Jagadhatri Puja Festival of Bengal
Like Durga Puja, Jagadhatri Puja is another Puja celebrated with enthusiasm and fervour in the state of West Bengal in India.
About Jagadhatri Puja
Jagadhatri Puja is devoted to Mother Jagadhatri who is considered and known as another form of Shakti, the Supreme mother goddess of the Hindus. Next to the well known Durga Puja celebrated all over the state West Bengal, Jagdhatri Puja is also celebrated with the same fervour and enthusiasm. Jagadhatri worship is mostly celebrated only in the state of West Bengal and is not much known much outside the state.
The cult of Jagdhatri is derived from the Tantra where she is the symbol of Sattva beside Durga and Kali and is respectably symbolised with Rajas and Tamas. Jagadhatri Puja is celebrated on the 9th lunar day of the light fortnight of the month of Karthika as mentioned in the "Krityatattarnab" by Srinath acharyachuramoni of the 15th and 16th century.
Depiction of the Mother Jagadhatri for the Puja
Goddess Jagdhatri is depicted as of the colour of the rising morning sun, three eyed and four armed, in the tantras and Puranas. Armed with Chakra, Conch, bow and arrow she is decked up with red attires, bright jewels and nagajangopaveeta which is a symbol of Yoga and the Brahman. She sits there riding on the lion standing on the Elephant Demon Karindrasura accompanied by Dhak, Dhunuchi nachh and the mild fragrance of Sheuli
How the Jagadhatri Puja was started at Sri Ramakrishna Mission Centers
According to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa " Jagadhatri arises in the mind of the person who can control the frantic elephant called the mind".
Jagdhatri Puja celebrated in Chandan Nagar , Hoogly, Krishnan Nagar is a special socio cultural celebration and is considered as a major autumn event . In the Sri Ramakrishna Mission, Sarada Devi, the wife of Sri Ramakrishna, initiated the Jagdhatri Puja celebrations. According to the popular belief ampong the masses of West Bengal , Sarada Devi is considered to be the an avatara of the Goddess Devi and is similarly considered in all the centres of Sri Ramakrishna Missions all over the world.
Other names of Goddess Jagadhatri
Goddess Jagdhatri is also known as Karindrasuranisudini, meaning slayer of the Elephant Demon, Maheshwari the Great Goddess, Shaktacharpriya, and Adharabhuta and many more.
Last three day Rituals of the Jagadhatri Puja
The Puja Rituals are done on the 3 days of Ashtami, Navami and dashami as for the Durga Puja.
Ashtami is the starting point of the 3 day celebrations of the Jagadhatri Puja. On te Ashtami day Devi is worshipped as the giver / provider of Wealth, Sustenance, Good luck as well as prosperity. All the devotees together recite prayers to invoke the Goddess's Blessings and distribute Ashtami Bhog / prasada of the offerings to the goddess, to all the devotees present there.
Navami is the second day which is considered to be the day the Goddess was conceived and sent to the earth. Animal Sacrifices are the main rituals of this day but this has been substituted by Chalkumro, cucumber and banana.
The Final Day of Jagadhatri Puja Festivals
Dashmi is called as the Vijayadashmi when the Goddess is taken over the area in a procession and gets immersed in the river. This yearly visit of the Goddess Jagadhatri is celebrated as a festival of the victory of good over evil and brings happiness to the people.
The city as well as the suburbs of Kolkata, never sleeps during these five days and the people enjoy a lot. There is no caste, religion or creed and all participate in this great festival, giving rise to a brotherly spirit.
The beat of drums, the clash of cymbals, the ringing of bells, dances before the image of Devi, incense wafting in the air, all form an integral part of the Puja. All too soon on Dashami, the day when the images are taken in a procession and immersed in the river Hooghly.