed for her devotees. And these pandals need a lot of planning, preparation and hard work from lots of people. Different pooja committees start thinking and devising for the celebration, way before it actually comes. And every time they opt for new themes and decoration styles which require a mammoth of conceptualization and teamwork. And then when Durga Pooja starts people get lost in the beauty of this festival inside those pandals.

A few days back I was listening to Hindu Mythology Expert Devdatt Patnaik. And he revealed the secret of submerging idols into the water every year. As per Hindu Mythology life is a river which is called “Vaitarni”. We all flow with the flow of this river. And we reach at the other end of our life for a new start. So in Hindu Mythology, there is no end of life. It’s only crossing the river Vaitarni back and forth in the form of taking birth and death. With immersing idols into rivers, people actually look forward to a new beginning, new hope and a new zeal for the next year. The end of Durga Pooja also marks the start of a new cycle of waiting and preparing for the next year.

* Durga Pooja teaches us many valuable life lessons and few of them I mentioned above. As per my cook aunty, in her village, most of the idols are made by non-Hindus. And they even believe and worship the divine power of Maa Durga. For me, it was an eye-opener. Communal harmony is best seen during Durga Pooja celebration when people from every religion enjoy it. Today’s life is full of stress and challenges. 24 hours seem less. And with the arrival of Durga Pooja, we all get the chance to refresh our mind and energy. I am not a Bengali but I love every bit of this joyful and exciting festival.

 I urge Maa Durga to bless all of us with all her hands. Happy Navaratri and Durga Pooja!
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Comments

  1. though we dont really celebrate the festival i love the festivity i see around. great post

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  2. Durga maa is sch an inspirational idol.....luv this festivity...thou dnt knw mch abt it.....bt i luv tge way hw its celebrated...

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  3. Durga Puja is such a lively festival. We don't celebrate it as such but love the spirit and fervour we see around during this festival.

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  4. It was just once when I visited the Durga Pooja Pandal near our society when I was pregnant, I was too mesmerized by the beauty of those pandals and larger than life idols of Durga Ma which symbolizes strength and power. Loved this post!

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  5. Beautiful post. Informative post. We all ignore the behind the scenes efforts of idol makers and so lovely if you to highlight that they come from all caste and creed.

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  6. Though I don't observe this festival, I like the interpretation of it as you have written..it is about celebrating the power of a woman and celebrating lives.

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  7. You blew my mind with the Vaitarni logic. So true. We do not believe in life getting over. Its just a to & fro movement of souls reincarnated

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  8. Durga is essence of life we have been celebrating Navratri at home forever now, and the experience is soul fulfilling. Its a joint effort from all to enjoy and celebrate life.

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  9. I have been observing fasts on Navratri since I was in school. It was so great to read your informative and motivational post now. Thanks.

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  10. I have attended Durga pooja a couple of times but at our home it is more of navatri and fasting.

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  11. I also love this time of the year. Love the feel and air of this festive season.

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  12. Durga puja and Navratri is my favourite as it flags off the festival times. Great post with details about durga maa and durga pooja. Happy Navratri.

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