Durga Puja by Bengali Purohit – Durga Puja is a famous Hindu festival when Goddess Durga is worshipped. Durga Puja is also known as Durgotsava. Durgotsava refers to all five days festivity and these five days are observed as Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami. (According to Hindu religious texts Durga Puja by Bengali Purohit, including Chandi Path, should begin from the next day of Mahalaya Amavasya. Mahalaya is the most important day of Pitru Paksha, when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, is not considered for starting any auspicious work.)
Most states except West Bengal do Ghatasthapana on Pratipada which is the next day of Mahalaya Amavasya. Ghatasthapana is equivalent to Kalparambha during Durga Puja when Goddess Durga is invoked. Kalparambha mostly falls on Shashthi Tithi during Devi Paksha. According to regional customs and beliefs Durga Puja during Shardiya Navratri varies from nine days to one day only which is also mentioned in Dharmasindhu.
Durga Puja by Bengali Purohit
The Goddess Durga arrives on the Earth on the first day of Devi Paksha which starts on the next day of Mahalaya Amavasya during Pitru Paksha. She departs on Durga Visarjan day. The weekdays when she arrives and departs are significant and considered as omen of coming time.
The first grand worship of Goddess Durga in recorded history is said to have been celebrated in the late 1500s. Folklores say the landlords or zamindar of Dinajpur and Malda initiated the first Durga Puja in Bengal.
According to another source, Raja Kangshanarayan of Taherpur or Bhabananda Mazumdar of Nadiya organized the first Sharadiya or Autumn Durga Puja in Bengal in c 1606. The research paper further indicates that “high level British officials regularly attend Durga Pujas organized by influential Bengalis and British soldiers actually participate in the pujas, have prasad, and even salute the deity, but ‘the most amazing act of worship was performed by the East India Company itself: in 1765 it offered a thanksgiving Puja, no doubt as a politic act to appease its Hindu subjects, on obtaining the Diwani of Bengal’. (Sukanta Chaudhuri, ed. Calcutta: the Living City, Vol. 1: The Past) And it is reported that even the Company auditor-general John Chips organized Durga Puja at his Birbhum office. In fact, the full official participation of the British in the Durga Puja continued till 1840, when a law was promulgated by the government banning such participation.”