We arrived Jamshedpur yesterday from Ranchi in the afternoon. On the way, we stopped for a while at the Deori temple in Tamar for praying at the Durga temple.
We went to Swarn Vihar, where we attend the puja in Jamshedpur.
After praying before the Goddess Durga, we went to the house of Mukherjee da. He is like my elder brother. We had our bhog prasad there. Boudi had kept some for us when we informed her that we are coming. We had some small chat and then we came to Hotel Sonnet at Bistupur. We normally stay here. Then in the evening, we went there and also to C.H. Area. It’s a big puja and rush there. There are many food stalls there too. We had our dinner there.
After dinner, we returned to Swarn Vihar at around 11.0pm as preparation for Sandhi puja was to begin then. Sandhi Puja is an integral and the most important part of Durga Puja. This puja is performed at the juncture of the 8th and 9th lunar day (Mahaashtami and Mahanavami). Sandhi puja lasts from the last 24 minutes of Mahashtami till the first 24 minutes of Mahanavami. During this juncture, called the Sandhikshan, Durga is worshipped in her Chamunda form.
The legend behind worshiping Durga as Chamunda devi says that while the Goddess and Mahishasura were engaged in a fierce battle, the two generals of Mahisha, Chanda and Munda attacked the Devi from the the rear. From her third eye then emerged a Devi with a large falchion and a shield. She had a large face, bloody tongue and sunken blood shot eyes. She was Chamunda. With a bloodcurdling shriek she leapt forward and killed them. This moment was the sandhikshan of the 8th (Ashtami) and 9th (Navami) lunar day.
This year the sandhikhshan was from 12.16am to 1.04am. Sandhi Puja requires 108 lotus flowers, a single fruit, dry rice grain for “naivedyam”, 108 earthen lamps, clothes, jewelry, hibiscus garlands and wood apple (bel) leaves. The almost non-existent rituals which underwent changes with the changes in the society can still be seen in some of the old Pujas.
Sacrifice (Bali) is done before the goddess to symbolize the killing of demons. It used to be a sacrifice of a buffalo or a goat. But, nowadays, these are replaced by sugarcane or pumpkin, banana etc at most of the places.
Then the aarati and pushpanjali to pay respect and to surrender to the goddess.
We returned to our hotel at around 1.45am.