Worshipping of divine heavenly deities by creating earthen idols and giving them a shape and dressing them up like mortals to be more connected to god. Documented in the religious history of a Hindu culture there are 33 crores [330 million] god and goddess that hold a certain kind of significance in every aspect of life. Shiva the creator and destroyer of life are worshipped by his devotees to achieve clarity and sanctity of consciousness. Lord Ganesha is always worshipped before every task because it is believed to eliminate obstacles from devotees' life. The divinity acquired after worshipping these god and goddesses by pure-hearted devotees helps them to find their purpose of life and serve it.
West Bengal is popularly known for its celebration and festivities on the arrival of Goddess Durga from the meadow of heaven to earth. The ancient belief is that heaven is the place of in-laws for goddess Durga and earth is her home so every year she descends to her Father’s place and her devotees are often described as her family members but often in the autumn festival Durga puja it is witnessed that devotees worship the powerful avatar of Durga that defeats the demon Asura so from the idea of Durga being a daughter originates? This is where the legend of Jagadhatri emerge.
GODDESS JAGADHATRI AND HER LEGEND
The two cities of West Bengal familiarized the worship of Jagadhatri Puja are Chandannagar and Krishnanagar though Chandannagar modernized the idea because of an immense number of devotees present there Krishnanagar was the place from where the narrative originated. Raja Krishnachandra was the biggest devotee of goddess Durga and he never missed the auspicious days of Durga puja and use to engross himself in the festivities and worshipping to the divine idol but the time he was captured by Siraj, the emperor of that timeline for defaulting taxes and by the time he returns the auspicious days of worship of the goddess was already over.
A grief-stricken Krishnachandan failed as a devotee had a dream that night where he saw Goddess Durga in the attire of a little child and gave him the message to worship this avatar in a month of the ninth day of the bright fortnight of month Kartika. He was also conveyed that this would also bring boundlessly blessing to the kingdom. After consulting to the royal priest it was discovered that the vision, in fact, was that of goddess Jagadhatri and since then raja Krishnachandra the deity of Durga idolized as a daughter has been worshipped by devotees all over the country but mostly in the Eastern part.
REASONS FOR CELEBRATING JAGADHATRI PUJA
Old mythological accounts believe that goddess Jagadhatri is the future of ‘Bharat Mata’ and she is worshipped by her devotees as the ultimate protector of the world. The goddess is said to insulate mankind from the bad and malicious forces and energies of the universe.
Goddess Jagadhatri who is also depicted as the more serene version of the goddess Durga is also considered as the divine force that holds the world together. It is believed by devotees that it is because of the blessing of this divine goddess that the world still stood erect or else it would have shattered. Their worship is a form of paying homage to Jagadhatri.
In a more spiritual aspect, it is also believed by devotees that worshipping the splendid idol of Jagadhatri as a medium to release ego and envy from a person’s mind and rather approach a selfless way to achieve a goal and fulfill the purpose of life.
JAGADHATRI PUJA 2020
This the year the auspicious date of Jagadhatri Puja falls from 21st November to 24th November, though the celebration embarks for 10 days it’s the last four days that holds all the pujas and ceremonies. Places like Krishnanagar, Chandannagar, Konnagar, and Howrah are lit with splendid lights to welcome their daughter from heaven.
Tall pandals are built within which the beautiful earthen idols attired with colorful sarees and gold replicated jewelry to make her resemble a mortal lady of elegance. Devotees gather around the pandal and worship the idol for days where they contribute prashad[sacred holy food] and flowers along with the sound of Dhak and Shankha that embarks the festivity and to create the ambiance of serenity among devotees who look up to the goddess for her wisdom and knowledge to be embarked on them and their prayers to be heard.