The inner thoughts of Durga Puja Rituals :
To refine our spirit we eventually perform various religious festival which have become integral part of our life style. Hinduism is illustrated with Gods and Goddess and their existence have cast a spell in our hazardous lifestyle from ages. Now I am not here to justify the existence of God or not. Lets see how Hindu Mythology have given an impact of the various rituals we perform during the puja or worship and why. Taking in consideration that Durga Puja is the largest festival of India, we have all unknown facts of existence of Devi Durga in Various Hindu mythology.
The puja rituals are classified in two types Internal forms and External forms. Internal rituals if the form where the worshiper performs the worship by self-realization of his soul where he dedicates his spirit in the puja. The soul must be refined anyways to perform the worship. The worshiper does this by uttering Sanskrit mantras which has various meaning and thoughts that resembles the form of the goddess and his/her tales of greatness and how he/she can save us from our problems of life. The mystery of Life and Death is a complex process and still to some extent unknown…scientist have been exploring this fact from ages. The worship or to perform puja is thus to purification of our soul from various evil power that surrounds us daily and thus makes our mind diverted to the evil power.
Durga Puja rituals :
Bodhan : In the month of Ashwin according to the Bengali Calender and in Shukla Shasti the Bodhan of Devi durga occurs. The Bodhan means Awakening. According to Puran Sri Ramchandra performed this puja to defeat Ravana. This untimely awakening and puja of Devi is known as Sharadiya and the event is Akalbodhan. But the existence of God in this world makes us belief that super powers cannot sleep as She is the creator and saviour of the world. Our prayers tells to arise awake and save us from the evil power.
Ghatsthapan : To idolize the form this is important part of worship. A vessel made of Copper, Brass or ever earth is taken filled with water, and it is established in front of the Idol of Devi Durga or an earthen base. Mango leaves with 5,7 or 9 leaver, new clothes and coconut is placed over the vessel.
Pranprathista : The Idol is made of clay, wood and other materials that has no life so to establish life in the formation of the Idol the worshipper utters slokas and mantra so create life in the idol. Its all belief among us that makes our soul aware.
Navapatrika : It’s a ritual performed on the Saptami morning. 9 leaves from various trees are taken. The NaboPatrika symbolizes these nine forms of Devi Durga and worshipped along with, from MahaSaptami. Colloquially, the NaboPatrika is termed as KalaBou. It is composed of nine different saplings and bound with the creeper of Shet Aparajita, red string and Alta (a red colored liquid used to decorate feet). Finally, it is covered with a red bordered white saree and placed on the same platform where the idol of Devi Durga is worshipped. Each of the nine saplings symbolizes one form of Devi Durga :
1). Ramva symbolizes Devi Bromhanee.
2). Kalo Kochu is for the form of Devi Kalika.
3). Haridra represents Devi Durga.
4). Jayanti symbolizes Devi Kartikee according to Kalika Puran and Brihonnondikeshwar Puran. As per Devi Puran, it is the form of Devi Koumaree.
5). Billo represents Devi Shiva.
6). Darrim is for the form of Devi Raktodontika.
7). Ashok represents Devi Shokrohita.
8). Maan Kochu is for Devi Chaamunda.
9). Dhanno symbolizes Devi Laxmi.
Sandhi Puja : The last 24 mins of Ashtami and first 24 minutes of Navami is the time where Sandhi Puja occurs. Devi is worshipped in the form of Devi Chamunda, it is believed it is the highest from of worship of the Durga Puja rituals performed. 108 earthern lamps are lit to dedicate along with 108 lotus is dedicated to Devi Durga.
Sacrifice : It’s a old practice to sacrifice animals during the puja….but now a days animal sacrifice is almost not done. In that case vegetables are sacrificed during the Navami puja. According to Tantric puja sacrifice is mandatory in devi puja.
Yagna : This is an integral part of the puja. The worshiper has extreme devotion and ultimate prayers of how we can offer our dedication. It’s a long process of how to prepare a yagna or Hom as its called in Bengali. As mythology states Fire is believed as God in Puran and so dedicated with hymms and mantras is a major part of Yagna for puja rituals. Dedication fruits and other things in fire is dedicating our soul to purity is the main purpose. It is believed Yagna makes our soul pure and the dedication is received through purity.