Tala Navami also known as Maha Nanda Navami is a propitious day observed in the Bhadra month that is in the month of August or September every year. This day is celebrated in the whole of India but especially in Orissa and West Bengal. On this day, the devotees of Goddess Durga worship her with great zeal. It is observed on the ninth day during the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon in Bhadra month.
Goddess Durga symbolizes power and energy. She is worshipped especially by women for attaining power and strength to fight against evils. Worshipping Goddess Durga proves to conquer over the evil spirits. In Hindi, Durga means a place or a fort that cannot be overrun. That means Goddess Durga is considered invincible. Another meaning of Durga is “Durgatinashini” which means one who eliminates sufferings. Thus, Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and remove their grieves as well. There are nine avatars or forms of Durga, namely, Sailaputri, Chandraghanta, Brahmacharini, Skanda Mata, Kushmanda, 1Kalaratri, Maha Gowri, Katyayani and Siddhidayini.. On Tala Navami, all the forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped.
Legend of Durga Maa
The trinity of God Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu decided to create a woman weapon to kill the demon Mahishasura since he was blessed by Shiva that no man or God could kill him. These three Gods integrated their energies in one and created Durga. She was blessed with multiple weapons in her ten arms. With those weapons Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura and his army in the battle ground. Goddess Durga symbolizes and motivates the power of a woman which is no less than a man. She is one of the forms of Goddess Parvati, Adi Shakti. Goddess Durga has ten arms and these ten arms signify ten directions in Hinduism. She stands on a lion which indicated freedom from fear. Hence the devotees of Durga are blessed with spirit of freedom and the courage to fight against the wrong.
Celebrations of Tala Navami
On this day, people from everywhere visit the Durga temples and chant hymns to praise and worship her in order to gain her blessings. The preparations of Durga Ashtami and Durga Puja, which falls a month a head start from this day. The devotees, especially the married women fast on this day. They break their fast after seeing the moon at night. A special dish called Tal’er Bara - small balls made from the pulp of ripe palm fruit combined with grated coconut, sugar, flour, and then deep fried in oil, is cooked on this occassion. Other dishes prepared are rajbhog, murmura laddoo, kalakand, golden rasmalai, luchi, bhapaa aloo and many more. People dress in their traditional outfits, women in white and red sarees and men in white dhotis. The Bijara Temple in Odisha and the Kanak Durga temple in West Bengal are famous for the celebration of this festival. Devotees experience an amazing zeal and energy in them after worshiping Goddess Durga on this day in terms of blessings.