Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Shri Shakambari Mata

नमः सर्वनिवासाय सर्वशक्तियुताय ते 
ममाभीष्ठम करू श्वासु शरणागतम वत्सल  

Shakambhari is an incarnation of Ishwari, consort to Shiva. She is the divine mother, called "The Bearer of the Greens". Ishwari is a name of Goddess Durga and means divine counterpart of Ishwara (supreme Lord). She is God's Shakti (force, infinite strength) represented in a form as an all powerful, sovereign Goddess reigning all over the worlds.
The word Shakambhari comes from "shakam" joined with the root "bhri"("shaka" = vegetables or food and "bhri" = to nourish) means the Goddess who bears or gave vegan food to the hungry.
SHAKUMBHARI DEVI (A Symbol of Botanical Energy): Stating in terms of botanical-science, there exist form of energy behind the growth of plants and vegetables; the evolution of this energy is caused due to the multiplication and compounding of atoms. The same energy has been worshipped as SHAKUMBHARI Devi. Indian Culture had adopted the importance of plants & vegetation thousand of years ago, when the worship of SHAKUMBHARI DEVI was started.
As per Skandpurana, a demon Durgam pleased Lord Brahma through severe penance and acquired knowledge of the Vedas along with a boon that all the offerings in the form of puja, yagya being offered to Gods will go to him instead thus making him invincible. Intoxicated by his powers, he started tormenting the whole world. Devoid of yagya & puja Devtas became weak and could not perform the functions, consequently it did not rain for a hundred years so the world was hit by a severe draught. On severe penance by sages, Goddess appeared in a beautiful form. As she had countless eyes that gave her name "Shatakshi", she was carrying grains, cereals, vegetables, greens, fruits, herbs thus she was called "Shakambhari". Goddess was so moved by the plight of people that tears rolled from her eyes for continuous nine days which became a river that ended the drought. On getting knowledge of this, Durgam attacked with a large army. Devi created a wall of fire around the Gods & Sages for their protection. In the battle that ensued, Devi manifested from her body the ten powers "Dashamahavidya" who had never existed earlier in the universe along with 64000 other Goddesses. After a fierce battle Devi Shakambhari killed Durgam with her trident (Trishul) so she is also called "Durga". She recovered the Vedas from his possession and gave them to the deities. All the mantra, japas, yagya performed earlier by Sages which had gone to the demon also transformed into a bright light and entered the Devi. (The stories of Shakambhari are mentioned in many scriptures like Chapter 28 of The Devi Bhagavatam Puran, chapter 11 of The Devi Mahatmyam and in Murti Rasyam).
As per other legends, Shakambhari Devi is the slayer of the demon king Mahishasur. Other stories say Devi did penance for 100 years and had vegetarian meal only once at the month end.
Shakti Peeth Shakumbhri, meaning the abode of Shakti Goddess Shakambhari, is situated in the Jasmour village area, at a distance of 40 km to the north of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. It houses two important temples – Devi Shakumbhri and another Bhura-Dev (Bhairava) temple located at a distance 01 Km to the east
Perched in the midst of the Shivalik mountain range, this temple is believed to have been built during the rule of the Marathas.
As per the sayings, Shankaracharya came to this place and meditated here. He found the idols and placed them in the shrine. In the sanctum sanctorum, Shakumbhari Devi is enshrined in the company of Bhramari Devi, Bhima Devi and Sheetla Devi.
Festivals: There are festivities during Navratras and large numbers of devotees visit during Navratras Mela during Hindu calendar Chaitra & Ashwin. About 01 km east of Shakumbhari is the Bhura Dev (BHAIRAV) temple which is considered to be the guard of Shakumbhari Devi. As per practice, the devotees to Shakumbhri Devi first visit Bhura-Dev temple and then proceed to the temple of the Goddess.
History: the temple was built by Pundir Rajputs under Rana Bahadur Singh Pundir who was great grand father of Pundir Chief Rana Pitambar Singh Pundir. Although it is not very ancient temple but is revered by devotees as Shakti-peeth
Location: Jasmour Village which is at a distance of about 40 kms from Saharanpur and is easily accessible from Delhi & Dehradun through regular buses or taxis.
E-mail: contact@shakumbharidevi.com (Courtesy:http://shakumbharidevi.com)


