ayi sumanah sumanah sumanah sumanoharakaantiyute ||
shrita rajanii rajanii rajanii rajanii rajaniikaravakravrute ||
sunayanavibhra marabhra marabhra marabhra marabhra maraadhipate||
jaya jaya he mahishaasuramardhini ramyakapardini shailasute ||
Friends, you may be little confused reading the title. But, this is very familiar term for the eastern region devotees of India. Yes, friends, it is the thematic name of Goddess Durga, the symbol of power and agility. Mahishasur Mardini represents a very peculiar meaning. It means ‘a lady who slashed a powerful devil named Mahishasur’. That lady was none other Goddess Durga. She was called ‘ Maa Durga’ after she killed another demon ‘Durgh Asur’. The belief and the story of worshipping Goddess Durga hold a deep faith and expectation among the Hindus of India especially Eastern region of India. The story goes like that. There was a devil named Mahishasur. He worshipped and prayed Lord Brahma (the creator) and gained the blessings of Brahma. The blessing was made according to the devil’s wish. According to the wish, he asked Him to bless him with immortality along with the wish that no one could kill him. For his long term worshipped, Brahma was pleased and blessed him according to his wish. He became very powerful and strong. As usual he gained proud in him. He started his evil poaching to the human world and the Rishis-Munis of India. He troubled and destroyed many holy places and started capturing important places. No one could stop him. He gathered army and continued his evil deeds. The lords and Rishis found it difficult to tackle him because he became very powerful after Brahma’s blessing. Suddenly one day something strange happened. Mahishasur arrived at a ashram to capture it. The ashram was under the guide of a great saint. He entered to the ashram and thought to play prank with the Rishi. He entered the ashram alone. He saw the saint doing Jab (meditation) under a banyan tree. Just in-front of that saint, a pot of holy water was kept. Mahishasur went near him with utmost care without making any noise. He drank the entire holy water from that pot and while returning he shouted intentionally. Saint opened his eyes and frowned with severe anger and shouted him a curse. According to the curse he would be slashed by lady, a strong lady for he had broken his meditation. He laughed and laughed and cried he could not be slashed and killed by anyone and left the spot. It is popular belief that when hindu saint whispers something that has to be accomplished and completed with certainty. Thus Mahishasur’s back counting of death day started. Each and every hindu god in heaven god a way to stop him. They spiritually developed an image of a powerful lady. They developed her physical out-fit and she happened to appear before every one there. She was given the agility and powers of each and every hindu god and lord present there. Lord Shiva empowered her with his Trishul, Kartick with bow and arrow, Mahakaal with sword, Vishnu with Chakra and all other gods empowered her with their holy weapons. Goddess was believed to have ten hands and empowered with agility, emotions, anger, all sorts of powers and intellects. Mahishasur received the news of arrival Durga. He laughed and went to Her. He challenged her and the fight between them started. Since the curse had to be employed, at last she slashed him with all her powers. Mahishasur was called so because he could hide himself inside a buffalo and finally he was killed by Durga. Then Devi Durga came to know as ‘MAHISHASUR MARDINI’. Since we Hindus observe the festival of Durga puja to worship her and to gain spiritual powers. In the month of October, Durga Puja is observed. Actually the whole festival is observed mainly for 5 days and in actuality it remains for 15 days. The entire session is called Devi-Paksha. The first is called Pratipad and gradually at the sixth day which is called maha-shasti, her real period of worships starts. It is followed by Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and atlast Maha Dashami. In Ashtami, the flower worship is done formally which is called to take’Pushpanjali’. In the last day which is called Bejoya Dashami,a important event happens among the married women which is called ‘sindur khela’ and finally she was worshipped and with rules and formalities, her murti( embodiment of Durga made with mud, bamboo and clothes) was left in the flowing river. In the following evening, after taking shantir jal( the holy water) Hindus starts taking and distributing sweets and the day ends as such.