Friday, April 17, 2009

MAA SHAKAMBARI - Adi Parashakti

MAA SHAKAMBARI - Adi Parashakti
In Hinduism, Shakambhari is an incarnation of Ishwari, consort to Shiva. She is the divine mother, 'The Bearer of the Greens'

It is said that in times of famine, Goddess Durga comes down and gives vegan food, (Shaka comes from Sanskrit. means vegetables and vegan food.  Ambari means one who wears or bears), to the hungry. That is why she is called "Shaka" + "Ambari" = 'Shakambhari'.
Glory of Maa Shakambari

According to Vedas and Puranas only one single power called "Para Brahm" exist. ( Not the Brahna of guna rup of Brahm such as: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh ) The "Para Brahm" or Parmatma as such has no conditions like birth or death. It has no attributes like form or qualities. Yet this seeming creation is nothing but "Leela" of "Para Brahm". This "Leela" is carried out with the help of "Prakriti" or Maya. This Maya is an inseparable ingredient of Parmatma. Therefore, there is no beginning or end of this Leela of creation (Brahm), maintenance (Vishnu) and destruction (Mahesh.) The concept of Maya as Mother of the universe i.e. Shakti serves the mortals to overcome the process of birth and death.

This Maya -Mula-Prakriti - Adi Parashakti has been conceived as the highest divine force. Our Puranas refer to various forms and incarnation of Maya. Each incarnation has a purpose and in every case only to protect the pious and punish the wicked.

One such form of this Maya
-Mula-Prakriti - Adi Parashakti is MAA SHAKAMBARI.

Maa Shakambari glory was originally told by Shiva to Maa Parvati and Sri Skanda and has references in Skanda Purana.

Every incarnation of Shakti has been named after the "Leela" she perform under the influence of "Purusha and Prakriti" like Mahishasurmardini who killed demon Mahishasur.

Most common name for the worship of the Shakti is "Durga". Under what "Leela" performed by Adi Parashakti that She is known to this world as Durga. This name attributed to the Adi Shakti because of the following "Leela".

Once upon a time there was a Demon Durgam who worshiped Brahma for years together. As a result he had acquired all the four books of total knowledge,Vedas from Brahma through penance. He also gets a boon from Lord Brahma that makes sure that all the pujas, yajnas and havanas being offered to the Devtas reach him instead making him invincible. Durgam became very arrogant and started tormenting the whole world.

As the consequence, devtas become weak and were not able to perform their duties properly. Therefore it did not rain for one hundred years and the whole world was hit by very severe drought. The rishis and munis take refuge in the caves of the Himalayas, and meditate upon the Supreme Shakti. The Shakti appeared in front of them bearing a wonderful form! She had countless number of eyes upon her that gave her the name SATAKSHI. She was so moved by their plights that tears rolled down from her eyes for nine continuous days and nights. The tears took the form of a river.

Than SHE saw that the rishis and munis has nothing to eat. So she appeared in a form bearing grains, cereals, vegetables, greens, fruits and other herbs and medicines - and was hence called Maa SHAKAMBARI. The rishis, munis and the Devtas then requested that she recover Vedas, which were in possession of Durgam and make sure that the share of Devtas of puja, yagna and havanas goes to Devtas so that they become powerful and can perform their duties properly.


Durgam came to know that again people were living happily through his messengers and immediately attacked with a large army. Maa Shakambari protected the frail rishis, munis, Devtas and others by putting up a huge wall of fire around them, and then let her discuss hover around it. 
There ensued a tremendous battle between the Maa Shakambari and Durgam. At last Maa Shakambari, killed Durgam with her trident and recovered The Veda from his possession. At that very moment all the mantras and japas that were performed by the rishis, munis and devtas had performed earlier but were absorbed by the demon Durgam due to his boon, transformed into a bright light of a 10000 Suns and entered the Devi. 
 From Her body Maa Shakambari manifested the ten most powerful powers who has never been in universe before called "Dashamahaavidya" and 64000 other goddesses. She then handed over The Veda to the deities.

Therefor Adi parashakti is known as Durga as she had killed the demon Durgam 


Appearance of Shakambari Maa
The splendid form of Shakambari Devi is de scribed in detail in Durga Sapt-Shati in the last chapter named 'Murti Rahasya'. According to this, the goddess is of blue color. Her eyes are like lotus flower. Navel is slightly below the normal place with three curves. She bears breasts of a virgin. A lotus is carried in her hand, which is thronged by bees. The other hand carries arrows. Other hands carry flowers, roots, and vegetables, fruits symbolizing the goddess of vegetation, who feeds us and keeps us away from disease. One hand is carrying a bow representing her fierce-ness. 

