The festival of Durga Puja is celebrated in the Ashwin month which corresponds with September-October. The nine days long festival is celebrated with extreme enthusiasm and with a high degree of reverence to the warrior goddess Durga.
Short and Long Essay on Durga Puja
Essay 1 (250 Words)
The festival of Durga Puja is celebrated in the month of September-October. It is a nine days long festival, worshipping goddess Durga. It is mostly celebrated in the northern part of India and the Durga Puja of West Bengal is specifically famous.
The Reverence of Mother Shakti
Durga is revered as the feminine form of Shakti. ‘Shakti’ is a Sanskrit word meaning strength. Hence Durga Puja is the reverence of mother Durga, asking her to bless her devotees with strength and velour.
Shaktism is an ancient Hindu tradition to worship the feminine form of Goddess Shakti. During ancient times the tradition was carried out by only the armies and soldiers who had to go on a battle.
Modern practices of Durga Puja involve worship and reverence of the Goddess in the large pandals erected specifically for this purpose. People visit these pandals and worship a large bust of goddess kept in the center.
Other rituals include fasting for all the nine days of the festival. Celebrations in the house are also simple and involve no exuberance. People recite Durga Saptashati in house, which is a collection of phrases, praising the goddess. Those who fast usually stay on the diet of fruit, vegetables, and milk products for complete nine days. On the last day, a hawan or offering to the goddess in front of a fire is performed on the last day.
The festival of Durga Puja is integral to the Hindu religion and is very important in keeping the ages hold Hindu beliefs alive in the heart of religious believers.
Essay 2 (400 Words)
Durga Puja is a Hindu festival celebrated in reverence to the Hindu warrior goddess, named Durga. Celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin, it is a nine days festival, entailing the worship of nine different forms of the Goddess each day.
Celebration in Pandals
Pandals are an integral part of Durga Puja celebrations. These are large temporary structures made of cloth, supported by bamboo or steel frame. Pandals of different shapes and sizes are erected every few kilometers and in every locality.
These Pandals are beautifully decorated by lights and are also often made with different themes like a temple, palace, etc. A life bust of the goddess is kept at the center of the pandal, for the devotees to pay visit and worship.
These Pandals remain the centre of attraction during the Durga Puja festival for complete nine days; though, common people are allowed inside the pandal only from the sixth day. People visit with the family to pay their reverence to the goddess and the pandal is open 24/7 day and night. The celebration ends only on the tenth day when the statue of the goddess is taken out in a procession to a nearby pond or river for immersion.
The festival of Durga Puja specifically commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the bull demon Mahishasura. The demon king Mahishasura, at a point of time, became so powerful that he set out to conquer all the three worlds. Therefore, the three gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha (Shiva) summoned Durga to kill Mahishasura. They all gave Durga their trusted weapons, with the help of which the goddess was able to kill Mahishasura on the tenth day.
Another legend of Durga Puja is associated with Lord Rama. It is believed that before killing Ravana in a fierce battle, Lord Rama had worshipped the goddess Durga to provide strength and velour. This is the reason why the festival of Durga Puja coincides with the Dussehra festival, which commemorates the day Rama killed Ravana.
Significance of Durga Puja
The festival of Durga Puja has a grand religious as well as cultural significance. Many religious groups and local communities and people come together to celebrate the festival with zeal and fervor.
The festival signifies the victory of good over bad and evil. It also signifies the strength that a woman can endure if she has to fight against evil and injustice.
Durga Puja is a religious occasion that celebrates a warrior goddess that provides strength to the warriors and to everyone who is fighting for truth and pride.
Essay 3 (600 Words)
Durga Puja is a major Hindu festival celebrated in India and also in adjoining countries of Nepal and Bangladesh. In India, it is majorly celebrated in the Indian states of Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Durga Puja celebration in West Bengal is renowned the world over and attract a large influx of tourists every year.
When is Durga Puja Celebrated?
Durga Puja is celebrated in the seventh month – Ashwin, of Hindu lunisolar calendar. Ashwin month corresponds to the Gregorian calendar months of September-October.
The festival of Durga Puja entails nine days celebration with the festival of Dussehra falling on the tenth day.
Durga Puja – An Ancient Festival
No concrete evidence for the beginning of the Durga Puja festival is found in the historical records; however, there are records to suggest that wealthy families and also those belonging to the royal lineage were organizing Durga Puja in community. Manuscripts from the 14th-century support this claim.
The popularity of Durga Puja suddenly increased during the rule of British rule, sometime during the late 19th or early 20th centuries, mainly in the states of Odisha and West Bengal.
Proof of an ancient festival dedicated to Goddess is found in the ancient 11th-century Jain manuscript – ‘Yasastilaka’. However, this festival was only celebrated by kings and their armies.
References to a deity named Durga or Durgi appear in the Vedic text Rigveda and Atharvaveda. Another religious text which provides clear references to the worship of Goddess Durga is Devi Mahatmya. This 400 BC text also called ‘Durga Saptashati’ is a collection of 700 verses, revering the Goddess. Durga Saptasati is the most widely recited religious text during the Durga Puja.
Worshipping Nine Forms of Durga
The festival of Durga Puja entails the worship of nine forms of Goddess Durga. The names of these forms, the days on which they are worshipped along with a brief description of each of them is provided below-
Worshipped on the first day Shailputri is the daughter of the mountains. ‘Shail’ is a mountain in Sanskrit.
Depicted with a rudraksha mala in one hand and a kamandala in other, this form of Goddess is worshipped on the second day.
Ten armed goddess riding a tiger is depicted with a crescent moon on the forehead, thereby giving her the name Chandraghanta.
Revered on the fourth day, she is believed to be the creator of the universe. ‘Ku’ –little, Ushma –‘energy’ and Amnda – ‘egg’.
Four armed deity revered on the fifth day is also called Panchami. She is depicted carrying lotus and an infant Kartikeya.
Katyayani is the warrior Goddess revered on the sixth day. She is also the most violent form of the Goddess.
Four armed, dark-colored deity, who rides a donkey with a sword in one hand. She is admired on the seventh day.
Mahagauri, a four-armed deity riding bull or white elephant, is worshipped on the eighth day. She is depicted holding a trishul and a damru.
Revered on the ninth day, Siddhidatriis a four-armed goddess, depicted holding a lotus, mace, and a book.
Durga Puja is a major Hindu festival and reflects Hindu culture and mythology. It also signifies the status that the Hindu religion grants to a woman. Durga is the warrior goddess blessing her worshippers with strength and vitality. Whoever worshipped her is believed to be bestowed with strength, velour and a capacity to endure pain. Durga Puja is an integral celebration of Hindu religion and mythological belief.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. We celebrate Durga pooja because on this day Maa Durga got the victory over the demon Mahishasura.
Ans. The festival of Durga pooja is celebrated in the month of September or October every year.
Ans. Durga pooja is a ten days festival that starts from the first day of Navratri.
Ans. The first day of the Durga pooja festival is called Mahalaya.
Ans. The weapons of Maa Durga are Chakra, conch, bow, arrow, sword, trishul, javelin, shield, and noose.
Ans. Red Hibiscus is the favorite flower of Maa Durga.