The beautiful aura of shiuli flowers, the floating clouds, the blue sky and kash bon. Come autumn, everybody gets into a festive mode, which apparently starts from Mahalaya. Mahalaya rings the Durga Puja bells for the people living in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Tripura, Odisha and others. With major festivals awaiting in the next three consecutive months, the revellers go bonkers over shopping, reunion with friends, relatives and sharing festive gifts and sweets.
Mahalaya which marks the beginning of Devi-Paksha and the end of the Pitri-Paksha is an auspicious day for Bengalis, who celebrate it with much enthusiasm. Mahalaya is observed seven days before the Durga Puja.
While there are many folklores associated with the occasion, the popular one is that on Mahalaya, the goddess deity is being invoked to her paternal home (Earth) from Kailash (Heaven) along with Her children.
Bengali households resonate with the timeless chants and the soothing melodies Jago Tumi Jago…Jago Durga of Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s songs that make up Mahishasur Mardini. For every Bengali household, Mahalaya will never be complete without listening to the legendary broadcast of Mahishasur Mardini on the ‘treasured’ radio.
“As per spiritual science, since we are the extension of a biological order, we carry the DNA and chromosomes of our forefather in our blood. We also carry facial features including all positive and negative traits of our forefathers. Hence, we remember them on the day of Mahalaya,” said Prasanta Chakraborty, Associate Professor, Cotton University, Guwahati while speaking to Time8.
On the dawn of Mahalaya, it is a familiar sight to see scores of people at the riverside to offer water and rice to their ancestors for the salvation of their forefathers. “Since the river is ever-flowing, we perform tarpan on Mahalaya to remember our forefathers,” Chakraborty added.
With the advent of modern technology, the real essence of Mahalaya is steadily slipping through our fingers. But the emotion still stands strong amongst the Bengali community. It is a celebration of culture, of life and hope.
The Amabasya Tithi will begin at 3:40 am on September 28th, 2019 and it will end at 11:50 PM on September 28th, 2019.
Feature Photo credit: Pinterest