Mythological Significance of Bodhon
On this day Goddess Durga arrives to the mortal world from her heavenly abode. Along with the goddess, comes her 4 children - Laxmi, Ganesh, Saraswati and Kartik. She is welcomed with much fanfare amidst the beats of 'Dhak'. Unveiling the face of the idol is the main ritual on this day. Kalaparambho, the ritual performed before the commencement of the puja precedes Bodhon, Amontron and Adibas.
Bodhon is done during the evening of Shashthi and as myth says, the deities thereafter come alive. In this platoon of Gods and Goddess the demon Mahishasur is also worshipped. As it is said, that when Durga killed the demon kind, Mahishasura he was booned by the Goddess and was promised to be worshipped along with her.
Bodhon is also known as "Akal Bodhon". Bodhon means awakening and as name implies Goddess Durga is symbolically awakened during this ritual. According to Hindu mythology all Gods and Goddesses go to sleep for 6 months during Dakshiyana. Because Durga Puja falls in the middle of this period, the Goddess Durga is first awakened before worshipping. The first awakening of Goddess Durga was done by Lord Rama who wanted to propitiate the Goddess before fighting ten headed Demon Ravana. Due to untimely awakening of Goddess Durga Bodhon ritual is also known as Akal Bodhon.
Rituals of Bodhon
The ritual of Bodhon consists of installing a water filled Kalash or vessel at the base of Bilva tree. Bilva tree is also known as Bel tree whose leaves are the utmost sacrosanct for Shiva Pujan. The goddess is invoked through a series of items: Bel tree, Ghat and Nabapatrika. The ingredients that are required for a Bodhon are: a bel, an earthen pot, a kundohari, 4 bamboo arrows, a green coconut with stalk, a traditional Indian towel and a dhoti. Other items include a finger ring made of Kush, 3 bowls of a mixture of honey, curd, ghee and sugar for oblation, 5 leaves, 5 gems, 5 grains, sesame, myrobalan, flowers and Chandmala. During Bodhon prayers are offered to awaken Mother Durga. Adhivas and Amantran rites are done after Bodhon.