Beginning from Chaturthi till Vijay Dashami or Dusherra as popularly known in India, spread over almost a week, Durga Puja celebrations are the biggest and most glamorous festival of Eastern India, especially West Bengal. The Durga Puja festival has become more of an expression of art, extravagance, than performing rituals.
To add to the glitz, fun and frolic mood of the people, over the years it is in vogue that celebrities and political leaders inaugurate Durga Puja at various places in West Bengal, also known as Utbodhoni Utsav (inauguration ceremony). Yesterday, however, much to the surprise of the people, at Kalyani Ward no. 20 Durga Puja Barwari in Nadia district, the inauguration took place amidst beating of mridanga, clashing of kartal, chanting of Hare Krishna, and ecstatic dance before the Deities of Ma Durga, Laxmi, Ganesh, Kartik.
Also to be noted here is that the Kalyani Ward no. 20 Committee has first time constructed its pandal, the marquee housing the goddess Durga on the design of the upcoming Temple of Vedic Planetarium (TOVP), the biggest Vedic temple of the world that ISKCON has planned to inaugurate in 2022 at Mayapur. Each year many Durga Puja organisers are hooked on to decorate their exterior marquee on the lines of TOVP. This is a testimonial to the popularity of the grand edifice as we are inching towards its completion.
For the first time, it was a group of 45 ISKCON devotees from different ethnic backgrounds, who was given the special privilege to inaugurate the Durga Puja.
Alay Govind Das led a congregation of devotees from ISKCON Mayapur, comprised of senior devotees, Gurukula students and brahmacharis, who performed various rituals.
The proceedings started by the breaking of coconut and the chanting of the auspicious Vedic mantras by the students of Gurukula under the guidance of Krishna Chaitanya Das. This was followed by a melodious kirtan. Gradually, as the kirtan gained momentum the energy of dance mixed with resounding musical instruments left the large gathering spellbound.
“Beating the normal trend we are thrilled to be invited to inaugurate the Durga Puja festival. It gave us a good platform to highlight the relationship of goddess Durga with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Our mission is to worship and spread the message of Bhagwan Sri Krishna, however, as per Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, which ISKCON follows, Ma Durga is revered as a demigod and the external energy of Lord Sri Krishna by the devotees. We pray to her and seek her blessings to advance on the path of Bhakti to Sri Krishna, ” said Subroto Das, Media Spokesperson of ISKCON Mayapur.