Durga

She came, she conquered our hearts and then left with her blessings leaving us with a void. A void that takes some time and effort to fill. But we wait. Wait for her to be back again. Next year. Amongst us 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

IMG_20181010_005459_147She is our Divine Mother. Ma Durga. Goddess Durga.

She is also known as Goddess Shakti, a popular and powerful archetype that embodies the feminine aspect of creation. In Hinduism, Shakti is the divine mother who gives birth to and nurtures new life, whether a newborn baby, a brand-new relationship, a fresh idea, or a magical manifestation.

Although Shakti transcends the boundaries of gender, form and race, she is called the divine mother because she’s considered the source of all creation. Shakti, a name that means sacred force, represents the all-pervading energy that creates our universe and all the beings who occupy it.

Goddess Durga is worshipped in various forms corresponding to her aspects of benevolence and fierceness. She is Uma, “glow”; Gauri, “white or brilliant”; Parvati, “the mountaineer”; and Jagatmata, “the-mother-of-the-world” in her milder guise. The terrible appearance are Durga “the inaccessible”; Kali, “the black”; Chandi, “the fierce”; and Bhairavi, “the terrible.”

And why is our Mother so Powerful?  According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga emerged from the combined energies of the Gods Brahma ( the Creator), Vishnu,( the Preserver), and Shiva( the Destroyer), in order to battle the demon called Mahisasura. As legend goes, the demon Mahisasura was awarded the boon that he could neither be killed by man or God. Even Brahma ( the Creator), Vishnu,( the Preserver), and Shiva( the Destroyer) also failed to stop him Therefore the presence of a feminine energy was required to massacre this demon that caused much destruction in all the three worlds – Earth, Heaven and nether world.

Goddess Durga was gifted different weapons by all the Gods, out of which the spear and trident have most commonly been depicted in her images. She is also seen holding the Sudarshan chakra, sword, bow and arrow and other weapons.

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When she is back with us every year, we welcome her with Haldi. Turmeric. In Hindu worship ceremonies, turmeric powder is used to symbolize both inner purity and inner pride. Worshipers use turmeric paste to anoint statues and images of Hindu deities in religious ceremonies. Along with symbolizing fertility and prosperity in the Hindu religion, turmeric also represents purity.

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The celebrations start from Navaratri and in the Northern part of India, devotees fast partially and abstain from non vegetarian food for nine days.

In Bengal, Durga Puja is the biggest festival and it starts from Mahalaya.

Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of Devi-Paksha and the end of the Pitri-Paksha (the Shradh or the mourning period) is an auspicious day for Bengalis, who celebrate it with much enthusiasm. Mahalaya is observed seven days before the Durga Puja.

While there are one too many folklore associated with the occasion, the most famous is Mahalaya being an invitation of sorts to the mother goddess to begin her journey from Kailash to her paternal home (earth), along with her children. This invitation is extended through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs.

This day also holds a special meaning for Hindus, who perform the ritual of Tarpan (offering). Men clad in dhotis go to the banks of the river Ganga and offer prayers to their deceased forefathers and perform pind-daan.

On Mahalaya morning people in Bengal start their day at 4 AM by listening to the devotional songs which is broadcast on radio. And the celebrations start 👯

 

The preparations though for Durga Puja start much in advance. And in Bengal it is not a religious festival. It is a carnival where people from diverse religions, culture and belief come together and celebrate happiness. And this is the uniqueness and true spirit of this country, India.

The culmination of Durga Puja, in the final ten days is what most of us get to witness. But behind it is a lot of hard work and months of preparations. Have a look 😎

 

It is also an occasion to experience creativity. Let’s go around and witness a few unique creations.

FB_IMG_1539790847017IMG_20181018_141842573FB_IMG_1539790817895IMG_20181018_122248952_HDRFB_IMG_1539790792232Although Durga Puja is celebrated throughout the country, the place to be in during this festival is Bengal and specifically Kolkata, the capital city. Because it’s here that you get to witness creativity at it’s best.

And Bengalis celebrate these ten days in their own unique style and culture which is very different from most other parts of the country.

Come to Kolkata, India to witness a unique carnival. It’s called Durga Puja.

