The conventional time to celebrate Durga Puja is during Basanta Ritu (or Spring time). However the time we workship ma Durga is during the Hemanta Ritu (or Autumn). This is called Akal Bodhan (Uncustomary time to start worship).According to the Ramayana, the demon Ravana was an ardent worshipper of Maa Durga. Before the great battle of Lanka ensued, Lord Rama seeked the blessings of Maa Durga to defeat Ravana. Rama also came to know of the boon given by Goddess Parvati to Ravana. o force can defeat you. He came to know that Maa Durga would answer his prayers if he worshipped her with 108 lotuses,’Neel Kamals’. While preparing the ‘Yoj Kunda’ for the prayer, he requested Hanumana to get the 108 ‘Neel Kamals’. Hanumana, went to Debidaha and brought 108 of them to Rama. It is said that to test Lord Rama’s devotion, the goddess hid just one lotus from Lord Rama’s view. Rama was also known as Kamal Nayan (Lotus Eyed). On finding one lotus short, Rama offered his one eye which resembled a lotus to Maa Durga. Before he could make the sacrifice Maa Durga appeared before him and blessed him with victory in the great battle. Since Rama had invoked the goddess during Hindu month of Ashwin, which was different from the conventional Durga Puja timing, this Puja came to be known as ‘Akal Bodhan’ or out of season ‘Akal’ worship ‘Bodhan’.
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