Why some Parts of India Celebrate Kali Puja While the Rest Celebrate the Festival of Lights, Diwali?
Kali Puja is a ceremonial worship of Goddess Durga’s foremost avatar, Goddess Kali. As indicated by the Bengali calendar, it is performed on the night of Kartik Amavasya in the Hindu month of Ashwin.
But somehow, Kali Puja coincides with another well-known Hindu festival called Deepawali in the month of October right a couple of days after the Durga Puja festivities.
Mythology: According to Hindu mythology once the demons named Shambhu and Nishambhu grew in force and pose a challenge to Indra, King of Gods, and his kingdom. The Gods were helpless and sought protection from Mahamaya Durga, the goddess of Shakti or power. This was when Goddess Kali was born from Durga’s forehead to save both heaven and earth from the growing cruelty of the demons. Right after demolishing the demons, Goddess Kali made a garland of their heads and wore around her neck. She became furious and started killing anyone whom she found in her way. To stop this chaos around, Lord Shiva threw himself under her feet and accidentally she stepped. Shocked with this sight, Lord Kali stuck her tongue out in astonishment and put an end to her killing spree. And this gesture is worshipped everywhere and that moment is celebrated as Kali Puja. Kali Puja is a tantric puja performed only at midnight on Amavasya.
On arrival of Diwali, when rest of the country will be seen caught-up with celebrating Diwali, Bengal alongside a few parts of Assam and Orissa will be seen to celebrate Kali Puja. This polarity or diversion in Indian culture is perfectly mind-boggling. On one side we have the celebration of lights, Diwali. At the same time, individuals worship the Dark Mother, Kali.
Let us delve deeper into it to know why it is so-
- The fundamental distinction is that of the deity or divinity. The rest of India does Ganesha and Lakshmi puja upon the arrival of Diwali. Be that as it may, however in the Eastern parts of the nation, Goddess Kali is worshipped with awesome pageantry and splendours.
- Most of the pujas in Hinduism are not founded on the Vedas. So as the legend goes, Raja Krishna Chandra who was the king of Navadipa, began this Bengali puja of Mahakali in the eighteenth century. Thus, since then, the tradition was conveyed forward by his descendants and by the rich zamindar families in Bengal under their patronage. Hence, it survived on a stupendous scale, compared to Diwali. Subsequently, it is celebrated during the same time.
- Upon the arrival of Diwali, Goddess Kali is venerated for blessings for a good life, success, and prosperity. Kali is believed to annihilate all evils by her followers. For this reason, on Diwali, goddess Kali is worshipped and ‘Diyas’ are lit in her respect with a promise for doing great deeds.
- In West Bengal, goddess Kali is feared more, rather than worshipped, since one would have to undergo and face her wrath by doing fouled up things. Henceforth, they believe to perform Kali puja first, keeping in mind the end goal to escape from her rage.
Famous Kali Mandir
- Dakshineswar Temple built by Rani Rasmoni on the banks of Ganga River in Kolkata.
- The Kalighat temple was constructed on the site of an antiquated temple in Kolkata in West Bengal.
- The Kamakhya temple in Assam is one of the Shakti Peethams related with Shiva and Daksha Yagna. It is situated in Guwahati, on Neelachala Parvat.
- Tarapith is found 300 miles away from Calcutta on the banks of the Dwarka River in Birbhum in West Bengal.
For Bengalis, Kali stands for the reestablishment of life and justice on earth with a message for individuals to be virtuous and live with peace and congruity. That is the reason they give more significance to KALI PUJA amid Diwali.
“Have a prosperous Kali Puja and a safe Diwali!”
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