Food fills the air, there are smiles on people’s faces and idols of a beautiful goddess are all around, Durga Puja has arrived. This is a time of great festivity in India and in other countries as well because it is a celebration of the goddess Durga , the slayer of the Buffalo demon. There are many rituals that correspond with the festival; many types of foods are served, the myth of Durga causes the people to come together and it all originated from Bengali.
The Durga Puja festival is a celebration of the goddess Durga who helped the Gods eliminate many demons like Madhu, Kaitabha and Mahishasura, the most famous demon (Jones, 139). The festival mostly commemorates the victory over Mahishasura also known as the Buffalo demon (Jones, 140). Hindu mythology states that Mahishasura was once granted a blessing from the destroyer God Shiva where neither male nor god would be able to kill him. The only way for life to be taken away from him was if a woman were to kill him. The demon took advantage of the blessing, creating chaos in the world and defeating the gods becoming the Lord of the heavens (Mythology of Durga Puja, par 1). The gods having their home taken away had no choice but to create a woman who would be able to defeat Mahishasura (Mythology of Durga Puja, par 2). With Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva combining their energies as well as other gods, they formed the ultimate power Durga (Mythology of Durga Puja, pars 2-3). To aid the goddess in battle against the demon, the gods gave her various weapons and gifts including new clothing, a garland of immortal lotuses and more (Mythology of Durga Puja, par 4). She was now prepared to engage in combat. Armed by the weapons and gifts of the gods she starts into battle (Mythology of Durga Puja, par 5). This would be a fierce fight in which durga’s powers would be unleashed.
Within combat she destroyed Mashishasura’s armies with ease; none being able to escape her grasp. When she began to battle the demon, Mahishasura knew he would not win (Mythology of Durga Puja, par 6). It was a brutal fight with the demon turning into many forms trying to defeat her and always escaping her wrath until he had finally turned to his last form, the buffalo, and was pierced with a spear and fell dead (Mythology of Durga Puja, pars 7-8). Victory was then granted to the gods that day (Mythology of Durga Puja, par 8). Durga is usually shown in a superior position upon the demon in temples or during the ritual in the festival of Durga Puja (Jones, 140). The myth symbolizes Durga as victory of good over evil (DURGA PUJA - The Festival, par 3). Essentially this is the story in which Hindus believe and the reason why they celebrate the Durga Puja.
The origin of the festival is in bengal, where it was first celebrated in the late 1500’s by the landlords of Dinajpur and Malda. (The History & Origin of Durga Puja, par 3). On the other hand, the first community celebration where there was full participation and contribution from the...