British Asia News Network – MH
London: Ealing Townhall in London, echoed with the festive galour of Sharad Utsav that saw many people in attendance for Durga Puja which is at the core of Sharad Utsav, a popular festival in India.
‘Sharad Utsav’ which means’ Autumn Festival’ is the celebration of the divine force of Mother Goddess Durga and her victory over the evil demon Mahishasura. The festivity held at Ealing was a culmination of revelry, dancing, singing and spreading a lot of happiness and cheer. From the idol of Durga Maa in her magnificent form as she vanquishes the malevolent demon Mahishasura on her ferocious lion, to the serene and benevolent idol of Ganesha, all were dressed glittering garments, jewellery and fragrant flowers. Glorious in all their festive regalia, everyone of the attendees joined in the festivities with a lot of excitement. The puja (veneration to the Gods) was held with the priest chanting holy chants and the holy fire.
The cultural show had participants singing soulfully and dancing with abandon. Delicious food which is one of the integral pillars of every Indian festival was also served piping hot to all who came. There were stalls selling jewellery and artefacts too.
Pictures from London Sarad Utsav, Ealing Townhall
Legend has it, that an evil demon named ‘Mahishasura once, was once granted a boon by a God. When he asked for immortality, the God reminded him that it was not possible to grant immortality as everyone was bound by the Laws of Nature which state that anything that comes to life, has to die. Therefore he could only choose the type of death or time of death but not to eternal life. Mahishasura in all his arrogance chose to die at the hands of a woman as he considered them helpless beings who would never be able to overpower someone as powerful as him. His boon was granted.
As the years passed, Mahishasura’s atrocities grew to enormous proportions, until one day the Holy Trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahishsura had, had enough. They combined their powers to call upon the ultimate power there was – Mother Goddess Durga. And she arrived on her royal stead – a Lion. Dressed in resplendent red, adorned with shining jewels and most importantly carrying innumerable weapons in her eight hands.
Mahishasura when he first saw her, it is said, mocked her for even thinking she could ever hold a candle to his strength and ability in combat because she was after all just a woman! Enraged, the Mother Goddess’s eyes shimmered with anger, she engaged the insolent demon in battle. The battle that ensued is said to have shaken the Heaven, Earth and Hell. Until the Mother Goddess plunged her trident right through the evil heart of Mahishasura. From then on this day celebrates the victory of good over evil and is the cause of much joy.
Greetings of the season to you and your family from all of us here at British Asia News.