About Rash/History

About Rash
In the Bhagavat Purana and in the Vishnu Purana, the Rash Yatra of Sri Sri Krishna is mentioned. In the later autumn, Sri Krishna’s unioun with the Gopinis with Dance & Songs is expressed in the Rash Lila. At Nabadwip, the Shaktas who are devotees of Shakti worship and the Saivas who are devotees of Siva become united with the Vaishnavas, the devotees of Vishnu. Hence the word ‘Mela’ i.e. ‘Milan’ – the co-ordination of Vaishanvism, Shaktism and Saivism. After all, Rash Mela is the samannay sadhan of different religions. The maxim “Yata Mat Tato Path” is clearly expressed in this fest.
The King Krishna Chandra Roy of Nadia is responsible for this Rash Yatra at Nabadwip. Here Hari and Hara, Krishna & Kali are the halves of each other. Various types of images are worshipped in different pandals. They are well decorated with light and various types of Sola made ornaments and ‘Daker Saaj’. The beatings of Drums, the music of Flutes and Banjos and somewhere Mridangas and Kartals fill the air of Nabadwip. Who does not enjoy all these at a time? This is the unison or concert of the people of Nabadwip-nay, the whole of Bengal.
The Rash Lila of the Vaishanavas of Nabadwip was held at Baro Akhra, Shyamsundarer Bari, Gorachander Akhra, Jagannath Bari, Harisava Mandir and etc. Some are of opinion that Krishnanda Chandra and other opines that the later generation of Krishnanda (Girish Chandra) introduced this Rash. Devi Gostho is still now worship after its introduction in 1836 by Nandakumar Bidyabhusan. Another opinion is invogue that Vriguram who hailed from Dacca with his family is responsible for this Rash Yatra. He lived at Dearapara. Deara means the strand of the river. He setup a seat of Panchamundi at Dearapara and then the Court Pandit of Krishnanda Shankarnath Tarkobagish enshrined the Siva Linga and Goddes Kali. In 1752 to 1756 Aloknath (Siva) and Kali were worshipped on the day of Rash Purnima. Possibly it was the first Rash Yatra of Nabadwip. After 5-7 years of this Savasiva of Badrapara and Savasiva of Ampuliapara were worshipped. Hence it may be referred that Rash Yatra of Nabadwip was introduced in between 1752 – 1756. Approximately 400 idols of gods and goddesses are worshipped in the Rash Yatra of Nabadwip.
One of the feature of the Rash Puja is after the completion of the worshipping the Baroari members attained one another and finally go to Poramatala with musical instruments and procession, it is called NAVAMI,
The next day that is on the Bisarjan day the idols on carts pass through the town encircling Poramatala Road with Poramatala with musical instruments and procession, it is called ARANG. This circular road came into being from the year 1994. The Ghat Bisarjan or the immersion of Ghatas which has been taken from the Jagadhatri Puja of Krishnagar is another feature starting from 2001.
Formarly the Procession ceremony was held with the Music of Sanai and the beating of Drums and various types of songs called Khemta and Kheur. But now the old system is going to be stopped. Instead Western Band and other Musical apperatus. Now the Rash Utsav of the Vaisnavas is ensigned in the temples only. Whereas the Shakta Rash Yatra is gaining brown among the mass. Some of the Sakta and Saiva pujas are mentioned in brief. 
ALANE KALI – It is said that it was the first idol of Kali that was worshipped at first in the Rash Yatra. The famous Naiyaik (Logician) Shankarnath Tarkabagish (1723 – 1820) introduced this idol – worship on the seat of Panchamundi of Dearapara. It was enshrined in the temple which is situated at Dearapara and which is erected instead of dilapidated one. It has a hoary antiquity.
Next comes the BARO SHYAMA of Tegharipara. There are other idols of Shyama (MEJO SHYAMA, CHHOTO SHYAMA) in the southern part of the locality. But it is the highest in size. This idol was first worshipped by Bhriguram, a devotee of Raj Purohit (i.e. a priest of King Krishana Chandra). Now it is worshipped under the supervision of a trustee board.
Then comes the SAVASHIVA. Of Badrapara. It is worhipped by the Brahmins of Badra linage. Now, a temple has been built instead of pandal. Next comes the SAVASHIVA of Ampuliapara. It is worshipped by the local people and if not they worship any member of the family of Smritikantha Vachaspati arranges the puja.
The MAHISMARDINI of Amratala is another example of the excellenves of idol created by Nasi Pal. It was introduced in 1845 approxmitaly.
GOURANGINI or GOURANGI BINDHYABASINI with two pairs of lions is worshipped at Jognathtala and the immersion ceremony is held on the tradition of 108 beharas of the bearers. Another ancient image of Shakta Rash is BINDHYABASINI of Garalpara at Sribas Angan.
Then comes the MUKTOKESHI of Dandapanitala worshipped by the Vedik Bhramins. It is contemporary with the SAVASHIVA of Badrapara and Ampuliapara.
Next comes the BHADRAKALI of Charicharapara which dates appox. 1840. Its main characteristrics is that it is worshipped in the form of Durga. Hence its meditation is of Durga.
KRISHNAKALI, half male and half female is one of the featured idols of the Rash Yatra of Nabadwip of Nabadwip. It indicates the coordination or Samanvay of the Vaishanavas and the Shaktas.
DUMURESWARI and NATARAJ are the another feature of Shaktas and Saivas which is held at Radhabazar Park. Ranakali though not referred in the Tantra is held high on the Poramatala Road at Radhabazar. It is worshipped in the Tantrik method. The Pouranik imeges of Ganga which is worsipped as
GOSAIN GANGA and another GANGA (BARO GANGA) at Alochhya More is another feature of Pouranik imeges of the Rash Yatra.
BAMAKALI is the only feature of the Rash Yatra is worshipped at Ramsita Para. It is said that Aswani Biswas father of Jagadish Biswas and Bhabotosh Biswas – two famous artist of image making first created this image.
The Azad Hind Club of Ranirchara holds the Rash Yatra by worshipping SRI SRI ANNAPURNA MATA dating near about 100 years past. Jagatbandu Saha, Narayan Bagchi, Krshnakanta Debnath and Gour Pal were responsible for this Puja.
KMALE KAMINI one of the expression of Dasha Mahabidya is worshipped at Wood Burn Road. It dates more than hundred years.
BHUBENSWARI one of the expression of of Dasha Mahabidya is one of the idols worshipped at Baral Ghat Sporting Club. Besides this there are many more new idols of Rash Yatra following the Puronas are worshipped under the auspices of various devotees or Baroaries of Nabadwip.
The idol of NARASHINGA (The half of the bofdy is of man and the other half is of lion) is worshipped at P.C.Ghosh Road (In front of Nabadwip Head Post Office). It is a matter of regret that we fail to show all the imeges or idols of God and Goddesses according to Puran of the Rash Yatra due to dearth spaces.