WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE & HISTORY OF AMBUBACHI MELA (22nd June to 25th, 2018 )AT GUWAHATI'
Souls from throughout India are mixed with a sprinkling of tantrics and Shakti devotees from western countries. The Kamakhya temple in Assam is widely accepted as one of the most powerful Shakti temples on the Indian subcontinent. It is graced by an energy vortex that has drawn practitioners of yoga and tantra to her for more than two thousand years.
HISTORY OF MA KAMAKHYA TEMPLE;- 07- FACTS;- 1-No one knows exactly how many centuries Kamakhya has been a place of pilgrimage. Radiocarbon isotope studies by the department of Geo-Sciences, University of Guwahati, determined that there are two ancient levels of construction under the temple. The oldest is 2200 years and the second 1500 years.
2-The location may have been a tribal pilgrimage long before more extensive constructions. Taken together with other evidence, it is accepted that the temple has been rebuilt multiple times over the millennia.it is now believed that the temple was destroyed not by Kalapahar but during Hussein Shah's invasion of the Kamata kingdom (1498). 3-The ruins of the temple was said to have been discovered by Vishwasingha (1515–1540), the founder of the Koch dynasty, who revived worship at the site; but it was during the reign of his son, Naranarayan (1540–1587), that the temple reconstruction was completed in 1565. 4-According to historical records and epigraphic evidence, The current final structure has been rebuilt during the Ahom times, with remnants of the earlier Koch temple carefully preserved. 5-According to a legend, the Koch Bihar royal family was banned by Devi herself from offering puja at the temple. In fear of this curse, to this day no descendants of that family dares to even look upward towards the Kamakhya hill while passing by. 6-Without the support of the Koch royal family the temple faced a lot of hardship. By the end of 1658, the Ahoms under king Jayadhvaj Singha had conquered the Kamrup and their interests in the temple grew. In the decades that followed the Ahom kings, all who were either devout Shaivite or Shakta continued to support the temple by rebuilding and renovating it. 7-Older stone sculptures embedded in walls of the Natamandira, constructed during the Ahom rule. THE CURRENT STRUCTURE;- 05 FACTS;- 1-it is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika. Among these, Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala reside inside the main temple whereas the other seven reside in individual temples. 2-It is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and especially for Tantric worshipers. 3-The current structural temple, built and renovated many times in the period 8th-17th century, gave rise to a hybrid indigenous style that is sometimes called the Nilachal type: a temple with a hemispherical dome on a cruciform base. 4-The temple consists of four chambers: garbhagriha and three mandapas locally called calanta, pancharatna and natamandira aligned from east to west. 5-The temple has four prayer chambers:- Garbagriha, Calanta, Pancharatna, and Nata mandir among. The first and most important chamber leads to the sanctum of the temple which is in the form of a cave. Though the chamber does not house an idol or image of the goddess, there is a natural spring that resembles the womb of the goddess. HISTORY OF AMBUBACHI MELA;- 09 FACTS;- 1-Ambubachi Mela is celebrated during the month of ‘Aashadh’ of the Hindu calendar, in the Kamakhya Devi Temple in Assam. Kamakhya Temple is one of the 51(52 by some accounts)Shakti Peeths in Hindu Mythology and great reverence is shown by Hindus all over the world. 2-This year, the Ambubachi Mela shall be celebrated from 22nd June to 25th June.Ambubachi Mela is an annual fair organised at Guwahati’s Kamakhya Temple. The temple is perched on top of the Ninanchal hill and is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Assam. 3-The Kamakhya Temple is known to be one of the 52 shakti peethas of goddess Shakti. Legend has it that an angered Shakti jumped into fire after her father insulted Shiva, who then performed the tandava while carrying Shakti’s burning body. If Shiva would’ve completed the tandava, the universe would’ve been destroyed. 4-In order to stop him from doing so, Vishnu released his Sudharshan chakra that split Shakti’s body into 5 parts. The Kamakhya Temple was built where the goddess’s womb and genitals fell. 5-Each year in June, the Kamakhya Temple hosts the Ambubachi Mela. This year the fair will be held from June 22 to June 26. The temple remains closed for three days and is opened to the public on the fourth day of the fair. 6- The three days when the temple is closed for pilgrims is considered to be the time of the year when the goddess menstruates. It’s an auspicious period when women pray for fertility and celebrate the child bearing capabilities of women. 