वन्दे वांछितलाभाय चंद्रार्धक्रतशेखराम !
वृषारूढां शूलधरां शैलपुत्री यशस्विनीम !!
After waiting for a year, here begins the grand festival of Durga Puja. Sculptors are busy in giving the final touch to the idols of Devi Durga. Everyone is waiting for holidays to start and engulf themselves in the worship of Goddess Durga.
The first day starts with the worship of Devi Shailputri. Shailputri, as the name suggests means the “daughter of mountains”. She is believed to be born in the house of “The Parvatraja Himalaya” and so is her name, *Shailputri*. Devi Shailputri is depicted holding a trident in one hand and lotus in the other, she is riding a bull and with a half moon (Ardhachandra) on her crown.
She fulfills every wish of someone, who worships her whole-heartedly. No one returns empty-handed from her door-the door which is always kept open for her children, even after her children commit a lot of mistakes.
The first day of Navratri begins with the Kalash Sthapana and sprinkling ‘Jayanti‘ over the sand/mud so that it would grow and be used in Jayanti pooja.
जयन्ती मङ्गला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी।
दुर्गा शिवा क्षमा धात्री स्वाहा स्वधा नमोऽस्तु ते॥
According to Hindu mythology, Devi Durga is a roop of Devi Parvati, who is a reincarnation of Devi Sati, who was the wife of Lord Shiva. Devi Sati’s father was not happy with her, marrying Lord Shiva. He once called all his daughters, except Sati, for a ‘Yagya’ to be performed. On knowing about this, Sati wanted to go home, She anyhow managed to go to Her home, with Her husband’s permission. On reaching, She finds out that Her father intentionally did not invite Her. She was upset because Her father was insulting Her husband, Shiva. She jumped into the holy fire. When Lord Shiva came to know about this, he became very angry and destroyed the kingdom of Prajapati Daksha. Years later, Devi Parvati, “Adishakti” (reincarnation of Sati) lured Lord Shiva into marrying Her, by meditating, for years. She eventually married Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva made her realize about her superpowers and her incarnations/avatars. The ten days of Navratri and the day of Vijayadashmi, teaches us, to destroy the evil within us, which are kaam, krodha, lobh, moh, ahankar, darr, eershya, nafrat, jadta, and paschataap. With each day of worship of Devi Durga, we should promise ourselves to curb all these evils within us. Celebrating Durga puja is not only about eating sweets, visiting pandals and observe fasts. The purpose of celebrating Durga Puja is incomplete until we try to keep negativity away from us.
Here in Ranchi, all the pandals are ready and the sculptures are taking its shapes. Everyone is getting prepared for Durga Puja. Ranchi Police, Municipal corporation and higher authorities are planning many ways to celebrate this Durga Puja safely with great joy and enthusiasm.