Nine days for nine forms of Durga

Bhutan Times - - Home - An­jana Subba

Durga Puja is an an­nu­ally cel­e­brated fes­ti­val in Thimphu by Durga Puja Or­ga­ni­za­tion Com­mit­tee since 1981. This year it started from 24th Septem­ber and will be on­go­ing till 3rd Oc­to­ber; and was in­au­gu­rated by Ly­onpo D.N Dhungyel , Min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Durga Puja is a fes­ti­val that is cel­e­brated ev­ery year by Hin­dus and it starts 9 days prior to Vi­jayadasami or Da­sai, so among Hin­dus, Durga Puja is also known as “Nav-ra­tri”. For nine days and nine nights peo­ple gather and sing prayers to god­dess Durga and her nine forms. This year Durga Puja Or­ga­ni­za­tion Com­mit­tee has 9 Pun­dits from dif­fer­ent re­gions of Bhutan of Drala , Sarpang and Tsir­ang to re­cite sa­cred Hindu scrip­tures like Sri­mat Bhag­wat Maha Puran, Sri Durga Sap­tasati, Vedas and Ru­dras.

The group of pun­dits is led by Dr. Pus­palal Nirola, mem­ber of the Hindu Dharma Sa­mu­daya of Bhutan. Dr. Pus­palal Nirola said that Durga puja has been cel­e­brated since the time of Lord Rama, then; the kings per­formed the Durga puja to ask for strength and vic­tory dur­ing the wars. He also added that this year the Durga Puja is ded­i­cated to fourth Druk Gyalpo and his 60th birth an­niver­sary. Prayers will be con­ducted for His Majesty’s long life and also for the well be­ing of the peo­ple of Bhutan.

Every­day 300 to 400 peo­ple come to of­fer their prayers to the god­dess. The puja starts ev­ery morn­ing from 7 am till 9 am and then in the evening from 5 pm till 7 pm. Ac­cord­ing to the Durga Puja Or­ga­ni­za­tion Com­mit­tee’s Vice pres­i­dent, Mr. Shyam Bas­net, Pan­dits re­cite sa­cred scrip­tures and pray to god­dess Durga for nine days and nine nights for ev­er­last­ing peace, pros­per­ity and hap­pi­ness of the peo­ple and that of all sen­tient be­ings. He also said, “Durga puja is not con­fined to Hindu peo­ple, oth­ers are more than wel­come to join”.

The com­mit­tee re­ceives a yearly fi­nan­cial help of about Nu. 420, 000 from Depart­ment of Cul­ture, Min­istry of Home and Cul­tural Af­fairs. They also re­ceived a plot of land to cel­e­brate Durga Puja till now from MoHCA, which is, near Thai Tem­ple and are ex­pect­ing to shift soon to a well build Hindu Tem­ple be­low Bud­dha Point, which is almost com­pleted. Dr. Pus­palal Nirola said, “We are ex­pect­ing to cel­e­brate Durga Puja in new tem­ple next year”.

Ac­cord­ing to Durga Puja Or­ga­ni­za­tion Com­mit­tee, “Durga puja for Hin­dus are not only a mere fes­ti­val to be cel­e­brated an­nu­ally but holds a deeper mean­ing. It tells a story about vic­tory of good over evil in Ra­mayana and pro­tec­tion of peo­ple from evil forces of self­ish­ness, jeal­ousy, ha­tred, anger and ego”. So, it is a best time of the year to get over with self cen­tered think­ing and to pray for our coun­try’s bet­ter fu­ture, happy and healthy life of the peo­ple and for the sen­tient be­ings. It is the time to come to­gether for each other.

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