Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Kolhapur Ambabai – Kshetra Purana

Kolhapur(कोल्हापूर) is a city situated on the banks of river Panchganga in the south-west corner of Maharashtra, India.   The Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur  is one among the Shakti Peetha’s listed in various puranas of Hinduism. This place is of special religious significance being one of the six places where it is believed that one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled.  Both Shri Vishnu and Mata Lakshmi reside in the temple.

Long ago Lord Brahma created three ‘manasputras’, namely Gaya, Lavana and Kolha. All the three were extremely powerful and became practically invincible after performing severe penance of  Lord Shiva. Both Gaya and Lavana enraged Indra and Yama, and creeated lot of problems to Gods.  Vishnu with the assistance of other gods killed both of them. However, the gods consented to turn the spots on which they had fallen into tirths, thus we have the Vishnugaya tirth.
Kolha, the monarch of Kolhapur, and the youngest brother decided to seek revenge of the deaths but did not want to wage a war and create bloodshed instead wanted to dethrone Indra and other Gods from their positions with the power of his penance.  Determined he went to Kolhagiri hills and followed a severe penance, days passed and so did his strength.  Kolhasur soon received the blessings of Brahmadeva, and returned to his capital to see that it was over taken by a demon Sukeshi.  Kolhasur attacked Sukeshi and slew him after a ferocious struggle.
Kolhasur entrusted the administration to Karvir, his eldest son. His natural inclination towards aggression and bloodshed burst into flames of hatred when he learnt that the Deva’s were responsible for the death of his two uncle’s. He took upon himself the task of seeking revenge and started slaughtering sages and demolishing shrines. When the devotees rushed seeking refuge, Devas waged a war against Karvir the battle that ensued was severe. Karvir’s 3 brother’s lost their lives and Lord Shiva slew Karvir in the end and in accordance with a promise given to him before his death named the city ‘Karvirnagar’.

Kolhapur Ambabai
Kolhasur, was furious to learn of the fate of his sons. He decided that since Mahalakshmi was the source of all the power and inspiration of the Deva’s, she should somehow be won over first. So he again took up a severe penance, as a result to his prayers the devi appeared before him.  He requested her to quit Kolhapur for a hundred years so that he could take his revenge against the Deva’s, Devi agreeded to his request and proceeded to the Himalayas. As a result Kolhapur suffered. He destroyed towns and cities
Distressed Deva’s approached the Trimurthi for rescue, who in turn adviced to seek relief through the Great Goddess. Devi, though was extremely angry from hearing accounts of the atrocities of Kolhasur, could do anything as she had granted the boon to him that she would stay away for a period of hundred years.
As years rolled and the 100 year period was coming to an end, an angry Devi proceeded towards Kolhapur accompanied by a large army of Deva’s, amongst whom counted Ranka Bhairav, Kal-Vetal, Siddha-Batukeshvar and her Chamundi. Devi assumed an eighteen armed form, mounted on her lion and set against Kolhasur.
Kolhasur though an Asura, had some good values in him and was repentant of his deeds.  He prayed for forgiveness and when Devi offered him her blessings, he quickly asked for 3 boons. First the spot where he would die should become a “Thirth Sthala”. Second Devi should reside in her original abode as before and the place should be known as Kolhapur after him. Thirdly every year the fruit ‘Kohala’ should be cut ceremonially in his honour. Goddess pleased by his devotion said ‘tathastu’ and gave him ‘mukti,’ .
Kolhapur Ambabai

1 comment:

  1. nice post! chanting mahalakshmi stotram once a day has changed my life...