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Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print.
Puja means worship,devotion and reverence. Puja is believed to be derived from the word 'pu-chey',or worship. The term puja is now used to include all forms of worship, ranging from the simple daily offerings of flowers, fruit, leaves, rice, sweetmeats and water to the deities in homes or temples, to the sacrifices in temples dedicated to Kali, Durga and other female deities.
There are three kinds of pujas:
"Dhirdha", "Madhya" & "Laghu". Puja
ritual of idols of God has become in recent times a great of faith and
belief in Hindu Religion. Puja is not only performed in temples but
also in most of our homes. we worship God in our meetings before we
start our days' programme of Jagran/Bhajan/Kirtans/ Ramayana and /or
study of scriptures. The object of the puja ritual is to create and
setup thoughts of spiritual forces in and around us. This is best achieved
by chanting of some Mantra ,Bhajan or Chalisas, The benefit of puja
is to remove obstacles. The pujas are performed on behalf of those who
request them by us. Some of the benefits for doing specific pujas include:
Obtaining happiness and peace by getting rid of malefic forces. Removing
troubles that prevent us from starting on a spiritual path or business
Gaining material spiritual, prosperity and abundance. Creating positive
vibrations in the house, when starting new ventures such as a new job,business.
Removing obstacles if suffering from losses, when starting a new business
or investments. Improving the general health of body and mind, for a
speedy recovery from illness. Increasing leadership skills. We can enhance
the benefit of the Puja by doing spiritual practices. Some of the commonly
observed practices include Meditation, Mantra Japa , Silence, Prayer,
Fasting or Repeating God's name, charity. These vows can be done for
one day or as long as you wish. The result of these actions is to enable
us to imbibe more deeply the spiritual energy invoked by the Puja and
to help purify us.
The dispossessed gods were were drawn to Durga. They praised her and gave to her their divine gifts: Pinakadhrik gave Her a trident. Krishna gave her a disc. Varuna, the sea, gave her a conch and the god of fire gave her a missile. From the wind, Vayu, she received arrows. The king of gods, Indra, gave her a thunder-bolt, and the gift of his white-skinned elephant Airavata was a bell. From the god of death Durga received a rod, and from the Ruler of Waters she was given a noose.
Durga received many other precious and magical treasures-- gifts of jewels, new clothing, and a garland of immortal lotuses for her head and breasts. Heaven's architect gave her a bright axe and magic armor. God of mountains, Himavat gave her jewels and a magnificent lion to ride into battle.
Now equipped with the fearsome weaponry of the gods and dressed in golden armor and jewels she set off, seated gracefully upon that lion. His thunderous roars shook the three worlds. Oceans boiled and surf poured overland. Continents were torn at their granite foundations as whole new chains of mountains rose, while older ranges crumbled, cracked, and gave way to dust in a thousand landslides. Seeing these cataclysms rippling in waves through all the three worlds, Mahishasura and his demon allies found their attention drawn from heaven to Earth. Though confident of their power and control in heaven, even the conquering demon host could not help being awestruck.
The demons had little time to admire the radiant visage of their new adversary, for soon she engaged them on the battlefield. First the army of Chikasura and then that of Chamara, Mahishasura's chief commanders were met. They were destroyed in a great battle. At first, confident of his overwhelming power, Mahishasura held in reserve his personal demon army. But seeing the setbacks being dealt his commander's troops on every side, it soon became obvious to Mahishasura that even his personal guard must be completely committed or he would surely be cast out of heaven. Or worse.
Onto the battlefield swarmed that most elite and despised assemblage, with its gruesome hordes of infantry gleefully wielding their unearthly collection of dark iron axes and halberds, gorey bludgeoneers side by side with squadrons of demon-archers. Leading this evil array in its mad and desperate charge were thousands of charioteers and cavalry of horses and elephants.
Surrounded by chants of praise, the blowing of horns the beating of drums and songs of worship Durga roamed the battlefield on her mighty lion. From her divine breath her army was constantly replenished with new warriors, each able, brave and resolute.
With her bell she confused the demons, and many were dragged away bound and chained. With her divine sword she cut them to bits. So many demons and elephants and horses died that a river of blood flowed across the battlefield. The ground was left littered with the broken limbs and body parts of the defeated demon army. Durga was then attacked by the demon commanders, who were all killed immediately, and without mercy.
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Durga Puja - Mahaliya