Joined: 29 December 2009
Joined: 11 December 2010
Joined: 11 December 2010
Joined: 20 August 2008
Joined: 11 December 2010
DURGA PUJA BY SHRI RAM
Part 1: Mahamaya gives shelter to Ravan, Shri Ram becomes worried
Being severely wounded in war with Shri Ram, Ravan felt very helpless & started to worship Goddess Durga, "O Mother! Save me, please save me in this danger! Lord Shankar has left me, He will never help me! So I am calling you, Maa, I have nobody except you today! You are the eternal power of this universe! Whoever takes shelter at your sacred feet is rescued from all danger at once! Be pleased with me, Mother, destroy all my worries!"
Goddess Durga became very affectionate with Ravan. Being moved with his distressed condition, Maa Durga rushed to the battle-field & sat on Ravan's chariot, affectionately taking Ravan on her lap as a little child! She told to Ravan, "Don't get afraid, my son! When I am with you then why do you fear? Even if my Lord Shankar comes here to fight with you, I am ready to oppose Him in order to save you, child!" Ravan wept, "O Mother! O ocean of mercy! Who can be so merciful to your child except you?"
Then Ravan went again to start war. Ram appeared in front of him, & found Devi Durga on his chariot! Ram left his weapons & offered pranaam to her. Then turned to Vibhishon, said, "Dear friend! Now it's impossible to achieve success! Who can slay Ravan? He is now well-protected by the consort of Shiv! See, Vibhishon! Devi Kalika has taken Ravan on her lap!"
Vibhishon became astonished, & worried too, "Now what to do, my Lord?"
Ram sat on ground, he looked gloomy. All of Ram's side became anxious.
If Goddess Tara (another form of Durga) herself create such a disturbance, then how can Shri Ram win against the evil? All the Gods worriedly were searching for a way to get rid of this problem. Indra asked Lord Bramha who advised to perform 'akal-bodhon' (worshipping at improper time) to please Devi Chandika!
Joined: 11 December 2010
Part 2: Advice of the Lord Bramha
Shri Ram worriedly murmured, "I fail to fulfill my duty of slaying Ravan. Janaki can't be rescued by me. All my efforts went in vain! The great vanar heroes have worked very hard for me, Lakshman had to tolerate shakti aghat for me, but finally I am defeated!"
Vibhishon could realize Ram's grief. He wept, "My Lord! I have no power to change this circumstance! I wish if I could do something, but I don't know what to do!"
Then Lord Bramha himself appeared, "Lord! There is only one way to please Devi Chandika! You have to perform her Puja now." Shri Ram replied, "How is it possible? Spring is the proper time of her worshipping, this is autumn now, tomorrow is the Shukla Shasthi (6th day of Shuklapaksha), now please tell me how I can arrange her Puja?" Bramha answered, "Perform her 'akal-bodhon' (worshipping at improper time) in this autumn. Complete her bodhon (coronation/welcome before worshipping) on Shukla Shasthi. Thus she will be pleased with you."
Bramha disappeared. Shri Ram started the arrangements of
Part 3: Rituals of Durga Puja performed by Shri Ram
Ram started the Puja with Chandi-path & did the bodhon at the evening of Shasthi. By performing this he welcomed Maa Durga with vilvapatra (leaves of Bel tree/Wood apple tree). Then he made Mata's idol with clay. All the things needed for this Puja was brought by Hanuman. Shri Ram made the 'naba-patrika' (nine plants bounded together) & performed Mata's aarati. On the next day (Saptami) Ram did all the Vedic rituals with Shuddha-Satwa bhaav & this is called 'Satwiki' type of Puja. Chandi-path was done on the end of Saptami Puja.
Then, on Ashtami, after the whole day's Puja, Ram did the Sandhi-Puja at night. On Navami, various flowers were arranged to offer to Goddess. According to the Vedic rules this Navami Puja was performed with Lotuses, Aparajitas (Butterfly pea), Shephali (Night-flowering Jasmine), Hibiscus & many of other flowers.
Sandhi Puja: 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".
Nabapatrika: The nine plants comprising Nabapatrika are:
Banana, Colacassia, Turmeric, Jayanti, Wood apple tree (Bel), Pomegranate, Arum, Rice & Ashoka. Nine plants represent nine forms of Goddess Durga.
These rituals are still followed in Bengal during Durga Puja]
Joined: 11 December 2010
Part 4: Story of 108 blue lotuses
Ram performed Durga Puja with full devotion. Devi accepted his Puja with great honor & admiration but did not give darshan to Shri Ram! The Navami Puja was going to end but she did not appear in front of Ram! Ram told Vibhishon, "Why is Mahamaya still displeased with me? Surely I committed any offence at her feet, she will not bless me! Then how will I achieve success, friend?" he started to weep, "Now what will happen to poor Sita?"
