Magnanimous Mother

Sri Sri Jagaddhatri
Jagaddhatri in full regalia - clay image used for worship at Ranchi Ramakrishna Mission TB Sanatorium

From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

(To M.) “One must accept the forms of God.  Do you know the meaning of the image of Jagaddhatri? She is the Bearer of the Universe.  Without her support and protection the universe would fall from its place and be destroyed.  The Divine Mother, Jagaddhatri, reveals Herself in the heart of one who can control the mind, which may be compared to an elephant.”

RĀKHĀL : “The mind is a mad elephant.”

MASTER: “Therefore the lion, the carrier of the Divine Mother, keeps it under control.”

Today is Sri Sri Jagaddhatri Puja! I cannot escape from indulging in a little nostalgia with regard to this most important Puja of the Ranchi Sanatorium in India where I was blessed to witness for  12 long years. The enthusiasm and exuberance that expressed in different forms in staff of the hospital, devotees of the Ashram and the tribal public of the neighbouring villages and also well-wishers from distant towns are something not explainable! it was a puja fever under the spell of which we all came to our great delight.

I remember to have written a small piece in Wikipedia in 2005 which I reproduce below:

The formal difference between Durga and Jagaddhatri occurs in ‘Mayatantra’ and Jagaddhatri is mentioned with reference to Durga in Krishnananda’s ‘Tantrasaar’. The special puja of the Goddess on the ninth lunar day of the light fortnight in the month of Kartick has been referred in ‘Krityatattarnab’ by Srinath Acharyachudamoni of the 15th-16th century.

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.

While thinking of Ma Jagaddhatri, some readers may wonder how this Puja was started in a TB Sanatorium which may seem unconnected. But I want to share a true incident that I heard from the eye-witnesses.

It is pertinent that this memorable puja was indeed started by one in-patient of this Sanatorium in 1958. He was late Bhupati Bose from Howrah. It is said that he had a divine aadesh in dream one day for doing Devi Puja. The then Secretary Maharaj late Swami Vedantanandaji rejected his offer saying that doing Durga Puja in a hospital set up is not a joke. But Bhupati, distressed at the decision, prayed to the Mother and sought excuse for his inability to carry out Her wish. Who can eventually stop the Divine Will? He again dreamt of the Mother who said that there was one-day Puja also available! On hearing about the second dream, Vedantanandaji was ready to reconsider his decision and acceded to the patient’s request for Jagaddhatri worship. Bhupati himself prepared the image beautifully for consecutive two years. The entire staff and all the in-patients stood together in completing the one-day Puja with great devotion.

Image of the Divine Mother taken in procession for Immersion

Sri Lalita Sahasranama in its 173 verse speaks of Tripurasundari as Jagaddhatri .

Vishvamata jagaddhatri vishalakshi viragini

Pragalbha paramodara paramoda manomayi .. 173

Vishvamata: Who is the Mother of the Universe.
Jagaddhatri: Who is the holder of the universe.
Vishalakshi: Who has large eyes.
Viragini: Who is utterly passionless.
Pragalbha: Who is surprisingly daring
Paramodara: Who is supremely generous.
Manomayi: Who is all mentation.

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11 thoughts on “Magnanimous Mother

  1. Revered Maharaji
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Please accept humble pranams at thy feet!
    We are indeed blessed to receive so much Grace from Mother! First our ten day Navarathri Celebrations, then Diwali, and now reading about Ma Jagaddatri. The Majestic Mother, Impressive, beautiful and captivating us with Her Divine, Starry gaze! gives the feeling of complete surrender and total Oneness with Ma! This can only bring us closer to Ma with this continued Remembrance of Her!
    Thank you Maharaji for sharing Magnanimous Ma Jagaddatri with us!
    With respectful Pranams


  2. Most Revered Swamiji Maharaj
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    I offer reverential prostrations at the Feet of the Holy Trio, Swamiji Maharaj and Swami Saradaprabhandaji Maharaj.
    At last! Swamiji Maharaj’s long awaited post…and on such a significant day. This is surely Mother’s gift to us readers.
    What a fascinating story! How the Mother willed and finally saw to it that Her worship occurred in an unlikely place like a TB Sanatorium. This is reminiscent of how Swami Vivekananda was desirous of performing a homa before Mother Kali at Kalighat and was allowed to do so (by Mother’s grace naturally) to His heart’s content despite the prevailing reservations on the part of the temple authorities at that time about His having returned from the West.
    Glory to our Divine Mother!
    Hari Om Tat Sat.
    Nirmala Balkaran
    Ladysmith, SA