A. Sikar, Rajasthan
Location: ancient temple is situated at P.O. Sakarai, Via-Gurara in tehsil Neem Ka Thana about 15 kms from Udaipur Wati, which is about 29 kms from Sikar, Rajasthan. Nearest Airport – Sanganer, Jaipur (147 Kms), Nearest Railway station – Palsana (20 km), Road distance from Jaipur – 135 kms. Its ancient name was Shankaranka ('kadjk.kd). Temple was built by Chauhan king Durlabhraja in 692 AD. It is located on Mount Malay.
Deity: Brahmani & Rudrani. Both the idols are lion riding eight-armed Goddess in the posture of killing Mahishasura. Their faces are vermillion pasted. Brahmani is made of marble stone whereas Rudrani is made of locally available med stone.
Architecture: the shikhar of the temple bear highly artistic statues of Gods & Goddesses. On a platform of the elegantly hewn stones is placed silver thrown 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 AD). Afterwards in 11th & 12th centuries renovations were carried out. The present edifice came in this shape in the vikram samvat 1970 (1913 AD). The work was completed on the 7th day of bright half of Vaisakha in samvat 1980 (1923 AD). The huge temple in present form was built by Seth Ram Gopal Dangayach and family. Temple is made of lime, stone and marble.
The Aravalli Hills are the world's most ancient hills. That part of the Aravalis, names as Malketu, this temple is built and it is an ancient shrine. A stone inscription in Sanskrit language and Devanagari script are in a beautiful style and ornamental script. In this inscription hymns to Lord Ganesh, Chandrika Devi and Kubera. In the high pinnacled temple of Shri Shakambhari, there is ample space available for the visitors to lodge. Dharamshalas are also available.
Festivals: every year in the dark half of the Bhadrapada month visitors circumabulate the temple from the ninth day to Amavasya the moonless night.

B. Sambhar, Rajasthan: as per legend, Sambhar Salt Lake was created by Goddess Shakambhari nearly 2500 years back. There is a small white temple which is more than 200 years old.
C. Kolkata, West Bengal: there are three temples of Shakambhari Devi in Kolkata. As tears rolled from Devi's eyes for 9 days main function is during navratras (Ashwin & Chairta). Besides, two more navratras known as 'Gupta Navratra' are also celebrated.
D. Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh: 'Sakambari Ubuschavas' a 3 days festival is celebrated every year at Durga Temple where the Goddess is decorated with vegetables and fruits.
E. Banashankari Amma temple, Badami, Karnataka: 7th century temple (current structure 17th century) at Cholachagudd about 5 kms from Badami (nearest Railway station) in Bagalkot district. Distance: 495 kms from Bangalore, 125 kms from Hubli (nearest Airport). Since the temple is situated in Tilakaaranya forest, the Devi came to be known as Banashankari or Vanashankari where "Ban" (van) meaning 'forest' and "Shankari" meaning the lover of Lord Shiva. Idol of Goddess is carved out of black stone in a sitting position on a growling lion and crushing a demon with her foot. Goddess has eight arms holding Trishul (trident), Damaruga, lotus, ghanta, Veda scripts and sword.
F. Banashankari Amma temple Bangalore, Karnataka: one of Bangalore's oldest and well known temples, which was built by Subramanya Shetty in 1915 who brought a deity of Amma from Badami and installed it in the temple. Situated in Banashankari area on Kanakpura road. Unique feature of the temple is that the puja is done in Rahukala otherwise considered inauspicious. It is believed that worshipping Amma in Rahukala a person gets rid of all hardships in life. Devotees visit the temple on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and light multiple oil lamps in half cut lemon peels, whose pulp has been removed. Annual cultural ceremonies – 1st Birth anniversary of Amma on 13th September, 2nd Dushehra festival and 3rd in December/January to mark the anniversary of the temple.
G. Nagewadi, Maharashtra: Nagewadi is a small village about 12 kms from Satara Railway station.
H. Kumbhoj, near Satara, Maharashtra

ततो गछेत राजेन्द्र देव्याः स्थानं  सुदुर्लभम
शाकम्भरीति विख्याता त्रिषु लोकेषु विश्रुता
(Mahabharata, Vana Parva)

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