Goddess Shakti and her mysterious ways
Goddess Shakti or ‘Mother of the Universe’- as Hindus believe her to be, protects and nourishes this world like a real mother. Manifest as prakriti or nature she provides all living beings means to survive.
Worshipped in different forms and with different names across the nation, her temples and Siddha peeths hold great importance for her devotees. From Mata Vaishno Devi in Trikuta Mountains, Jammu to Devi Kanyakumari at the southern tip of India; from Goddess Jagadishwari Kali on the banks of Hoogly to Amba ji in Gujrat, all her temples are believed to have miraculous powers and have divine tales associated with them. Legends, beyond logic’s comprehension. Legends which make people bow in faith.
It is next to impossible to compile the enigmatic tales of all her temples in one article. So, here I bring you three jewels from this vast treasure.
Jwala ji– Located in Kangra district of Himanchal Pradesh, Jwala devi is one of the Siddha Peeths of goddess where Devi Sati’s tongue is believed to have fallen. It is one of the most ancient temples of India; its mention can be found in Mahabharata and other ancient Indian scriptures. Since ages there are constant flames or ‘Jwala’ burning in this temple, whose fuel source scientists have failed to find even after several elaborate researches. ONGC has examined the place more than once for the immense natural gas reserve which has the flame burning for centuries, but couldn’t find anything.
However, it’s not just the miraculous flame, but also a ‘chattra’ or the holy parasol lying here which has forced the researchers to scratch their head.
King Akbar had ordered his officials to drown the miraculous temple flame in water. But when they failed after repeated attempts, the king gave to believing in the power of Goddess who resides here. Hence, he brought a 50kg gold chattra for Jwala ji as an offering. The Goddess however did not accept it and the gold chattra immediately turned into a chattra of alien metals. Metals which as per scientists don’t belong to earth. Devotees can still see this chattra in the temple premises.
Dhari Devi – Situated on the banks of Alaknanda, in Kalyasaur, Uttarakhand is the temple of Dhari Devi. A form of Goddess Kaali. She is believed to be the protector of Uttarakhand and its Char dhams. The idol worshipped here is of the upper part of Goddess. The lower body part of Dhari devi is worshipped at Kalimath, near Guptkashi in the form of a Shree yantra and one has to visit both the temples to complete the prayers.
Dhari Devi’s idol is said to change its expression thrice a day. From a young girl, to a woman, to an old lady and if one observes the idol at different times of the day they can experience this change.
Another mind-boggling story about Dhari Devi is her connection with Kedarnath temple, where resides Shiva, the consort of Kaali. It is believed that anytime attempts to relocate Dhari Devi idol from her original place are made, wrath of Kedarnath falls. The 2013 cloudburst and floods of Uttarakhand, which account as one of the severest natural disasters of India, till date, occurred hours after the government authorities started relocating Dhari Devi idol which was falling in the way of area’s hydel project. Similar catastrophe befell in 1882 when the local king decided to relocate Dhari Devi temple.Goddess Shakti
Kamakhya Devi– Another Siddha peeth of Goddess, where her female part or yoni is believed to have fallen. Situated on Neelachal Hill in Guwahati, Kamakhya devi makes the less talked and still considered a taboo- mensuration, worshipable. Every year Kamakhya devi temple is closed for three days in Ashaad or the month of June. When the goddess depicts the quality of a mortal woman. During these three days Goddess is believed to go through her annual menstrual cycle. Brahmaputra river flowing near the temple turns red during this time. On the fourth day the temple reopens and the famous Ambubachi fair is organized.
While on one side these stories leave our educated minds questioning ‘How?’, on the other they make us realise that humans are just tiny speckles in the vast. There is a lot that lies beyond our understanding, there is a lot that lies in this magnificent country called INDIA !