Finally, the most awaited day of the year for the Bengalis is here, Mahalaya. The day which signifies the commencement of Durga Puja and is observed by the famous Mahalaya song being sung by Birendra Krishna Bhadra which still rules the hearts of the Bengalis. If today you will pass by a Bengali community or a house too, you would be definitely be mesmerized by the sonorous voice of the great singer who is famous for bringing the Mahishasura Mardini strains so perfectly to the audience. The most heard and melodious lines on this auspicious days goes as,”Jaya Jaya He Mahishaasuramardhini Ramyakapardini Shailasute” which itself brings a vibration in the body of the people.
Mahalaya marks the end of Shraadh period or which is also called the Pitri Paksha which is a ceremony in which three generations of ancestors are invited to a meal and an offering of rice cakes are served to them to provide them peace and salutation. This day also marks the beginning of Devi Paksha and on the sixth day, Durga Puja is celebrated by the Bengalis. If we take a look at the mythology, the according to that it is said that goddess Durga was created with the blessings of all the other gods where specially Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh were the great ones to provide blessings so that she could defeat the demon king Mahishasura who received with himself a blessing that he could not be killed by any man or god, therefore to kill the demon the birth of Durga was necessary. Durga was bestowed with various weapons attached with 10 hands that she borrowed from her creators which she used in her fight with Mahishasura.
Taking in account the cultural part too, Mahalaya is a 90 minute programmed where the invocation of Mahishasura Mardini is recited to remember the women powers and the way Durga succeeded in killing the demon. The celebration is concluded then with Bengali songs and Sanskrit chants.