Thursday, 25 September 2014

Shankari Devi

Shankari devi is one of the most important peethas among the 18 Maha Shakti peethas. It is believed that the Groin of Sati Devi has fallen here when Lord Vishnu has cut her corpse with Sudarshana chakra. Here Devi Sati is worshipped as Shankari Devi and Lord Shiva as Trikoneshwara. This temple is located in Trimkomali, or Trincomalee on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Shankari Devi temple is located on a hill top. Trikoneshwara temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. “Ravana Veddu” is the other name for the hill on which Lord Trikoneshwara temple is situated.

The deity was worshipped more than 2500 years ago, even before Prince Vijay one of the first Kings who is said to have landed in Sri Lanka during 300 BC. The Trikoneshwara temple at its height of glory was one of the richest temples in the South. The ancient Shiva temple was a large structure on the rock. According to Archaeological and literary evidence, there were at least three temples on the hill top. The Gopurams of the temples were taller than one another and the tallest gopuram overseeing the Indian Ocean, had the main deity. The main temple itself was a huge structure with nearly 1000 pillars supporting the huge hall and many small mandaps.

Temple History

Pallava, Chola and Pandya rulers have made significant contributions for the upkeep of the Shankari and Trikoneshwara temples. The Portuguese invaded Sri Lanka in 15th Century. The Portuguese Catholic Colonists destroyed several places of worship including that of (Muslims and Buddhists) in and around the island of Sri Lanka after 1505 AD. The Portuguese cannon balled the top of the temple from their ship. In place of the temple is a lone pillar. The temple was destroyed and its materials were used in the construction of the Fort Frederick nearby. The deities of Shankari Devi and Trikoneshwara were hidden in a silted well to save them from the onslaught of Portuguese invasion. The idols were recovered from a well in Trinco after independence of Sri Lanka in 1948.  

Some of the artefacts of the destroyed temple are kept in the Lisbon Museum. There is also a stone inscription by Kulakottan with a dual fish emblem, with a prophecy that the land, after 1500 AD will be ruled by people with a different eye colour for 500 years and then the earlier rulers will get to rule the land- Vadugus.  Tricomalee was subsequently ruled by the Dutch for 500 years and then by Vadugus and by the French, till the British captured Sri Lanka in 1795. In 1689, a small temple was built nearby to keep the idols which were preserved. No worship was allowed for the deities. Later, a temple in 1952 was built for Trikoneshwara.

The present Trikoneshwara temple is located adjacent to small Shankari Devi temple built in 1952 by some local Tamil Hindu people, after a gap of 450 years.  There is also the sacred Bilva tree at the edge of the cliff perched on top of the Indian Ocean. The view from the hill top is exhilarating and splendid. Trikoneshwara temple is built by Sage Agasthya from the instructions of Lord Shiva, who was impressed by Ravana’s devotion. This temple is unique, as the temple is built by the Lord for his bhaktha. (devotee). Other deities surrounding the main deity- Trikoneshwara include, Lord Ganesha, Lord Subramanya and other deities. Goddess Shankari is worshipped in the form of Mathumai Ambal.

Other Legends:

According to one Puranic reference, Parvati Devi requested Lord Shiva to build a palace for her. But Shiva, used to living in Mount Kailash did not heed to her request.  After several requests from Parvati, Lord Shiva finally relented and asked Vishwakarma to build a palace. Vishwakarma built a beautiful palace in Lanka Dweep for Parvati Devi. Lord Shiva and Parvati came to Lanka to perform the Griha Pravesh of their palace. 

Ravana was doing a rigorous penance to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi were pleased with the penance of Ravana and Lord Shiva blessed Ravana with boons. Ravana, a Brahmin by birth and master of all the four Vedas was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Pleased by his penance, Parvati Devi asked Ravana to perform the rituals associated with the Griha Pravesh of their palace. Parvati Devi was impressed with Ravana who did the Griha Pravesh rituals and wanted to bless him with a boon. She asked Ravana to ask for a boon, and he asked for the Lanka palace. Parvati Devi, though saddened initially by the wish of Ravana granted the boon and gave away the palace as Dakshina. However, Ravana requested Parvati Devi to stay at the palace. Parvati Devi agreed to stay at the palace as Shankari Devi with the condition that she would stay at the palace, as long as Ravana pays heed to her words.  After some time, when Ravana brought Sita Devi from Ayodhya, Parvati asked Ravana to return her to Lord Rama. When Ravana refused to return Sita Devi, Shankari Devi left the Lanka Palace for Kailash.