Festive greetings to all our followers and readers from across the globe. Wish you happy times ahead 🙏

We are glad to now launch the “India Beautiful” series. 🚴 Keep following and having fun🤸

And for all our followers outside India. Come to India. Experience the peace, experience the madness, experience the country which has it all. You are welcome 🙏

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40 Comments

  1. akanshamishra20 says:

    Amazing

    On Sun, 28 Oct 2018, 6:04 pm Travel with passion, wrote:

    > travelwisesr posted: “She came, she conquered our hearts and then left > with her blessings leaving us with a void. A void that takes some time and > effort to fill. But we wait. Wait for her to be back again. Next year. > Amongst us [image: 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧] She is our Divine Mother. Ma Durga. Godd” >

  2. Ritesh Singh says:

    Nice one..

  3. chandrima roy says:

    Very informative. Thinking of getting my Singaporean colleagues read it because they just don’t understand why I get so happy and excited during Durga Puja 😊

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes please do 😊

  4. anandamweb says:

    सर्व मंगल मांगल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थ साधिके ।
    शरण्ये त्र्यंबके गौरि नारायणी नमोस्तुते ।।

  5. Nishi saraogi says:

    Beautifully written…..

  6. Amrita Bhattacharya says:

    Beautifully written!

  7. Dev Ganguly says:

    Excellently penned. Well said. Thanks Subhashish.

  8. Snehal says:

    I did not know that the goddess Durga is Shakti. The stories are intriguing! And the images…radiates powerful energy! 😊

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Happy that you liked reading 😊

  9. Ben Butler says:

    Cool read. I’m a big fan of religion and mythology, so I love learning about stuff like this. Thank you!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Ben.Glad that you liked 😊

  10. This read is quite interesting! Mythology and religion is always interesting to learn about! I had never heard of Durga but I’ll definitely be sharing this with others!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you so much. Feel glad that you found it interesting 😊

  11. Theresa says:

    What an enlightening post! I enjoyed learning about Shakti and I’ll definitely stay tuned for your future series on India!

  12. Stacy says:

    Very interesting to learn about! I’ve always wanted to visit India someday, too!

  13. artch33 says:

    This is very informative for me especially. I didn’t know anything about Durga before.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Artch 😢

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this before. It’s fun learning something new!

  15. Rosey A says:

    One of my grown children is dating a person who is Hindu. In fact, she just returned from a trip to India, and he is very glad she is home. 🙂

    1. travelwisesr says:

      So nice to hear 😊

  16. Bill Sweeney says:

    I like reading about different cultures’ mythology. This is an excellent read. Something I’ve never heard of, but am interested in knowing more.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Bill. Happy to know you enjoyed 😊

  17. Wendy Polisi says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures and their beliefs. This was a great glimpse into your culture.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Wendy 😊

  18. Eileen M Loya says:

    Great post! I like learning about the cultures, religions and beliefs of other countries. It is really interesting that turmeric has such important symbolism.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Eileen. Happy that you liked reading. Yes turmeric is a must in all religious and family traditions 😊

  19. Sara Welch says:

    What an amazing event! So many vibrant colors and details!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Sara this is our most colorful festival.

  20. Wow, the details are amazing! What an extraordinary adventure to witness in person!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come to India sometime Beth 🇮🇳

  21. Megha says:

    Wow I am so excited for this series. Durga ma is a powerful goddess and I really adore her.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks Megha.

  22. Kristine Nicole Alessandra says:

    It is a really interesting festival celebrating different themes about women, love and harmony. I love that the giant Durga image made of white chocolate will be made into milkshakes to distribute to the homeless children.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Kristine this is an occasion when you see a lot of creativity. It’s more a carnival than a religious festival with people from all walks of life coming together.

  23. Porsha Carr says:

    I had never heard of Durga before very interested

  24. emman damian says:

    I have a lot of Indian friends and they usually mention Durga. I’m fascinated by her story. Thanks for sharing a part of your culture to the world.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Emman so much. We have a rich culture & it’s a real pleasure when friends like you love it 😊

  25. Connie says:

    WOW! You are seriously a talented writer. I actually enjoyed this piece and viewed a couple of the videos. Always find it interesting to learn other people’s culture and beliefs and Durga definitely caught my attention.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Connie for the kind words. So happy that you enjoyed.

Comments are closed.