Guwahati: As per the Hindu Calendar, Mahalaya is celebrated by the devotees of Maa Durga a week before Durga Puja celebrations begin. Mahalaya is marked on the last day of Pitru Paksha which is being observed today, on October 6 this year.
Mahalaya marks the start of the Durga Puja festival. On this day, the goddess Durga is believed to have descended to Earth.
Bengali’s all around the globe wake up at 4 am and listens to Chandi Path verses popularly known as “Mahishasura Mardini”. Eight decades after it was first recorded; there is still no comparison with the sonorous voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra that still rules the heart of every Bengali.
It is believed that ‘Mahisasura Mardini’ verse and mantras invoke the Goddess; the most famous one being ‘Jago Tumi Jago.’
Mahalaya is the combination of two words Maha which means grand and Alaya or abode. This day is quite special for Bengali’s. The auspicious occasion is celebrated with beautiful traditions and rich stories.
Mahalaya is celebrated after Pitri Paksha ends or when Hindus remember their ancestors. People take part in many rituals like offering food and water to the needy to express their love and gratitude to their forefathers.
Mahalaya Amavasya marks the culmination of the Pitri Paksha period and the beginning of the Devi Paksha. On this day, Shradh and Tarpan rituals are performed for those who breathed their last on Purnima Tithi, Chaturdashi Tithi and Amavasya Tithi.
The banks of the holy rivers are also thronged by worshippers from dawn to perform the ritual of ‘tarpan’. The fervour and festivity surrounding Durga Pooja and Navaratri start with Mahalaya.
It is celebrated in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Odisha and Tripura.
TIMINGS OF MAHALAYA 2021
The Amavasya Tithi will begin on October 5, 2021 at 07:04 PM and it will end at 04:34 PM on October 6, 2021.
History of Mahalaya 2021:
Hindus believe that the demon king Mahishasura was blessed with a boon that no god or human could kill him. After he received the blessing, Mahishasura attacked the Devtas, and after losing the war to him, they had to leave the Devlok. All the Devtas, along with Lord Vishnu, worshipped Adi Shakti to save them from the wrath of Mahishasura. It is believed at this time, a divine light came out of the bodies of all the Devtas and took the shape of Goddess Durga.
The war between Maa Durga and Mahishasura lasted for nine days, and then she killed him on the 10th day. Maa Durga is considered the goddess of power, and Durga Puja is celebrated all over the country with much pomp and fervour. Devotees pray to the goddess during these ten days as it is believed she comes to Earth to bless her people.