Another reference is that Lord Rama also visited Trikoneshwara temple to get rid of the Brahma hatya Dosham.

Another reference is when Vayu, the Wind God and Adishesha, the serpent on which Lord Vishnu rests, had a bitter fight about their individual strengths. Vayu sneered at Adishesha’s strength as he could be easily caught by Garuda, the bird. Adishesha then coiled himself around Mount Kailash and challenged Vayu to attack Mount Kailash. Vayu turned into a hurricane and attacked Mount Kailash. All the gods and goddesses prayed to Lord Shiva to save them. Lord Shiva asked Brahma to create another Kailash in the South and came to reside at Lanka, also known as Dakshina Kashi. Adishesha lifted his three hoods out of 1000 hoods to listen to Lord Shiva, during which time, Vayu blew over three peaks of Mount Kailash. These three pieces fell in Thondai Naadu (Thiru kalahasti), Chozha Naadu, (Thiruchirupalli) and in Eezha Naadu, Trinkomalee, also Thirukonnamalai in Sri Lanka. The third hill is known as Thirukkonamalai and it lies along the same longitude as Kailash.

Another Puranic reference is that the asura, Kethu swallowed nectar during the Samudra Manthan or churning of the ocean in a fight between the asuras and devas. He attained immortality as he swallowed the nectar. Lord Vishnu who came to know about this beheaded Kethu and he was wandering headless, till such time Lord Brahma took pity on him and made Kethu a Lunar Node along with “Rahu”. Kethu came to Ketheeswaram, prayed to Lord Shiva and obtained Moksha.  Thus the place is known as Tiru Kethu esswaram

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


The Shakti Peethas are places of worship consecrated to the goddess Shakti or Sati, the female principal of Hinduism and the main deity of the Shakta sect. They are sprinkled throughout the Indian subcontinent.

This goddess Shakti, the Goddess of power is the complete incarnation of Adi Shakti, has three chief manifestations, as Durga, Goddess of strength and valour, as Mahakali, goddess of destruction of evil and as Goddess Gowri, the goddess of benevolence.

Lord Brahma performed a yajna (Vedic ritual of fire sacrifice) to please Shakti and Shiva. Goddess Shakti emerged, separating from Shiva and helped Brahma in the creation of the universe. Brahma decided to give Shakti back to Shiva. Therefore his son Daksha performed several yagnas to obtain Shakti as his daughter in the form of Sati. It was then decided that Sati was brought into this world with the motive of getting married to Shiva.

However, due to Lord Shiva's curse to Brahma that his fifth head was cut off due to his lie in front of Shiva, Daksha started hating Lord Shiva and decided not to let Lord Shiva and Sati get married. However, Sati got attracted to Shiva and finally one day Shiva and Sati got married. This marriage only increased Daksha's hatred towards Lord Shiva.

Daksha performed a yagna with a desire to take revenge on Lord Shiva. Daksha invited all the deities to the yajna except Lord Shiva and Sati. The fact that she was not invited did not deter Sati from attending the yagna. She expressed her desire to attend the yagna to Shiva, who tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually relented and Sati went to the yagna. Sati, being an uninvited guest, was not given any respect at the yagna. Furthermore, Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati was unable to bear her father's insults toward her husband, so she immolated herself.

           Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva in Virabhadra avatar destroyed Daksha's yagna, cut off Daksha's head, and later replaced it with that of a male goat as he restored him to life. Still immersed in grief, Shiva picked up the remains of Sati's body, and performed the Tandava, the celestial dance of destruction, across all creation. The other Gods requested Vishnu to intervene to stop this destruction, towards which Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra, which cut through the Sati's corpse. The various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today.

