Mahalaya – Beginning of female power

 

Durga Puja
Durga Puja

Whenever there is a rise of negative energy, the positive forces rise to restore faith and prosperity. Rise of a power with the capacity to define wrong or right and reset the cycle of construction not only needs amalgamation of various prospects but also pure unbiased outlook. Devi Durga is adorned with powers from numerous Gods and Goddesses and possess the third eye to help in foreseeing results of choices.

Mahalaya mythologicaly marks the end of pitru paksh and beginning of matri paksh. It is a special day dedicated to making an offering to express our gratitude to all the previous generations of people who have contributed to our lives. For 20 million years, the human race has given us something or the other. The truth of our existence today is because of the journey someone else started many years ago is itself a tying knots for human evolution.

Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion as it heralds the advent of Durga, the Goddess of supreme power. It’s a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother Goddess to descend on earth by singing midnight chants of various hymns. At this tithe, idol of the Goddess is donned with the eyes. Artistically, it signifies personification of the great power. At the beginning of matri paksha which is a fourteen day period when Devi Durga comes to earth to flow happiness, prosperity and unite the family, Mahalaya marks beginning of Durga Puja. This festive also brings the age old belief of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam  which establishes whole world as a family and only by living for each other and with each other one can establish happiness. The greatest outdoor festival on earth proves the importance of everyone being better off as the only way to make the world a better place.

durga puja

Devi Durga is also worshiped as “durgati nashini”, meaning the one who removes your sufferings. The beliefs and hopes that rise by believing in a supreme power is probably the best way to focus positive energy. The festival marks a huge importance in life of locals in Bengal not only emotionally but also socially and economically.

In the early 18th century or even before that when the whole country was under the umbrella of caste securities, Bengal had major two divisions of social class Mahajans and Dalits. Mahajans were the raja and dalits were the labour class. Dalits were not even allowed to stand on the same platform as Mahajans. But during Durga Puja, they worshiped the same idol, they restored their faith in the same super power together. It is fascinating how the social classes were untied by something which is far beyond the materialistic world but disagreed to acknowledge same rights in mundane world.

Durga puja is a large scale festival in which big pandals usually under influence of artistic theme are decorated throughout West Bengal. This not only engages the local artisans, but circulates money in the economy which any of the government policies introduced to uplift cottage industry has failed to achieve.

The artisans are descendants of wealth of art and take huge pride in mastering it. During Durga Puja, not only they earn monetarily but the sheer happiness one gets by completing a work they love to do is least comparable. If in this age of rat race, a festival can offer happiness to human soul, the objectivity of festival is complete.

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