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E-Book

Shakthi
And

Shakthi Peetams

By

Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran


About the Author:

Mr T Sampath Kumaran is a freelance writer. He regularly contributes articles


on Management, Business, Ancient Temples and Temple Architecture to many
leading Dailies and Magazines. His articles for the young is very popular in
The Young World section of THE HINDU.
He was associated in the production of two Documentary films on Nava
Tirupathi Temples, and Tirukkurungudi Temple in Tamilnadu. His e-books on
Hindu Saints, and Temples of Pilgrimage canters have been well received in the
religious circle. His book Guide to Chennai a comprehensive Guide is
popular amongst tourists visiting the city.

Om
Shakthi

Thanks to Google for the references and pictures collected to compile the
e-book : Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran.
Shakti from Sanskrit shak, "to be able" meaning "power" or
"empowerment" is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the
dynamic forces that are thought to move through the
entire universe. Shakti is the concept or personification of divine
feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as 'The Great Divine
Mother' in Hinduism. As the mother, she is known as Adi
Parasakthi. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests
through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also
present in males in its potential, un-manifest form.
Shakti means the Goddess manifestations of Dakshayani, Sati, Parvati
or Durga, the female principal of Hinduism and the main deity of
power. Shakti, the Goddess of power is incarnation of Adi Shakti and
has three major manifestations as Durga, Mahakali and Gowri. In
woman is the form of all things, of all that lives and moves in the
world. There is no jewel rarer than woman, no condition superior to
that of a woman.
Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for creation and the
agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation,
its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious
psycho-spiritual force.
In Shakthism Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti
embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva and is identified
as Tripura Sundari or her avatar Parvati.
Srividya Tantric Shakthism perform the Navavarna puja at
Saharskshi Meru Temple.
Shakthism regards Devi as the Supreme Brahman with all other forms
of divinity considered to be merely Her diverse manifestations. In the
details of its philosophy and practice, Shaktism resembles Shaivism.
However, Shaktas, practitioners of Shaktism, focus most or all
worship on Shakti, as the dynamic feminine aspect of the Supreme
Divine. Shiva, the masculine aspect of divinity, is considered
solely transcendent, and Shiva's worship is usually secondary.
Devi-Mahatmya refers:
By you this universe is borne. By you this world is created, Oh Devi,
by you it is protected.
According to Shaktisangama Tantra:
Woman is the creator of the universe, the universe is her form;
woman is the foundation of the world, she is the true form of the
body.
The Shakti Peethas or Shakti peetams are places of
worship consecrated to the goddess Shakti or Sati, the female
principal of Hinduism and the main deity of the Shakta sect. They are
sprinkled throughout the Indian subcontinent
Adi Parasakthi, whose material manifestation is Tripura Sundari, is a
Hindu concept of the Ultimate Shakti or Mahashakti, the ultimate
power inherent in all Creation. This is especially prevalent in
the Shakta denomination within Hinduism, which worships the
Goddess Devi in all her manifestations. Her human or Shakti Swaroop
or form, Parvati was married to Shiva, while her knowledge, Gyan
Swaroop form, Sarasvati weds Lord Brahma and wealth Dhan
Swaroop form, Lakshmi becomes the consort of Lord Vishnu.
In the Smartha Advaita sect of Hinduism, Shakti is one of five equal
bonafide personal forms of God in the panchadeva system advocated
by Adi Shankara.
The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati's self-immolation had
immense significance in shaping the ancient Sanskrit literature and
even had impact on the culture of India. It leads to the development of
the concept of Shakti Peethas and there by strengthening Shaktism.
Enormous mythological stories in puranas took the Daksha yaga as
the reason for its origin. It is an important incident in Shaivism
resulting in the emergence of Shree Parvati in the place of Sati Devi
and making Shiva a grihastashrami (house holder) leading to the
origin of Ganapathy and Subrahmanya.

