Special attraction on Maha Ashtami Kumari Puja at Ramkrishna Mission Belur Math
Must attend Maha Ashtami Kumari Puja
Find out Date and Time of Kumari Puja in Belur Math
Kumari Puja Date
Kumari Puja Timing
October 9, Sunday : Mahashtami
Puja Begins : 5:40 AM
Kumari Puja : 9:00 am to 9:50 am
Sandhi Puja : 01:06 PM to 1:54 PM
Sandhyarati : 6:30 pm (After evening arati of Sri Sri Thakur)
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Kumari Puja is very imortant part of Mahashtami Puja in Belur Math. In 1902, Swami Vivekananda performed Kumari puja for the first time in Belur. In the premises of the Math, in the mandap, in the presence of Sarada Ma, Swamiji worshiped nine Kumari girls. He offered pushpanjali at their feet, gave them sweets and ‘dakshina’ (gift). He touched their feet after the completion of the puja. Later with meditation and mantras he worshipped Sarada Ma as Goddess Durga. Swami Vivekananda performs the Kumari Puja as a part of the Durga Puja celebrations.
Why did Swami Vivekananda introduce the Kumari Puja as a part of Durga Puja celebrations in Belur Math?
The answer is to be found in Sri Ramakrishna’s life. Though he established different relations with God in the course of his various sadhanas, the most abiding and nearest to his heart was God as the Divine Mother. As he beheld nothing but God everywhere, it was the Divine Mother that he saw in everything and in everyone. He saw no distinction between the Mother he worshiped in the Temple, his own Mother Chandradevi, and his divine consort the Holy Mother. Sri Ramakrishna said: “Why do people worship ‘Kumari’? All women are so many forms of the Divine Mother. But Her manifestation is greatest in pure-souled ‘Kumari’… I worship ‘Kumari’ because I see in them the Divine Mother.’
At Kanyakumari in December 1892, Swamiji himself worshipped the little daughter of Sri Manmatha Bhattacharya as ‘Kumari’. In August 1898, Swamiji worshipped a Muslim boatman’s four year old daughter as Uma,the Divine Mother, during his visit to Kashmir along with some of his Western disciples.
The Kumari Puja conducted at Belur Math has become a special significance to the devotees and followers of Ramakrishna order.
Kumari puja is an integral and important part of the festival of Durga puja. It is believed that Devi Durga comes to her father’s abode for four days along with her other incarnations – Saraswati (knowledge) and Lakshmi (wealth and prosperity). She is also accompanied by her two children – Ganesh and Kartik. The festival of Durga puja is the most important festival for Bengalis.
During her stay on earth, Devi Durga is devoutly worshipped in her different forms. One such form of Goddess Durga is the Virgin form, “Kumari”. This incarnation is considered to be the most powerful form of the Goddess Shakti. In front of the Devi Durga’s idol, an unmarried girl is worshiped She symbolises the Devi’s form of Kumari.
The scriptures mention the great care with which the Kumari is selected to be worshipped as the earthly representative of Devi Durga. The qualities required in the girl has to match the dynamism, purity and serenity of the Goddess. A calm, serene and an unmarried girl with a bright disposition between one to sixteen years, who has not yet reached her puberty and is bereft of desire, worldly pleasures and anger is the right requisite for the Kumari Puja. Depending on the age of the girls they are worshipped in the various forms of the Goddess. A one year old girl is worshipped in the Sandhya form of the Devi while a two year old is worshipped in the Saraswati mould of the Devi. A three year old girl is worshipped in the Tridha form of Durga and a four year old is worshipped in the Kalika mould of the Devi. Subhaga and Uma are the forms of Durga for a five and a six year old respectively.Malini form of the Goddess represents a seven year old while Kujjika represents a eight year old girl. Kalsondarbha and Aparajita stands for a ten year old girl and an eleven year old girl. Bhairavi is represented by a twelve year old girl and Mahalakhmi by a thirteen year old girl. Pitnayika, Khetragya and Ambika by a fourteen, fifteen and sixteen year old girl respectively.
Kumari Puja is held on Ashtami. Kumari Puja is performed in Annapurna, Jagatdhatri and even Kali Puja as without Kumari Puja, the yagna remains incomplete.
In the dawn of Ashtami, the Kumari is bathed in Ganga water and is clad in a red Benarasi Shari. She is then adorned with flowers and jewelry, alta is applied to her feet and a ’tilak’ of sindur on her forehead with Chandan Sandelwood paste design to adorn her face. The young Kumari fasts the whole day until the puja is over. She sits there , most beautiful like the Godess. The Kumari is then offered flowers, bel (wood apple) leaves, incense sticks, lamps, ‘noibiddo’ and other things required for puja. The purohit then chants the mantras and the sound of dhak fill the atmosphere.
After the puja the divinity of he Goddess Durga is said to be seen in the girl. It is customary to gift the girl with gold, silver and clothes. She is then worshipped and a flower from the Debi is placed in her hand. To gift the Kumari is considered to be a pious act.