Bhubaneswar: Dussehra, which is celebrated with much fervor across the country, denotes the victory of virtue over evil. Today is the day two of the celebrations, or the Maha Saptami. Saptami is the day when the goddess started her battle against Mahishasura which ended with his death on Vijaya Dashami (the 10th day).
According to folk lore, the world was under threat from the evil demon Mahisasura, that no man or god could defeat. To vanquish the buffalo-demon, Maa Durga emerged from the collective energies of all the gods. Each God then brandished her with deadliest weapons, and she destroyed Mahisasura.
The seventh day of Navratri represents Devi Kalaratri amongst Navdurga. This form of the goddess, Maa Kalaratri, is believed to be the most ferocious form of Parvati and is known to be the destroyer of demon entities, ghosts, spirits, and negative energies.
While the rituals such as ‘Akal Bhodan’ and ‘Adhivasa’ were conducted on sixth day or Maha Sasthi, the pandals are all ready today for Maha Saptami.
Extensive preparations are being done for ‘Navapatrika Snan’ today. Bathing of the navapatrika with holy water is undertaken today. Another special ritual to be undertaken today is the ‘Chakhyu Dana’ of the idols. The face of the Goddess is unveiled in pandals preceded by an elaborate puja. The divine face is revealed amidst reverberating sound conch shells, ‘ghanta’ and ululations with chanting of mantras.