Shubho Bijoya to all my readers,
The city is wrapped in misty gray clouds since morning and with a heavy heart I am writing this post on Dashami, that marks the end of Durga pujo , the five day long ceremonies amidst much fan fare, the sound of dhaks, trumpets, the sound of conch shells, chanting of mantras, shlokas and hymns, the heady scent of incense and perfumed dhoop, the scent of flowers, the exuberance, and when the air was heavily scented with pujo-pujo gondho every where, like everything that comes to its natural end, this five day long ceremony ends today.
Vijaydashami marks the celebration of victory of good over evil, but take a moment to pause from the humdrum of life and ponder deeply, is it just the symbolic victory or are we able to kill the demons in us?
If so, then pledge today that no Durga will ever get raped, no Saraswati will be stopped from going to school, no Lakshmi will be burned to death for dowry, no Parvati will be aborted and no Kali will face discrimination based on skin color. Let’s start a new beginning of life and makes this world a better place to live.
Dashami puja is brief and shital bhog (cooling food) is offered to Ma Durga that comprises mainly of panta bhaat (the leftover fermented rice), shutkto, shaag bhaja and chutney. The priest then performs the visarjan ritual in which goddess Durga is entreated to return to her celestial abode. However, Ma Durga resides in the hearts of us forever.
Devi Baran – before Ma Durga leaves for her celestial abode, women greet Ma Durga by first washing off her face with paan leaves, apply sindoor / vermillion on her forehead and then touched the sweet on her lips (mishtimukh).
The same sindoor they will then applied to each other which is popularly known as “Sindoor khela”. Traditionally this has been observed by only the married womens.
But in my opinion, as Ma Durga belongs to us all, we all irrespective of our culture, caste, social strata, and marital status and religion, are her children, we all should have equal rights to enjoy this festivity, then only the true meaning of festivals – that is to spread love and peace can be solemnized.
Visarjan – In the evening the Image of Durga along with Navapatrika is taken in procession to the river bank and immersed in the river. The water taken from the spot, known as Shanti Jal is sprinkled on the devotees who embrace one another as an expression of their solidarity.
With this note, I am concluding this series on Durga puja ritual and believes and I hope you all have loved it. Please feel free to share your feedbacks on the same.
Here is my sweet platter for MahaDashmi mishtimukh –