“ The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.” - Mahatma Gandhi


Jagadhatri Puja


In Hinduism, Jagaddhatri or Jagadhatri (Devnagri: जगद्धात्री, Bengali: জগদ্ধাত্রী, Oriya: ଜଗଦ୍ଧାତ୍ରୀ, 'the Protector of the World') is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. Her worship is more common in West Bengal than the other parts 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 Asthamitithi and ends on Dashamitithi. The date of the puja is decided by the luni-solar Hindu calendar.

In Tantra and Purana, Jagaddhatri is depicted as being the colour of the morning sun, three-eyed and four-armed, holding Chakra, conch, bow and arrow, clothed in red, bright jewels and nagajangopaveeta, 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 Sri 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 Chandannagar, Hoogly, Rishra, Tehatta, Krishnanagar, Nadia 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, Sri Ramakrishna’s wife who was, according to popular Bengali belief, an avatar of Devi and observed in the centres of the Mission all over the world.


History:


In Bengal it is popularly believed that Maharaja Krishna Chandra of Nadia started Jagaddhatri Puja. However, it is not verified and cannot be correct as Chandannagar'sIndranarayan Roy Choudhury'sJagadhatri Puja precedes the date when it was started by Maharaja Krishna Chandra in Krishnanagar. Jagadhatri Puja is very popular in Rishra, Chandannagar, Hooghly. Jagaddhatri puja has been celebrated in Howrah since 1713. The goddess is worshipped in Moktar Bari, Shibpur village under Udaynarayanpur PS. During TarakdasBanerjea (Bandyopadhyay) the puja was very rich. According to folklore, the family used to worship Durga before it. After a holy dream, Jagaddhatri puja started instead of Durga Puja. Current structure was made in 1934. After the Puja, RaasUtsav is also arranged in the house.

Jagaddhatri figures in the semi-historical fictional work 'Anandamath' written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, from which book the national song of India "VandeMataram" is taken. In the novel, Kali, Durga and Jagaddhatri are depicted as three aspects of 'Bharat Mata' (Mother India) - Jagaddhatri as the mother used to be, Kali as the mother now is, Durga as the mother will be in future. The trio of goddesses are shown as the object of worship of a group of ascetics who form the protagonists of the story.