Kamakhya Devi And Tantric Shakti

Posted by Vaishno Devi On Tuesday, September 20, 2011 0 comments

Kamakhya devi shrine hosts the yoni of Sati that fell here following the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice. This Shakti Peetha symbolizes the union of Shiva with Shakti, as described in the Kali Purana. They are depicted in constant union where Kamakhya is the Goddess of desire, who grants salvation. She is the young bride of Lord Shiva and together they symbolize the sublime reality of the miracle of life, the everlasting bliss of male/female union. This temple is situated atop a hill that overlooks the Brahmaputra river. The inner sanctum is a deep dark underground rocky chamber into which one descends by a flight of steep steps. The "Matra Yoni" which is inscribed on a rock is covered with silk sarees and is constantly moist by underground spring water.

Tantrik cult is a different kind of cult where the orthodoxy of normal rituals and male dominance over the female took a massive beating. In tantricism, it’s the opposite where the female is given a lot more importance and is associated with Shakti. This is reflected in all their strange ritual practices. There is a deep divide between conventional worship and tantrik worship. In conventional worship, a woman is considered as "impure" during her 3 day monthly cycle, further to which she is almost treated as an untouchable in ancient brahmin traditions still prevailing today. In Tantrik worship, most of the rituals including initiation are centered on the 3 days, this period being the most important period where the woman is considered most pure and an incarnation of Shakti. This is clear from various references made in Tantric texts.

Most of the tantrik texts have been found around the regions of Kamarupa, suggesting very strong prevalence of this cult around the Kamakhya Devi temple. The Yoni Tantra hails from Cooch Bihar but most of the Kaul Tantras originated from Kamarupa. The earliest comprehensive references made to the most important element of Tantrik ritual, called Yoni Tattva in the Kaula Tantra are given in the Kaula Jnana Nirnaya by Matsyendranath.

A few references that really call for interest about this esoteric cult, and can be made mention of, are as follows.

1. The Shakti, represented here as Kamakhya Devi has close associations with the 64 Yoginis found elsewhere in Orissa. The yantra associated with Kamakhya devi empowers the 64 yoginis(Hirapur Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Khajuraho) as part of Shakti. The Tripura mantra "Aim Klim Sauh" represents the triple Kundalini. It is also believed that female sadhvikas who are well versed in Yoga dwell at Kamakhya peetha. If one joins them, they obtain yogini siddhi.

2. The Matrikas who dominated both Buddhist sculpture as well as Brahmanical, are the depiction of the importance of alphabet or sound in the worship of Shiva and Shakti. There are seven representations called the Sapta Matrikas, describing the importance of the alphabet in the Beeja mantra and associated hymns sung in the praise of Shiva and shakti.

3. This reference comes as an eye opener that Tantrik cults were not restricted to unknown tantriks who practiced in complete secrecy, but a few known faces also seem to be a part of this cult in thought.

With reference to Yoni tattva, Kaula tantras deal with the subject of menstrual blood as given in the following translation.

Matrikabheda Tantra (English translation Ideological Book House 1990) describes the different types:

"Shri Shankara said:
The first menses appearing in a woman who has lost her virginity is Svayambhu blood.
In a maiden born of a married woman and begotten by another man, that which arises is Kunda menses, the substance causing the granting of any desire.
Deveshi, a maiden begotten by a widow gives rise to Gola menses, which subdues gods.
The menses arising in the first period after a virgin becomes a married woman is the all bewildering Svapushpa."

Last but not the least is the dialog between the supreme creative power Brahma and Shakti. Brahma can create but only through the yoni which shall be the sole creative principle, and will bless the soul with life. After severe penance Brahma brought down a luminous body of light to earth and placed it within the yoni circle of Goddess Kamakhya at Kamarupa

Timings of the Kamakhya Temple

Posted by Vaishno Devi On Monday, September 19, 2011 0 comments

5:30 am - Snana of the Pithasthana

6:00 am - Nitya Puja

8:00 am - Temple doors open for devotees

1:00 pm - Temple doors closed for cooked offerings to the Goddess followed by distribution among the devotees.

2:30 pm - Temple door reopens for the devotees.

