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Kathamrita jewellery to adorn goddess

Gujari, pancham, panjeb, chutki and kaan bala.

The deity at Dakshineswar temple will be decked out on the occasion of Kali Puja in jewellery mentioned in Ramakrishna Kathamrita.

“It was a difficult hunt. Most of the jewellers in Bengal couldn’t make out what could be the design of some of the items mentioned in the book,” said Kusal Chowdhury, a trustee of the over 150-year-old temple.

“We then spoke to jewellers in other states to know what those items were. Finally, we have been able to put together a collection of at least 30 types of ornaments.”

Kathamrita, penned by M (Mahendranath Gupta), is a chronicle of the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna from February 1882 to April 1886.

In Chapter I, the book describes Bhabatarini, the goddess, and how She stands inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

“The basalt image of the Mother, dressed in gorgeous gold brocade, stands on a white marble image of the prostrate body of Her Divine Consort, Siva, the symbol of the Absolute. On her are nupur, gujari, pancham, panjeb, chutki,” Kathamrita says.

Trustees of the Dakshineswar temple said all these ornaments — including nose-ring, earrings, nupur, baauti and crown — have already been brought to the temple and polished.

The silver throne of the deity, weighing around 400kg, too, has been polished.

On Tuesday, the Kali puja will start at 10pm and continue through the night.

Insiders said the goddess could be seen in the Kathamrita-described ornaments after the temple doors are opened at the break of dawn on Tuesday.

“The sari that would be draped around the deity has been especially made for the occasion by skilled craftsmen in Benaras. It is a kaatan Benarasi,” said a temple official.

The temple attracts around 2 lakh devotees on Kali Puja.