The Shakumbari Devi

This temple is situated at a distance of forty kilometres from Saharanpur (a city in Utter Pradesh which is biggest state of India) city in the Shivalik mountain range. Shakumbari Devi is one of the famous Shakti Peeth. The head of Sati had fallen here. On the right hand side of main idol of goddess, is idol of Bhima and Bhramari and on the left, idol of Shitakshi goddess. Shitakshi is also known as Shitala Devi. During Nav-Ratra and Durga-Ashtami the temple complex hosts large fairs.

The History of Shakumbari Devi

Long time ago, there was a great spiritual mas- ter named 'Durgam'. He mastered all the vedas by the grace of Lord Brahma and received a boon from him that he will not be defeated in a battle even by gods. After receiving such a boon, he went on rampage all around the earth. He de- feated Lord Indra in a battle. Subsequently there was no rain on earth for a century as Lord Indra, the rain-god, was imprisoned by Durgam. The liv- ing beings starved for water. In the absence of vedas the Brahmans didn't perform religious rites.

Sensing the disastrous consequences of Durgam's rule, the gods took refuge with 'Maha Devi', the great goddess. They prayed to her, "Oh mother, the way you killed 'Shumb' and 'Nishumb' and brought an end of the miseries of mankind, in the same way, kindly kill Durgam." On seeing her people in distress, the eyes of goddess were full of tears, out of compassion. She looked at the gods and saints through hundred eyes. The water gushed out of her eyes and thousands of streams overflowed with water. The forests became again green and lands fit for tilling. Rivers, ponds and oceans were again full of water and the gods were again happy. The miseries of people disappeared. As the goddess of hundred eyes looked at her sub- jects with the eyes of pity, so the gods named her 'Shatakshi' and worshipped her. When whole world was dry for want of rain, then goddess 'Shatakshi' created vegetation out of her body and saved world from starvation. For this act of god- dess she is also famous as "Shakumbari Devi'.

After restoring the order on earth, the goddess asked gods, "How can I help you further?" The gods prayed to her and said, "Please return us the four vedas, which were stolen by Durgam". Then goddess fought a fierce battle with Durgam and killed him and restored Vedas. The goddess was also called Durga for killing the demon Durgam. In- fact the three different names Shatakshi, Shakum- bari and Durga are names of the same goddess and as such one.

Appearance of Shakumbari goddess

The splendid form of Shakumbari Devi is de- scribed in detail in Durga Sapt-Shati in the last chapter named 'Murti Rehasya'. According to this, the goddess is of blue colour. Her eyes are like lotus flower. Navel is slightly below the normal place with three curves. She bears breasts of a vir- gin. A lotus is carried in her hand, which is thronged by bees. The other hand carries arrows. Other hands carry flowers, roots, vegetables, fruits symbolising the goddess of vegetation, who feeds us and keeps us away from disease. One hand is carrying a bow representing her fierce- ness. This is the appearance of Shakumbari Devi, Shatakshi and Durga. This goddess removes the grief and calamities and terrorises demons. The devotee of this goddess, worshipping mother by hymns, meditation, Japa and bhajans, attains the fruits of food, drink and infinite bliss.

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