  3. Adarneeya Maharajji,

    Saadar Pranaams.
    First of all let me apologise from bottom of my heart for not able to read your Blog for a long time. The reason being that suddenly I find myself entrusted with lots of Social ( WORLDLY in other words!!) responsibilities.
    However, I am praying to THAKUR, MAA and SWAMIJI to relieve me of all this as soon as possible.
    Maharajji, could you please explain the word MANOMAYI (mentation) little more.
    a devotee of Devotees of Holy Trio
    Mumbai, India


  4. Dear and Revered Maharaj
    Subtle difference between Durga and Jagaddhatri puja and the impact of Jagaddhatri pooja on effacing our ego was well underlined. No doubt Mother is all pervading, we only think that everything is done by us and by our own will and effort!!
    She wanted it at Ranchi and Bhupati was her instrument! who can check HER will?
    On this holy day the Universal Temple of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna at Ponnampet ashram was consecrated by H.H Sanghadhyakshaji (Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj) and Revered Swami Smarananandaji and Revered Gautamanandaji led the Pradakshina (circumambulation).
    A glorious day we all could realise it from your blog!
    Pranams to you!
    Dr Hariharan Y
    Chennai, India


  5. Revered Swamiji,
    Please accept my humble pranams.
    After reading through this “post in swamijis blog”.. it makes me want to go back to Ranchi very soon.
    It was very enlightening.
    I look forward to seeing Swamiji on Saturday morning.
    With respected pranams.
    Durban, SA


  6. Om Namonarayanaya, Swamiji
    Thank you for enlightening us on Mother Jagaddhatri. We pray to Mother to help us shed our ego and to humble ourselves at Her lotus feet.
    All the best for your trip to Bloem on Saturday.
    Durga! Durga!
    Ladysmith, SA


  7. Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Revered Swamiji,
    I am truly amazed at the pics that I have viewed on the Ranchi Sanatorium. The power and blessings of the Divine Mother have truly touched this place immensely. When I see the Master’s work to this extent ie. number of patients, children and poor that are fed etc, I am lost for words. Ranchi seems to really be a place where the Holy Trinity’s life and teachings are practiced. Indeed, through Revered Swamiji and other respected monks have had it grown and been blessed.
    I was struck with awe at the link that Swamiji made on Tuesday in his weekly Gita class, from the Divine Jagaddhatri Puja to Lord Krishna on Karma Yoga.
    Thank you Swamiji for all this knowledge and experiences. We are truly benefitting and learning each day.
    My Humble Prostrations at Your Holy Feet
    Durban, SA


  8. Dear Maharaj,
    The whole Jagadhatri puja is very inspiring.
    I would love to go to Ranchi sometime in my life to witness this puja in person.
    With love and pranams,
    Durban, SA


  9. Pranam Maharaj,
    I am Bijay Singh of Jhumritelaiya (Jharkhand) where you had inaugurated Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal’s Youth Training Camp some years ago. The main part of this training camp is Mental-Concentration only !
    With the grace of The Holy Trio and from you, I am reminded that, ” Mind is mad Eliphant, therefore the LION, the carrier of the Divine Mother, keeps it under control.”
    Pramod da of Mahamandal stayed at Ranchi Sanatorium to serve during this year Jagaddhatri Puja and he has brought Mother’s Prasad (Narial laddu and Bundiya) for all the Mahamandal Workers.
    Today evening Revered Nabaniharan Mukhopadhyay is coming to conduct this year Mahamandal’s youth training camp. Swami Tanmyanandaji (previously known as Sri B B Panda, our Mahamandal’s ex-worker) wii inaugurate the camp on 31st October 2009 at C.H.Inter college, ,Jhumritelaiya (Kodarma, Jharkhand).
    I always remember your graceful speech at our last camp. Kindly bless us that this camp may be successful.
    Bijay Kumar Singh
    Jhumritelaiya, Jharkhand, India


  10. Rev Maharaj
    Hope you are keeping well.
    It is wonderful to read about Mother Jagaddhatri here… you have explained everything so beautifully and simply!
    As someone said, one has to be really profound to be simple!
    Your posts are always like the legendary malayaa breeze laden with divine fragrance!
    Thank you very much!
    Please accept my warm regards and sincere pranams!
    New Delhi, India


  11. Most Revered Maharaj.
    Is there any CD that has songs on Master and Mother on sale, or can headquaters make some with songs we sing in South Africa?
    Chatsworth, SA


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