Rituals of the ‘Mahasasthi', 6th day of Durga puja
Kolkata, Sept 16: There are specific items needed for each day of Durga Puja. There is a detailed method to worshiping Goddess Durga. Incorporated from the "Panjika " (the Hindu astronomical almanac) the accessories differ on all five days- Mahasasthi, Mahasaptami, Mahaasthami, Mahanavami and Mahadashami.
Kalparambho (Beginning of the pujas) and Mahasnan (Holy bath of the Goddess) are common for all the four days of Durga Puja and thus require the same things to perform them.
It is believed that by listening to the plaintive invocations of her devotees, the divine and benevolent Mother Goddess Durga transcends on earth from her heavenly abode along with her four children.
On this day, devotees welcome the Sepreme power, the divine Goddess with charming dhak beats (traditional drum beats) and merrymaking. It is on this day that the idols of the Goddess are set up in the pandals and the ritualistic unveiling ceremony of the idol is performed. After the initial unveiling ceremony, other important rituals, such as Bodhon, Amontron and Adhibas, are carried out. Henceforth, the main festivities of the Durga Puja begin.
Rituals for the Mahasasthi puja:
Mahasasthi the sixth day of the moon when Goddess Durga is welcomed with much fanfare and gusto. The 'Bodhon' (invocation of the deity) rituals include the unveiling of the face of the idol. The Bodhon is then follwed with Amontron (Welcoming the Goddess) and Adibas are the important rituals of Mahasasthi apart from Kalparambho.
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 alta.