Sandhi Puja - Story, Legend, Importance and Celebrations
Sandhi Puja is an important tradition that is followed during Navratri festivities. It is regarded as one of the most significant rituals of Durga Puja and this puja is performed at a peculiarly specific time, i.e. during the time when Ashtami tithi ends and Navami tithi begins. The last 24 minutes during Ashtami tithi and the first 24 minutes during Navami tithi together make Sandhikhan i.e. the exact time when Goddess Durga took the avatar of Goddess Chamunda and annihilated the demons Chanda and Munda.
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Sandhi Puja - Importance and Celebrations
The significance of Sandhi Puja lies in the legend behind it. In Hindu mythology, according to Sandhi Puja story, when Goddess Durga was fighting with the demon Mahishasura, his associates Chanda and Munda attacked Goddess Durga from behind which enraged the Goddess and her face turned blue in anger. This opened her third eye and Chamunda avatar of Goddess Durga was formed and killed both the evil demons. Sandhi Puja is done in reverence of Chamunda, the fierce avatar of Goddess Durga.
Information about Sandhi Puja Vidhi
Sandhi Puja Vidhi is done in a grand manner. Durga Puja, on this day, is done using 108 earthen lamps, 108 lotuses, a garland of 108 bel leaves, jewellry, traditional clothes, hibiscus flowers, rice grains (uncooked) and a red fruit. Amidst recitals of Sandhi Puja Mantra, these items are offered to the Goddess.
Although every family has their own unique way of doing Sandhi Puja, but it is ensured that the puja commences at the exact moment when Sandhikhan begins.
Another legend or belief associated with the Sandhi Puja story says when Lord Rama was going to Lanka to get Goddess Sita back, he had worshipped Goddess Durga to seek her blessing and invoke her to successfully conquer Lanka. So, Lord Rama observed the Durga Puja, popularly known as “Akal-Bodhon”. During the Sandhi-khan, Goddess Durga appeared before Lord Rama and bestow her blessings. Therefore, the conquest of Lanka by Lord Rama is another example of win of good over evil.