Jagaddhatri Puja

Description
Jagaddhatri or Jagadhatri is an aspect of the Hindu goddess Durga, who is particularly worshipped in the West Bengal region of India. Her cult is directly derived from Tantra where she is a symbol of sattva beside Durga and Kali, respectably symbolized with Rajas and Tamas.

She is celebrated on Gosthastami. It is also referred to as another Durga Puja as it also starts on Asthami tithi and ends on Dashami tithi. The date of the puja is decided by the luni-solar Hindu calendar.

Jagaddhatri is depicted as being the colour of the morning sun, three-eyed and four-armed, holding a chakra, conch, bow and arrows, clothed in red, bright jewels and nagajangopaveeta (a serpent as the sacred thread), a symbol of yoga and the Brahman. She rides a lion standing on the dead Karindrasura, the Elephant Demon. “Jagaddhatri arises in the heart of a person,” said Ramakrishna, “who can control the frantic elephant called mind.”

Though she is worshipped all over West Bengal and some places of Odisha, Jagaddhatri Puja in Krishnanagar, Chandannagar, Boinchi, Bhadreswar, Hooghly, Rishra, Tehatta, Ashoknagar Kalyangarh, Ichapur-Nawabganj, North 24 PGS, Gopalbera, Burdwan and Baripada, have a special socio-cultural celebration. In Kolkata, too, Jagaddhatri Puja is a major autumnal Hindu event after Durga Puja and Kali Puja. In Ramakrishna Mission, Jagaddhatri Puja was initiated by Sarada Devi, Ramakrishna’s wife and observed in the centres of the Mission all over the world.

Pauranik lore
‘Jagaddhatri Puja’ in Kolkata As per ancient Pauranik lore of the Hindu scriptures, soon after the victory over Mahishasur the Devatas became highly egoistic. They thought because of lending to Durga their instruments the mighty asuras were vanquished. To make them understand that the primordial power is alone behind every action, then Shiva/Mahadev appeared before the Devatas in the form of effulgent Yaksha.

Bewildered by its presence one by one the Devatas approached Yaksha. First the god of wind Vayu. The Yaksha asked him what he could do. The Vayu replied that he could throw away huge trees, tumble high mountains. The Yaksha then placed a small grass and asked him to move it. The Vayu utilised all his powers but lo! he could not even displace it. So also the god of fire Agni, could not even burn it. Likewise one by one the Devatas failed.

And it dawned on them that their powers are in reality not their own but derived from the supreme power who as protecting mother holds the entire creation and therefore called Jagaddhatri. Anybody who worships Jagaddhatri becomes absolutely egoless and a true servant of the world which is nothing but a manifestation of the Brahman.

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