Lord Brahma performed a yajna (Vedic ritual of fire sacrifice) to


please Shakti and Shiva. Goddess Shakti emerged, separating from
Shiva and helped Brahma in the creation of the universe. Brahma
decided to give Shakti back to Shiva. Accordingly, his son Daksha
performed several yajnas to obtain Shakti as his daughter in the form
of Sati. It was then decided that Sati was brought into this world with
the motive of getting married to Shiva.
However, due to Lord Shiva's curse to Brahma that he would not be
worshiped and his fifth head being cut off by Shiva due to Brahmas
lie in front of Shiva, Daksha started hating Lord Shiva and decided
not to let Lord Shiva and Sati get married.

However, Sati got attracted to Shiva and finally one-


day Shiva and Sati got married. This marriage only increased
Daksha's hatred towards Lord Shiva.

Daksha performed a yajna with a desire to take revenge on Lord


Shiva. Daksha invited all the deities to the yajna except Lord Shiva
and Sati. The fact that she was not invited did not deter Sati from
attending the yajna. She expressed her desire to attend the yajna to
Shiva, who tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually
relented and Sati went to the yajna. Sati, being an uninvited guest,
was not given any respect at the yajna. Furthermore, Daksha insulted
Shiva. Unable to bear her father's insults toward her husband, Sati
immolated herself in the sacrificial fire.
Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva destroyed Daksha's yajna,
cut off Daksha's head, and later replaced it with that of a male goat as
. Still immersed in grief, Shiva picked up the
remains of Sati's body, and performed the Tandava, the celestial
dance of destruction, across all creation. Perterbed with Shivas
action, the other Gods requested Vishnu to intervene to stop this
destruction. Responding to this requested Vishnu used the Sudarshana
Chakra, which cut through the Sati's corpse. The various parts of the
body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and
formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today.
At all the Shakti Peethas, the Goddess Shakti is accompanied by her
consort, Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva). Though there
is no visibility of the body parts, temples constructed refer to the
mythological facts of these centers.

There are 52 or 108 Shakti peethas by various accounts, of which


between 4 to 18 are named as Maha (major) in medieval Hindu texts.
Most of these historic places of goddess worshipped are in India, but
some are in Nepal, Bangladesh, and one each in Tibet (Mansarovar),
Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

According to Brahmanda Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas,


it mentions 64 Shakthi Peetha of Goddess Parvati. Whereas the
Mahapithapurana identifies 52 such places Another text which gives
a listing of 18 shrines, which are famously identified as Asta Dasa
Sakthi peetams are presented in the Shakthi Peetha Stotram, by Adi
Shankara,
Rishi Markandeya composed the 'Devi Saptashati' or the seven
hundred hymns extolling the virtues of the Divine Goddess at the
shaktipeetha in Nashik. The idol is seen leaning a little to the left to
listen to the sages composition. The Saptashati or the "Durga Stuti"
forms an integral part in the Vedic form of Shakti worship.
Some of the great religious texts like the Shiva Purana, the Devi
Bhagavatam, the Kalika Purana and the AstaShakti recognize four
major Shakti Peethas (centers), like Bimala (Pada Khanda) (inside the
Jagannath temple of Puri, Odisha), Tara Tarini (Sthana Khanda,
Purnagiri, Breasts) (Near Berhampur, Odisha), Kamakhya Temple
(Yoni khanda) (Near Guwahati, Assam) and Dakhina Kalika (Mukha
khanda) (Kolkata, West Bengal) originated from the limbs of the
Corpse of Mata Sati in the Satya Yuga. The Astashakti and Kalika
Purana says (in Sanskrit):

List of 4 Adi Shakti Peethas.


