The Ramakrishna Mission will be celebrating Sri Sri Durga Pooja from 27th September to 30th September in a glorious resplendent way to consecrate the Divine Mother’s arrival this year. Prayers to the Goddess Durga will soothe your mind, body and soul. Three groups of devotees from Traditional Music of Tanjore, Bhaktamandali and SIFA will be performing special music programmes on 27th, 28th and 29th evening respectively from 7 30 pm onwards.

What is Durga Pooja?

Durga pooja also known as Dussehra or Navarathri is the apex of all Hindu festivals. Navarathri means 9 night and  the festival is celebrated for nine days culminating in Vijayadeshmi .

Vijayadasami, also known as Dasara , is a major Hindu festival celebrated at the end of Navratri every year. It is observed on the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. Vijayadasami is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. In the eastern and northeastern states of India, Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga‘s victory over the buffalo demon to help restore Dharma. n the northern, southern and western states, the festival is synonymously called Dussehra (also spelled Dasara, Dashahara). In these regions, it marks the end of “Ramlila” and remembers god Rama‘s victory over the demon Ravana, or alternatively it marks a reverence for one of the aspects of goddess Devi such as Durga or Saraswati. Vijayadashami is a composite of two words “Vijaya” and “Dashami”, which respectively mean “victory” and “tenth”, connoting the festival on the tenth day celebrating the victory of good over evil. According to James Lochtefeld, the word Dussehra is a variant of Dashahara which a compound Sanskrit word meaning “ten days”According to Monier Williams, Dushara meaning “bad, evil, sinful” and Hara means “removing, destroying”, connoting “removing the bad, destroying the evil, sinful”.[

In India government offices, post offices and banks are closed in India on Dussehra. Stores and other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. Those wishing to use public transport on the day may need to contact the local transport authorities to check on timetables

In Hinduism, the universal or cosmic mother takes the pedestal during durga pooja or Navarathi celebrations. Mother is the first human being a baby gets in contact with .The foetus is conceived and  developed in the mother womb .The mother who through a spiritual union of conjugal relationships with her husband brings forth a new born babe into this world. She is a natural life giving force and the warmth of her touch as she embraces the young babe and breastfeed the child  nourishes and sustains the child for his or her future growth. The baby is a gift from God. In India for  Hindus  it is a Goddess worshipping nation where the MotherGoddess or the Goddess of the Universe in the form of DurgaLakshmi and Sarawathy are venerated .It is basic Vedic knowledge i.e. the ancient Hindu Scripture that a woman is to be given the highest respect as she is gifted with childbearing by divinity. The first contact of warmth and love that any human being  experiences is with his or he rmother and the female form is designed by the creator to bring forth innocent babies into this world. The female anatomy is created with a view to keep the foetus secure after fertilization which comes from a spiritual union of man and woman in wedlock through the nine month gestation period before a new born

baby comes into this worldSo the mother or what you call “MA” is a sacred phenomenon worthy of being consecrated. Therefore, Durga pooja, is the day of worship of the Mother Goddess. The Mother Goddess  is worshipped in the form of Durga .Saraswathi and Mahalakshmi. The festivals begin with Durga Pooja on the 1st to 3rd Day.Durga is the Goddess that kills evil and vices .On the  4th to 6th day the Goddess Saraswathi is worshipped. She is the goddess of learning and knowledge and is portrayed with a white sari in a pristine form representing purity, carrying an instrument called the “ Veena” which is symbolic of acquisition  of skills .Students are told to pray to her to excel in the studies. Then the next 3 days is devoted to Ma lakshmi which  is the Goddess of Wealth.Ma Lakshmi is  portrayed in a pink saree seated on a lotus and on her path is strewn rich gold coins to represent wealth of life and abundance. .Wealth of life and abundance also means financial wealth and health also. The 10th days is final day of Victory .During the Navarathri or Dushara pooja devotees pray chant mantras sing bhajans and eat the food of the gods known as prasad.It is joyful  and meaningful occasion and praying during this festival will harness lots of positive energy to surmount all difficulties and challenges of life.A mother’s love knows no boundaries and she will protect her child at any cost.So you can invoke the protection of the Universal mother the divine mother and she will guide you and bless you spiritually. You will derive lots of benefits when you pray during this festival.