Unknown Facts about Mahalaya and its Significance
Interesting Facts about Mahalaya
The time has arrived again after a wait for long one year! Starting with this article I am just getting goose bumps by those nostalgic thoughts, that euphoria and warmth of family reunion. I always get mesmerized with the thoughts of Durga Puja– the autumn season, the fluffy clouds all around, the Kans grass (Kash Phool), the sunny soothing weather, just dawns the arrival of Durga Puja, Bengali’s most awaited festival. Though the preparation starts long back since last two months, but still the day of Mahalaya is just the beginning! All preparation gets finalized by the arrival of Mahalaya and only some final touch remains for Durga Puja preparation- be it for shopping, pandal erection, Idol preparation and other arrangements.
Especially for Bengalis who stays outside West Bengal in other parts of India or abroad, definitely tries to get some arrangements done so that they can celebrate Durga Puja at their locality nearby. And if possible then they all definitely try to get back home at West Bengal for at least those four to five days. There is no other festival in India except Durga Puja, which is celebrated with such grandeur.
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Traditional History of Mahalaya
With the arrival of Mahalaya, the air starts to reverberate with the nostalgic sound of the conch shell. And with the arrival of Panchami, you can hear the sound of Dhak (huge membranophone) which just makes everyone’s heart get elated with happiness.
- Mahalaya is significant it makes the beginning of Devi Paksha. This day Priti Paksha ends and Debi Paksha starts. This is the last day to pay offerings ( Pitri tarpan) to your ancestors. On this day with the day break, people go to the Ganges to pay offerings and to take bath and do the rituals. This is a celebration in itself.
- And in each house, you can hear the famous “ Mahisasura Mardini” the timeless chanting with soul- touching melody by Birendra Krishna Bhadra. Nothing can replace this till now. Though a lot of programs comes on various television channel portraying the story of Mahisasura Mardini, still the ‘old is gold’. I still remember when I was a kid, my father used to get up early in the morning and start playing the radio and just listening to few line I used to get up. Kids start to play with crackers. Even now the same process is on in all Bengali families in West Bengal.
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Those lyrics still I remember:
“ Jago tumi jago
Jago Durga Jago
Tumi Dasha Praharana Dharini
Abhaya Shakti Balo Pradayini tumi jago…….”
Do you know:
- The first Mahisasuramardini which was popular radio program was first broadcasted in 1931 on All India Radio. The program was of 1.5 hrs which were a mix of Chadipath, classical music, devotional songs, and melodrama. Later CD version has been released.
- On this day of Mahalaya, the artists start painting the eye of the Durga idol.
- Mahalaya is followed on new moon day and this day is the end of Pitri Paksha and the holy spirits of our ancestors raised in the home of their descendants for the fortnight.
- It is believed that on this day Devi Durga starts her journey for her paternal home, which is believed to be on earth.
- After seven days from Mahalaya Durga Puja starts in West Bengal which is celebrated for four days- Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami. But nowadays Bengalees have extended it and starts celebration from Chaturthi.
- This occasion is celebrated throughout the country and even in abroad. In East India, it is celebrated as Durga Puja and in North India and West India and in Central India this occasion is celebrated as Navaratri. This year 2017, Navaratri will be celebrated from 21st September 2017 to 29th September 2017.
Durga Puja is the celebration of good over evil. The story line goes in this way: Lord Bramha had given a boon to Mahisasura getting impressed by his Tapasya that no man on this earth can kill him. After getting this power he started to capture Heaven, all male Gods tried to stop him but nobody could kill him nor defeat him, later all male Gods sought help from Bramha, Vishnu, and Shiva. They all together projected a new energy by providing their powers which emerged in the form of Goddess Durga. Devi Durga who agreed to stop Mahisaura from doing this by killing him. They both had huge combat, where Devi Durga killed Mahisasura, who got a place at her feet. The main purpose is to glorify Shakti, the good power, the joy of good over evil.
“Ya devi sarbabhuteshshu, sakti rupena sanksthita Namasteshwai Namasteshwai Namasteshwai namo namaha.”