Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening my friends, wherever you are! This is 1:30 pm., 15th October, Monday here in India and I am ready to blog for you today. I know, some of you were thinking that why I can’t write Yesterday, the Sunday! I intentionally bunk the blog yesterday; because I wanted to be with you today. This is the day, from when Durga Puja almost starts. Today is Mahalaya! I want to share with you some story about Mahalaya. Here is that.
Pitru Paksha or Pitri Paksha, (literally "fortnight of the ancestors") or Mahalaya Paksha is a 16–lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitrs), especially through food offerings. Pitru Paksha is considered by Hindus to be inauspicious, given the death rite performed during the ceremony, known as Shraddha or tarpan. In southern and western India, it falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September–October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh festival and ending with the new moon day known as Sarvapitri amavasya, Mahalaya amavasya or simply Mahalaya. In North India and Nepal, this period corresponds to the dark fortnight of the month Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapada.
According to Hindu mythology, the souls of three preceding generations of one's ancestor reside in Pitru–loka, a realm between heaven and earth. This realm is governed by Yama, the god of death, who takes the soul of a dying man from earth to Pitru–loka. When a person of the next generation dies, the first generation shifts to heaven and unites with God, so Shraddha offerings are not given. Thus, only the three generations in Pitru–loka are given Shraddha rites, in which Yama plays a significant role. Hindus are expected to propitiate the ancestors in the first half, during the dark fortnight.
|Tarpan on the banks of river|
Besides that, Mahalaya marks the formal beginning of the Durga Puja festival. Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and 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 - "Jago Tumi Jago". This is done through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs.
The story element is captivating. It speaks of the increasing cruelty of the demon king Mahisasura against the gods. Unable to tolerate his tyranny the gods plead with Vishnu to annihilate the demon. The Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara (Shiva) come together to create a powerful female form with ten arms - Goddess Durga or 'Mahamaya', the Mother of the Universe who embodies the primeval source of all power. The gods then bestow upon this Supreme creation their individual blessings and weapons. Armed like a warrior, the goddess rides a lion to battle with the Mahisasura. After a fierce combat the 'Durgatinashini' is able to slay the 'Asura' king with her trident. Heaven and earth rejoice at her victory. Finally, the mantra narration ends with the refrain of mankind's supplication before this Supreme Power:
|Making of the 'Murty' or statue of Ma(mother) Durga|
"Ya devi sarbabhuteshshu, sakti rupena sanksthita Namasteshwai Namasteshwai Namasteshwai namo namaha."
Well, that's all about Mahalaya what I know. Hope you are enjoying the story. Have a good day/afternoon/evening. Namaskar.