This is the appearance of Shakambari Devi, Shatakshi and Durga. This goddess removes the grief and calamities and terrorizes demons. The devotee of this goddess, worshiping mother by hymns, meditation, Japa and bhajans, attains the fruits of food, drink and infinite bliss.

Mother's Temples

At present only a few temples of Maa Shakambari are known. We are giving here list and little description of all these.

1.Shakambaripuram - Chennai.

A temple proposed to be built for Shakambari in Chennai, Tamilnadu, where a beautiful Murti of the Goddess Shakambari is consecrated. Shakambari Navratri and other Navratri are being celebrated since 2001 at Shakambaripuram. Please contact for further information.

2.Shakti Peeth Shakambari - Utter Pradesh.

This temple is one of the 51 Shakti peeth where parts of the Sati fell. It is believed that head of the sati felled here. The Devi temple situated in the Jasmour village area 40 Kms north of Saharanpur on the Shivalik hills ranges dates back to ancient times. The popularity of this temple has been increasing day by day and many devotees visit this temple for "Darshan".Twice a year, in the months of Ashwin and Chetra the famous Shakambari mela is organized during the days of Navratri. The idols of the Shakambari temples do not seem to be of an ancient architecture. Some people believe that this temple was constructed by the Marathas. Others believe that Adi Sankracharya performed his Tapshaya here and that these idols were installed by him in this temple.It is said that Maa Shakambari killed Mahishasur Maha Daitya. It is also believed about Shakambari that the Devi performed Tapas for 100 years, having a vegetarian meal only once at the end of every month. During this time the Rishis Munis, who came for Devi’s Darshan, were welcomed and honored with vegetarian meals. Because of this the temple was named as Shakambari devi temple.
About one kilo meter east of Shakambari lies the Bhura Dev, the Bhairav temple which is considered to be the guard and companion of Shakambari Devi. Because of this all of the devotees to Shakambari first visit Bhura Dev temple.

3. Banshankari Temple - Badami

As per Skanda Purana having moved out of Kashi, rishi Agastya was sad and to pacify him Kashi Vishwanath directed rishi to go to Kolhapur where Kashi Vishwanath dwells in the form of Mahalakshmi. Accordingly rishi Agastya reaches and worships Maa Mahalakshmi. She pleased with the devotion of rishi appears before him and directs him to go to Tilakaranya where She is in the form of "Banashankari". She assures rishi Agastya that by worshiping Maa Shakambari he will get the benefit of living in Kashi.
The famous Banashankari Temple is located at Cholachigud about 5 kilometers from Badami - the historic capital of Chalukyas. Here Banashankari or Shakambari is the form of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Banashankari Devi is also said to be worshiped by mighty Chalukyas as Kuladevi. Idol of Goddess Banashankari is of Blackstone. Here the Goddess can be seen seated on lion and trampling a demon by foot. The Goddess has eight arms holding trishul-damaruga, kapaalpatra, ghanta, Veda scripts and khadg-kheta etc.

4. Maa shakambari - Sikar Rajasthan

The idols here are of Brahmani and Rudrani. Both the idols are lion riding goddesses in the posture of killing Mahishasura. They both are eight armed. Their faces are Vermillion pasted. The only difference between the two is of the stone. That of Brahmani is made of marble while that of Rudrani is made of locally available med stone.

Sadhus of Nath cult have been the priests of this temple.
The Shikhar of the temple bear highly artistic statuettes of gods and goddesses. On a platform of the elegantly hewn stones is placed a silver throne with drawn patterns there on. This is the seat for the deities. Mandapa or the prayer portico was initially built in the Vikram Samvat 699 (647 A.D.). Afterwards in 11th and 12th centuries it was repaired and renovated. The present edifice came is this shape in the Vikram Samvat 1970 (1913 A.D.). The work was accomplished on the 7th day of bright half of Vaisakha in Samvat 1980 (1923 A.D.). The huge temple in its present form was built by Seth Ram Gopal Dangayach and his family.

5. Banashankari Temple - Bangalore

The Banashankari temple of Bangalore dates back to the year 1915. It was founded by Somanna Shetty, a devotee of Banashankari Amma. He brought a deity of Amma from Badami, in Bijapur district, and installed it inside the temple. Situated on the Kanakapura Road, the temple now comes under the management and control of the Endowment Department of the Government of Karnataka. Given below is more information on the Banashankari Temple of Bangalore, India.

