Kamakhya Temple, Assam

October 23, 2014 - Assam, Pilgrim Centers, Temples

India is renowned for the diverse religions, traditions and cultures. There are different unique pilgrim centres in different states of India that are true evidences of rich heritage of strong religious back grounds.  Ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples are favorite religious spots of ardent believers in India. The temples are built on basis of ancient religious myths, beliefs, tradition and customs. Assam is blessed with several temples worshiping gods and goddesses according to Hindu religious beliefs. These temples are famous pilgrim centres visited by large number of people and Kamakhya temple is one of the temples where Goddess Kali or Goddess Maha Tripura Sundari according to Hindu ideology is worshipped in the form and name Kamakhya.

Hinduism is rich of legends and rituals that are practiced with utmost attention and perfection. Tantirc practices in Hindu religion are based on several Tantirc chantings, Tantric principles and symbols. Goddess Kamakhya is one of the important Tantirc Goddess in Hindu Religion.  The origin of Kamakhya Goddess relates to the Hindu mythological story of lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy. Goddess parvathy is considered as the mother of Universe and she took the form of Sati, daughter of Daksha and wife of Lord Shiva in one incarnation. As she was humiliated by her father’s disrespect to Lord Shiva during a great event of Yaga or religious ritual, she sacrificed her body in fire or Yoga Agni, to be reborned as Goddess parvathy. Deeply grief stricken by her death, Lord Shiva carried her corpse and wandered performing Thandava or Dance of cosmic destruction. Lord Vishnu hearing the pleading of other Gods to stop Lord Shiva from his Thandava, with his weapon Sudharshana Chakra or cosmic disc weapon, scattered the corpse of Sati in to different pieces that fell in to different parts of the world. It is believed that body parts of Sati was cut in to 51 pieces and fell on 51 places in India. These Places were worshipped as “Shakti peethas” or places of tantric powers that relates to 51 Sanskrit alphabets.  Each shakthi peethas symbolizes the body of parts of Goddess Sati.

Kamakhya temple is worshipped as one of 18 Maha Shakthi peethas and believed that the female generative organ of Sati fell here. Later temple was built for worshipping the powerful goddess. In Tantric texts of Kalika Purana and Yogini Tantra, Goddess Kamakhya is mentioned as another forms of  Goddess Kali, Durga , Tripura Sundari or shodashi that originally relates the Universal Mother Goddess or Goddess of great illusion.

Goddess or Devi Kamakhya is built in the form of an extremely beautiful young Goddess of 16 year old, with six heads of different colors that represent Tantric colors, seated upon a lotus from the navel of lord Shiva lying on a lion. She is gracefully draped in rich red saree, decorated with red hibiscus flowers on head and attractive ornaments on body. Her ten hands hold lotus, trident, bell, discus, bow, arrows, clubs, goad, shield and bell. Two hands holds bowl or skull made with gold. This temple is considered as a major worshiping centre for healing reproductive and menstrual disorders in women.

The origin of the temple is also relates to the Khasi tribe in Assam where Goddess Kamakhya was worshipped as their traditional tribal Goddess. It is believed that later with the Sanskritization, the Goddess was worshipped as the deity of Vatsayana priests. The temple is located in the Kamrup District in Assam. It is believed that the temple was built in the 16th century. The goddess was earlier worshipped in this Garo Hills by the Tribal community, and after destruction of these hills, the Hindu Vatsayana priests had carried the manifest of Goddess to Kashmir and then to Himachal. In the year 1645, the temple was rebuilt in Kamrup with the manifestation of Goddess in the stone form of female generative part.

The Goddess Kamakhya is renowned as “ renowned Goddess of desire” or Kameshwari- beloved Goddess of Desire” and Kamakhya temple is a prominent Pilgrim centre for devotees who wanted to visit this temple at least once in their life time.