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Significant Elements Of ‘Sandhi Puja’ An Important Part Of Durga Puja?

So many people travel all the way from abroad to get the best experience of pandal hopping, meeting friends, enjoying mouthwatering food, and so on only at one particular time in the year – Durga Puja! Durga puja is not just a festival of Bengalis, but it is the festival of concord as well as a universal fraternity. And an integral ritual of this massive festival of Bengal is Sandhi Puja! Want to know about Sandhi Puja date and things to do in Durga Puja Sandhi Puja 2019? Know more!

The Time when Sandhi Puja is conducted

Sandhi Puja gets performed at the eighth and ninth lunar day’s juncture. There’s a mesmerizing thing about Sandhi puja – it only lasts from Ashtami’s last 24 minutes to Nabami’s first 24 minutes. The juncture is also known as Sandhikhan where Durga is worshipped as Chamunda.

Since the pre-historic age, Goddess Durga is worshipped by her devotees. She is the many images of Divine Mother in multiple forms.  Her attires are significant in various forms – sometimes her unbound hair complements the colorful Saree she wears when rescuing her worshippers from Mahisasura. Sometimes, she is naked with garlands of skulls with blood bathed scythe. She is Durga, Kali, and even Chamuda. The Sandhi Puja timing is during the eighth and ninth lunar day’s juncture when Devi Durga killed two asuras (Chando and Mundo) at Sandhikhan. She took the form of Chamunda and hence acquired the name. Here’s how!

Significant Elements of ‘Sandhi Puja' an Important Part of Durga Puja?
Photo of ‘purohit goutam chatterjee’ by iavik under Attribution License

The myth behind Durga being Worshipped as Chamunda during Sandhikhan

Durga was engaged with Mahishasura in the fierce battle. During the time, two generals attacked Durga. Right at that point in time, she took the avatar as Chamuda with her hair tied on her head and a crescent moon right above the forehead. Her neck surrounded by garland and her forehead with a ‘tilak’, she emitted golden glow with a halo around her head! The blue goddess appeared with ten hands with ten different weapons. With her anger, she faced the two generals – Chondo and Mundo! Her third eye glew with light and she appeared with a large face and toungue filled with blood. The scary blood shot eyes walked closer to the generals with a bloodcurdling shriek. She then killed Chondo and Mundo – and this part of the ritual is the juncture of eighth and ninth lunar day.

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Measuring Sandhikhan

Long time ago, devotees used some methods to measure Sandhi Puja timing and Sandhi Puja date and when to perform the ritual at the actual juncture. During Ashtami puja’s lasy 24 minutes, a bowl of bronze comprising a tiny hold was placed in one bucket of water. The tiny hole in the bowl was constructed in such a way that it exactly took a total of 24 minutes to make it get submerged in the water. The time when the bowl gets submerged in water, the cannon balls got fired with Sandhi Puja announcement. This measuring was popular amongst the ‘Rajbaris’ like Sobhabajar Rajbari.

Significant Elements of ‘Sandhi Puja' an Important Part of Durga Puja?
Photo of ‘sandhipuja aarati-1’ by iavik under CC BY 2.0

People around the Sobhabajar Rajbari waited for this particular indication to make necessary things to proceed with the Sandhi puja. Raja Krishna Chandra was once given the Plassey’s cannon as the gift from Clive. Shikharbhum Rajbari comprised a ritual where a platter full of vermillion was kept in front of Goddess Durga. According to this ritual, it was believed that Devi’s footprint got marked in the platter of vermillion. This particular moment indicates the Sandhi Puja’s commencement.

With Sandhi puja, comes the controversies related to ‘bali’ (a sacrifice). As far as the ritual is concerned, it requires to perform ‘bali’ or sacrifice of a life at this particular sacred juncture. Nowadays, a bali of banana can also be considered as a bali! Excited to experience the spiritual significance of Durga Puja Sandhi Puja 2019 this year? Then you can wait for a couple of days more!

Featured Photo of ‘sandhipuja aarati-1’ by iavik under CC BY 2.0

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