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Durga Puja

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"Mahalaya, the day when Devi Durga was delegated the task of annihilating all evils. Inviting the goddess to descend on earth - "Jago Tumi Jago".

This is the day when 'Devipaksha' (Devi means goddess and paksha means period) starts and 'Pitri-paksha' ends. People crowd around the river Ganges to offer prayers to their dead forefather and ancestors. Around pre-dawn, people pray for the well being of their deceased relatives and take holy dips in the sacred river Ganges. The ritual is known as 'Torpon'. This day holds a great significance specially among the Bengalis.

According to the legend, it is the day when Ramchandra performed Durga puja just before he set to Lanka to rescue Sita from Ravana. It was king Suratha who used to worship Durga during the spring time known as "Basanti Puja". But it was Shree Ram who performed this untimely puja of the Goddess in autumn hence, it is known as 'Akal Bodhon'. It is this time when 'Devipaksha' starts and gods and goddesses start arrangements for the Durga Puja.

Mahalaya and Akashvani:

Mahalaya for the Bengalis is incomplete without Birendra Krishna Bhadra's (a notable singer) recitation about Mahalaya in the pre-dawn aired by All India Radio (A.I.R.). His magical voice reciting the holy verses "Mahisasura Mardini" depicting the story of Devi Durga descending on earth.

It has been long Bhadra has passed away still his recorded voice is aired as his style, is irreplaceable. In a sonorous, reverberating voice Birendra Krishna Bhadra depicts the Mahalaya for two thrilling hours, magnetizing every Bengali household with the divine aura of his narration, submerging their souls in quiet moments of prayer.

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