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West Bengal Durga Puja begins

West Bengal Durga Puja begins

This year, the festival will span four days as Navami and Dashami fall on the same day, October 22. The idols are scheduled for immersion on October 23.

From introducing a mobile application to installing CCTV cameras at strategic locations, putting up check points and deploying sufficient number of male and female personnel, police have made elaborate security arrangements to ensure a peaceful Durga Puja.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished people on Shahsthi via a Facebook post.

Shashthi – the sixth day of the lunar calendar – also marked the beginning of the puja rituals.

Kalparamvo (the beginning of the Pujas), Bodhan (the consecration of Ma Durga’s idol), Amantran (inviting the Goddess) and Adhivas (sanctifying the stay of the Goddess in the exact spot where the puja is being held) – were performed in community puja marquees and households where the deity is being worshipped with all zeal.

According to Ramayana, before attacking Lanka in search of his wife Sita, Lord Rama had performed Durga Puja in autumn – a time when the gods sleep, according to the Hindu religious texts.

So Lord Rama had to first wake up the goddess prematurely, and as such, the awakening in the autumnal festival is called “Akal (untimely) Bodhan” of the goddess.

However, mythology also states that the puja celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga, the slayer of the demon Mahishashur, accompanied by her four children – Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati – on the Earth to visit her parents.

The goddess, astride a lion and wielding an array of weapons in her ten hands, stays for four days to eradicate all evil from the Earth before returning to her husband Lord Shiva at Kailash on Dashami.

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