What is Mahalaya?
Mahalaya is the kind of occasion which is observed before the commencement of
Durga Puja. Durga is also known as the goddess of supreme power. This period is
celebrated to invite Goddess mother to come down to earth to descend. Special
mantras chanting this period includes Jago Tumhi Jago. It is also considered
that day when the Pitr-Paksha ends.
History, Significance and celebration of Mahalaya
History of Mahalaya
Legend behind this festival is that Lord Rama worshipped Devi Durga before going
to Lanka to rescue Sita from Ravan. The Durga puja is celebrated at the spring
time. It is believed that during this period all the god and goddess wake up
from their rest in order to offer prayer to goddess durga. On this great day
Devi Durga starts his journey from heaven t o earth. Another legend related to
Karn who used to donate every kind of things in donations except food. After his
death he was given a chance for the period of 14 days to come down to earth and
give as much charity in the form of food, so this period of shraddh is also
known as Mahalya period.
Significance of Mahalaya
Mahalaya indicates the beginning of the durga puja festival and it has a great
significance on Bengali culture. The celebration of this festival is related to
the radio program which was broadcasted in 1930. Bengalis in order to listen the
program related to Goddess Durga, in which the whole story is related to her is
mentioned, wake up early in the morning. This program is also known as
Mahishasura Mardini. Autumn is the period which signifies the full blossom of
Celebration of Mahalaya
On this special day, Hindu used to worship Durga who was known as the Goddess of
supremacy who have come down to earth to descend along with her four children.
They used to pay homage and prayers to their ancestors, mainly on the banks of
the river which is known by the name Tarpan. They used to offer food, clothes
and sweets on this special day.