Vibhishon became moved with his Lord's tears, he replied, "Prabhu! You can do one thing as a last chance. Offer her 108 blue lotuses. This is very rare flower even for Gods, but surely Mother will be pleased to see them."
Shri Ram became more worried, "If this flower is rare for Gods, being a human how can I get them? My ill-fate will never end!"
Then Hanuman opened his mouth, "Your servant Hanuman is still here, Lord, don't worry! I will search for blue lotuses in these three worlds, & will bring them within a moment!" Vibhishon advised him to go to Devidaha (Lake of Goddess) where blue lotuses can be found only in this world. Devidaha was almost 10 year's journey from Lanka. Hanuman went to bring flowers in no time.
Shri Ram uttered stuti to Goddess Durga, "O Durga! You destroy all durgati (danger)! O Tara! You save all your devotees! O Shivani! O Mahishasurmardini! You are the abductor of all sorrow! O Mula Prakriti! O eternal power! O Shailsute! I am in great danger, please rescue me!"
Hearing this devotional stuti of Shri Vishnu, the daughter of Himalaya became very satisfied & happy. But she was waiting for the blue lotuses, so still did not appear!
Meanwhile, Hanuman returned with 108 blue lotuses. Ram happily started to offer them at Durga's feet one by one. Then Goddess Hara-manohara (memorizer of Shiva's heart) thought to play a trick with Shri Ram! She abducted one lotus from 108. When all the lotuses were offered successfully, Ram discovered that one lotus is missing! Being really astonished he asked Hanuman, "What is the matter, O son of Pavan? One of them is missing! Now how can I fulfill my sankalp (promise of offering something before worshipping/jagna)? Go immediately to bring one more."
Hanuman became more astonished, "My Lord! I have counted them several times! There were 108, I am completely sure. Besides, there is no more lotus in Devidaha. I guess Kalika herself has stolen one lotus to cheat you! Surely this is her trick!"
Ram became speechless! Devi herself created such a disturbance to him! He told Mahamaya in a melancholy voice, "See, Maa Parvati! This poor Ram is now in a great danger! You should not play this trick with me in this circumstance! O Abhayaa!(who ends all 'bhaya' or fear) Be sympathetic to me!"
"Look, Kalike! Look at my crisis! You have covered the whole universe with your maya, so you are called Mahamaya! You are the eternal power, each mortal creature lives within you. You have brought me in this earth with the help of your divine maya, now why are you making such difficulty with me? You can replace all evils with good in no time, but it seems that you have selected only my life for keeping all sorrow of universe! My happiness is very little compared to sorrow! You still want to put more pain in my heart, which is already too heavy to bear pain! Mother! If this heart breaks suddenly with this burden of agony, where will you find another place to keep them?"
"I am weary, Mother! I have no power to think what I should do! I have suffered pain & pain only in my life! Now I want to escape taking your shelter, but you disappointed me! Mother! Show me the hidden lotus immediately; otherwise my promise will be broken! If you still oppose me, then I will jump into ocean!" Raghunath wept continuously, no one could convince him.
Suddenly Ram found a way to escape! He told, "Listen everybody! All describe me as 'Neel-kamalaksha' (blue lotus-eyed)! People say that my eyes are as beautiful as blue lotuses! I will never allow my promise to be broken! I will offer my one eye in order to satisfy my sankalp as well as to please Devi!" He took his arrow, & was going to hurt his eye!
Then Goddess Katyayani appeared & prevented Ram from hurting his eye by holding his hands! She told, "What are you doing, Lord of universe? Your Puja is complete, & I have accepted all your offerings! You need not offer your eye instead of the hidden lotus!"
Shri Ram wept again, "You have hurt me much, Mother! You should not do this with your son! You are a Mother! Can any mother hurt her child? I am in crisis, will not you help me? If you don't give permission to slay Ravan. How can Janaki be escaped? O priya of Kaal (Shiv)! Now listen to me!"
Part 5: Goddess Durga's reply to Shri Ram
Listening to Ram's melancholy prayer, Katyayani said, "O kind Lord! You yourself are the fundamental power of universe! This three world lives within your body! You live within every atom of universe! You are the ultimate goal for your devotees! You have taken this human form only with the effect of maya! O four-armed Lord! You have appeared here in order to end the demons! Your Janaki is none but the Prakriti Parameshwari, which Ravan can abduct her? This is a mere trick of you to destroy evil! Just recall, Ravan was your gate-keeper at Vaikunth! He was cursed & got you as his enemy."
"You have worshipped me at this improper time. People will know this from you. I am honored to be worshipped by you, Narayan! I am leaving Ravan, go & destroy him now!"
Devi disappeared. Ram offered his pranaam to her. Navami was over.
On Dashami, Shri Ram immersed Maheshwari performing all rituals & went to fight with Ravan again!
Joined: 19 June 2009
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