In Puri, Odisha (inside Jagannath Temple complex)
BerhampurOdisha, Odisha
Guwahati-Assam
In Kalighat, Kolkata- West Bengal

Asta Dasa 18 - Sakthi peetams i


Adi Sankara idevtified 18 of these Sakthi peetams
as prominent ones and composed the following stotrams on Goddess
Sakthi:

Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure /


Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane //
Alampure Jogulamba, Sri shaile Bhramarambika /
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika //
Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika /
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike //
Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari /
Jwalayam Vishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika //
Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati /
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham //
Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatru vinashanam /
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham //
Meaning:

Goddess Shankari in Sri lanka, Kamakshi in Kanchipuram,


Goddess Shrinkhala in Pradyumna and Chamunda in Mysore
Goddess Jogulamba in Alampur, Goddess Brhamarabika in
Sri Shailam,
Goddess Maha Lakshmi in Kolhapur and Goddess Eka veera
in Mahur
Goddess Maha Kali in Ujjain Purhuthika in Peethika,
Goddess Girija in Odhyana and goddess Manikya in the
house of Daksha,
Goddess Kama rupi in the temple of Vishnu, Goddess
Madhevaswari in Allahabad,
The flame giving Goddess in Jwala muki and Mangala Gouri
in Gaya.
Goddess Visalakshi in Varanasi, Goddess Saraswathi in
Kashmir,
Are the 18 houses of Shakthi, which are rare even to devas.
When read in the evening,demolishes the shatrus,
Cures all types of diseases,and all is well in the life.

1. Shankari devi.in Trincomalai, Sri Lanka, Where


the Groin is believed to have fallen.

2. Kamakshi Devi, in Kancheepuram, where the back part


of Sati is believed to have fallen.

3. Srigala Devi, in Pandau, West Bengal, where the


stomach of Sati is believed to have fallen.
4. Chamundeshwari devi, in Mysore, where the hair of
Sati is believed to have fallen.

5. Jogulamba devi (Yogamba devi), in Alampur, Andhra


Pradesh, where the upper teeth is believed to have fallen.

6. Bhramaramba devi, in Shrisailam, Andhra Pradesh,


where the neck part is believed to have fallen.

7. Mahalakshmi Devi, in Kolhapur, Maharastra, where


the eyes of Sati is believed to have fallen.

8. Ekaveerika Devi, in Mahur, Maharastra, where the


right hand of Sati is believed to have fallen.
9. Mahakali devi, in Ujjain, Madhya
Pradesh, where the upper lip of Sati is believed to have fallen.

10. Puruhutika devi, in Pithapuram, Anshra


Pradesh, where the left hand of Sati is believed to have fallen.

11. Biraja Devi, in Jaipur, Odisha, where


the navel of Sati is believed to have fallen.

12. Manikyamba devi, in Dhraksharamam, Andhra


Pradesh, where the left cheek of Sati is believed to have fallen.

13. Kamarupa devi, in Guwahati, Assam,


where the vulva of Sati is believed to have fallen.
14. Madhaveswari devi, in Prayag, Uttar
Pradesh, where the fingers of Sati are believed to have fallen.

15. Vaishnavi devi, in Kangra Jwalamukhi,


Himachala Pradesh, Where the tongue of Sati is believed to
have fallen.

16. Sarvamangala devi, in Gaya, Bihar, where


the breast parts of Sati are believed to have fallen.

17. Vishalakshi devi, Varanasi, Uttar oradesh, where


the wrist of Sati is believed to have fallen.

18. Saraswathi Devi, in Sarada peeta, Kashmir,


where the right hand of Sati is believed to have fallen.
52 Shakthi Peethas.
While having a darshan of Shakti-Peetha, a devotee should also have
a darshan of Bhairav, keeping in mind shivas Shakti locations.

1). Hingula (Hinglaj) Devis mind or brain fell here and the idols
are Devi as Kotari (Durga) and Shiva as Bhimlochan (Terrible
eyed or the third eye). The location is towards 125 km from
Karachi, Pakistan.

2). Sharkarare or Karavipur Devis three eyes fell here and the
idols are Devi as Mahishmardini (Durga the destroyer of
Mahishashur) and Shiva as Krodhish (the one who can be
angry). It is near Karachi in Pakistan, by rail the nearest station
is Parkai.

