Thursday, 9 October 2014

Biraja Devi

Biraja Devi is one of the Ashtadasa Shakti peethas. This place is also known as Nabhi Gaya. This temple is built in 13th century. It is believed that the Hip Bone of Sati devi has fallen here when Lord Vishnu has cut the corpse with his Sudarshana Chakra. Here Lord Shiva is as Jagannath. This is located in Jajpur of Odisha.

                The image of Goddess Biraja is unique and rare in entire India. The ferocious deity is mounted on a lion carrying a spear in one arm and holds the tail of Mahishasur with other.There are some exception that in Her crown there remain 5 images. These are Lord Ganesh, Shakti Moon,Chandra along with Shiva Linga, Chandra and Snake. Token of 5 Gods and Goddesses holding
Mahisha slaughter image is not seen anywhere in India. Maa Biraja devi also called as Girija devi, Viraja devi and Biraja devi. Vaitarini River is passing near Biraja kshetra. Here Maa Biraja devi worshiped as Trishakti Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Devotees will offer their hair to holy goddess. This area is also famous for Shraddha karmas.

The principal deity Maa Biraja was clustered around by Three Varahas, Four Bhairavas, Five Nrusinghas, Seven Matrukas, Twelve Madhavas and a Hundred and Eight Rudras. The perimeter of the Shakti Pitha Biraja Kshetra is triangular. Its apex or corner point extends in the west, south-east and north-east directions. The Lingas Bilweswar, Varuneswar and Khilateswar are located in the west, south and north-east directiona and guard the areas as guardian deities. Presiding deity Biraja is worshipped in the middle of this triangular Kshetra.

ODhradEshE bhuvanEshI girijAnAma samsthitA /
pAlikAkhila lOkAnAM pallavAruNa pANinA //


It states that once Brahma (the creator of the Universe) performed a Yajna (great sacrifice) inside the river Baitarani. By the invocation of Brahma, Parvati manifested herself from the Garhapatya fire. Being moved by his prayers Parvati advised Brahma to name her as Biraja. She was entreated by Brahma to glorify the Kshetra by her presence as the divine consort of Siva. She took her position with pleasure and created Nine Durgas, Sixty Four Yoginis, Eight Chandikas and directed them to remain in the Kshetra forever.

At Biraja Temple, Lord Vishnu is in Varaha incarnation:

A great Yagna (sacrificial oblation) was performed over the body of Gayasur, (the great demon devotee of Lord Vishnu) by the Lords Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu to kill the demon. Gayasur’s feet were in Pada Gaya (a place in Pithapuram, Andhra Pradesh), nabhi(Navel) in  Biraja Kshetra or today’s Jajpur, known as Nabhi Gaya and head at Shiro Gaya. The exact spot is in a well that lies inside the Biraja temple just close to Maa Biraja.

Biraja Devi is described as Pitrukanya. According to Brahmanda Purana, Biraja was the mind child of Ajyapa Pitruganas. Thus people from all over the country come and offer pindas at Nabhigaya in order to propitiate their ancestors and have a darshan of the Pitru Kanya, Biraja.There is a puranic reference in Mahabharatha, wherein Pandavas, (as suggested by Sage Lomash) took a holy dip in Baitrani River to wash out all sorrows and sufferings during their Vanavasa.Nabhi Kund is a pond where Lord Brahma is said to have performed a Yagna, which is also present near the temple.
According to Skanda Purana, Utkala khanda, a dip in the holy river Vaitrani washes all rajo guna of pilgrims.

Other Important temples:

Brahma Kund (A holy place where Brahma did Yagna) is also present near temple. This pond also considered as Nabhi kund.
There is a temple for Sweta Varaha swamy near this temple.
Jagannadh temple complex present on other sides of the bank of Vaitarini river.
Siddheshwar temple is one of the oldest temple of Lord Shiva in Jajpur district.


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