The last day of the Durga Puja festival Dashami, also known as Vijayadashami. Goddess Durga immerses into the river.

The Painful ‘GoodBye’ – Vijayadashami

Vijayadashami

Vijayadashami is celebrated as the victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana. The last day of the Durga Puja festival Dashami, also known as Vijayadashami, is one of the most important days for the Bengalis. On this day, women smear each other with vermilion on “Sindur Khela”. Vijayadashami denotes the end of the entire carnival and fills the eyes of the devotees with tear. Moreover, everybody holds a heavy heart on Vijayadashami as they come together for “Visarjan” of Goddess Durga. The day represents an emotional culmination for all the Bengalis. The immersion of Goddess Durga in rivers or lakes makes everyone somber. They bid adieu to the Devi until again next year. There is a saying that “the night of Navami should not end” and it as an urge to followers of Goddess Durga. In real sense, the concept of Visarjan is however vague.

Real Concept

With the awakening of the Kundalini Shakti, it marks Devi’s “Agamon” and her transition into the “Hriday Ghot”. Her Shakti transfers to the “Ghot” placed in front of the Goddess. This Shakti remains present for worshipping until the time of Dusserah. Maha Shakti of Kundalini transforms onto the devotee and there is no word as such called “Visarjan”. This indicates the actual time of awakening of the Kundalini Shakti and experience Shakti for lifetime.

Rituals

This day calls for all the married women who want to greet Goddess Durga for the last time accompanied by rituals. They immerse themselves in aarati, arrange for sweets to put on the lips of the goddess, wipe out tears with their aanchal like one does while leaving their favorite place. This whole event called as “Durga Baran”. On Vijaya Dashami, it is quite important for women to play with colors and apply vermillion powder on Goddess Durga. Vijaya Dashami calls for the women to wear white saree with red borders. Many women also bring sweets, with thaalis in their hands to exchange between them, which marks the importance of Vijaya Dashami.

Before the departure of Goddess Durga from the respective pandals, all the married women assemble for sindhoor khela, which they apply on each other and on the loha and the pala worn by the married women. Likewise, women and the priest apply sindur on the forehead of Goddess Durga on this last day of the puja with the anticipation that Goddess Durga will be coming to home next year. After the Goddess is out for immersion, the sindur put in front of them and applied to the foreheads of the married women among themselves. The remaining sindur is smeared on the iron and gold bangles of the women called touching the loha.

Vijaya Dashami

The ritual shifts to the homes of the families, where the members indulge themselves in “sindur khela” and Vijayadashami, in honor of Goddess Durga. The exchange of sweets indicates an acceptance of Vijayadashami. The younger members ask for the blessings of their elders.

Durga Visarjan

West Bengal celebrates Durga Puja with great joy. Other Indian states also look forward to Durga Puja. After the six days of full celebration, the immersion of Goddess Durga takes placethrough procession. During that time, the devotees chant “Durga maa ki jai” which changes the atmosphere around. Dhakis play the signature tune of‘Visarjan’ and the porters carry the idols to immerse them into water. Most ofthe immersion of goddess takes place in Ganga ghat. The sight of immersion ofGoddess Durga is very painful for the devotees into the Ganges. “Visarjan” takes place in seawaters. During this time, the enactment of Ram Leela takes placeon the stage and beautiful decoration of the pandals attracts the attention ofthe devotees.

Summing it up

Through this immersion of the goddess, it implies that Goddess Durga returns to her husband, Shiva. Different people call Visarjan by different names like Bishorjon, Niranjan and Bhaashan. Vijaya Dashami calls for a day of mixed emotions forthat of the devotees as they bid farewell to the diety and start waitingeagerly to welcome Goddess Durga the next year.

Author: Sayantani Das