7-During the Ambubachi Mela, people gather near the temple in large numbers. Various tantrics and sadhus who avoid making public appearances on regular basis visit the temple complex for the festival. 8- On the fourth day of the Ambubachi Mela when the temple is opened to the public, everyone look forward to receiving a piece of cloth soaked in what’s said to be the goddess’s menstrual fluid. Ambubachi Mela is one of the unique fairs hosted in India. 9- Reason behind Ambubachi Mela: It is believed that the Earth menstruates for three days during this time. On the 4th day, the Ambubachi Mela is held. The main temple, as well as all the temples in the compound, is closed for Puja. A red silk cloth is offered to the deity as a symbol of the menstruation. The deity is made to rest during these days and only the simplest offerings are made. IS IT AN IMPORTANT CENTRE FOR SIDDHIS & SALVATION?- 12 FACTS;- 1-Kamakhya Devi is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Kali, who is the presiding deity of the occult and Tantra. During this fair, tantriks from all over the country, as well as neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal, descend at this place. 2-Apart from them, sadhus and sanyasis from far and wide come here.Mata kamakhya is the goddess of tantras and trantriks visit to this place to fulfill their wishes and to get siddhi in tantra knowledge. 3-This Mela is also famous as Ameti or tantrik fertility festival and it is observed for getting siddhi, tantraSakti and tantra knowledge. 4-People of India and abroad participate in this mela to get the blessing of Mata Kamakhya. Some unique tantra rituals are performed in these four days and these are the main attractions of this mela. 5-Since the temple symbolizes the womb of the deity, it is placed on the same pedestal as that of a mother, who is a giver. Thus, during this time, people thank the Mother Earth for her bountiful produce and resources. 6- RAKTA BASTRA;- The temple remains closed for three days as Mata Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle and it reopens with a grand ceremony. People from all over India and abroad wait outside of the temple on the fourth day for the reopening to get the precious prasad that is a small piece of cloth and it is believed to be moist with the menstrual discharge of Mata Kamakhya. 7-This prasad is very auspicious and used for multiple purposes.The Temple is opened on the fourth day after being shut for three days. Devotees make a beeline to receive a piece of the special red cloth. This red cloth symbolizes the menstrual cloth of the deity, known as ‘Rakta Bastra’ or the ‘Bloodied Cloth’. It is considered very auspicious and many people tie it around their arm or wrist. 8-Celebrations by the general public.. During this time, people refrain from performing puja, plucking fruits, ploughing, digging holes in the ground etc. Basically, any activity that may hurt Mother Earth is generally avoided. The rituals are stricter for widows.They also refrain from eating anything that touched the ground. All food items are placed above the ground. 8-1-On the 4th day, when supposedly the menstruation is over, people clean their houses, wash bed linens and curtains and purify their homes. 9-The foundation of any religion is the faith and devotion of its devotees. Occurrences such as Ambubachi Mela repose our belief in the innate goodness of humanity and the respect shown to Nature. This fair is symbolic of the virtues of faith and our belief in a supreme being.
10-Koti Lingam Cave and Parashurama's Kunda, overlooking the Brahmaputra;--
Parashurama’s Kunda and the cave where he did practice are down hill from the main shrines at Kamakhya, and face the Brahmaputra. As in many of the caves, a small spring and pool of water offer a locus, as well as water for ritual practice..
10-1-Parashurama, one of the immortal sages, was sent here for sadhana by the Sage Dattatreya. A famed warrior and master of the martial arts, Parashurama returned from gathering sticks for havan (a fire ritual) to find his father beheaded as he sat in meditation. His mother Renuka, said he had struck the ground 21 times after he was killed. In rage, Parashurama vowed to destroy 21 times the family of the king responsible for the murder.
10-2-He rounded up thousands of feudal lords and filled ponds with their blood. Each time he retired to the forest and did tapas, but when he heard of another such family rising up, he again left his practice and went to kill them. Finally, after 21 times, he asked his teacher Kashyapa for guidance. Kashyapa sent him to Dattatreya.
10-3-Here in Kamakhya, Parashurama put down his weapons and absorbed the grace of the goddesses of Kamakhya, transforming himself.
