Kalika Devi

The most famous Shaktipith of goddess Kali is situated near a famous city of India, Calcutta. The hair of goddess Sati had fallen here. There are three temples representing Kali-namely-"Rah- tambra', Mund-Malini and 'Mukt-Keshi'. The rise of one of India's greatest spiritual saints of ninteenth century, Shri. Ram Krishna Paramhansa, is connected with this Kali temple.

However, we are giving details of a Kali temple situated near 'Kalika-ji' railway station on Chandigarh-Simla railway line. The narrow-gauge line for Simla starts from this Kalikaji railway station. There is an ancient but small and beautiful temple situated in the town. The town is also known by the name of this temple. It is believed that the mother goddess attracts her devotees like a magnet to this abode of Kalikaji. The temple priests give details of several miracles of the goddess Kalika. The priests believe that a few hair of Sati had fallen in this place also. Although this shrine is not counted as a Shakti-Pith yet the miracles of mother goddess draws a huge number of de- votees. Mother goddess is seen in the form of Pindi here.

The History of Kalika temple

According to a myth this place was a part of a king Jai Singh's empire. He had placed the idol of Kalika in this temple. -Once, devotees were worshipping mother-goddess at night during "Nav- Ratras'. The ladies of palace were singing the praise of goddess together. The whole atmos- phere was joyous and blissful. The goddess ap- peared in the form of a dazzling woman and sat with the ladies of palace singing devotional songs. The king Jai Singh was also present on this occa- sion. He could not understand the illusion cast by goddess and felt strong and irresistible passion to- wards the melodious voice and exquisite figure of goddess. At the end of devotional songs, when ladies started to disperse, the king caught the hand of goddess. Goddess said, "I am happy. You ask for a boon. What do you want?"

The king replied, "I humbly request you to marry me." On hearing this the goddess Kalika got angry and she gave the king a curse. She said, "You have become agnostic and proud due to lordship of a kingdom. Both you and your kingdom will get destroyed". Saying so the goddess dis- appeared. Then the temple started to get a shak- ing and the sound of lion's roaring filled the air. The idol of Kalika started to enter into earth.

A saint lived behind the temple. Sensing the danger for mankind, he prayed to goddess ar- dently and said, "Oh goddess! I beg you pardon. You are humane and gracious." Then the idol did not sink further. The head of idol remained outside the earth and is still visible in the sameway. The curse of goddess destroyed the kingdom of Jai Singh. The enemy defeated him in a battle and he was killed in battle alongwith his two sons. The town weared deserted look for a long time. The present town was built several centuries later.

Bhadra Kali

Kurukshetra Railway station is situated between Indian Capital Delhi and Ambala-city rail- way line. This temple is located in Kurukshetra near Sathanu Shiva Temple on Jhansa road. The left ankle of Sati had fallen here. The goddess Bhadrakali's idol is placed in the temple. The temple is counted in the fifty one Shakti-Peeths of India. Big fairs are held in the temple in the Indian months of 'Chaitra' and "Asuja". A huge pond named 'Devi-Talab', is also near the temple and a well, which is known as Devi-Koop. It is said that before the start of holy war of Maha-Bharat, Lord Krishna promised for a favour, a golden horse to be presented at Devi-Koop.

In accordance with this story the people seek favours at Devi-Koop even now and when their desires are fulfilled, they present wooden horses. The district administration has made the place very beautiful. Pilgrims can stay in Durga DharamShala or many other Dharmhalas. Fairs are held here on Shiv-Ratri and Nav-Ratras. At the time of Solar eclipse, lakhs of people visit this pilgrim centre to have a holy dip. The Pandas (Priests of temple) have pilgrim-records of centuries and one can get information of generations.

As per the Bhagvat-Puran, the child-Lord Krishna's Mundan (First hair cutting ceremony) was held in this Bhadrakali temple. The ceremony was perfomed by Lord Krishna's foster-father Nand Baba and mother Yashoda. Lord Krisna was fond of Kurukshetra. He took dip in the holy water on the occasion of solar eclipse alongwith his relatives. He also visited the place during the epic war of Maha-Bharat. Pilgrims coming to Kurukshetra also visit Jyotisar (The place where Geeta was preached), Narka-Tari Kund, Hanuman ji, Sarveshwar Mahadev, Brahma-Sarovar, DukhBanjneshwar, Suryakund, Biria Mandir, KuruPandu temple, Geeta Bhavan, Thaneshwar MahaDev etc.

Bhadrakali and the Thieves

Once a certain Vrishala king, who wanted children, undertook a human sacrifice to Bhadrakali. By chance the sacrificial victim escaped and his trail was followed by the king's attendants in the middle of a murky night. Not finding the victim in the dark, they happened by accident upon the son of an eminent Angiras priest sifting in the "hero" posture, guarding the fields from deer, wild pigs and other animals. Noticing this blameless man and thinking they were fulfilling their master's desire, they bound him with a rope and led him to the sanctuary of the goddess Chandika, their faces blooming with joy.

According to their custom, the thieves fed him, anointed him, dressed him in unwashed garments and decorated him with ornaments, oils, garlands, tilakas, and other adornments. Equipped with offerings, of perfume, lights, wreaths parched grain, shoots, sprouts and fruit, they made the human victim sit amid the paraphernalia of bloodshed in front of Bhadrakali to the noisy accompaniment of songs, hymns, drums and cymbals.

Then the king of the Vrishala thieves, preparing to make sacrifice to the goddess Bhadrakali with the blood of a human victim, drew out a sharp,tooth-edged sword that had been charmed with magic. When the goddess Bhadrakali saw what was happening before her eyes, the illict immolation of the peaceable son of a brahmin seer who was a friend to all creatures, she judged this to be the most despicable act of men who glory in murder, who willfully follow the path of error while disdaining the family of the blessed Kalvira, their minds puffed up with the greed of possession, with natures full of rajas and tamas.

When she saw these Vrishalas preparing the sacrifice, the goddess Bhadrakali instantly jumped out of her image with a blazing body that was utterly unendurable with Brahma's splendor. Ebulliently manifesting herself with her retinue, her dreadful swollen face flashing with indignation, wrath and ferocity, with knotted eyebrows, curving fangs and copper-red eyes, she sprang forth in ofury, with murderous intent and hideous laughter. With the self-same sword of the king, the goddess severed the heads of those wicked thieves, and she and her troops drank greedily from their necks that were streaming with blood. Staggering from excessive drink, she and her retinue sang, cavorted and played ball with the rolling skulls.

Truly, the transgression of the spells of the great always produces such fruit as this. It is no great wonder, Vishnudatta, that, even with the loss of his own head imminent, this seer was un- moved. For there is nothing to fear from any quarter whatsoever for those supreme ascetics, for the devotees of the blessed lord Vishnu who approach his feet for protection with minds friendly to all beings. The knots of their hearts bound tight in recollection of the Self, they can endure even such calamities as the loss of life, yet remain free from enmity and ever vigilant. Such men are protected in all the various vicissitudes of weapons of the enemies of the gods themselves!

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