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Friday, July 29, 2011

Mahalaya - the start of "devipaksha"


The conventional 6-day countdown of Mahasaptami begins with Mahalaya. Goddess Durga trips the earth for 4 days only although seven days earlier than the Pujas, begins the Mahalaya. From this day begins 'Devipaksha' which ends 'Pitri-paksha'.  

It’s a day when a lot of throng to banks of Ganga, dressed in dhotis to present prayers to their departed forefathers and relatives. People during the pre-dawn hours urge for their departed relatives and make holy dips in river Ganges. This custom is famous as 'Torpon'. This day has enormous importance for the Bengalis. According to myths, Sree Rama quickly made Durga Puja prior to attacking Lanka to release Sita from Ravana. 

According to Puranas, King Suratha accustomed worshipping goddess Durga during spring. Therefore Durga Puja was identified as Basanti Puja also. Although Rama proponed Puja and adored Durga in autumn so it’s recognized as 'Akal Bodhon' (Untimely worship). It was measured early because according to myths the puja was executed when the Goddesses and Gods were wide awake for instance  "Uttarayan" wasn’t held while the Goddesses and Gods relaxed ie."Dakshinayan"

On the Mahalaya day, the start of "devipaksha", the Goddesses and Gods woke up for preparing themselves for the Durga Puja. During the year of 1930, Mahalaya was broadcasted for the first time on the radio on Akashvani. The program was arranged by Birendra Krishna Bhadra, Premankur Aatorthi, Raichand Boral and Nripendra Krishna Mukhopadhya. It was showed live after that. Later on it was recorded as well as played. Mostly, it was Birendra Kishna Bhadra who enthralled the listeners with his golden voice in the hours during Mahalaya. Bani Kumar wrote the script, music was given by Pankaj Mallik whilst Manobendra Mukhopadhya, Dijen Mukhopadhya, Utpala Sen, Sandhya Mukhopadhya, Supriti Ghosh, Arati Mukhopadhya and Shyamal Mitra sang it in their melodic voices. 

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