Durga Puja festivities begin with Maha Sasthi today

October 22, 2020: The Durga Puja festivities started on Thursday with Maha Sasthi across Assam amidst Covid-19 restrictions.

DY365
DY365

October 22, 2020: The Durga Puja festivities started on Thursday with Maha Sasthi across Assam amidst Covid-19 restrictions.

Sashti means the sixth day after the new moon and from here rituals of the puja starts. Maha Sasthi entails Goddess Durga’s grand arrival.

As per scriptures, today is the day when Goddess Durga arrives in the mortal world. It is also believed that Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva comes to the home of her father from her husband’s place with her children on this particular day. So with Maha Sasthi, Durga Puja begins with full pomp and grandeur and is followed by four days full of mirth and splendour.

According to the epic Ramayana, before attacking Ravana in Lanka to free his wife Sita, Lord Rama had performed Durga Puja in autumn — a time when the gods’ sleep, according to the Hindu religious texts.

Rama had to first awaken the goddess prematurely, and as such, the awakening in the autumnal festival is called “Akal Bodhan”.

The goddess, astride a lion and wielding an array of weapons in her ten hands, stays for four days to eradicate all evil from Earth before returning to her husband Lord Shiva in Kailash on Dashami.

Many women perform a special puja on the day of Durga Shashti and pray for their child’s prosperity.

However, this time the Puja celebrations have been dampened by the Covid-29. The government has already issued protocols to be followed by both puja committees and the revellers.

These include mandatory Covid tests for priests and committee members, spacious pandals with open from all sides, adequate space for physical distancing , measures to avoid crowding at all costs and ensure that not more than 10 to 30 persons can congregate at a time depending on the size of the pandal, separate entry and exit gates, mandatory use of face masks for all visitors, use of microphone by priests so that devotees need not come close to him to offer anjali and no distribution of prasad in the pandal or community feasting.

the government has also instructed that restaurants will be closed at 9 pm and only takeaway food should be allowed, subject to relevant permissions from the government. Besides, pillion riding will not be allowed for males during Puja days. However, pillion riding is allowed during Puja days for women or child below 15 years.

 

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