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Story Of Origin Of Jagaranas In Hindu Religion

The practice of Jagaranas, also known as night vigils, is an important tradition in Hindu religion that involves staying awake throughout the night, engaging in devotional activities such as singing bhajans (devotional songs), reading scriptures, and performing rituals. The origin of this practice is often attributed to a story involving Queen Tara and her husband King Harishchandra.

The Story of Queen Tara and King Harishchandra


Long ago, in a kingdom renowned for its piety and devotion, lived King Harishchandra and his queen, Tara. They were famous for their unwavering dedication to truth, righteousness, and their deep devotion to the divine. Despite their prosperity and virtuous rule, they longed for a spiritual experience that would bring them even closer to the divine presence.

The Desire for Divine Darshan

One day, Queen Tara expressed a deep yearning to have the darshan (divine vision) of a goddess. Harishchandra, equally devout, shared this desire. Together, they decided to undertake severe penance and devotion to fulfill their wish. They prayed with intense fervor, observing strict fasts and engaging in continuous worship, hoping to please the goddess and earn her favor.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Their devotion did not go unnoticed. The goddess, impressed by their dedication, appeared to them in a vision. She told them that to attain her darshan, they must make the ultimate sacrifice. Harishchandra and Tara were ready to do anything to achieve their spiritual goal. The goddess then revealed that they must sacrifice their only son.

Despite the immense pain this caused them, Harishchandra and Tara decided to go through with the sacrifice, placing their faith in the goddess’s wisdom and benevolence. They performed the sacrificial rites with heavy hearts but unwavering devotion.

The Miraculous Darshan

Moved by their ultimate act of devotion, the goddess appeared before them in all her divine glory. She was deeply pleased with their faith and sacrifice. In recognition of their steadfast devotion, she not only granted them her darshan but also brought their son back to life, whole and healthy. This miraculous act reinforced their faith and brought immense joy and relief to the royal couple.

The Birth of Jagaranas

In gratitude for the goddess's blessings and to commemorate this divine encounter, Queen Tara initiated the practice of Jagaranas. She decreed that the people of their kingdom would observe night vigils in honor of the goddess. These vigils would involve staying awake throughout the night, singing hymns, and reciting stories of divine miracles and devotion. The tradition of Jagaranas thus became a way to express unwavering faith and devotion, seeking the blessings and presence of the divine.

The story of Queen Tara and King Harishchandra highlights the values of sacrifice, devotion, and the power of faith in Hindu tradition. The practice of Jagaranas, born from their ultimate act of devotion, continues to be a significant ritual in Hindu religious life. It serves as a reminder of the divine rewards that await those who demonstrate true piety and dedication.