Sunday, October 16, 2016

Children of Adishakti, So Blissfully Unaware

I was returning from a holiday trip. I was seated on the front seat. Driver was in a chatty mood. He said sir, "come visit my state Himachal for a visit. We have temples of mother goddess where body parts of sati had fallen". 

As the story goes, Uma, daughter of the king of mountains, had chosen Shiva as her husband against wishes of her father, Daksha. Like any doting father, Daksha wanted better husband for Uma, instead of half naked Shiva, who is smeared in ash, sitting in eternal meditation on himalayas, has ghosts, and demons as his consort. Once Daksha had organised a yagna, but he did not invite Shiva, the eternal yogi. Uma hearing of festivities at her fathers house, decided to pay a visit. Daksha, still angry with Uma, insulted Shiva in the worst possible way in front of all invited guests. Uma, unable to bear insult to her husband, left her body, then and there, and became a sati. Shiva, when he heard Uma's death, assumed Rudra rupa, a form where he is the destroyer. First, he killed Daksha, then he started roaming around the world with Uma's body on his shoulder. Worried, gods and goddesses pleaded with Lord Vishnu to do something. Vishnu started chopping Uma's body parts using Sudarshan Charka. 

There are fifty two places in India where body parts of sati had fallen. There are temples of mother goddess in these places. Five places in Himachal include - Chintpurni Temple in Una district. Chamunda Temple in Kangra district, Brijeshwari Temple in Kangra district. Jwalaji Temple in Kangra district, Naina Devi Temple in Bilaspur district.

I have not had a chance to visit temple circuit of Himachal yet. But the story kept me thinking. Whether we believe or not temples do exist as does the tradition of worshipping mother goddess. How come in a country where mother goddess is worshipped as primordial energy, adishakti, we lack sons who can stand up against injustice to their wives? What does worship of shakti means to a common man / woman? What does one achieve when they visit mount Kailash, abode of eternal yogi, Shiva? 

Yogis and saints say, an ordinary human has forgotten his real nature under the influence of maya. Worship of shiv and shakti may be a matter of faith for common man, but through specific practice one can realise a vision of shiva / shakti. Such a vision is not for benefits in physical plane, rather it is in the domain of metaphysics. Who are such seekers and what drives them, I do not know.

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