Unique Time and Form of Offering Prayers
One of the unique features of this temple is that the deity is worshipped in Rahukala, considered to be an inauspicious time according to Hindus. It is believed that worshipping Banashankari Amma in Rahukala rids one of all the hardships and paucities in life. There is a large rush of devotees in the temple, especially on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, considered to quite auspicious for doing puja. The prayers are offered by lighting multiple oil lamps in half cut lemon peels, whose pulp has been removed.

Annual Cultural Ceremonies
Three cultural ceremonies are held at the Banashankari temple of Bangalore, every year. The first ceremony, commemorating the birth anniversary of Banashankari Amma, is held on 13th September. The second one is held as a celebration of the Dussehra festival, in October-November. The third, and the last, ceremony is held in the last week of December or the first week of January, to mark the anniversary of the temple. 

6. Maa Shakambari - Sambar Lake Temple

Ancient Temple of Goddess Shakambhari is situated at Sakarai about 15 km from Udaipur Wati which is about 29 km from Sikar(Rajasthan). Also there is three temples of Mata Shakambhari in Kolkata. Since tears rolled out from goddess eye for 9 days and night continuously the biggest worship practice is celebration of Navratra Mahotasav being held in the month of Chaitra and Aasoj for nine days each. Two more Navratras are also celebrated but they are known as 'Gupt Navratras'

शाकम्भरी देवी का प्राचीन शक्तिपीठ जयपुर जिले के सांभर कस्बे में अवस्थित है। शाकम्भरी माता सांभर की अधिष्ठात्रीदेवी है और इस शक्तिपीठ से ही इस कस्बे ने अपना यह नाम पाया।

सांभर, पौराणिक, ऐतिहासिक, पुरातात्विक और धार्मिक महत्तव का एक सांस्कृतिक पहचान रही है एशिया की सबसे बड़ी नमक उत्पन्न करने वाली खारे पानी की झील भी यही है। शाकम्भरी देवी के मंदिर की अतिक्ति पौराणिक राजा ययाति की दोनों रानियों देपयानी और शर्मिष्ठा के नाम पर एक विशाल सरोवर व कुण्ड अद्यावधि वहां विद्यमान है जो इस क्षेत्र के प्रमुख तीर्थस्थलों के रूप में विख्यात है। वर्तमान में देवनानी के नाम से प्रसिद्ध इस तीर्थ का लोक में बड़ा माहात्म्य है जिसकी सूचक यह कहावत है देवदानी सब तीर्थो की नानी।

शाकम्भरी देवी के नामकरण के विषय में पौराणिक उल्लेख है कि एक बार इस भू- भाग में भीषण अकाल पड़ने पर देवी ने शाक वनस्पति के रूप में अंकुरित हो जन जन की बुभुक्षाशान्त कर उनका भरण पोषण किया तभी से इसका नाम शाकम्भरी पड़ गया जिसका अपभ्रंश ही सांभर ह|

सांभर पर चौहान राजवंश का शताब्दियों तक असधिपत्य रहा। चौहान काल में सांभर और उसका निकटवर्ती क्षेत्र सपादलक्ष (सवा लाख की जनसंख्या सवा लाख गांवों या सवा लाख की राजस्व वसूली क्षेत्र) कहलाता था।
 ज्ञात इतिहास के अनुसार चौहान वंश शासक वासुदेव ने सातवीं शताब्दी ईं में सांभर झील और सांभर नगर की स्थापना शाकम्भरी देवी के मंदिर के पास में की।

सांभर सातवीं शताब्दी ई. तक अर्थात्‌ वासुदेवी के राज्यकरल से १११५ ई. उसके वंशज अजयराज द्वारा अजयमेरू दुर्ग या अजमेर की स्थापना कर अधिक सुरक्षित समझकर वहां राजधानी स्थानांतरित करने तक शाकम्भरी इस यशस्वी चौहान राजवंश की राजधानी रही।

सांभर की अधिष्ठात्री और चौहान राजवंश की कुलदेवी शाकम्भरी माता का प्रसिद्ध मंदिर सांभर से लगभग १५ कि.मी. दूर अवस्थित है। शाकम्भरी देवी का स्थान एक सिद्धपीठ स्थल है जहां जनमानस विभिन्न वर्गो और धर्मो के लोग आकर अपनी श्रद्धा भक्ति निवेदित करते हैं।

शाकम्भरी दुर्गा का एक नाम है, जिसका शाब्दिक अर्थ है शाक से जनता का भरण पोषण करने वाली। मार्कण्डेय पुराण के चण्डीस्तोत्र तथा वामन पुराण (अध्याय ५३) में देवी के शाकम्भरी नामकरण का यही कारण बताया गया है।

