Shakambhari Devi

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Shakambarimata at Sakrai in Sikar district, Rajasthan

Shakambhari Devi (शाकम्भरी) is an incarnation of Ishwari, consort to Shiva. She is the divine mother, 'The Bearer of the Greens'. In Sanskrit it consists of Shaka+Ambhari. Shaka=vegetables and Ambhari= means one who wears or bears to the hungry. It means one who nourishes on vegetables.

In Mahabharata

शाकंभरी देवी के नाम का उल्लेख महाभारत, वन पर्व के तीर्थयात्रा-प्रसंग में है -

’ततो गच्छेत राजेन्द्र देव्या: स्थानं सुदुर्लभम, शाकम्भरीति विख्याता त्रिषु लोकेषु विश्रुता’ वन.८४,१३. [1]

इसके पश्चात शाकंभरी देवी के नाम का कारण इस प्रकार बताया गया है -

’दिव्यं वर्षसहस्रं हि शाकेन किल सुव्रता, आहारं सकृत्वती मसि मासि नराधिप, ऋषयोअभ्यागता स्तत्र देव्या भक्त्या तपोधना:, आतिथ्यं च कृतं तेषा शाकेन किल भारत तत: शाकम्भरीत्येवनाम तस्या: प्रतिष्ठितम’ वन. ८४,१४-१५-१६. [2]

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 84 states in verses 11-15 as under: Shakambari - One should next proceed, O king, to the excellent spot of the Goddess celebrated over the three worlds by the name of Sakamvari. There, for the space of a thousand celestial years, she of excellent vows, month after month, had subsisted upon herbs, O king of men! And attracted by their reverence for the Goddess, many Rishis with wealth of asceticism, came thither, O Bharata. and were entertained by her with herbs. And it is for this that they bestowed on her the name of Sakamvari. O Bharata, the man who arriveth at Sakamvari, with rapt attention and leading a Brahmacharya mode of life and passeth three nights there in purity and subsisting on herbs alone, obtaineth, at the will of the goddess, the merit of him that liveth upon herbs for twelve years.

Major temples

Major Temples of Shakambhari are located, include:

  • Sambhar - In Rajasthan. According to a legend, the Sambhar Lake was gifted to the people of the area some 2,500 years ago by the Goddess Shakambhari. A small glimmering white temple in her honour stands under a rocky outcrop jutting into the lake.[3] This temple is more than 200 years old.Shaakambhari as protector of life is thanked for helping devotees tide over long periods of disease and drought. As she is also Bhuumi, Mother Earth, the goddess of vegetation. She is also Goddess Shakambhari, the goddess of agriculture. The soil is prepared for the cultivation of the new crop. In some homes the ritual of sowing and sprouting of barley in small pots is observed.near village gurara distance 9 K.M. via savly and sukpura
  • Saharanpur - Shakambhri Devi near Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh - Shakti Peeth Shakambhri , meaning the abode of Shakti Goddess Shakambhari or Shakumbhri, is situated in the Jasmour village area, at a distance of 40 km to the north of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh state of Northern India. Perched in the midst of Shivalik mountain range, this temple is believed to have been built during the rule of the Marathas. Twice a year, in the Ashwin and Chaitra months of the Hindu calendar (during the days of Navratra), the famous Shakumbhri mela is organised. About one kilo meter east of Shakumbari lies the Bhura Dev (Bhairav) temple which is considered to be the guard of Shakumbari Devi. Because of this all the devotees to Shakumbhri Devi first visit Bhura-Dev temple and then proceed to the temple of the Goddess.

See also

External links


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