Led by the Tsugla Lopon, the Lopons of the Zhung Dratshang, truelkus, lam netens of the 20 dzongkhags, senior monks and khenpos attended the Durga Puja at the Hindu temple in Thimphu yesterday.

The visit coincided with Maha-Saptami, the seventh day of the Durga Puja.  It is for the first time that such a large number of Buddhist luminaries visited the temple. They are attending the oral transmission of the Kagyur Lung at Kuenselphodrang and took time during a break to attend the puja.

Pundit Mahadev Adhikari, one of the board members of Hindu Dharma Samudaya and representative to the Choedey Lhentshog, thanked the monk body for gracing the Durga Puja.

The nine-day Puja  is an annual event conducted by the Hindu community for the peace, prosperity and happiness of His Majesty The King, country, and the people. The recitation concludes tomorrow, which will be followed by Dashain.

Dashain is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu month of Ashwayuja or Ashwina, and is the grand culmination of the 10-day annual festival of Navaratri. According to a legend, the day is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. Dasain was declared a national holiday in 1980.

Goddess Durga, also identified as Shakti, Bhavani and Adi-Parashakti, is always depicted as a fearless Goddess whose mythology revolves around winning of good over evil. The word ‘Durga’ is associated with the word ‘Durg’ meaning a ‘fortress’. The word ‘Durga’ literally means impassable and inaccessible. As per the Hindu lunisolar calendar, the Durga Puja falls in the month of Ashwina, typically in September or October in the Gregorian calendar.

Durga Puja spans over a period of nine to ten days. The last four days are considered the most sacred and celebrated with much fervour. The Maha Puja begins on the seventh holy day, which is also known as Maha Saptami. The word Saptami is derived from the word ‘Sapt’ which means seven.

Staff Reporter