5:30 pm - Aarti of Goddess followed by closing of the temple door for the night.

How to reach the Kamakhya Temple

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The Kamakhya temple is situated at the center of the city. Buses and cabs runs almost all the time right from the morning to the night. The kamakhya temple is about 20 km from the airport. It is about 6 km from the railway station. From the airport as well as from the railway station cars are easily available for rent.

Devotees can hire cars for a trip to kamakhya temple. There are two well maintained staircase from the bottom of the hill to the Kamakhya temple made up of stones is also there, which can also be used to climb to the Kamakhya temple.

About Kamakhya Temple Guwahati

Posted by Vaishno Devi On Thursday, September 1, 2011 0 comments

The Kamakhya Temple, which is situated high aloft a hill called Neelachal Parbat or Kamagiri in the city of Guwahati is one of its several religious landmarks, which speaks volumes about the rich historical treasure over which the state of Assam is seated. This sacred temple in the heart of the capital city of Assam holds more than it meets the eye of the onlooker. The Kamakhya Temple had been built in reverence to Goddess Kamakhya or Sati, who was one of the numerous incarnations of Goddess Durga or Goddess Shakti

The temple is situated a few kilometers away from the Guwahati Railway Station, and is open for visitors throughout the year. There is a legend attached to the history of the temple, which goes way back to the mythological age. According to the legend, Sati the wife of Lord Shiva (one of the holy Trinities in Hindu mythology) took her life at a ‘Yagna’ ceremony that had been organized by her father Daksha, because she could not bear the insults hurled at her husband by her father. On hearing the news of his wife’s death, Shiva, the destroyer of all that was evil flew into a rage and punished Daksha by replacing his head with that of a goat. 

Torn between misery and blind fury, Shiva picked up the corpse of his beloved wife Sati and performed a dance of destruction called the ‘Tandava’. The intensity of the destroyer’s fury was so overwhelming that it took several Gods to pacify his anger. In the midst of this struggle, Sati’s corpse accidentally got cut into 51 parts by the disc in the hands of Lord Vishnu (also one of the Trinities in Hindu mythology), and her female genitalia or ‘Yoni’ fell on the spot where the Kamakhya temple stands today, forming one of the many Shakti ‘Peethas’ embellishing the rest of her body parts.

King Nara Narayana of Cooch Behar rebuilt the temple in 1665 after it had suffered destruction at the hands of foreign invaders. The temple consists of seven oval spires, each topped by three golden pitchers, and the entrance spirals down to a curvy path of some distance, which specially links the main road to the temple. Some of the sculptured panels of the temple carry depictions of Gods and Goddesses of Hindu pantheon carved in a delightful pattern. Tortoises, monkeys, and large number of pigeons have made the temple their home, and loiter around the premise, being fed by the temple authorities and the visitors. The cryptic, as well as the peaceful ambience of the temple combine together to soothe the nerves of visitors, and take their minds to flights of inner salvation, and this is the very reason that people come here for. 

With all its enigmatic splendor and picturesque locale, the Kamakhya Temple is one of the most astounding structures, not only in Assam, but also in the whole of India.

History of the Temple Kamakhya

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The current temple structure was constructed in 1565 by Chilarai of the Koch dynasty in the style of medieval temples. The form of the earlier structure, destroyed by the Kala Pahar, is unknown. The current structure has a beehive-like shikhara with delightful sculptured panels and images of Ganesha and other Hindu gods and goddesses on the outside.

The temple consists of three major chambers. The western chamber is large and rectangular and is not used by the general pilgrims for worship. The middle chamber is a square, with a small idol of the Goddess, a later addition. The walls of this chamber contain sculpted images of Naranarayana, related inscriptions and other gods.

The middle chamber leads to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in the form of a cave, which consists of no image but a natural underground spring that flows through a yoni-shaped cleft in the bedrock. During the Ambuvaci festival each summer,the menstruation of the Goddess Kamakhya is celebrated. During this time, the water in the main shrine runs red with iron oxide resembling menstrual fluid.

It is likely that this is an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer to Shakti.

The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation.Shakti is known as Kamakhya.