At all the Shakti Peethas, the Goddess Shakti is accompanied by her consort, Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva). Shakti is an aspect of the Supreme Being Adi parashakti, the mother of the trimurti, the holy trinity in Hindu mythology. 

There are total of 108 shakti peethas according to puranas, in them 

4 - Adhi Shakti Peetas.

Body Part or Ornament
Puri, Odisha (inside Jagannath Temple complex)
Pada Bimala
Berhampur, Odisha
Sthana (Breasts) Tara Tarini
Guwahati, Assam
Yoni khanda Kamakshya
Kolkata, West Bengal (Kalighat Kali Temple)
Mukha khanda Dakshina Kalika

18 are called maha shakti peetas, ASHTADASA SHAKTHI PEETHAS

Part of the body fallen
Trincomalee (Sri Lanka)
Shankari devi
Kanchi (Tamil Nadu)
Back part
Kamakshi Devi
Pandua (West Bengal)
Srigala Devi
Mysore (Karnataka)
Chamundeshwari devi
Alampur (telangana)
Upper teeth
Jogulamba devi (Yogamba devi)
Shrishailam, (Andhra Pradesh)
Neck part
Bhramaramba devi
Kolhapur (Maharastra)
Mahalakshmi devi
Mahur (Nanded District, Maharastra)
Left hand
Renuka Devi
Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
Mahakali devi
Pithapuram (Andhra Pradesh)
Back part
Puruhutika devi
Jajpur (Odisha)
Hip bone
Biraja Devi
Draksharamam (Andhra Pradesh)
Manikyamba devi
Guwahati (Assam)
Kamarupa devi
Prayaga (Uttar Pradesh)
Madhaveswari devi
Kangra, Jwalamukhi (Himachal Pradesh)
Head Part
Vaishnavi devi
Gaya (Bihar)
Breast part
Sarvamangala devi
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
Vishalakshi devi
Sharada Peeth (Kashmir) *
Right hand
Saraswathi devi

51 other Shakti Peeths are very important and known to ancient Hindu religious pilgrims.

