Saturday, 2 July 2011

Shakti Peethas

Shakti Peethas

by Mantra & shlokas on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:52pm

Shakti Peethas in India are considered as the most sacred places of Hindu pilgrimage. Hindus from different parts of the country and various other parts of the world visit these Shakti peethas to worship the Goddess. The Shakti peethas are also considered to be the holy places of cosmic power where the main deity is the Goddess Sati, prominent deity of the Shakta sect. Goddess Sati is also worshipped in the forms of Goddess Gowri or Parvati. Parvati is regarded as the goddess of marital felicity, harmony and longevity, Goddess Durga is regarded as the Goddess of valour and strength while the Goddess Mahakali is associated with the demolition of the evil forces.

    There is a legend behind the different Shakti peethas in the Indian sub-continent. During the Satya Yuga or era, Daksha carried out a yagna with a hidden desire in his mind to take revenge on the Lord Shiva. The reason behind the anger of Daksha towards Lord Shiva is that his daughter Sati had married the yogi God Shiva which he never liked. Thus, Daksha gave invitation to all the Gods and Goddesses to attain the yagna except Goddess Sati and Lord Shiva. Even if Daksha did not invite Shiva and Sati to attain the Yagna, Sati still wanted to attain the yagna arranged by her father.

Lord Shiva advised Sati not to attain the yagna, but she did not agree. At last, Lord Shiva allowed Sati to go to attain the Yagna organised by her father along with his ganas or followers. Since Sati was not invited to the Yagna, she was not given any importance at the gathering. Daksha also insulted Shiva in front of Sati. Thus, unable to bear the humiliation, Sati invoked her yogic powers and sacrificed herself. Infuriated by the injury and insult, Shiva demolished the sacrifice of Daksha and cut of his head. Again he replaced the head of Daksha with that of a goat and restored life to his body. After all this, the lord still was not satisfied and out of grief he took the body of Sati over his shoulder and danced the rudra tandava or the dance of destruction. To prevent Lord Shiva from destroying the universe, Lord Vishnu cut the corpse of Sati into pieces by his Sudarshana Chakra or disk. The various parts of Sati`s body fell at different places throughout the Indian subcontinent and were established as the Shakti peethas.

    One will get to find in all the Shakti peethas that the Goddess Shakti is attended by Lord Bhairava who is regarded as the demonstration of Lord Shiva. In all, there are 51 Shakti peethas which are spread from the present day Pakistan to Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. The 51 Shakti peethas are the sacred religious places which are visited by a large number of Hindus every year.

    Hinglaj is one of the major Shakti peethas in India where the brain or mind of Devi Sati fell and the idols worshipped here are Devi as Kotari or Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva as Bhimlochan or the third eyed or terrible eyed. It is situated close to Karachi, in a cave on the western regions of Pakistan. Jwalamukhi is the Shakti peetha where the tongue of Sati fell and the idols here are Devi as Ambika or the mother and Lord Shiva as Unmatta or the furious one. This place of pilgrimage is situated close to Jullundher in the state of Punjab, in India. Shivaharkaray or Karavipur is a spot where the three eyes of the Devi fell and at this Shakti peetha the idols worshipped are Devi in the form of Mahishmardini or Durga; the destroyer of Mahishashur and Lord Shiva as Krodhish or the angry one. This peetha is situated close to Karachi in Pakistan. The nearest railway station to this Hindu pilgrimage is Parkai. Sugandha is the Shakti peetha where it is believed that the nose of Sati fell and the idols worshipped here are Devi as Sunanada or the pleasing one and the Lord Shiva as Traimbak or Rudra .

This Shakti peetha is situated in the state of West Bengal, close to Barishal in Shivahri Karpur village the temple of Devi is situated and the temple of Lord Shiva is placed in Ponabalia village. The railway station close to this peetha is Jhalkati.

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