3). Jwalamukhi, Kangra, Devis tongue fell here and the idols
are Devi as Ambika (Mother) and Shiva as Unmatta (Furious).
This is located near Pathankot, H.P., Jwalamukhi Road.

4). Sugandha Devis nose fell here and idols are Devi as
Sunanada (Pleasing) and Shiva as Traimbak (Rudra). In the
state of Bengal near Barishal in Shivahri Karpur village Devis
temple is located and Shivas temple is in a village called
Ponabalia, nearest railway station is Jhalkati.

5). On Bhairabha mountain near Avanti Devis upper lips fell


here and idols are Devi as Avanti (Modest) and Shiva as
Lambakarna (Long eared one). It is located near Ujjain.

6). Attahas (laughter) Devis lower lips fell here and the idols
are Devi as Fullara (Blooming) and Shiva as Bhairabhvishesya
(Lord of the universe). The place is in Bengal near Birbhum.
Image of Devi and the Shiva temple is next to the Devi temple.
It is a major pilgrimage and tourist attraction.
7). In Prabhas Devis stomach fell here and the idols are Devi
as Chandrabhaga (Throne of the moon) and Shiva as
Bakratunda (the one with the bent staff). This is near Mumbai
where a launch goes to Bharoal which is near Prabhas.

8). In Yanasthana Devis chin fell here and the idols are Devi as
Bhramari (female Bumble bee or attendant of Durga) and Shiva
as Vikrakatakkha (one with the crooked eyes or look). Other
names are Devi as Chibuka (the one with the chin) and Shiva
as Sarvasiddhish (the one who can provide all desires).

9). Godavari (river) Devis left cheek fell here and the idols are
Viswamatuka (mother of the world) and Shiva as Dandapani
(the one who holds a staff).

10). Inside Gandaki (river) Devis right cheek fell here and the
idols are Devi as Gandakichandi (the one who overcomes
obstacles or Gandi) and Shiva as Chakrapani (Holder of the
discus). Famous pilgrimage.

11). Suchidesha Devis upper teeth fell here and the idols are
Devi as Narayani (the wife of Narayan) and Shiva as Sanghar.
Panchasagar - Devis lower teeth fell here and the idols are
Devi as Barahi and Shiva as Maharudra (the angry one).

12).In Bhavanipur or Karota (river) Devis left seat or her


clothing fell here and idols are Devi as Aparna (the one who ate
nothing, not even leaves) and Shiva as Bhairabha (Destroyer of
fear). The King of Nator and his grandson the Maharajah
Ramakrishna used to meditate here. The seat, the yognakunda
and five skulls are still here. In the month of Baisakha
according to the Bengali calendar, there is a large fete or Mela
here to celebrate Ramanavami or Deepanbita.

13). In Shriparvata or Shri mountain Devis right seat fell here


and the idols are Devi as Shri Sunadari (beautiful) and Shiva as
Sundaranand (the handsome one).
14). Karnat Devis two ears fell here and the idols are Devi as
Jai Durga (the victoriuos Durga) and Shiva as Avirooka.

15). Vrindavana Devis hair fell here and idols are Devi as Uma
(Devi) and Shiva as Bhootesh (or provider of all desires).
Playgorund of Lord Krishna and the gopis.

16). Kirit Devis crown or headdress fell here and idols are Devi
as Vimala (Pure) and Shiva as Sangbarta. Take the train to
Ajimganj. The temples are on the shore of the ganges near
Batnagar. (in Bangladesh )

17). Shrihatta Devis nape of the neck fell here and the idols are
Devi as Mahalakshmi (the goddess of prosperity and wife of
Mahavishnu) and Shiva as Sarvananda (the one who makes
everyone happy). Devis temple is Near Shrihatta town and
Shivas temple is near Jainpur. Shivaratri and Ashokashtami
are celebrated with a Mela (carnival). Take train from Calcutta
to Goalanda and steamer to Kechuaganj. Then either take a
boat or walk about five miles (6 koshas).

