We’ve just celebrated the biggest festival of Bengali Hindu community named Sharadia (Autumnal) Durga Puja. This year four day long Durgotsav (the festival of Durga Puja) included different rituals as usual. But the last ritual of the festival named `Vijaya’ is being celebrated still now. The devotees are wishing their friends and relatives `Happy Vijaya’.
According to Hindu scripture, on the auspicious day of Dashami (the tenth day of the fortnight of Devi Paksha) Lord Rama celebrated `Vijaya’ (a victory) after defeating Ravana. Many think that the ritual was named after Vijaya, a female friend of Devi Durga (according to another view Vijaya is a daughter of Devi Durga). On this day, the worshippers of Devi Durga perform `Dashami Puja’, `Pradakshin’ (walking seven times round the temple), `Yatra Mangal’(an auspicious setting off with the leaves of wood apple tree), `Darpan Visarjan’ (a symbolic immersion of Devi Durga with a mirror), `Sindoor Khela’ (a ritual of women with vermilion), `Varana’ (ceremonial reception), `Vijayar Pranam’ (obeisance to seniors) and finally `Visarjan’ (the immersion of idols in water). In many places, the organizers of Durga Puja festival stage the program of Vijaya sangeet (the songs of Vijaya). Some organizers set the Nilkantha birds free from their cages. They believe that the birds carry the message of Devi Durga’s coming back to her husband’s residence.
Sharadia Durga Puja is the most awaited festival of the Bengali Hindus. This festival has just ended with the tears of the devotees. The devotees will wait for the festival of the next year eagerly. I wish them `Happy Vijaya’.