Durga Puja : The Vest Bengalee Festival

Dr. Sushil Rudra

” Devi propannarte devi prosida “

Durgapuja The Grand Festival/image:www.kalpatarurudra.org/jpg
Durgapuja The Grand Festival/ image:www.kalpatarurudra.org/jpg
Durgapuja The Grand Festival/image:www. kalpatarurudra.org/jpg


Durgapuja the grand festival/ image: www.kalpatarurudra.org/jpg

Durga Puja: the grand festival of Bengal is now a global ceremony. But not only do Bengalees enjoy it but most of the Indians come together to celebrate this grand festival. Somewhere some Indians observe Navratri just before Durgapuja.

I spent two years in Rajasthan,Kota. There Bengalees took initiative for celebrating the Durga Puja. We participated there along with my family in the cultural programs. Puja committee arranges Lunch and dinner. In the Evening, after Aarati, starts cultural programs.

In Bengal,this festival is super duper. From rich to poor all are busy to enjoy the fest. Devi Paksha starts from Mahalaya.


Before Mahalaya, cleaning every room is a must. Home is our Temple, so it’s just to be cleaned every corner of the house. Purchasing new dresses in the market is one of the attractive and compulsive matters to the household.

One of my Quora friends asked me why atheists of Bengal don’t allowGoddess Durga as the Puja of Bengal and Bengalees.Here’s indetails :

¶ In fact, it’s very difficult to answer when and from where this festival first started. From the pre-historical period to modern times, we get a history of the evolution of Goddess Durga.

At present, we celebrate Mother Durga along with her family members in the Puja Mandap and some individual houses. But I doubt that it was not erstwhile as today celebrated. People with his imagination made this form of the idol of the goddess in course of time.


In addition, imagination and love both are active to form such deities. According to our imagination, we portrait the form of God and goddesses. So the more active and robust your imagination, the more various form of Goddess Durga.

When this Puja was Started! After a rigorous study, I am sure that this puja culture was started intheancient Vedic era, and after many many evolutions, is today’s modern gorgeous forms.

First, our ancient society introduced nature worship. As a deity, Varun came first, then Mitra and finally Mother Earth. In Veda, Pritthidevi is called by the name ” Aditi”. During the Mahenjadaro civilization, people celebrated goddess of Earth.

Professor Hopkins ( E. W. Hopkins) identified Aditi as Durga. Aditi or Earth again is in Veda as the mother of Surya.

Durga and Shiva both are Vedic deities according to Scholar Weber and Muir, but Max Mueller didn’t agree with them.

He told them non – Vedic deities. Both were non – Aryan deities according to Max Mueller.

Kirat, Shabar, Pulind –all these people generally worshipped them. Max Mueller told thattheDurga deity was considered as a Vedic aristocratic deity like Rattri, Kali, Rodoshi, Niriti inBrahmana Samhita.

But Indian and some other Westernscholars didn’t agree with this opinion. So, we can consider the two most important deities as Vedic deities.

Rudra or Shivathrough Vedic, but Vishnu was a major deity. His influence was much to Vedic society. ( Hopkins).

Sir George Grierson wisely remarks that these Shudras are the branches of the Aryans. Hence, both the deities are of Vedic order.

These people lived in various places in Aaryavarta. But socially sometimes these people were abandoned, but ultimately, in course of time, they have got the same status.

Shiva and Durga are the deities of Aryans. Though Shiva was regarded as inferior. As an instance, Shiva was not invited during the holyYongya ritualby Dukkha.

Prajapati Dokkha arranged the Ashwamedh Yoggya ritual on the bank of river Ganga. This gratis still existed in Hardwar.

Being not invited by his father–in–law Shiva angrily disrupted the ritual by creating Vairav Virvhadra and Parbati Mahakali. This tale, I think, all of us came to know from childhood. Almost all Hindus know this myth.

Mahakali or Vadrakali is none other than the goddess Durga.

We pronounce during sacrifice anyNaibeddya ( the fruits and sweets)before deities Durga – ”Om Dakkhayoggya Binashinoi Mahaghoraoi *** Bhaddrakalloi Om Hrim Durgaoi Namah.

¶¶ Both the deities are Vedic in Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas. In Ramayana Shiva is called Shankara. And He is Rudra in Vedic literature.

In Taitoriyo Aarannyok we see Durga, Mahadev, Kartick, Ganesha and Nandi.

It’s distinctly pronounced in Taitario Aarannoyk (10/1/7):KattyaonoiVidmahe Konnya Kumaring Dhimohi. Tanno During Prochodayat. It’s a Gayatri mantra.

We In Upanishad, the name of Durga is to be found. In Rik Veda, Goddess Durga was considered as the flame–form goddess.

In his book ” Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, Mr Dawson referred to some names of Durga et alUma, Gauri, Parvati, Chandi, Chamunda, Kali, Kapalini, Bhavani, Vijaya.

