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What makes Hindu Festival Durga Puja so popular in India? Know its Meaning and Significance

Durga means one who is difficult to approach since she is the mother of the Universe

Durga, the Goddess of strength. Wikimedia

October 6, 2016: Durga Puja, one of the most auspicious, astonishing and marvellous occasion celebrated in India. Durga Puja also known as Durgotsav or Sharadotsav. The amalgamation of two words “Durga and Utsav” which unites and means the joyous occasion to celebrate the festival of Goddess Durga.

The event is the greatest and grandest occasion celebrated by the religious people with great enthusiasm in the month of Ashwin or October. It is occasion mainly celebrated in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Odisha and Manipur.

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Goddess in the form of the Divine Mother is worshipped in three forms. The first three days as Durga who hold various weapons in her ten hands and rides a Lion. The other three days as Lakshmi who is the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth.

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Durga means one who is difficult to approach since she is the mother of universe. She is the personification of tender love, wealth, power, beauty and all virtues. Durga as a manifestation of Shakti or the Power of God. She assumes different forms at different times  to destroy the Danavas or workers of Evil.

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On of these was Mahishasura, who was terrible demon and the dwellers of heaven does not knew how to get rid of him. Then the Goddess Durga armed with all the dazzling weapons and accompanied by her favorite Vahan (animal) the lion marched against the ferocious Danava. It resulted into the terrible victory that marks the epoch of universal rejoicing and festivity amongst the Hindus. The occasion teaches that No matter how powerful the Evil Forces are, the Ultimate victory will always be in the hands of the virtuous.

– by Jeenat Grover of NewsGram. Twitter: @JeenatG

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393