Mahalaya is the final day to pay homage to our late forefathers, that is, the Pitripaksha and the day that marks the onset of Devipaksha. Among various tales and myths related to the auspicious day of Mahalaya, people usually consider it to be the day when Maa Durga commences her voyage from Mount Kailash, where she lives with her husband Lord Shiva, to her parental abode on Earth.
The Folklore About Mahalaya In Detail
The Hindus are of the opinion that on Mahalaya, Goddess Durga descends from heaven on earth along with the four of her children – namely Kartik, Ganesh, Lakshmi, and Saraswati – upon a selective mode of transport every year, for instance, a horse, elephant, watercraft or palanquin.
Mahalaya is observed about seven days before Durga Pujo, during which Devi Durga visits her parental home. The day also possesses a divine significance for some Hindus, who carry out a rite called Tapan where the men put on white dhotis and extend their devotion to their late forefathers through pind-daan on the banks of the river Ganga.
Mahishasur Mardini And Its Significance On Mahalaya
Mahishasur Mardini is a collection of hymns recited mostly on radios and television channels on Mahalaya, where the story of how Maa Durga vanquished the asur meaning demon named Mahishasur, is chanted in the voice of the deceased Birendra Krishna Bhadra. It is a remarkable rendition of the sacred verses of “Chandi Path” followed by a set of religious songs.
The Chandipath that has been enshrined in the priceless voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra, unfolds that Devi Durga is an epitome of innate origin of power, in other words, she is also regarded as Devi Chandika.
Since Durga is said to put an end to the patriarchal hegemony and exploitation of women by defeating Mahishasur, she is the “mardini.” She undertakes a sublime apparition to bring back the growth of creation, offers protection from the devils in human flesh, and reinstates Dharma on earth.
The Hype About Listening To Mahalaya
Mahalaya is the only time when Bangalis from all corners of 9the world wake up with the rising sun at dawn, to listen to the immortalized recitation of Mahishasur Mardini in the impassioned and soul-stirring voice of late Birendra Krishna Bhadra.
The hype about listening to the Mahishasur Mardini stotram on Mahalaya morning is something indescribable. It has now become a tradition that first started in 1931 with its broadcast on the Akashvani radio, Calcutta.
In a sixty-minute long recital, Mahishasur Mardini chants the story of Maa Durga gaining triumph over the buffalo-headed rakshasa known as Mahish-asur. This podcast is played by All India Radio channels and is now also available on YouTube. Since its first airing 90 years ago, the high demand for “Jago Durga, Jago Dashpraharan Dharini,” remains undebatable till date.
As Kolkata begins to get wrapped in various coloured lights, and with the emergence of shiuli, kaash ful in Autumn: the airing of Mahishasur Mardini over radios and televisions on Mahalaya, simply announces the advent of Pujo. The feeling of awakening to the priceless voice of Birendra Krishna and his rendition of “Mahishasur Mardini” is surreal and incomparable.
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