The Durga Puja



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Goddess Durga and On her left is Saraswati, the goddess of learning, and Kartick, the god of war, while on the right are Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success.








      The Durga Puja is the greatest festival of the Hindus of Assam. It takes place twice a year; once in the Assamese month of Chaitra and again in the month of Aswin or Kartick. The former is called the Basanti Puja, or the puja held in spring, and the latter is called the Saradiya Puja, or the Puja held in Autumn. The Basanti Puja celebrates the original worship of the goddess by which king Suratha was restored to his lost throne in the Satya Juga or the Golden Age . 



    The other Puja was first performed untimely by Sri Ramchandra  in the next age to get the help of the goddess in killing Ravana. Though it was untimely and hence, irregular, it has now so completely ousted the original Puja, that when we speak of Durga Puja or even simple Puja, we mean this autumnal worship. 





      Durga is the symbol of Sakti or power. She appeared to kill the demon Mahisasura who had become so powerful as almost to threaten the very creation. She is represented as riding a lion, fighting with the demon with ten different weapons in her ten hands. One of her feet is on the back of the lion and the other is on the shoulder of the enemy, who is half emerging out of a buffalo, just slain. On her left is Saraswati, the goddess of learning, and Kartick, the god of war, while on the right are Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success.   

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Essay on Durga Puja. Durga is the symbol of Sakti or power.

    On the evening of the 6th day of the moon Aswin or Kartick is performed the Bodhana ceremony, the ceremony of rousing the goddess from her sleep. The real Puja begins the next day, called Saptami, and continues for three days. Besides offerings of flowers, fruits, rice, etc. Goats and buffaloes are sacrificed on these days. The 10th day of moon is called the Bijoya Dasami because on the day everybody takes leave of the goddess, after which the image, or rather the images , are immersed in water with great festivities. 


       After immersion Santijal or the water of peace is sprinkled upon everybody present and the people embrace one another as a token of friendliness. All enmity and ill feeling are forgotten, even the bitterest enemies close in embrace, and their reigns, at least for the time being, a feeling of peace and fellowship in every heart.


         The Durga Puja is the most important festival in Assam. It is hailed with joy and rejoicing, even by Mohamedans and Christians. The longest holidays of the year enable everybody living away from his relatives to return to them, while many use the vacation in trips to places of interest or health resorts. 


       It is customary for every Hindu, however poor, to wear new clothes and to make presents to his near and dear ones at this time. The faces of children shine with joy in new garments, while elderly people look cheerful in the company of their children and other relatives who usually live away from them.



     

       In short, the Puja is a festival that may well be said to bring universal joy and rejoice in Assam.



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