Durga Puja is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in the Indian sub-continent. It is celebrated with reverence to Goddess Durga, one of the most revered Hindu Deities. Hindus worship Durga as the Goddess of power and a slayer of evil forces. The festival is observed in the Gregorian calendar months of September or October. The festival lasts for nine days with each day signifying a particular incarnation of the Goddess. People visit these pandals during the day and night to get blessings from the Goddess. Durga puja concludes with the celebration of Dussehra festival.
Long and Short Essay on Durga Puja
Essay 1 (250 words)
Durga puja is one of the main Hindu festivals. It is celebrated every year with lots of preparations to honor of goddess Durga. She is the daughter of Himalaya and Menaka and a transition of sati who later got married to Lord Shiva. It is considered that this puja was started the first time when Lord Rama worshipped the Goddess Durga to get power to kill Ravana.
Why Goddess Durga is Worshipped
Goddess Durga is worshipped in Navaratri because it is considered that she killed a demon Mahishasura after 10 days and nights of battle. She has ten hands with a different weapon in each. People got relief from that asura because of the goddess Durga that’s why they worship Her with full devotion.
Goddess Durga is worshipped all nine days of the festival. However, days of worship varies according to the place. Devotees of Mata Durga keep fast for all nine days or only the first and last days. They decorate and worship the statue of goddess by offering Prasad, Jal, kumkum, nariyal, sindoor, etc according to the capacity with great devotion. Everywhere looks very beautiful and the environment becomes clean and pure. It seems that really goddess Durga makes around to everyone home and blesses Her devotees.
It is believed that worshipping Mata provides delight, prosperity, removes darkness and evil power. Generally, people perform puja for three days (called Saptami, Ashtami, and Navami) after keeping fast for long 6, 7, and 8 days. They offer food, fruit, and Dakshina to the seven or nine unmarried girls in the morning in a clean manner in order to make the goddess Durga happy.
Immersion of Statue
After the puja, people perform the immersion ceremony of the statue in the holy water. Devotees return to their homes with sad faces and pray to Mata to come next year again with lots of blessings.
Essay 2 (300 words)
Durga Puja is one of the main festivals of the Hindus religion. It is also known as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav of which six days are observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami, and Vijayadashami. Goddess Durga is worshipped all through the days of this festival. It generally falls in the Hindi month of Aswin. Goddess Durga has 10 hands with different weapons in each. People worship goddess Durga to be safe from the evil power.
About Durga Pooja
Durga Puja is celebrated from sixth to the ninth day of bright lunar fortnight (Shukla paksha) in Ashvin. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami as at this day goddess Durga got victory over a demon. This festival marks the victory of goodness over evil power, a buffalo demon Mahishasura. People in Bengal worship Durga as Durgotinashini means a destroyer of evil as well as a protector of devotees.
It is widely celebrated at many places in India such as Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Mithila, Jharkhand, Odisha, Manipur, West Bengal, etc. In some places, it becomes a five-day annual holiday. It is a religious and socio-cultural event being celebrated for years with complete devotion by the devotees. A huge Durga puja fair also held in the Ramlila ground which attracts a big crowd of people.
Environmental Impact of Durga Puja
Due to the people’s negligence, it impacts the environment to a huge level. The materials used in making and coloring (such as cement, plaster of Paris, plastic, toxic paints, etc) the sculptures of Mata Durga causes pollution to the local water resources. The immersion of the statues directly pollutes the river water at the end of the festival. In order to reduce the environmental impacts of this festival, there should be efforts from everyone’s end that the use of eco-friendly materials by the artisans in making statues, devotees should not immerse the statues directly in Ganga water and search out some safe ways to perform the rituals of this festival. Commercialization of the Hindu festivals in the 20th century has created major environmental issues.
Essay 3 (400 words)
Durga Puja is a religious festival during which a ceremonial worship of goddess Durga is performed. It is an important festival of India. It is a traditional occasion that reunites people into one Indian culture and customs. Varieties of rituals are performed all through the ten days of the festival such as fast, feast and worship. People perform statue immersion and Kanya puja in the last four days which car called Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami. People worship a ten-armed goddess riding the lion with great enthusiasm, passion, and devotion.
Story and Legends of Durga Puja
There are various stories and legends of Durga puja which are mentioned below:
- It is considered as, once there was a demon king, Mahishasura, who was ready to attack Gods of heaven. He was too powerful to defeat God. Then an eternal power was created by the Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh which was named Durga (a magnificent woman having ten hands with special weapons in each). She was given eternal power to destroy demon Mahishasura. Finally, She killed that demon on the tenth day called Dussehra or Vijayadashami.
- Another legend behind Durga puja is Lord Rama. According to the Ramayana, Ram had performed a Chandi-puja in order to get blessings of Mata Durga to kill Ravana. Rama had killed Ravana on the tenth day of Durga puja called Dussehra or Vijayadashami. So, Durga puja is the symbol of victory of goodness over evil power forever.
- Once Kautsa (son of Devdatt) has decided to offer guru Dakshina to his guru named Varatantu after completing his education however he was asked to pay 14 crore gold coins (one for every 14 sciences he studied there). In order to get the same he went to king Raghuraj (ancestor of Rama) however he was unable because of the Vishvajit sacrifice. So, Kautsa went to Lord Indra and he again summoned Kuber (God of wealth) to rain the required gold coins over “shanu” and “apati” trees in Ayodhya. In this way, Kautsa got gold coins to offer to his guru. That event is still remembered through a custom of looting leaves of the “apati” trees. On this day, people gift these leaves to each other as a gold coin.
Significance of Durga Puja
The festival of Navaratri or Durga puja has various significances. The meaning of Navaratri is nine nights. The tenth day is known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra. It is the day when goddess Durga got victory over a demon after nine days and nine nights long battle. Goddess Durga is worshipped by the people to get strength and blessings. Worshipping Goddess Durga helps devotees to remove negative energy and negative thoughts as well as get a peaceful life. It is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over evil Ravana. People celebrate this festival by burning the big statue of Ravana and fireworks at night of Dussehra.