The Essentials of Durga Puja
Specific items are needed for each day of Durga Puja. There is a detail method to worship Goddess Durga that are mentioned in the scriptures. Items which are needed for the ritual worship of the Goddess should be collected beforehand so that the ritual is performed smoothly. The list of essentials of Durga Puja are:
Items needed for Kalparambho, the ritual performed before the commencement of the puja and Mahasna:
Food Offerings : Panchashasha (grains of five types – rice, mung or whole green gram, til or sesame, mashkalai or any variety of whole black leguminous seed, job or millet), Panchagobbo (five items obtained from the cow – milk, ghee or clarified butter, curd, cow dung and gomutra ), curd, honey, sugar, three big noibiddos , one small noibiddo, three bowls of madhupakka (a mixture of honey, curd, ghee and sugar for oblation), bhoger drobbadi (items for the feast), aaratir drobbadi mahasnan oil, dantokashtho, sugar cane juice, an earthen bowl of atop (a type of rice), til toilo (sesame oil).
Water Offerings: Ushnodok (lukewarm water), coconut water, sarbooushodhi , mahaoushodhi, water from oceans, rain water, spring water, water containing lotus pollen.
Puja Items: Sindur (vermillion), panchabarner guri (powders of five different colours – turmeric, rice, kusum flowers or red aabir, rice chaff or coconut fibre burnt for the dark colour, bel patra or powdered wood apple leaves), panchapallab (leaves of five trees – mango, pakur or a species of fig, banyan, betal and Joggodumur or fig), pancha ratna (five types of gems – gold, diamond, sapphire, ruby and pearl), panchakoshay (bark of five trees – jaam, shimul, berela, kool, bokul powdered in equal portions and mixed with water), green coconut with stalk, three aashonanguriuk (finger ring made of kusha).
Cloth Offerings: Gamcha or a piece of cloth to cover the pot, a dhoti for Vishnu, a sari each for bodhon and Chandi.
Decorative Items : Ghat or a pot, kundohari , a mirror, four arrows, tekatha or a triangular frame of wood, horitoki flowers (myrobalan), chandmala (garland with circular decorations), aashon (a mattress of jute or hay).
Other Items : Water camphor and perfumed sandal wood paste. soil – extracted from elephant tusks, from the teeth of the pig, from the horns of the ox, from the bank of rivers Ganga and Saraswati, from both the banks of a river, from a place where four roads intersect, from palaces, from the ant hill, from the mountains, Vishnu toilo.
Items needed for the Shashthi puja of Goddess Durga:
Food Offerings: A stem of wood apple with fruits, green coconut with stalk, an earthen bowl full of atop, three bowls of madhupakka, sesame seeds, curd, honey, clarified butter, sugar, three big noibiddos, one small noibiddo, bhoger drobbadi, aaratir drobbadi, grain, fruits, one dozen bananas with a single stem, white mustard seeds.
Puja Items : A pot, four arrows two ashonanguriuk, panchapallab, pancha ratna, panchashasha, panchagobbo, tekatha, dubba grass, sindur, swastik pituli, conch shell, kajol (corrilium), gorachana, yellow thread, chamor, a fly-whisk made of yak’s tail used for fanning, earthen lamps, panch pradip for arati.
Cloth Offerings: Gamcha to cover the pot, a dhoti for the wood apple tree, a sari for bodhon, one sari for amontron.
Decorative Items: Myrobalan, flowers, chandmala, adibas oil, turmeric, soil from the bank of river Ganga, perfume, stone, gold, silver, copper, iron, mirror and alta.
Items Needed For Saptami Puja of Goddess Durga:
Food Offerings: Sesame seeds, myrobalan, flowers, two earthen bowls full of atop, green coconut with stalk, wood apple leaves, white mustard, madhupakka (40 or 22 bowls), honey, sugar, noibiddos (40 or 22), one main noibiddo, fruits, items for bhog.
Puja Items: Jute ropes, red thread, alta, four finger rings, four yadnyopaveet, a pot, a mirror, a tekatha, sandalwood, mashkolai, hibiscus flower, small noibiddo, one big earthen lamp, panchapallab, pancha ratna, panchashasha, panchaguri, vermillion, items for arati, items for the yadnya – sand, wood, dry khorke grass, cowdung, kusha grass, ghee, 108 bel leaves and a bowl.
Cloth Offerings: Clothes for the Pundit, a piece of cloth, gamcha for arati, 40 or 22 finger rings made of kusha, sari for nabapatrika, one sari for the main puja, saris for Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Chandi, dhoti for Kartik, Ganesh, Shiva, Vishnu, clothes for nine planets, clothes for peacock, mouse, lion, demon, buffalo, ox, snake, chandmala, a nosering, iron, conch shell.
Plants and flowers offerings: Flower garland, belpatra garland, Banana plant, turmeric plant, colacassia plant, wood apple stem, pomegranate stem, a stem of Jayanti plant, arum plant, rice plant, ashoka stem, twigs of white aparajita plant, two banana stems.
Items needed for Ashtami Puja of Goddess Durga:
Food Offerings : Fruits, items for bhog, items for arati, 40 or 22 bowls of madhupakka, honey, sugar, curd, ghee, 40 or 22 noibiddos, four small noibiddos.
Cloth Offerings : One sari for Durga, new clothes for Lakshmi, Saraswati, Chandi, Kartik, Ganesh, Shiva, Vishnu, nine planets, the peacock, mouse, lion, demon, buffalo, ox, snake, Jaya, Bijoya and Ram.
Puja Items : One dantakashto, 40 or 22 finger rings made of kusha, one nosering, iron, two conch shells, a box of vermillion, flowers, a garland, belpatra garland, one chandmala, one ghoti.
For Sandhi Puja: Flowers, gold ring, a bronze bowl for madhupakka, a small sari, main noibiddo, one small noibiddo, one plate, one pitcher, iron, one nosering, one pillow, a mat, a chandmala, 108 earthen lamps, items for bhog, and items for the arati .
Items needed for Nabami and Dashami Pujas:
Food Offerings : Betel leaves, pan masala, 40 or 22 bowls of madhupakka, honey, sugar, curd, ghee, 40 or 22 noibiddos, four small noibiddos.
Cloth Offerings : Clothes for Lakshmi, Saraswati, Chandi, Kartik, Ganesh, Shiva, Vishnu, the nine planets, the Peacock, Mouse, Lion, Demon, Buffalo, Ox, Snake, Jaya, Bijoya and Ram, one dantakashto , one sari for the main puja.
Puja Items: Flowers, 40 or 22 finger rings made of kusha, one ghoti , one nosering, iron, two Shankha(conch shells), a box of Vermillion, flower garland, belpatra garland, a chandmala, one plate, items needed for the yadnya (fire sacrifice), bel leaves, gift for the Purohit.
For the Dashami puja: Perfume, flowers, durba grass, basil leaves, bel leaves, incense sticks, an earthen lamp, noibiddo, curd, murki, sweets and items needed for Aarati.