Hindus in West Bengal celebrate a number of Gods and Goddesses. As the Bengali proverb goes “Baro Mase Tero Parbon” (Thirteen festivals in twelve months). The rich traditions of Bengalis need no introduction. They believe in a number of Gods and Goddesses and are seen to cherish each and every one of them with equal amount of devotion. Goddess Durga, is the most popular and widely celebrated in West Bengal. But apart from her too, Bengalis do not compromise their loyalty and beliefs in other Gods.
Bengalis are a step ahead and do anything and everything to keep their faith in religion going strong. They have mystical and enchanting ways to please their deities, and leave no stone unturned.
So we bring to you the Gods and Goddesses worshipped by Bengalis, in West Bengal!
1. Goddess Lakshmi
Traditional business men get established and commence their fiscal year on this day. They pray to Goddess Lakshmi and God Ganesh for their prosperity and well being. They then inaugurate the Hal Khata (The account books of Bengali merchants). This is known as Poila Boishakh (Bengali New Year).
2. Goddess Kali
Kali is worshipped on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik. She is worshipped at night with Tantric rites and mantras. She is prescribed offerings of red hibiscus flowers, animal blood in a skull, sweets, rice and lentils, fish and meat. In Kolkata, Kali puja is held in a large cremation ground, where she is believed to dwell.
3. Goddess Saraswati
Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts and wisdom. She is mostly celebrated by students who ask for her blessings to learn better.
4. God Vishwakarma
God Vishwakarma is called the Divine Architect. He was believed to make weapons for other Gods. He is worshipped by artisans, craftsmen, mechanics, smiths, welders, industrial workers, factory workers and others. They pray to him for their safety, better working conditions and success in their respective fields.
5. God Narayan
Satyanarayan Puja is down before a house warming ceremony. This puja is usually done on a full moon day or Purnima of every month on or any special occasion. Narayan is believed to be an embodiment of truth and fair dealings.
6. Lokenath Baba
Lokenath Baba is believed to be born on the holy day of Krishna Janamashtami in Kachua Dham. An annual festival is held around 2nd or 3rd June every year, by his disciples, in his remembrance. Thousands of his followers gather together in his ashrams to perform keertan and yajna.
7. Chandi Maa
Chandi is the combined form of Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi, the ferocious form of Parvati. She cannot tolerate evil acts and is seen merciless to the culprits. Chandi is known for her anger and ferocity.
8. Goddess Shashthi
Shashthi is the folk Goddess. She the benefactor and protector of children, especially if you’re a giver of male child. She is seen as a motherly figure, riding a cat and nursing her children.
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