What is ‘Nabapatrika’ Durgutsov

Dr. Ramen Goswami

There’s a pleasant scent lingering in the autumn air of Durga Puja festivities.Shiuli flowers blossom at this time and their fragrance reminds one of the approaching festivals. Navratri and Diwali are two main festivals celebrated in the month of Ashwin September-October every year. Durga Puja also known as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav is mainly celebrated across eastern India but now across the country. It coincides with Navratri in other parts of India that culminates on the tenth day which is celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dussehra.

As part of the Puja festivities each of the nine nights of Navratri symbolises the worship of various forms of the Divine Mother. Few know that there is an ancient ritual of worshipping nine types of plants on the seventh day Saptami known as Kola Bou or Nabapatrika. Nine plants collectively signify Navadurga Goddess or nine aspects of Goddess Durga. This Kola Bou is popularly known as Lord Ganesh’s wife. But in reality it has no relationship with Ganesh.

Significance of Durga Asthomi:
As per the stories narrated, there were two demons Shumbh and Nishumbh who defeated Gods and invaded devaloka. They sent two demon generals named Chand and Mund. Meanwhile, on hearing the prayers of Gods, Goddess Parvati created Goddess Chandi and on the day of Ashtami, Goddess Chandi killed Chand and Mund. She brought their heads to Goddess Parvati and hence, Chandi Devi was then given the name Chamunda.
On Mahashtami, the ritual of worshipping 64 Yoginis and eight ferocious forms of Goddess Durga- Ashta Shakti, is very important puja. These Shaktis are incarnations of Goddess Durga representing different energies. Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narsinghi, Indrani and Chamunda are the eight Shaktis worshipped during Durgotsava.
Importance of Sandhi Puja:
Sandhi Puja has special importance during Durgotsava. It is the juncture when Ashtami tithi ends and Navami tithi starts. It may fall at any time during the day and prevails for about 48 minutes and Sandhi Puja is performed during that time only. It is believed that to kill demons Chand and Mund Devi Chamunda appeared during this time.

Dr. Ramen Goswami
International journalist, academician, educationist, professor of English, members of SAARC countries specialists of English literature and language.

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