Hopkins also wrote some other names likeShailosuta, Parvati, Ruddrani, Girija, Shailyarajputtri, Girirajputtri, Girisha and so on.

¶¶ However,Uma and Aamma are the same in Indian society. Amma is Ma in Bengali. People of almost all provinces of India call Amma. Ma Durga is a universal mother. She is our worshiper.

As described by Thomas Inman:Ammah or Ummah, ‘Mother’is the same. All those forms ofUma ( Amm, the great mother – goddess) go back to the primitive and universal cult of the mother goddessin popular mythology appears asKalama and Ilamma, which is as descriptive or as kin.

¶¶ Durga is familiar with various names and relationships. InAarannoyk her name is ‘Vairachani’ who was the daughter of Surya or Agni ( 10/1/7). KattyaniandKanyakumari are also her names.


Professor Jecbiwrote:

Rudra’s sister is Ambika in theVajasaneya, but inTaittiyiya Aranyakashe is the spouse of Rudra, just as in the latter time. …. We find an invocation of Durga Devi, who is there Vairochini, daughter of the Sun or Fire.

In x.1.7 among verses addressed to Agni, we meet with two more names of Durga ( here called Durgi )vizKatyayani,Kanyakumari. ( Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. v, page – 212 )


¶¶ Some scholars said that Debi Durga’s other name is Gauri. She is the wife of Varun in some Puran. Her other name is Ambika. Hopkins identified these Mother as Bhadrakali, Mahakali, Maheswari and Sree Durga.

Shiva is familiar with Gaur, as he used to play with Parvati and Bhutas. Durga was the wife ofGaur, so her name is Gauri. Several scholars are in the same opinion.

¶¶StenKonow, anIndologist distinctly said :

We can, in Kali and Kali’s worship, find some traces which point to the existence of an old, not only Aryan but Indo – European goddess, whose worship is continued in an unbroken line in the Durgapuja of the present day .”

Some scholars remarked that Ashwamedh Yoggya turns into today’s Durgapuja. Some foreign scholars also noticed the similarity between Durga and Greek goddess Demeter Chloe. He wrote :

The Saradiya – Puja or the autumnal worship of Durga is analogous to the service of the Greek goddess of Demeter Chloe that took place on the sixth of Thargelian.

Swami Sankarananda remarked that Ashwamedh Yogya is today’s Durgapuja or Basanti Durgothsab. Rama Chandra started InAutumnthis Durgapuja. And still, it’s continuing with its latest version.

Change is the another name of time.King Surath worshipped Durga in the spring many years before Ramachandra .

The autumnal Durgapuja hadstartedafter a long period, may it be thousand of thousands of years after the Basanti Durgothsab.

That time Agrahayan was the first month of the year. This time in Chitra Nakskhtra the Sun exists in between Kannya and Tula Rashi. But at the time of Ramachandra Surya exists in Rebati Nakkhattra.

Therefore, Basanti Durgothsab started many many years ago as Autumnal Durgapuja. But it’s now the most major puja of Hindus.

Basanti Durgothsab took place in some places or homes in Bengal, but the Autumnal Durgapuja festival or Sharadia Durgothsab is the grand festival of the Hindus throughout the world.

Why puja commenced in Autumn?

Vidyabhusan Amulyacharan discussed the time of worshipping Durga Puja. – why it commences in the Autumn? he scholarly said that Durgapuja is the holy Sharodotsab. From the Vedic periods, people celebrated it consistently in various forms.

In the Vedic era ” Esh ” means Ashwin ( a Bengali month ) and ” Uj” means Kartick ( After Ashwin comes Kartik).

According to Vedic sage, Ashwin and Kartick both the months are Sharat season. This season is the ideal time for worshipping. Ambika is another name of the goddess Durga. Ambika means Ashwin.

The worship of the Autumn season is ultimately the worshipping of Devi Durgapuja, the grand festival of Bengal. So this season is the best time for the worshipping of Durgapuja.

So we can conclude that worshipping Surya puja gradually turns into Durgapuja in course of huge time. Even it has changed its Rupa(Forms) and Rasa ( innate significance) and took a modern gorgeous silhouette – it’s true.

Read more: Durga Stotram

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Durga puja the grand festival

Durga puja the grand festival
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Durgapuja Is the best Bengalee festival not only in Bengal but throughout India also. There are so many names of Durga. It is celebrated in Autumn,.
Durgapuja Is the best Bengalee festival not only in Bengal but throughout India also. There are so many names of Durga. It is celebrated in Autumn,.

By kalpataru

I'm Dr. Sushil Rudra, residing in Durgapur City West Bengal, India . Studied in The University of Calcutta and did M.A , Ph.D . Also another M.A from Sridhar University. Taught in College and University ( RTU) . Love to write, traveling, singing Rabindrasangeet and social work. Have some books authored by me. Vivekananda and Rabibdranath both are my favourite subject. I have written more than 150 articles in my wordpress.com blog( kalpataru.home.blog and now I'm writing in my new " http://www.kalpatarurudra.org blog.

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