Friday, 21 June 2013

Kalika Devi

Kali Ghat is a temple which belongs to one of the 51 Shakti peethas of India and is one among the main four Shakti peethas. The Right toe of sati devi is said to be fallen here when Lord Shiva is performing Rudra Tandava. The Shakti here is known as Kalika and Bhairava as Nakulesh. It is located in the city Kolkata of West Bengal state. City Calcutta is named after the khali Ghat. Temple is on the banks of the river Hoogly( Bhagirathi) and over a period of time River moved away from temple and now the temple is on the bank of a canal which connects to Hoogly.

According to the scripture “ Pithamala’s Nigamatantra” the vast bow shaped land stretching from Dakhsineswar to Bahulapur is the Kalikshetra. The core triangular region, approximately 1 krosha have Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva on the three inner corners and Kalika at its center. Speciality of Kali here is long protruded tongue made of gold. Piligrims visit in thousands every day and they worship Kalika Devi as Mother of Human.

The Image of Kalika is Unique and doesn’t follow any other images of Kali. It is said to be created by two saints Brahmananda Giri and Atmaram Giri. Idol is built with 3 huge eyes, long tongue and four hands. Two of the hands hold a scimitar signifying divine knowledge and severed head of asura king ‘Shumba’ signifying human ego must be slain by Divine knowledge in order to attain Moksha. The other two are in Abhaya and Varada Mudras which means her initiated devotees will be saved as she will guide them here and after.

Kali seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts and rituals. Although Parvathi is said to be student of shiva’s wisdom in the form of tantras. 

                        KALI YANTRA

Myth:- Once a Devotee sees a luminant ray of light coming from the Bhagirathi river bed. He goes towards it and finds source as a piece of stone carved in the form of human toe. He searches the nearby places also and finds the swayambhu lingam of Nakuleshwar. Then he concludes the place as sacred and worships kali.

Origin of Kali:- Long ago there existed two powerful demons Shambhu and Nishambhu. Demons defeated the heavens and caused much problem to the saints,gods. The gods pray Parvathi devi, wife of Lord shiva to solve their problem. Parvati Devi emerges as a bright light and takes the form of a divine lady Ambika. Her exit from Devi parvathi’s body makes body to turn black and hence she is known as Kaushiki.

Sycophants of the demons Chanda and Munda sees Ambika and describes her beauty in superlative terms to Shumbhu and Nishambhu who could not resist and sends their messenger Sugreeva to bring her to them. Sugreeva extrolls the virtue of his masters to influence the goddess when she says “whosoever can match my power and can defeat me in battle shall only be my master”. Knowing about this demons send their follower Dhoomralochan to fetch her, when goddess makes a loud cry and wrathful gaze to incinerate the demon, Lion of the goddess slayed the accompanying demons.

Surprised Demons send a large army lead by Demon Kings Chanda and Munda to capture goddess. Then Goddess takes the fierce form of Kaalika who destroys the entire army, hacks off the heads of chanda and Munda and is hence also known as Chamunda devi. Knowing the demise of their followers- demon kings Shambhu, Nishambhu reach the battlefield with terrible demons.

Raktabija:- The forces on the battle field are lead by a demon Raktabija. He has a power to reproduces as many demons of his form when his blood spills on the ground. Goddess in the fierce battle kills him by spreading her tongue to suck the blood spilt and hacks the head of demon.

Nishumbhu is slained by Durga Maa in no time.Then with the nine celestial powers which has emerged from Durga Maa Shumbhu is killed. Kaalika dances in between the dead corpses killing her own army too and to bring her to the original form Lord shiva lays down between the corpses when she suddenly steps on her husbands chest realizes her mistake and reforms to original form.

It was also believed that Goddess Parvathi during nights used to go away from home as kalika and used to eat the humans which came into knowledge of Lord Shiva and hence to stop her he sleeps at the entrance. When she steps on the chest of Lord shiva takes the original form and promises of not doing so.

History:-  Kalighat TempleThe Kalighat temple in its present form is only about 200 years old, although it has been referred to in Mansar Bhasan composed in the 15th century, and in Kavi Kankan Chandi of the 17th century. Only two types of coins of Chandragupta II, who incorporated Vanga in the Gupta Empire, are known from Bengal. His Archer type coins, which became the most popular type of coinage with the Gupta rulers after Kumaragupta I, have been found in Kalighat. This is evidence of the antiquity of the place.

         The original temple was a small hut. A small temple was constructed by King Manasingha in the early Sixteenth century. The present temple was erected under the patronage of the Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family of Banisha. It was completed in 1809. The Haldar family claims to be the original owners of the temple property. But this was disputed by the Chowdhrys of Banisha. In the nineteen sixties a committee was formed for the administrative management of the temple with representation from the Government and the Haldar family. The responsibility of conducting the worship rests with the Haldars and their heirs, generally known as Shebaits.


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