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Jagaddhatri Puja in Ramakrishna Mission TB Sanatorium, Ranchi
|Weapon||Chakram, Bow, Arrow|
Jagaddhatri or Jagadhatri (Bengali: জগদ্ধাত্রী, 'the Protector of the World') is considered as 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.
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, decked with red attires, 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, Jagaddhatri Puja in Chandannagar, Hoogly and Krishnanagar, Nadia is a special socio-cultural celebration in this region. 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 avatara of Devi and observed in the centres of the Mission all over the world.
Generally, Jagaddhatri is referred as another name of Durga. In Sanskrit and Bengali, the word 'Jagaddhatri' literally means 'Holder (dhatri) of the World (Jagat)' . According to Sri Ramakrishna, “(Jagaddhatri) holds the World. If she wouldn’t, the World might fall down. This explanation can be applied for both Durga and Jagaddhatri. That is why in the hymns, the goddess is always referred as ‘Jagaddhatri Durga -
জয়দে জগদানন্দে জগদেকপ্রপূজিতে| জয় সর্ব্গতে দুর্গে জগদ্ধাত্রি নমঽস্তুতে||
(Transliteration: jayade jagadanande jayadekaprapujite. jaya sarvagate Durge Jagaddhatri namahstute.)
- I hail Thee, o all-pervasive Jagaddhatri Durga, Thou art victorious and symbol of the joys of the world; it is only Thou in the world, who can be worshipped properly. Victory to Thee.
Like most of other Hindu deity, Jagaddhatri is also known as other names like Karindrasuranisudini (Slayer of the Elephant Demon), Maheswari (the Great Goddess), Shaktacharpriya (the Goddess who loves to be worshiped as according to the practices of the Sakta sect of Hinduism, or Shaktism), Adharabhuta (the Bearer of the World) etc.
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, the Brahman 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.
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's Indranarayan Roy Choudhury's Jagadhatri Puja precedes the date when it was started by Maharaja Krishna Chandra in Krishnanagar. Jagadhatri Puja is very popular in Chandannagar, Hooghly. In Howrah, there is a Jagaddhatri puja since 1713. The goddess is worshipped in Moktar Bari, Shibpur village under Udaynarayanpur PS. During Tarakdas Banerjea (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, Raas Utsav is also arranged in the house.