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Mahalaya: An Amalgamation Of Hope and Nostalgia

For many, Mahalaya marks the homecoming of Maa Durga where she begins her journey from Mount Kailash to reach her maternal home that is Earth.

Mahalaya: An Amalgamation Of Hope and Nostalgia
Durga Puja | PTI
Mahalaya: An Amalgamation Of Hope and Nostalgia
outlookindia.com
2021-10-06T16:39:52+05:30

Nostalgia is the soul’s way of reminding you of something you truly loved. Mahalaya is one such memory. It brings back snapshots of my childhood days. Waking up early in the morning as my mother used to switch on the radio to listen to Birendra Krishna Bhadra, who will always be remembered for making Mahalaya memorable to all. We used to lay on our beds with sleepy eyes listening to Mahalaya. For me, Mahalaya is about the beginning of Durga Puja fun.

I remember my mother used to narrate stories of her childhood days when her parents used to switch on the house radio so loud so that everybody in the neighbourhood had a chance to listen to the notes of Mahalaya. In those days when my parents were growing up, it was a privilege to have a radio in your house and I guess she belonged to one of those privileged households.

As a kid too I used to be all ears listening to the notes of Mahalaya. There are many mythological stories revolving around Mahalaya. The most popular being the homecoming of Maa Durga when she begins her journey from Mount Kailash where she resides with her husband to reach her maternal home that is Earth. It also marks the worship of womanhood.

For some Mahalaya is not a happy occasion, but a period of mourning. It is the day of Pitri Paksha where Shraddh (death rites) are performed during this period. When I called up my mother today morning and wished her ‘Shubho Mahalaya’, she narrated this story and said, “Mahalaya is not Shubho. It is Shradh when people remember their forefathers by offering food and water.”

My soul which always searches for happiness even in the gloomiest of days would like to go with the most popular story of where Goddess Durga begins her journey of homecoming with her children - Ganesha, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati. This story is the most beautiful as it reminds me of going to my Mamar bari (maternal uncle’s house) and wearing new dresses each of the five days- Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami. It is also about eating bhog (offering to God) in the puja pandals. As a kid, I used to call bhog my pot of goodness

Today as I was listening to Mahalaya in the morning, I was reminded how things have changed. Now you can listen to it any time during the day, you don’t really need to wake up in the morning. I have moved to many cities ever since my childhood days, but the notes of Mahalaya still ring in my ear. May this Durga Puja bring lots of hope and happiness to all of us!

Mahalaya Amavasya, also known as ‘Sarva Pitru Amavasya’ is an auspicious day for Bengalis, which is being observed today, 6th October. As per the Hindu calendar, the celebrations of Mahalaya begin a week before the Durga Pooja celebrations and fall on the last day of ‘Pitru Paksha’.

According to Hindu mythology, Maa Durga was created on this day by Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar to successfully vanquish the demon king Mahishasura. King Mahishasura was blessed with immortality i.e., no god or human could kill him. Attaining the benediction, Mahishasura attacked the Devtas, jeopardizing the Devlok. Stranded by the defeat, the Devas along with Lord Vishnu, prayed to Adi Shakti to safeguard the Devas from the clutches of the demon king. Hindus believe that a divine light transpired from the bodies of the Devas and took the form of Maa Durga.

The battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura continued for nine days and on the tenth day, Mahishasura’a life came to an end, declaring the victory of the goddess.

Marking the triumph of the goddess, the devotees celebrate the festival for ten days with great pomp and fervour. The devotees believe that the goddess arrives on earth from Kailash Parvat on this day.

To pay reverence to the venerable, an auspicious pooja is performed. The devotees wake up early morning to worship the goddess and sing ‘Chandipath’, listen to ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ or religious mantras. The sculptors make Goddess’s eyes and fill colours in them. Several people mark this day to remember their ancestors. On the morning of Mahalaya Amavasya, devotees first bid farewell to their ancestors and in the evening Durga Pooja steps on Earth to bless the devotees.

This festival is celebrated in West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka and Tripura with great zeal and devotion.

Mahalaya 2021: All You Need To Know

Mahalaya Amavasya, also known as ‘Sarva Pitru Amavasya’ is an auspicious day for Bengalis, which is being observed today, 6th October. As per the Hindu calendar, the celebrations of Mahalaya begin a week before the Durga Pooja celebrations and fall on the last day of ‘Pitru Paksha’.

According to Hindu mythology, Maa Durga was created on this day by Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar to successfully vanquish the demon king Mahishasura. King Mahishasura was blessed with immortality i.e., no god or human could kill him. Attaining the benediction, Mahishasura attacked the Devtas, jeopardizing the Devlok. Stranded by the defeat, the Devas along with Lord Vishnu, prayed to Adi Shakti to safeguard the Devas from the clutches of the demon king. Hindus believe that a divine light transpired from the bodies of the Devas and took the form of Maa Durga.

The battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura continued for nine days and on the tenth day, Mahishasura’a life came to an end, declaring the victory of the goddess.

Marking the triumph of the goddess, the devotees celebrate the festival for ten days with great pomp and fervour. The devotees believe that the goddess arrives on earth from Kailash Parvat on this day.

To pay reverence to the venerable, an auspicious pooja is performed. The devotees wake up early morning to worship the goddess and sing ‘Chandipath’, listen to ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ or religious mantras. The sculptors make Goddess’s eyes and fill colours in them. Several people mark this day to remember their ancestors. On the morning of Mahalaya Amavasya, devotees first bid farewell to their ancestors and in the evening Durga Pooja steps on Earth to bless the devotees.

This festival is celebrated in West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka and Tripura with great zeal and devotion.

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