|Mahishasur Mardini - Somnath|
Indians are in festive mood as they are celebrating the Festivals - Durga Puja (also known as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav) and Navratri across the Globe. Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival can be said as the victory of Good over Evil.
The actual worship of the Goddess Durga as per the Hindu scriptures falls in the month of Chaitra, which roughly overlaps with March or April and is called Basanti Durga Puja. This ceremony is also observed by many and is greatly celebrated in the state of West Bengal. However, the Durga Puja that is presently being observed by Indians in India and abroad is the more popular form, which is also known as Sharadiya (Autumnal) Durga Puja.
There is a mythological belief that Lord Ram worshiped Goddess Durga before going for a war with Ravana. Rama had performed "Chandi Homa" and invoked the blessings of Durga, who blessed Rama with secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. Since the Goddess is invoked at the wrong time, it is called "Akaal Bodhon" in Bengali and from that time onwards we Indians are celebrating Durga Puja at this time according to the Hindu Bengali Calendar. Also, on the day of Ashvin Shukla Dashami, Rama's party found mother Sita and defeated Ravana. This day is thus also celebrated as Dussehra.
To be continued...