10-4-At his kunda (a stone-lined water tank for bathing), were 10 crore (1 crore = 10 million) of lingams. He consolidated them into the one in the cave we visited, now known as the Koti Lingam, to help pilgrims who wouldn’t be able to do puja of so many lingams. By worshipping the Koti Lingam, they (that’s us!) gain the merit of all 10 crore.
11-VISIT OF ADI SHANKARA...The great philosopher Adi Shankaracharya has stayed here when he visited the temple and since then it has been associated with him. There are various structures within the temple complex which depict history of Kamakhya Temple .Adhya Stotram written by Adi Shankaracharya includes the name of the deity.
12-According to a historical tale, the Goddess was worshipped by Kalidasa also. WORSHIP;- 09 FACTS;- 1-The goddess is worshiped according to both the Vamachara (Left-Hand Path) as well as the Dakshinachara (Right-Hand Path) modes of worship.Offerings to the goddess are usually flowers, but might include animal sacrifices(on tuesday & saturday). 2-The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation. Shakti is known as Kamakhya. 3-Symbolic to this is a very special form of Sindoor, available here, made from rock and called Kamakhya Sindoor, which is believed to be a blessing bestowed by Kamakhya Devi herself, to the wearer .Tantra is basic to worship, in the precincts of this ancient temple of mother goddess Kamakhya. MA KAMAKHYA DEVI
1-Ma Kamakshi, who manifests the eternal soul essence of both Maha Kali and Sri Lalita (Tripurasundari), is the great Goddess of Desire. She emerges from the navel of Shiva, flanked by Brahma and Vishnu, both of whom pay her homage, for she is truly the Omnipotent Goddess.
2-Kamakshi Devi, the resident diety of Kamakhya, is indeed Shodashi, the youthful goddess of sixteen summers, named so as she is perpetually sixteen years of age. Pronounced locally as Surashi, and also referred to as Tripura Sundari, she is beloved by all who approach her. Shodashi also refers to the sixteen syllable mantra, which consists of the fifteen syllable (pancha dasakshari) mantra plus a final seed syllable. Shodashi is said to have taken birth to save the celestial world.
3-The most sacred point in the planet for Kaula Marg Tantrics is called the Yoni Mudra Peeth. Approaching the goddess, the power increases in intensity. One enters the temple, descending down a dark narrow staircase with many uneven and irregular steps. The subterranean vault is hot and humid and yet one feels completely safe
and protected in the dim light.
4-The underground cavern has a dome high above, and barely visible. Voices echo beautifully off the ancient stone chamber. Devi sits in a pool of holy spring water with a canopy over the top. A stone crack under the water is naturally formed in the shape of a yoni, from which water flows. Here, devotees make offerings of red kumkuma to Devi.
5-The pundit guides the inexperienced through the process of paying homage and receiving darshan at the sacred Yoni of Kamakshi Devi. Then all in turn move to the right to where Lakshmi, Sri, and Saraswati reside. Saraswati, too, is in the form of a yoni and Lakshmi is partly represented by a three dimensional Sri Yantra.
6-Once again, one kneels in humility, touching the water and offering kumkuma. The priest sometimes gives Shaktipat by firmly tapping the center of the back. It has the functional benefit of reminding people to keep moving, as the lines are long and the space in the sanctum is very limited. The priests are kind and supportive amid high energy.
MA KAMAKHYA MANTRA;-
1-कामाख्ये काम-संपन्ने, कामश्वरी! हर-प्रिय। कामनां देहि में नत्यिं, कामेश्वरि! नमास्तु ते।। कामदे काम-रूपस्थे, सुभगे सुर-सेविते। करोमि दर्शनं देव्याः, सर्व-कामार्थ-सिद्धये।। IN ENGLISH;- Kamakhye Kamsampanne Kameshwari Haripriye | Kaamnaam Dehi Me Nitya Kaameshwari Namostute|| Kamde Kamrupsye Subhage Su Sevite | Karomi Darshan Detya sarv kaamarth siddhese || 2-Kamakhye Varde Devi Neel Parvata Vasini | Tvam Devi Jagat Mata Yoni Mudre Namostute|| Kamakhya Devi Tantra;- ॐ नत्रीं त्रीं त्रीं हूं, हूं स्त्रीं स्त्रीं कामाख्ये प्रसीद स्त्रीं स्त्रीं हूं हूं त्रीं त्रीं त्रीं स्वाहा!! (22 Letters) ....SHIVOHAM...