Durga Puja is one of the most important Hindu festivals. The festival honors Goddess Durga and is celebrated with pomp and style all over India. However, Durga Puja is celebrated differently in various cultures across India. Even the rituals and customs, performed during the Puja vary in different states. During Navaratri, the Durga Puja is conducted on a massive scale, with the participation of a large number of people. The Puja commences on the day of the new moon. The date of Durga Puja depends entirely upon the traditional, Hindu calendar. The idols of 'Durga Maa' are adorned with intricate jewels and beautiful silk saris. In some cultures, idols of Ganesha, Karthikeya and Lord Shiva are also decorated and consecrated besides the idol of Goddess Durga. There are many fascinating tales behind the celebration of Goddess Durga. Read on to learn more about the myths and the stories related Durga puja.
The Creation Of Goddess Durga
Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma decided to create a powerful force to destroy the invincible Mahishasura, as they were unable to vanquish him themselves. The unified powers of all the Gods resulted in the creation of a fiery mass from which, a magnificent Goddess was born. With the light of Lord Shiva, her face was created, Lord Vishnu gave her his arms, and Lord Brahma provided her legs. She was blessed with all the powers given to her by the Gods. She also acquired her weaponry from the Devas. She was decked with jewelery, a sari and garlands. Maa Durga was also given a lion by Lord 'Himalaya', the God of the Mountains. This Goddess came to be known as 'Mahadevi' (Goddess Durga), the most powerful and invincible of them all.
The Death Of Mahishasura
'Mahishasura', was a demon who unleashed evil and terror all over the world. He could not be killed by Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. This was because of a boon granted by God Brahma to Mahishasura according to which he would not be destroyed by any deity or man. With the combined forces of all the Gods, Mahadevi was created who was neither goddess nor human. With her fierce lion as her carrier, Goddess Durga (Mahadevi) rode towards the lair of Mahishasura. After 9 days of continuous battle the demon was finally beaten. Thus, Mahadevi also came to be known as 'Mahishasura Mardhini' - the slayer of Mahishasura.
Lord Ram's Victory
Before confronting 'Ravana', Lord Ram sought the blessings of Goddess Durga by performing the 'Chandi Puja'. To perform the Puja, Rama required 108 blue lotuses, but he had only 107 of them. Instead, he offered his own eye that resembled a lotus and placed it at the feet of the Goddess. Pleased with his devotion and pure mind, Goddess Durga saved Rama while he was at battle and blessed him with power of being invincible. Thus, Lord Ram defeated the 10 headed demon king Ravana with Goddess Durga's blessings.
'Devi Durga' is known as the Goddess of eternal power. Durga puja is an age-old festival and is celebrated with great fanfare all over the country. Goddess Durga is vanquisher of all evil. Every year, Durga Puja is celebrated throughout the country and devotees pray to the Goddess and seek her blessings and protection.