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Auspicious Katyayani puja, another form of Durga puja observed on Maha-Astami
TIWN Nov 18, 2019
Auspicious Katyayani puja, another form of Durga puja observed on Maha-Astami
PHOTO : Katyayani Puja begins at Durga Bari. TIWN Pic Nov 19, 2019

AGARTALA, Nov 19 (TIWN): The three day long traditional Katyayani festival started in Agartala Durga Bari and today is Maha-Astami.

Speaking to TIWN a priest of the temple said that they performed ‘Devi Bodhan’ in the early morning and also offered ‘Jagya’ to the Goddess Katyayani. After that, the priest of Durgabari offered worship to the Goddess with devotion and faith and also prayed for the peace and prosperity.

During the Katyayani festival devotees thronged the Durga Bari Temple, said a priest of the temple. Devotees from every corner of the state arrive in the Durga Bari Temple to celebrate the Katyayani. According to ancient legends, she was born a daughter of Katyayan Rishi, born in the Katya lineage, thus called Katyayani, "daughter of Katyayan" . Elsewhere in texts like the Kalika Purana, it is mentioned that it was Rishi Kaytyayan who first worshipped her, hence she came to known as 'Katyayani. In either case, she is a demonstration or apparition of the Durga, and is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri festival.

According to 'Tantras, she revealed through the North face, which is one six Faces of Shiva. This face is s blue in color and with three eyes, and also revealed the Devis, Dakshinakalika, Mahakali, Guhyakah, Smashanakalika, Bhadrakali, Ekajata, Ugratara (fierce Tara), Taritni, Chhinnamasta, Nilasarasvati (Blue Saraswati), Durga, Jayadurga, Navadurga, Vashuli, Dhumavati, Vishalakshi, Gauri, Bagalamukhi, Pratyangira,Matangi, Mahishasuramardini, their rites and Mantras.

The Vamana Purana mentions the legend of her creation in great detail: "When the gods had sought Vishnu in their distress, he, and at his command Shiva, Brahma, and the other gods, emitted such flames from their eyes and countenances that a mountain of effulgence was formed, from which became manifest Katyayini, refulgent as a thousand suns, having three eyes, black hair, and eighteen arms. Siva gave her his trident, Vishnu a Sudarshan Chakra or discus, Varuna a shankha, a conch-shell, Agni a dart, Vayu a bow, Surya a quiver full of arrows, Indra a thunderbolt, Kuvera a mace, Brahma a rosary and water-pot, Kala a shield and sword, Visvakarma a battle-axe and other weapons. Thus armed, and adored by the gods, Katyayini proceeded to the Vindhya hills. There, the asuras Chanda and Munda saw her, and captivated by her beauty they so described her to Mahishasura, their king, that he was anxious to obtain her. On asking for her hand, she told him she must be won in fight. He came, and fought; at length Durga dismounted from her lion, and sprang upon the back of Mahisha, who was in the form of a buffalo, and with her tender feet so smote him on the head that he fell to the ground senseless, when she cut off his head with her sword, and hence was called Mahishasuramardini, the Slayer of Mahishasura, the legend also finds mention in Varaha Purana, and the classical text of Shaktism the Devi-Bhagavata Purana.


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