a divine musical group
This katha , or narrative, is an integral part of the Bhagvati Jagran and dates back to before the beginning of the Kaliyuga (approximately 4500 years ago). Devotees of the Goddess have perpetuated it through an oral tradition and there are very few written accounts. The reason perhaps for this is that the legend is only recited during a Jagrata by devout followers of the Goddess, as by doing so it is thought to evoke the spirit of the Goddess and is believed that she bestows blessings to the devotees at that time. The episode was originally related to the Goddess Parvati by Lord Shiva who instructed her that, ‘ati guhyatam devi devaanaam api durlabham' it was to be kept confidential by the devout in order to maintain its sanctity and to prevent adulteration of its content by those who would wish to harm the Faith, ‘abhakte naiva daatavyam gopitam raksha Parvati'.
A human being's life is overwhelmed with obstacles to reach salvation or moksha, ultimate release from the incessant cycle of birth, death and rebirth. As this is the primary objective of all Hindus in this age of Kaliyug , the Eternal Mother Goddess has provided a means for all people regardless of caste, creed or gender to achieve this aim through the ‘Jagran'. The narrative unfolds by describing the plight of a soul leaving the earthly form at death and facing his creator, the Mother Goddess. He regrets that during his life on earth, he wasted his time engaged in mundane activities such as pursuing worldly comforts and being preoccupied with acquiring material riches, forgetting that his real purpose on earth, was to accumulate spiritual wealth. When questioned by the Divine Mother as to why this has happened, given that there are twenty four hours in the day, the human spirit answers that the daylight hours are spent in working and the night in sleeping. The Goddess hearing this shows compassion to the soul and reveals a mystic formula to attaining salvation in one night. She then describes the process of the all-night vigil from sunset to sunrise, the Jagran, and grants the soul a second chance to take human form. The soul promises to undertake the Jagran on the condition that the Goddess appears on earth when he performs this act of worship. The Goddess accepted his pledge and the soul entered another human form and became a very famous devotee of the Goddess, known as Dhyaanu. He fulfilled his promise and kept the all night vigil at which the Goddess appeared, to grant his wish. He requested the Goddess not only to award him salvation, but whosoever observed this act of penance ( Bhagwati Jagran)be bestowed deliverance also.
It is through this solemn belief of the devotees of Mata (the Eternal Mother Goddess) that the Jagranis observed throughout the world. The narrative of Tara Rani Katha describes the exploits of such a soul known as Tara , through three of her life cycles. Tara Rani eventually becomes a queen whose resolve is vigorously tested by the Goddess and despite all this, triumphs and is immortalised in this great epic. The narrative instructs us to submit unreservedly to the Almighty, to treat all humans as equal and to dedicate our lives to the service of others.
Due to Tara Rani's unprecedented sacrifice, she is remembered at each Bhagvati Jagran through the recitation of her exploits in the form of the katha and only through this, is the Jagran complete.