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Shakti the devine power..
Satarupa Das

"the Navapatrika or Kolabou is a form of Durga, which symbolizes all the aspects of nature in a complex vegetative state. Autumn or Sarad-writu was also the season for crops and the peasants worshiped the Navapatrika for a rich and bountiful harvest."

Durga Puja is ten-day event, of which the last five days mark the popular practices. The festival begins with mahalaya, a day where Hindus remember loved ones who have died, as well the advent of Durga. The next most significant day of Durga Puja celebration is the sixth day, called Sashthi where the local community welcome (Bodhon) the goddess and festive celebrations are inaugurated. Bodhon refers to the ritual to awaken and welcome the goddess as a guest. In Treta Yug, before beginning of his onslaught on Lanka, Rama performed Durga Puja in autumn. This is the time of Dakshinayana, according to the Puranas. God sleeps during this time. So Rama has to first wake up the Goddess Durga before rescuing his wife Sita from Ravana. So on this day he began his premature awaking or Akal Bodhon of maa Durga.

Maha Sashthi (bilva sasthi)
Sashthi is the sixth day of Devi Pakshya and marked the formal beginning of Durga Puja. In West Bengal and other Eastern part of India four significant rituals- Sashthi kalparambha(the beginning of the puja), Bodhan (the consecration of ma Durga’s idol), Amantrana(inviting the Goddess) and Adhivasa (sanctifying the stay of the Goddess in the puja area) are performed on Sashthi. The Bodhon rituals involve the unveiling of the face of the idol.

Bengalis belief that on the day of Sashthi Uma, or Goddess Durga, who is identified with Parvati the divine consort of Siva comes to home of her father from her husband’s home with her four children- Ganesha, Kartika, Laxmi and Sarswati. This is why all ladies participate in the setting up of the Durga Ghot (pot) before the idol on Sashthi. They are formally welcoming Uma as a daughter upon her arrival, after the three day trip to her father’s house.

Sashthi Puja starts at evening of the sixth day. This puja is performed under the wood-apple (bael) tree; it is believed that on that day ma Durga arrives on earth and sits under this tree with her children. With nine vestiges – Kodoli (banana), darima (pomegranate),dhanyo (rice paddy), hardrika (turmeric), mankochu (arum plant), pankochu (colacassia plant), bilyo shakaha (bay of bael tree), bay of ashika (ashok tree), bay of jayanti, the puja occurs on that evening. With wood apple (bael) leaves, various flowers and naividya , a pot or ghot installed in front of the Devi. This pot is called Ghotoshapana. Each of the above also stands for different forms of the Goddess. For example the banana tree represents Goddess Brahmani, the turmeric tree represents Durga, the wood apple tree represents Lord Shiva himself, the pomegranate tree represents Raktabija, the Arum plant for Chamunda, the rice plant for Goddess Lakshmi, Ashok tree for Sokrahita , the colacassia for Goddess Kalika and the Jayanti for Kartiki. All the goddesses are different forms of the Goddess Durga. Needless to mention; each plant or tree has its significance in the day to day life of common man, either as part of the staple diet, as a spice or as a medicinal plant. Generally the Sashthi puja ends here but the Prachin community also observes Navadurga puja.

"Sashthi is the sixth day of Devi Pakshya and marked the formal beginning of Durga Puja. In West Bengal and other Eastern part of India four significant rituals- Sashthi kalparambha(the beginning of the puja), Bodhan (the consecration of Ma Durga’s idol), Amantrana(inviting the Goddess) and Adhivasa (sanctifying the stay of the Goddess in the puja area) are performed on Sashthi. The Bodhon rituals involve the unveiling of the face of the idol."

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