Maha Sasthi

Image Courtesy - Sukalyan Chakraborty

Maha Sasthi“, the sixth day from the new moon, is the inaugural day of the 5 days long Durga Puja festival, when the rituals are actually begins. It is believed that, on this day Goddess Durga arrives to the mortal world from her heavenly abode, accompanied by her children. Devi Bodhon or the unveiling of the goddess happens on the eve of Mahashasthi. It is also on this day that she is adorned with the various armaments which she had used according to the myths to defeat Mahishasur. She is welcomed with much fanfare amidst the beats of dhak.Kalaparambho, the ritual performed before the commencement of the puja precedes Bodhon, Aamontron and Adhibash.

There is a detailed method to worshiping Goddess Durga that are mentioned in the scriptures. Specific items are needed for each day of Durga Puja. Items are collected beforehand so that the ritual can be performed smoothly.

Items needed for the Shashthi Puja of Goddess Durga:

Food Offerings: A stem of wood apple with fruits, green coconut with stalk, an earthen bowl full of atop, three bowls of madhupakka, sesame seeds, curd, honey, clarified butter, sugar, three big noibiddos, one small noibiddo, bhoger drobbadi, aaratir drobbadi, grain, fruits, one dozen bananas with a single stem, white mustard seeds.

Puja Items : A pot, four arrows two ashonanguriuk, panchapallab, pancha ratna, panchashasha, panchagobbo, tekatha, dubba grass, sindur, swastik pituli, conch shell, kajol (corrilium), gorachana, yellow thread, chamor, a fly-whisk made of yak’s tail used for fanning, earthen lamps, panch pradip for arati.

Cloth Offerings: Gamcha to cover the pot, a dhoti for the wood apple tree, a sari for bodhon, one sari for amontron.

Decorative Items: Myrobalan, flowers, chandmala, adibas oil, turmeric, soil from the bank of river Ganga, perfume, stone, gold, silver, copper, iron, mirror and aalta.