Jagadhatri Puja 2016, Jagaddhatri Puja 2016.
Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar.
Jagaddhatri in Krishnanagar.
Another famous festival, pertaining to only the state of West Bengal, is Jagadhatri or Jagaddhatri Puja. The word 'Jagadhatri', embolizes devi Durga, and she is considered to be the mother of 'Sristi', or start of life. She is considered as a single goddess, empowered by four hands, empowered by four hands, instead of ten hands as that of Maa Durga's.
She is worshipped, similarly as like devi Durga, only difference is that the puja starts on Kartick Shukla Navami, i.e. the ninth day of the month of Kartick. The puja ends on the last day of 'Devipaksh' once again. Goddess Jagadhatri is a similar deity to that of Maa Durga, and she reappears exactly a month post
the famous ritual of 'Durga Puja'. Embolization of 'sattva' of Rajas and Tamas guna each representing Durga and Kali, Jagadhatri happens to be the supreme power to have controlled the Universe. Myths have that, Jagadhatri puja was initiated by Sarada mata, wife of Sri Ramakrishna. The puja was propagated as 'Shakti Puja', to overcome evils in our minds, and devils who exist in the society.
The history of the puja is well linked in Bengal around two destinations, viz. Krishna Nagar and Chandannagar.
This puja started with by one Indranarayan Choudhury, the then Zamindar (landlord) of Chandannagar, and had become famous in the said region, right from 1713. Similarly, Raja Krishnachandra started this puja in Krishna Nagar, and the puja, became famous in the year 1762 and onwards. Some famous puja's are held in Moktar Bari, Shibpur village, besides Udaynaranpur.
The Goddess rides on a lion, similar to that of Devi Durga's, but in some places, she is seen to be riding an elephant or a tiger also. Elephant or tiger, both represents power, and pride, in humans, which needs to be controlled in order to live happily. Unlike Devi Durga, she is entangled by a snake on her neck, thus, signifying, fight against all odds in life.
The idol has an old fashioned shaping, and the four hands display conch, discus, shaft, and bow respectively. Conch is the symbol of brilliance and purity, discus destroys the evil spirit, while shaft represents wisdom and bow represents concentration of mind. The Goddess thus brings the spirit of wisdom, and marks the auspicious time, as per Hindu calendar.
During the festival, special destinations like Chandannagar, Krishna Nagar, are lighted with the spirit of enjoyment. Special aspects, like extensive decorative lighting adds up to the spirit. Bhog (Food offered to the Goddess), is distributed in nearby localities.
The first day, of the Puja, i.e. Saptami she is worshipped as a symbol of Yoga and the Brahman both depicting spiritual upliftment. She is worshipped in the midst of Dhak, Dhunuchi nachh and Vedic hymns.
Actual Puja Rituals are done on the 3 days of Ashtami, Navami and Dashami similar to that of Durga Puja.
On Ashtami, i.e. eigth day of devipaksh Devi is worshipped as the giver / provider of Wealth, Sustenance, Good luck as well as prosperity. Navami, is the major celebration, when she is considered to be conceived and sent to the earth. Animal Sacrifices are done in some places on the same day. This has now been replaced with Cucumber, Banana etc, due to legal barriers.
The last day of celebration is Vijaya Dashami when the Goddess is immersed, in the Ganges, accompanied by the beat of drums and merrymaking, besides localities dancing to the spirit. The surrounding air becomes heavy in fragrance of incense wafting in the air.
Jagadhatri Puja marks the end of the Hindu festivals, for the year. With the immersion of the Goddess, people in Bengal again start counting the days, for the next festive season.
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