Celebration of Durga Puja – Iskcon Dwarka
About Goddess Durga
Hinduism’s primary manifestation of the Goddess, also known as Devi and Shakti, is called Durga, which means “the Inaccessible” in Sanskrit. This article will explain about importance and celebration of Durga Puja.
One of the major celebration of Durga Puja in northeastern India is conducted yearly in her honor. Legend has it that Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the lesser gods could not defeat the buffalo monster Mahishasura, so they created Durga to help them defeat him. She is both a descendant of the masculine divinities and the genuine source of their inner strength, embodying their collective energy (shakti). She is superior to all of them as well. Born lovely and fully formed, Durga threatens her foes with her terrifying form. She is typically seen riding a lion and having eight or ten limbs, each of which is clutching a unique weapon given to her by a god in preparation for her fight with the buffalo monster.
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How Can We Celebrate Durga Puja?
The celebration of Durga Puja festival typically lasts ten days, of which the final five are highlighted with celebrations, ceremonies, and rituals. An explanation of how these ten days are observed is provided below:
- The event officially starts on Mahalaya, the day the Goddess is called upon to make her yearly journey to her parental home.
- Highlights: Hindus pay respect to their ancestors on this day as well.
- Sixth Day: The sixth day, sometimes referred to as Shashthi, is the following significant day. This day marks her arrival on earth with her four children, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Kartik, following an arduous trek from Kailash, her residence in heaven.
- Highlights: Large idols of Durga, who holds weapons in her ten hands, her four offspring, and Mahisasura are erected in community pandals to commemorate the occasion.
- Days seven, eight, and nine: The following three days—Saptami (the seventh day), Ashtami (the eighth day), and Navami (the ninth day)—are the most important ones for the festival. The Goddess is worshipped over these three days by participating in various rites and reading passages from the Bible.
- Highlights: Over these three days, attractively decorated community pandals draw sizable crowds. People dress up in different outfits and go pandal-hopping, dining out, and having a good time with their friends and families. These days are nothing short of carnival-like, what with processions, competitions, and performances of performance art.
- The tenth day of the celebration, Dashami, is when Durga is thought to begin her return journey.
- Highlights: The idol is submerged in a river or other big body of water on this day to signify the conclusion of the celebrations. On Dashami, massive processions are held as devotees follow the Goddess to the water’s edge to say goodbye festively.
What Makes Us Unfit To Be Part of the Spiritual World?
We are unsuitable to be a part of the spiritual realm because we are unwilling to get along with the family and friends there. We lose our original constitutional status once we are imprisoned in this mortal material world and begin to see ourselves as the products of the material world. As a result of this unholy touch, we suffer greatly under the influence of material modes. Our sufferings are prolonged by the vicious cycle of birth, aging, disease, and death.
The more we try to please in this fleeting world, and the more we identify with this material world and the material body, the more suffering we experience.
The Supreme Lord doesn’t want His children to suffer in this world by being deceived by outside energy. The Supreme Lord must imprison spiritual creatures in a physical jail to learn his lesson and undergo reformation. Sometimes a loving father must entrust a severe instructor with the care of his unruly child to enforce discipline. Even the external energy that is a follower of the Lord dislikes to cause us pain. Although it is thankless work, the external energy gladly supports the Supreme Lord in reforming the disobedient souls. Because of being deceived by the Lord’s exterior energy, all living things in this world have the true sickness that is the root of all their misery.
Why Does Goddess Durga Carry Her Trident?
Goddess Durga never stops pleading with all the wandering souls to return to Lord Krishna‘s realm like a devoted mother. But it is necessary to chastise the rebellious souls who want to break Krishna’s precepts and enjoy their lives apart from the supreme Lord. To chastise such wayward spirits, Durga searches for them while brandishing her trident. She constantly carries a trident with her to symbolize the three types of material suffering:
- Adhytamika (miseries resulting from our bodies and minds)
- Adibautika (miseries resulting from other living things)
- Adidaivika (miseries due to natural calamities)
Everybody, without exception, experiences one, two, or all three of these afflictions at any given time. One of the most famous stories about Goddess Durga is the tale of how she used her trident to defeat the demon Mahisasura. Mahisasura also serves as a metaphor for our demonic mindset, and Durga uses the jagged edges of her trident to deal a powerful blow to our demonic mindset. The goal is not to punish us but to teach us that the further we stray from Lord Krishna’s spiritual protection, the more suffering we experience in this life. She constantly makes the statement, “This isn’t your home. Return to your old residence. Krishna is expecting you. A soul is finally forced to ask, “Why is misery always with me like a shadow, even though I have tried everything to enjoy myself?” as a result of her correction. Why am I made to spend nine months upside down and in total darkness inside a womb? Why do I get sick and older? Why is someone dying every moment? I don’t want to pass away, but why can I be here indefinitely?
When a living being is awakened, they quickly wish to leave this terrible world and enter the spiritual realm.
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How Can We Please Goddess Durga?
Durga cannot be subdued or deceived as the Supreme Lord’s energy. Nothing can stop her when she uses her trident to attack because she is so strong. Although Durga Devi can bestow material blessings upon us, they come with great hardship. The only way to avoid Durga’s lethal trident is to make her a promise that we are sincerely interested in spiritual happiness rather than earthly pleasures. And when we begin working toward it by engaging in loving devotional service to Krishna, Goddess Durga is ecstatic, withdraws her trident, and showers us with her affection. She doesn’t intend to keep us bound to this planet indefinitely. And she wants to free those in prison as soon as possible. She assesses our devotion to the Supreme Lord. She determines whether we have cleansed our hearts of all material ailments, such as desire, greed, pride, rage, envy, illusion, and false ego. She instantly frees us from this captivity when she discovers that our hearts have grown deeply in love with Krishna. The Holy Name “Kali kale nam rupe Krishna Avatar” is the vehicle through which the Supreme Lord manifests in this Kali Yuga with all of His majesty and power. Chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and other holy names of Krishna is thus the finest approach to living a devoted life. This mantra meditation should be chanted with love, devotion, and resolve. The protector of our world, Goddess Durga, will regularly evaluate our commitment and intention.
It is not customary to dance to movie tunes during Durga Puja. It’s not just about enjoying yourself and enjoying wonderful meals. Knowing who goddess Durga is and how she might be pleased is the finest method to observe and celebration of Durga Puja. And the greatest way to win her approval is to emulate Candidasa.
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