Hindus to celebrate Mahalaya Sunday


The Hindu community across the country will celebrate Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion of heralding the advent of Goddess Durga.

With the beginning of ‘Devipaksha’, Mahalaya is observed six days before Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community. Usually, the Devi Paksha commences with Mahalaya Amavasya.

According to Hindu mythology Mahalaya marks the last day of ‘Krishnapaksha’, which is a dark fortnight of the month of Ashwin.

In the Indian state of West Bengal, Mahalaya is depicted in a show-tell manner, with songs, enactments and dances on regional television channels. The television show is also viewed by a lot of people specially children in Bangladesh at dawn.

The most popular rendition of it, however, has been in the sonorous recorded voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra, whose collection of songs and mantras called Mahishasura Mardini are played customarily on the day of Mahalaya in every Bengali household mostly in West Bengal as well as in Bangladesh early in the morning.

Although Durga Puja will formally begin on October 1 through ‘Shasti’ puja, the advent of Durga will be herald from tomorrow.

The nine-day festival of Navratri dedicated to Goddess Durga in the month of Ashwin usually commences soon after Pitru Paksha ends.

Mahalaya marks an invitation of sorts to goddess Durga to begin her journey from Kailash to her paternal home (earth), along with her children.

This invitation is extended through the chanting of mantras from Sri Sri Chandi and singing of devotional songs.

Countdown of Durga Puja begins with the celebration of Mahalaya.

On October 1, the Durga Puja will begin with various rituals on the day of Maha Shashthi.

On the occasion of the day, special programmes of Mahalaya will be arranged at different temples across the country including the capital tomorrow at dawn.

Hindus will remember and pay homage to their ancestors, who passed away, by performing puja, and offering Brahmins clothes, food and sweets in their name.

Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee will hold a special programme marking the Mahalaya at Dhakeshwari National Temple at 6am.

Gulshan-Banani Sarbajanin Puja Foundation will hold a programme to welcome Goddess Durga at 5.30am at Banani playground.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud will attend the event as the chief guest while Panna Lal Dutta will chair it.

Similar programmes will also be arranged in different temples in the capital city and across the country.