State in India/Country
Body Part or Ornament
Amarnath, from Srinagar through Pahalgam 94 km by Bus, Chandanwari 16 km by walk
Jammu and Kashmir
Attahas village of Dakshindihi in the district of Bardhaman, near the Katwa railway station
West Bengal
Bahula, on the banks of Ajay river at Ketugram, 8 km from Katwa, Burdwan
West Bengal
Left arm
Goddess Bahula
Bakreshwar, on the banks of Paaphara river, 24 km distance from Siuri Town, district Birbhum, 7 km from Dubrajpur Rly. Station
West Bengal
Portion between the eyebrows
Bhairavparvat, at Bhairav hills on the banks of Shipra river in the city of Ujjaini
Madhya Pradesh
Bhabanipur, located in the Upazilla of Sherpur, Bogra, Rajshahi Division. Also located at Karatoyatat, it is about 28 km distance from the town of Sherpur.
Left anklet (ornament)
Chhinnamastika Shaktipeeth at Chintpurni, in Una District of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Rudra Mahadev
Gandaki, Pokhara about 125 km on the banks of Gandaki river where Muktinath temple is situated
Gandaki Chandi
Goddess Bhadrakaali on banks of Godavari in Nasik city
Chin (2 parts)
Hinglaj (Or Hingula), southern Baluchistan a few hours North-east of Gawadar and about 125 km towards North-west from Karachi
Bramharandhra (Part of the head)
Jayanti at Nartiang village in the Jaintia Hills district. This Shakti Peetha is locally known as the Nartiang Durga Temple.
Left thigh
Jessoreswari, situated at Ishwaripur, Shyamnagar Upazila, Khulna Division. The temple complex was built by Maharaja Pratapaditya, whose capital was Ishwaripur.
Palms of hands and soles of the feet
Jwalaji, Kangra from Pathankot alight at Jwalamukhi Road Station from there 20 km
Himachal Pradesh
Siddhida (Ambika)
Unmatta Bhairav
Kalipeeth, (Kalighat, Kolkata)
West Bengal
Right Toes
Kalmadhav on the banks of Shon river in a cave over hills near to Amarkantak
Madhya Pradesh
Left buttock
Kamgiri, Kamakhya, in the Neelachal hills near Guwahati
Kankalitala, on the banks of Kopai River 10 km north-east of Bolpur station in Birbhum district, Devi locally known as Kankaleshwari
West Bengal
Kanyashram of Balaambika - The Bhagavathy temple in Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of mainland India, Tamil Nadu (also thought to be situated in Yunnan province, China)
Tamil Nadu
Karnat, Brajeshwari Devi, Kangra
Himachal Pradesh
Both ears
Kireet at Kireetkona village, 3 km from Lalbag Court Road station under district Murshidabad
West Bengal
Locally known as Anandamayee Temple. Ratnavali, on the banks of Ratnakar river at Khanakul-Krishnanagar, district Hooghly
West Bengal
Right Shoulder
Locally known as Bhramari Devi. In Jalpaiguri near a small village Boda on the bank of river Teesta or Tri-shrota (combination of three flows) mentioned in Puranas
West Bengal
Left leg
Manas, under Tibet at the foot of Mount Kailash in Lake Mansarovar, a piece of Stone
Right hand
Manibandh, at Gayatri hills near Pushkar 11 km north-west of Ajmer
Two Bracelets
Mithila, near Janakpur railway station on the border of India and Nepal
Left shoulder
Nainativu (Manipallavam), Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Located 36 km from the ancient capital of the Jaffna kingdom, Nallur. The murti of the Goddess is believed to have been consecrated and worshipped by Lord Indra. The protagonist, Lord Rama and antagonist, Ravana of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana have offered obeisances to the Goddess. Nāga and Garuda of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata; resolved their longstanding feuds after worshipping this Goddess.
Sri Lanka
Silambu (Anklets)
Indrakshi (Nagapooshani / Bhuvaneswari)
Rakshaseshwar (Nayanair)
Nepal, near Pashupatinath Temple at Guhyeshwari Temple
Both Knees
On Chandranath hill near Sitakunda station of Chittagong Division. The famous Chandranath Temple on the top of the hill is the Bhairav temple of this Shakti Peetha, not the Shakti Peeth itself.
Right arm
Panchsagar Near Lohaghat (in Champawat District of Uttarakhand) nearly 100 km from nearest railway station Tanakpur.
Lower teeth
Prabhas, 4 km from Veraval station near Somnath temple in Junagadh district
Prayag near Sangam at Allahabad
Uttar Pradesh
Present day Kurukshetra town or Thanesar ancient Sthaneshwar
Ankle bone
Ramgiri, at Chitrakuta on the Jhansi Manikpur railway line
Uttar Pradesh
Right breast
Sainthia, locally Known as Nandikeshwari temple. Only 1.5 km from the railway station under a banyan tree within a boundary wall, Birbhum district
West Bengal
Sarvashail or Godavaritir, at Kotilingeswar temple on the banks of Godavari river near Rajamundry
Andhra Pradesh
Rakini or Vishweshwari
Vatsnabh or Dandpani
Naina devi, [[]]
Himachal Pradesh
Shondesh, at the source point of Narmada River in Amarkantak
Madhya Pradesh
Right buttock
Shri Parvat, near Ladak, Jammu and Kashmir. Another belief: at Srisailam in Shriparvat hills under Kurnool district
Andhra Pradesh
Right anklet (ornament)
Shri Shail, at Joinpur village, Dakshin Surma, near Gotatikar, 3 km north-east of Sylhet town
Shuchi, in a Shiva temple at Suchindrum 11 km on Kanyakumari Trivandrum road
Tamil Nadu
Upper teeth
Sugandha, situated in Shikarpur, Gournadi, about 20 km from Barisal town, on the banks of Sonda river.
Udaipur, Tripura, at the top of the hills known as Tripura Sundari temple near Radhakishorepur village, a little distance away from Udaipur town
Right leg
Tripura Sundari
Ujaani, 16 km from Guskara station under Burdwan district
West Bengal
Right wrist
Mangal Chandika
Varanasi at Manikarnika Ghat on banks of the Ganges at Kashi
Uttar Pradesh
Vishalakshi & Manikarni
Vibhash, at Tamluk under district Purba Medinipur
West Bengal
Left ankle
Kapalini (Bhimarupa)
Virat, near Bharatpur
Left toes
Vrindavan, near new bus stand on Bhuteshwar road within Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, Katyayanipeeth. Vrindavan
Uttar Pradesh
Ringlets of hair
Jalandhar, from Jalandhar Cantonment Station to Devi Talab.
Left Breast
Baidyanath Dham
Jaya Durga
Birajong in Paro
Paro, Bhutan
Great Toe
-Ksheer Khandak


Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure
Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane 
 Alampure Jogulamba,Sri shaile Bhramarambika 
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika 
Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika 
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike 
Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari 
Jwalayam Vaishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika
Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati 
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham 
Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam 
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham 

Chamundeshwari Devi

                Chamundeshwari temple is one of the sacred Ashtadasa Maha Shakti peethas located in Mysore of Karnataka. It’s called Krouncha Pitham because the region was known in Puranic times as Krouncha Puri. And the one of Shakti Peethas is related to the mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati’s self-sacrifice, Shakti Peethas are divine seat of Shakti because of the falling of body parts of the clay of Sati Devi, and when the Lord Shiva brings it and walk in sorrow. It is believed that the hair of Sati Devi has fallen here when lord Vishnu has cut her corpse with his Sudarshan Chakra. Every temple has shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava.

Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple is located on the heights of Chamundi Hills at 3,489 feet , 13 kilometer away  from the palace town of Mysore in the state of Karnataka. The Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple was named when Chamundeshwari or Durga, the fierce type of Shakti, a protective god control in reverence for hundreds of years by Mysore Maharajas. In the sanctum sanctorum is the stone statue of the Goddess, ‘Mahisha Mardhini.’ Having ‘Ashta Bhujas’ or eight shoulders, she is in a seated posture. According to the local legend, the image was established by sage Markandeya and hence it is said to be very old. In the ‘Antharala’ prior to the sacred sanctum sanctorum are the images of Lord Ganesha on the left side and of ‘Bhyrava’ on the right side.

The Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple has a polygonal shape structure. The Gopura or pyramidic tower at the (doorway) is elaborately adorned in the Dravidian vogue and has a small sculpture of Lord Ganesh on the main entrance. And the Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple entrance door way is silver-plated and has the pictures of god in different forms on that. As one passes through the main gate, on the right hand side could be a little statue of Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles. Climb a number of steps and there’s a flagstaff, the footprints of the god and a little Nandi statue in front of the Garba Gudi (where is the main statue is installed). Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple was built with big granite rocks and inside the Goddess Chamundeswari idol adorns with Gold and jewels and Pattu sarees. In this temple very large halls are built with good attractive sculptures.

Maharajah Krishnaraja Wodeyar reconstructed this Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple in 1827 and engineered the big tower on that. He additionally gifted the Chamundeshwari Temple with a large wood chariot called the Simha Vahana that is now used during the Rathotsava or car festival.

             On prime of the sanctorum is a small tower or Vimana that may be seen from Mysore Chamundeswari Temple outside. During the festival 10 days, of Dasara festival special prayers are offered to the god. The Vedas are chanted in the temple and varied music performances are control here. When Dasara, on the auspicious Ashwayuja Pournime and Rathotsava and car festival is held during the Jathra or annual festival on high of the Hill. This is followed by Theppotsava (floating festival) that’s held in the night. Most famous festivals attract many more thousands of devotees. The Mysore Chamundeeswari temple is found on a hill in the locality of Mysore and is accessed through a motorable road.

              Besides the Chamundeswari temple, one can see Mahabaladri, Narayanaswamy temples and Mahishasura and Nandi statues, there are a few other interesting spots on the Chamundi Hills. Among them the Lalith Palace is one. It belongs to the Mysore royal family. The Maharajas were making a short stay in this Palace whenever they visited the hills. Built on the hill-top, it offers an attractive bird’s eye view of Mysore city and far off places. Lalithadri Palace was built during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV.


