26
Sep
09

Maha Ashtami Durga Puja


It’s the most important day of the 5 day festivity…when every Bengali would be involved in the affair! It starts with the Pushpanjali where people offer flowers and pray to goddess Durga for strength and power.

As this website elaborates, an integral and important part of Durga Puja, Sandhi Puja is performed at the juncture of the 8th and 9th lunar day. Sandhi puja lasts from the last 24 minutes of Ashtami till the first 24 minutes of Nabami. During this juncture  (the “Sandhikhan”), Durga is worshipped in her Chamunda form. Devi Durga killed, Chando and Mundo, the two asuras at “Sandhikhan” and thus acquired the name of “Chamunda”.

Long back devotees in order  to perform the Sandhi Puja at the exact juncture used a number of methods. With the last 24 mins. of the Ashtami puja still left, a bronze bowl with a tiny hole was placed in a bucket full of water. The bowl  with the tiny hole was made in such a way that it took exactly 24 minutes for the bowl to submerge in the water. The moment the bowl submerged in the water cannon balls were fired announcing this moment of Sandhi Puja. This yardstick for measuring the “Sandhikhan” was very popular ages ago in many “Rajbaris”. Many “Rajbaris”, including, the zamindar of Sutanuti of Sobhabajar Rajbari  fired cannon balls to announce the “Sandhikhan”. (Read more)

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