Durga Puja is one of the most significant festivals of Bengalis. It is the time for late-night pandal hopping and being completely enchanted by the beauty of Durga Maa, gorging on yummy-licious bhog or street food, dhunuchi dance, and more. Bengalis are decked up from head to toe, mostly in traditionals and some in beautiful sarees as well. Have you ever enjoyed Durga Puja? Do you know why Bengalis offer Pushpanjali on Durga Maha Ashtami? Read on.
What Is Pushpanjali?
- Pushpanjali is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Pushpam means flowers and Anjali means offering with folded hands. Thus, it is an auspicious offering of flowers with folded hands to Maa Durga.
- Pushpanjali is an effective ritual of Durga Puja where devotees offer their prayers to Maa Durga on an empty stomach. It is customary to keep a fast before Pushpanjali.
- The fast is broken by eating prasad. If devotees want to take part in Sandhi Puja, they keep their fast on till this puja is over, which might be the whole Ashtami day.
- During Pushpanjali, Bengali priest or priestess chant the fascinating Pushpanjali mantras and the devotees repeat after them. The fresh flowers are then collected and deposited on Maa Durga’s feet.
- Pushpanjali is repeated three times with three different mantras.
Why Is Durga Maha Ashtami’s Pushpanjali The Most Important Anjali Offered?
- Durga Maha Ashtami is the eighth day of Durga Puja and it is one of the most important days.
- Pushpanjali is performed on all days of Durga Puja. However, on Durga Maha Ashtami, the Pushpanjali offered to Maa is one of the most auspicious ones. Bengalis never skip Maha Ashtami’s Pushpanjali.
- The day holds special significance as Sandhi Puja is grandly celebrated. This puja is auspicious as it is believed that Durga Maa’s avatar Chamunda slayed demons named Chanda and Munda.
- It is also the day when Maa opened her divine third eye. Sandhi Puja is an ode to Kali Maa.
- Thus, Ashtami signifies victory over evil and female power. Do not miss out on this year’s Durga Maha Ashtami Pushpanjali. It is on October 22, 2023.
Now you know why Bengalis never miss the great Maha Ashtami Pushpanjali during Durga Puja every year.
Cover Image Credits: Flickr and X/Jayalko1
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