Durga Puja 2023: What Is Akal Bodhon? Know About The History And Rituals Of This Puja

by Ankita Mazumdar
Durga Puja 2023: What Is Akal Bodhon? Know About The History And Rituals Of This Puja

Bengalis all over the world eagerly wait for Durga Puja. Every year, they start counting down the days until the grand festival. It is an extravagant festival affair for them and they cannot contain their happiness before welcoming Durga Maa. Durga Puja is literally knocking on the door and Maa is just a step away from gracing us with her presence and pouring her blessings on us. Are you aware of all the minute details about the rituals and festivities of Durga Puja? We certainly hope so! Have you heard about the Akal Bodhon Puja done before starting the Durga Puja? Read on to learn more about this ritual.

What Is Akal Bodhon Puja During Durga Puja?

Akal Bodhon
Image Credits: Canva
  • The celebration of Durga Puja begins with Akal Bodhon. The word ’Akal’ means untimely and the word ‘Bodhon’ means to invoke or awaken. Adding them together, the puja comes out as a symbolic gesture to invoke Durga Maa but early.
  • The awakening ritual is done to worship Maa during the grand celebrations of Durga Puja.
  • According to Hindu scriptures, during Dakshiyana, all gods and goddesses completely doze off or go into rest mode. It is a six-month period but Durga Puja happens to fall during Dakshiyana. Therefore, devotees have to do Akal Bodhon to awaken Maa and majestically worship her.
  • Furthermore, according to the Ramayana, Bodhon was initially done by Lord Ram. Lord Ram started worshipping Durga Maa to gain her blessing and win against Ravana.
  • It is believed that Ravana was indestructible, as he had blessings from Maa Kali. So, Lord Brahma instructed Lord Ram to undertake this worshipping ritual during autumn evenings.
  • The actual worship of Durga Maa is done during the months of spring and it is called Basanti Puja.
  • Lord Ram’s prayer created Durga Puja for Bengalis and Sharad Navarati for non-Bengalis. Similarly, at the end of the Durga Puja and Navaratri, Bengalis have Vijayadashami and non-Bengalis have Dusshera.

Also Read: Durga Puja 2023: What Is The Significance Of The Sound Of Dhak And Of Dhunuchi Dance?

What Are The Rituals?

Akal Bodhon
Image Credits: Canva

It is a short yet significant ritual that has to be followed because if the Goddess is not awake, how will her festive celebrations begin? The following are the rituals followed for Akal Bodhon Puja:

  • A pot or kalash, is filled with water and kept under a golden apple or bael tree.
  • Prayers and mantras were offered to awaken Maa from her deep slumber.
  • Maa’s face is revealed as a cloth conceals her beautiful face and is not lifted up until this puja.
  • Followed by Amantran and Adhivas rituals, wherein she is invited with a grand welcome for Durga Puja.
  • For the welcome, married Bengali women wear a lal par shaada saree, apply sindoor, and welcome Durga Maa with a glass of Ganga Jal, betel leaves, and betel nuts.

Also Read:Why Do Bengali Women Wear White Saree With Red Border (Lal Paar Shaada Saree) During Durga Puja?

Now you are aware of the fact that Durga Puja is celebrated during the rest time for all the other gods and goddesses. It is very intriguing to know about this factual information that usually goes unnoticed.

Alexa, please play Bolo Bolo Dugga Elo by Monali Thakur to get us immersed in the pious feeling of Durga Puja!

Cover Image Credits: Canva

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