18). Nalhati Devis vocal pipe fell here and the idols are Devi as
Kalika (Durga) and Shiva as Yogesh. By train from Howrah
station.

19). Kashmir Devis neck fell here and the idols are Devi as
Mahamaya (the great Illusion) and Shiva as Trisandhyasvar.
The famous pilgrimage is Amarnath. There is a Shiva linga of
glacial ice which expands and contracts with the seasons.

20). Ratnabali Devis right shoulder fell here and the idols are
Devi as Kumari (Durga) and Shiva as Bhairabha (Remover of
fear).
21). Mithila Devis left shoulder fell here and the idols are Devi
as Mahadevi (Devi) and Shiva as Mahodara (the big belied
one). This is near Janakpur station.

22). In Chattagram (also called Chattal) Devis right arm fell


here and the idols are Devi as Bhavani (Devi) and Shiva as
Chandrashekhar (the one who has the moon as the crown). It is
said that Mahadeva has himself pronounced that he will visit
Chandrashekhar mountain regularly during Kali yuga. This is
near Sitakunda station. This is in Bangladesh.

23). In Manav Kschetra (Field) Devis right hand or palm fell her
and the idols are Devi as Dakhchayani (Durga) and Shiva as
Amar (Immortal). Take train from Howrah station to Guskar
station and then a few miles to Kogram. Mahadeva is
considered Siddhidayaka or provider of all wishes.

24).In Ujjaini Devis elbows fell here and the idols are Devi as
Mangalchandi (Durga) and Shiva as Kapilambar (one who
wears the brown clothes). Shiva is siddhidayaka.

25). Manibandha Devis middle of the palms fell here and the
idols are Devi as Gayatri (Saraswati) and Shiva as Sarvananda
(the one who makes everyone happy).

26). Prayag (three rivers meet here) Devis ten fingers fell here
and the idols are Devi as Lalita (beautiful). Another name is
Alopi and Shiva as Bhava. Near Tribeni ghat there is Banitirtha
ghat (Quay for boats). Allahabad is the train station.

27). Bahula Devis left arm fell here and the idols are Devi as
Bahula (Abundant) and Shiva as Bhiruk (who is also
Sarvasiddhadayaka). Arrive at Katoa rail station and then go to
Ketugram which is a pilgrimage.

28). Jalandhar Devis right breast fell here and the idols are
Devi as Tripurmalini (Durga) and Shiva as Bhisan (Gruesome).
Jwalamukhi is the nearby Tirtha and train goes from Delhi to
Jalandhar.

29). Ramgiri (or Chitrakoot mountain) Devis left breast fell here
(another opinion is that her Nala or Jaghanasti fell here) and
the idols are Devi as Shibani (the wife of Shiva) and Shiva as
Chanda. Near Bilaspur station and a walk of 2 miles.

30). Vaidyanath Devis heart fell here and the idols are Devi as
Jaidurga (Victorious Durga) and Shiva as Vaidyanath. It is in
Bihar. Joshidi is the train station.

31). Utkal, Orissa, Devis navel fell here and the idols are Devi
as Vimala (the pure one) and Shiva as Jagannath (the ruler of
the world). This is near the Jagannath temple of Puri in the
state of Orissa.

32). Kanchidesh Devis skeleton fell here and the idols are Devi
as Devagarbha and Shiva as Ruru. Bolpur station to Kopar
river banks. There is a well for worship.

33). Kalmadhava Devis right hips fell here and the idols are
Devi as Kali (another form of Durga) and Shiva as Asitananda.
By praying to the Devi profusely pilgirms can obtain their
desired objective.

34). Sone (near Sone river) Devis left hips fell here and the
idols are Devi as Narmada and Shiva as Vadrasen.