Mahishasura Mardini is the incarnation of Goddess Durga who had taken birth to kill the asura king Mahisasura. Mahishasura was the king who ruled the kingdom of Mahisha or Mahishaka. According to Hindu Puranas, Mahisha was the son of an asura King Rambha who had fallen in love with a beautiful female buffalo named Shyamala. Shyamala was a princess who became a water buffalo due to the curse. Rambha due to his magical powers took the form of a male buffalo and by their union Mahisha was born with the head of a buffalo and human body. Mahishasura has the magical power to take the form of buffalo and human according to his wish. In Sanskrit language, Mahisha means Buffalo.

Mahishasura ruined the life of humans and conquered Earth (Prithvi Lokam) as well as Deva Loka (Swarga Lokam) by attacking Lord Indra, the King of Devas. All Gods and Goddess approached Lord Vishnu for a solution. Thus the powers of Trimurtis - the Trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahadeva - joined together for the creation of Goddess Durga (Mahamaya).

Goddess Durga was incarnated with ten arms, each having different warriors with Lion as her vehicle and possesses the power to destroy the demon rakshas Mahisha. Durga Maa went to fight with Mahisha and at the end of the fierce fight she got victory over Mahishasura. The battle raged for nine days and nights. Finally on the tenth day of Ashvin shukla paksha, Mahishasura was defeated and killed by Durga.  Thus Durga got the name Mahishasuramardini (The one who killed demon Mahisha). As Goddess save the world from the demon, Durga came to be known as the Mother of the Universe who embodies the primeval source of all power.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Shrinkala Devi

Shrinkhala Devi is one of the eighteen Shaktipeeth. It is believed that the Stomach part of Sati Devi has fell here. This is located at Pandua in Hugli district ( West Bengal).The word Shrinkhala has two meanings. The first one being, a Binding thread or Binding chain, second one is, a cloth which is used by the postnatal women to tie their abdomen tightly. According to the first meaning the goddess is in bounded form. Of-course, Jaganmata is bound only to the lord Shiva (Satya). She removes all bonds attached to her devotees. In the second meaning the goddess is in postnatal stage (Mother of a newborn baby), in this form, she will see the entire universe as her child. The devotees imagine him/ her as a new born baby of Shrinkhala mata. A complete surrenderance (Saranagati) and Sishu bhava is required to worship her.

At present there is no temple in that place. We will see a Minar in spite of the temple. But still in Maghamasa of every year, a mela tala will be conducted there. Some people consider it as Shrinkhala Shaktipith present at Ganga sagar, in Adinath kshetra. Some people consider that Srunkhala mata is present near Shringeri of Karnataka, brought by Rishyashringa maharshi, on the order of Goddess. Some people consider that the temple is in Chotilla, Gujarat.

                Sthala Purana: Rishyshringa maharshi worshipped Srunkhala mata here and got the complete blessings. One day he received an order from the goddess and went Shringeri of Karnataka. Srunkhala mata also came with the maharshi. Later Rishyashringi maharshi established the power of Srunkhala in and around the Shringeri hill. the story of Rushya srunga it is said that he was grown up by his father from his child hood without exposure to the external world away from everyone except his father himself in the forest.This sage was pure at heart that he had a soul of an infant who does not get into the wordly joy. This made him a devotee of Shrinkhala devi .
This sage was the one who conducted the Putrakaameshti yaaga for king Dasaradha.
King Romapada a friend of Dasradha adopted Santha devi who was the sister of Sri Rama.He requested this sage to conduct a yagna to get relief of very long famine which was relieved after the yagna.On the request of the king this sage married Santha devi and conducted the above metioned Yagna .
After some time this great sage as was a great devotee of Shrinkhala devi brought her in the sense his mother to Sringeri and distributed the energy around the Srunga parvatha and there he constructed temples to the deity.

