Hindus pray for salvation of their ancestors in KolkataSeptember 29th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by ANI
Kolkata, Sept 29 (ANI): Thousands of Hindus gathered on the banks of the Ganges river in Kolkata and prayed for the salvation of their ancestors on the occasion of ”Mahalya” on Monday.
According to the Hindu almanac, ”Mahalaya” marks the conclusion of ”Piter Paksha”, the fortnight during which people hold special religious rituals for the deceased kin particularly ancestors and heralds ”Devi Paksha” or the fortnight-long festival of Hindu goddess Durga.
Several devouts thronged the river bank to perform religious rituals, make offerings to their ancestors and to take a holy dip.
Many devouts also shaved off their head as part of the ritual.
Today is Mahalya. Hindus believe that if they do ”tarpan” today their ancestors are relieved from the life cycle, said Roop Kumar Singh, a devout.
People believe that on the day of ”Mahalya” their departed ancestors come on earth to receive alms.
On the day of Mahalaya we do ”Tarpan” because today our ancestors come back from their world and consume whatever we offer them. Then they return to their own world, said Sudarshan, a devout.
According to Hindu mythology Mahalaya also marks the beginning of Goddess Durga’’s journey to earth seven days prior to the Durga Puja, which lasts for four days.
The legend also has it that Hindu King Lord Ram performed prayers to the goddess of supreme power, Durga before he set for Demon King Ravana’’s Lanka to rescue his kidnapped wife Sita.
Durga, the most powerful of all Hindu gods and goddesses, is portrayed as the goddess with prowess to kill the evil and is worshipped across the country.
While in Eastern India the festival is known as ”Durga Puja” the rest of the country celebrates the nine-day festival as Navratri. (ANI)
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