35). Kamakhya (or Kamroop) Devis yoni fell here and the idols
are Devi as Kamakhya (personification of love) and Shiva as
Umananda. This is near Gauhati in the state of Assam on the
banks of the Brahmaputra (the son of Brahma) river. The
temple is on top of the Nilachal Hill. This is a famous pilgrimage
for women seeking fertility or love. The temple is supposedly
built by Kamdev, the god of love. The Umananda temple is
nearby in an islet on the river. It has many pet monkeys.
36). Nepal Devis two knees fell here and the idols are Devi as
Mahashira and Shiva as Kapali.

37). Jayanti Devis left thigh fell here and the idols are Devi as
Jayanti and Shiva as Kramadiswar. In Bengal near Sri Hatta.

38). Magadha Devis right thigh fell here and the idols are Devi
as Sarvanandari and Shiva as Bomkesha. Inside Shrihatta at
Jayantipargana near the base of the Kahshia mountain Devis
legs are placed here. Srihatta to Kanairghat by boat and then
walk 2 miles. In West Bengal.

39) Tripura Devis right foot fell here and the idols are Devi as
Tripurasundari and Shiva as Tripuresh. Devi is grantor of all
wishes or Sarvavishta pradyani.

40). Khirgram Devis right toe fell here and the idols are Devi as
Yogadaya and Shiva as Khirakantha. Take Eastern Indian
Railway to Bardwhan station. Take Bardhwan Katoa Rail to
Nigam station. Nigam station to Khirgram (village) is 2 miles. A
mela (fete) is held during Baisakha Sankranti.

41). Kalighat (Kolkotta) Devis four small toes from her right foot
fell here and the idols are Devi as Kali and Shiva as Nakulish or
Nakuleswar. Famous pilgrimage located in Kolkotta in the state
of West Bengal. Kali is a dark complexioned form of Shakti who
has taste for blood and death. She rules over the cremation
sites and is worshipped by devotees on a dark and moon less
night. She is a popular deity of Bengal. kali is the female
version of Kala or end of time.

42). Kurukchetra (or fields belonging to the Kuru family where


the battle of the Mahbharata was fought between the Kurus and
Pandus) Devis right ankle fell here and the idols are Devi as
Savitri or Sthanu and Shiva as Aswanath.
43). Bakreswar Devis mind or the centre of the brows fell here
and the idols are Devi as Mahishamardini (the slayer of
Mahishasur or Durga) and Shiva as Bakranath. Near Ahmedpur
station. There are seven hot springs and also the Paphara
(remover of sins) river. The Mahamuni Ashtabakra found
enlightenment here. On Shivaratri (night) there is a grand Mela
(fete) here.

44). Jessore Devis centre of the hands fell here and the idols
are Jashoreswari and Shiva as Chanda (Moon or the one who
holds the moon).

45). Nandipur Devis necklace fell here and the idols are Devi
as Nandini and Shiva as Nandikishore.

46). Varanasi (Benaras) Devis earrings (Kundal) fell here and


the idols are Devi as VishwaLakschmi (The provider of wealth
to all) and Shiva as Kala (Time or the end of time). Famous
pilgrimage in UP and one of the oldest cities in the world. The
Puranas say that this city exists even after the Pralaya.

47). Kanashram or Kalikashram Devis back fell here and the


idols are Devi as Sharvani and Shiva as Nimisha.

48). Lanka Her feet bells (Nupur) fell here and the idols are
Devi as Indrakschi and Shiva as Rakchaseswara. Indrakschi
was created and worshipped by Indra in person.

49). Virat Devis small toes of the feet fell here and idols are
Devi as Ambika and Shiva as Amrita (nectar of immortality).

50). Bivasa Devis left ankle fell here and the idols are Devi as
Bhimarupa and Shiva as Sarvananda.

51). Trisnota Devis left feet fell here and the idols are Devi as
Vramari (Bumblebee) and Shiva as Iswar (God). On the banks
of Tista river in Shalbari village in Jalpaiguri district in West
Bengal.

52). The Danteshwari ( Kuldevi Of Baster State ), Dantewada


Baster 80 km's from Jagdalpur Chhattisgarh.

Om Shiv Shakatyei Namah