Rukmini as Shrinkhala mata: After the marriage of Lord Srikrishna and Rukmini mata, they are going to Dwaraka. At that time Durvasa maharshi tested their Dharma. Maharshi tied both of them to a cart, and ordered them to pull it. Rukmini mata got thirsty and looked towards Lord Srikrishna, he gave her water. But Durvasa mahrshi got angry for that act, because both of them acted without the prior permission from Maharshi, while they are under control of Maharshi. He passed an order, Lord Srikrishna and Rukmini mata should live separately for 12 years. Rukmini mata obeyed the order and lived in the outskirts of Dwaraka for 12 years without entering into Dwaraka. After that period Pradyumna born to Rukmini mata. But immediately after delivery, a rakshasa stolen the new born Pradyumna from Delivery room. In that time Rukmini mata is also in the form of a postnatal women. In this way Rukmini mata life resembles Shrinkhala mata.

pradyumnE vangarAjyAyAM shrunkhalA nAma bhUSHitE /
vishvavimOhitEdEvi shrunkhalA bandhanAshini //

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Kanchi Kamakshi

 Kanchipuram is a city of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the Maha Ashtadasa Peethas and one of the seven holiest cities (Providers of Moksha) in India according to Garuda Puran. It is on the Banks of Vegavathy River.Goddess Kamakshi is surrounded by deities of Ayyapan, Saraswati, Annaporani and Adisankaracharya on its outer prakaram. The Goddess also has Varahi, Arupalakshmi Kalvarperumal (one of the 108 Divya Desam of Vaishanavities), Roopalakshmi and Arthanariswarar deities surrounding the sanctorum of Goddess on its Gayatri Mandapam. 

There is Santhanasthampam inside the prakaram of Goddess which is called the Nabisthan of the Goddess. There is a Srichakra Yantra (Sri Kamakoti Peetam) established by Jagadguru Sri Adisankaracharya in front of the Goddess deity. The temple also has a golden Gopuram on the sanctorum of the Goddess Kamakshi deity which is visible to all devotees.

The Goddess Kamakshi is in a sitting posture in the temple. This posture is called the Padmasana posture. The Padmasana posture is said to resemble a lotus. In the Yogic practice this resembles the form of meditation. The Goddess holds a Sugarcane bow on her left upper arm and Lotus, Parrot in her right upper arm. The Goddess also has divine chakras called Pasa and Angusa in her arms. The Goddess also has a Chandraperai (a shape of moon like structure) in her forehead. The Goddess Kamakshi is situated in the middle of temple premises.

The mythology of Daksha yagna and Shakti's self immolation had immense significance in shaping the ancient Sanskrit literature and even had impact on the culture of India. It led to the development of the concept of Shakti Peethas and there by strengthening Shaktism. Enormous mythological stories in puranas took the Daksha yagna as the reason for its origin. It is an important incident in Shaivism resulting in the emergence of Shree Parvati in the place of Shakti Devi and making Shiva a grihastashrami (house holder) leading to the origin of Ganapathy and Subrahmanya.

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For the complete story of Daksha Yagna click here and read the brief story sub title.

Shakti Peethas are shrines or divine places of the Mother Goddess. These are places that are believes to have enshrined with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered throughout Aryavartha in sorrow. There are 51 Shakti Peeth linking to the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit. Each temple has shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava, and mostly Shakti and Kalabharava in different Shakti Peeth have different names.

History reveals that Goddess Kamakshi was praying under a mango tree with a Shiva lingam made of sand to marry the great Lord Shiva. After a long duration of dedicated and devoted meditation to Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva appeared before her and married the Goddess Kamakshi, a divine form of Parvati.

Ekambareswarar Temple in northern Kanchipuram, dedicated to Shiva, is the largest temple in the city. Its gateway tower, or gopuram, is 59 metres (194 ft) tall, making it one the tallest temple towers in India. The temple is one of five called Pancha Bhoota Stalams, which represent the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature; land, water, air, sky, and fire. Ekambareswarar temple temple represents earth.

Kailasanathar Temple, dedicated to Shiva and built by the Pallavas, is the oldest Hindu temple in existence and is declared an archaeological monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. It has a series of cells with sculptures inside.