Meaning Of Jagad Dharti Puja

Meaning Of Jagad Dharti Puja

Jagad dharti puja is a very popular festival in the eastern parts of the country. Especially it is more popular in the states of west Bengal and Orissa. India is a land of festivals and we do celebrate all our festivals with great enthusiasm. However, some festivals like Diwali is celebrated all across the country. Whereas festivals like Jagad dharti puja are specific to only certain parts of the country. We will now try to discuss a little more about why this festival is celebrated and about its significance. Well as the name suggests Jagad dharti means the goddess who is holding the world together. It is another form of Goddess Durga herself. It is just worshiping the supreme power or Shakti.

Jagaddharthi has three eyes. Her four arms hold chakra, bow, arrow and a conch. The conch represents brilliance and purity. The chakra represents wisdom and power. The bow is a mark of concentration. All these together make her the Shakti that people long for. The goddess Durga generally has ten hands this again is a point of difference between the two. She too rides on a lion like Durga. She stands on Karindasura the elephant demon. The goddess is generally represented with the colour of the morning sun. The goddess has a snake around her neck that signifies the fight of a common man against all odds in life. This is quite unlike the idol of goddess Durga. The goddess is decorated with a lot of jewellery. Unlike Durga Puja in this case only the goddess is worshiped and not her children too along with her. These pujas have been carried in this part of the country for many years now. It is generally few days after Diwali. It too starts on Ashtami like the other Durga puja. The puja is mostly for three days and ends on Dashsmi tithi.  These points clearly show that there is a clear distinction between the two goddesses. So next time  you see the idol you will be clearly able to make out the difference.

History of Jagad Dharti Puja

The story goes like this. After amrit manthan when the devtas got the share of the nectar. They became so strong that nothing could ever kill them. They became very proud and this was not a good indication. Lord Shiva decided that he has to ensure that the devtas remain humble. Too much pride can destroy the universe. So he dressed as a yaksha and appeared in front of the devtas. He took a grass on his palm and told all the devtas to blow it. The devtas one after the other tried but none of them could blow the grass. Then Agni the god of fire tried to burn the grass. Even he failed.

Looking at the plight of the gods the king of the devtas Indra came forward. As expected even he failed. This is when goddess Parvati appeared and she informed them that the yaksha was lord Shiva himself. She further stated that no god is supreme as they have to derive their strengths from the main source of energy. Which are lord Shiva and goddess Parvati itself.  This incident made the gods humble and also started the Jagaddharthi puja. This makes the significance of this festival even more interesting.

Long ago Maharaja Krishna Chandra used to rule Nadia a part of present day West Bengal. He is belived to have originally started Jagaddharthi puja in this part of the world way back in 1713. Even in West Bengal the festival is more popular in Chandanagar. Huge pandals are made. Each Pandal has a defined theme. The lightings done during this festival is unbelievable. Some pujas also give bhog to the worshipers. In many parts of the state fairs are organised so that people can enjoy the festival more. In Calcutta the excitement of this puja is definitely not as much as parts of Chandanagar.

Same is the case with the state of Orissa where too this festival is very popular. Anyone who celebrates Jagaddharthi puja would become egoless. It is also done to request the goddess to take care of the world and ensure that life is protected on earth. If she leaves the world then everything will end.

The Jagaddharthi puja is also very well celebrated in the Ramakrishna mission. It is said that Ramakrishna would worship his own wife as he considered her as goddess Durga. This is exactly why the mission still does this puja on a large sale. The Jagaddharthi puja also finds a mention in Bankim Chandra’s Anandmath. This is book from where our national anthem is taken.   She has been reffered as Mother India in the book.

Every year Jagaddharthi puja is celebrated in these parts of the country with great enthusiasm and devotion. The pandals are so beautiful that people come from far of places to see them. The festival is always three days unlike the Durga Puja that spans five days. The spirit of festivity and enjoyment is evident. On the day of Ashtami the goddess is worshiped as a provider of wealth and prosperity. On the Navami day the goddess is celebrated with more devotion. It is belived that on this day she was created and sent to earth by the gods. Animal sacrifice was done originally on this day.

However, due to legal concerns this is now limited only to certain parts. Most places cut a cucumber or a big fruit as an offering. On the Dashmi day that is the last day of the festival. The goddess is immersed in water. People dance and do dhunuchi near the goddess on this day. With this the festival ends and people start counting days for next year when the festival would happen again. Dhunuchi is a dance form in Bengal where people hold a big cup filled with fire and dance in front of the god. There are some trained dancers who are appointed to do this job. Dhaak is another very integral part of any festival in Bengal. It is nothing but a huge drum that is played by professionally trained drummers. The sound of it is very soothing and spiritual. No festival in Bengal is complete without this. People dance to the tunes of these drums and involve in a lot of merry making. People of all age dances to the drums, this is a sign of their devotion to the goddess. If you visit a Jagaddharthi puja you will definitely see people dancing to the drummers beat every evening. You can also see a lot of Dhunuchi dance too during this festival.

Food is a very important part of any Bengali festival. So is the case with Jagaddharthi puja. Bhog is the food that is offered to the goddess. After she finishes it is distributed among the people. It consists of khichudi, a sabji, some fries and also includes a sweet and a chatni. The festival generally commences in Kartik month. The goddess is considered as the supreme power that rules the world. If she wants she can destroy the world. Interestingly very few people know about it. In many parts of Bengal this festival is considered to be much bigger than the Durga Puja itself.

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