Importance of Purohit in Bengali Culture

India is a country of beliefs,ceremonies,rituals and festivals and every state has different shades of these customs. In Hinduism, the dominant religion among India's 1.2 billion people, there are elaborate pujas for virtually every life event . The beliefs and rituals of West Bengal are very unique to the state.

Purohits,belonging to the Brahmin upper caste,are the torchbearers of all rituals and customs to be followed in every ceremony,related from birth to death.The term Brahmin meant originally “one possessed of Brahman” – a mysterious magical force widely known to modern anthropologists by the Melanesian word mana. The name Brahmin was given to the first specially trained priest who superintended the sacrifice. By the end of the Rig Vedic period dating 1500-1000 BC, the term was used for all members of the priestly class.

Some very important ceremonies,in a life of a Bengali,demands the presence of a Purohita.Annaprashan,is a social ritual,where a hindu child has his first rice meal,Upanayana,a ritual for the Brahmin boys,signifying the beginning of brahmacharyya,Marriages which are a mix of culture,traditions and religious beliefs,the various Pujas(Ganesh,Durga,Kali,Lakhi,Saraswati etc)which constitutes the very essence of the religion,is completed under the able guidance of Purohits.When we procure a new House(Griha Prabesh),or  a new Vehicle(Bahan Puja),all are blessed,by the Purohits after,an elaborate Puja is conducted by them.

From ancient days,Purohits are known to have mystical powers and hence have been approached by many in trouble ,be it ill health,economic or married life,and Purohits perform elaborate Pujas to appease their unfavourable planetary alignments.

Inevitably,man’s jorney culminates into death,wherein,Purohits,perform Shradha ceremony,to ensure smooth transition of ones soul into their journey onwards.

Hence,we can safely conclude,that  presence of a Purohit,in every aspect of a Bengalis life,in Happiness and death,is innate,and no deed gets completed without their prayers and blessings.

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