इस प्राचीन देवी तीर्थ का संबंध शक्ति के उस रूप से है जिससे शाक या वनस्पति की वृद्धि होती है। सांभर के पास जिस पर्वतीय स्थान में शाकम्भरी देवी का मंदिर है वह स्थान कुछ वर्षों पहले तक जंगल की तरह था और घाटी देवी की बनी कहलाती थी। समस्त भारत में शाकम्भरी देवी का सर्वाधिक प्राचीन मंदिर यही है जिसके बारे में प्रसिद्ध है कि देवी की प्रतिमा भूमि से स्वतः प्रकट हुई थी।

शाकम्भरी देवी की पीठ के रूप में सांभर की प्राचीनता महाभारत काल तक चली जाती है। महाभारत (वन पर्व), शिव पुराण (उमा संहिता) मार्कण्डेय पुराण आदि पौराणिक ग्रन्थों में शाकम्भरी की अवतार कथाओं में शत वार्षिकी अनावृष्टि चिन्तातुर ऋषियोंपर देवी का अनुग्रह शकादि प्रसाद दान द्वारा धरती के भरण पोषण की कथायें उल्लेखनीय है। वैष्णव पुराण में शाकम्भरी देवी के तीनों रूपों में शताक्षी, शाकम्भरी देवी का शताब्दियों से लोक में बहुत माहात्म्य है। सांभर और उसके निकटवर्ती अंचल में तो उनकी मान्यता है ही साथ ही दूरस्थ प्रदेशों से भी लोग देवी से इच्छित मनोकमना, पूरी होने का आशीर्वाद लेने तथा सुख-समृद्धि की कामना लिए देवी के दर्शन हेतु वहां आते हैं। प्रतिवर्ष भादवा सुदी अष्टमी को शाकम्भरी माता का मेला भरता है। इस अवसर पर सैंकड़ों कह संख्या में श्रद्धालु देवी के दर्शनार्थ वहां आते हैं। चैत्र तथा आसोज के नवरात्रों में यहां विशेष चहल पहल रहती है।

शाकम्भरी देवी के मंदिर के समीप उसी पहाड़ी पर मुगल बादशाह जहांगीर द्वारा सन्‌ १६२७ में एक गुम्बज (छतरी) व पानी के टांके या कुण्ड का निर्माण कराया था, जो अद्यावधि वहां विद्यमान है।
शाकम्भरी देवी के चमत्कार से संबंधित एक जनश्रुति है कि मुगल बादशाह औरंगजेब जब स्वयं शाकम्भरी देवी की मूर्ति तोड़ने के इरादे से वहां आया और प्रतिमा नष्ट करने का आदेश दिया तो असंख्य जहरीली मधुमक्खियों का झुण्ड उसकी सेना पर टूट पड़ा तथा सैनिकों को घायल कर दिया तब विवश हो औरंगजेब ने अपनी आज्ञा वापिस ली तथा देवी से क्षमा याचना की।

सारतः शाकम्भरी देवी अपने आलौकिक शक्ति और माहात्म्य के कारण सैंकड़ों वर्षो से लोक आस्था का केन्द्र है।

7. Maa Shakambari temple – Kedar Hills, Uttrakhand

This is in my belief is the oldest temple of Maa Shakambari. But I have not much information about this temple. It is said that this area is Maa Shakambari Kshetra. This is the place where rishis-munis did Tapsaya of Adi para Shakti, as explained in Shiv-Puranas (Uma- Samhita). And first appears as Maa Shatakshi and than as Maa Shakambari and killed demon Durgam.

This temple is located in Kedar hills, 6 Kms before Gauri-Kund, on way to Kedar Nath temple; there is an uphill road on the left hand side for Triyugi Narayan temple. On this way 3 Kms before Triyugi Narayan temple, you will find a sign-board indicating a path-way towards this temple. On going down the slope you will find this temple. The surroundings of the temple are beautiful Himalayan peaks, covered with snow and dense forest; you may not found another visitor for the day.

Regarding the purity and power of this area, I can share my experience that after doing the pooja here, I just sat in front of the temple on down slope and did meditation.  And I have never felt myself in so deep engrossed in meditation, and vision of Maa Shatakshi, Maa Shakambari and what is Durgam and the Leela played by this powers, all is visualized and understood. In my opinion for meditation, it is the best place on earth, I saw.

8. Maa Shakambari - Kuchaman city, Rajasthan

This temple of Maa Shakambari is new, built by one of the salt merchant who is doing salt farming on the back side of this temple. Historically there was a dacoit of Robin Hood style in this area some 180 years ago and he used to worship Maa Shakambari here at the same place. The idols he worshipped are also kept in the temple along a grand and beautiful marble statue of Maa Shakambari.  This temple is located near highway only.