Kamakhya temple: Where mensuration is celebrated
3 years ago
Menstruation is the identity of a woman, it gives her full femininity. But in our society, women are considered impure during Menstruation. When she falls under the monthly cycle, she is not allowed to participate in any sacred work, she is prohibited to visit any religious place. But the irony is that on one hand where our society considers the menstruating woman to be impure, considers Kamakhya to be the holiest goddess during menstruation.
The Kamakhya temple is famous for attaining tantric siddhis. Kamakhya temple was destroyed in the sixteenth century but was later rebuilt in the seventeenth century by King Nara Narayan of Kooch Bihar.
The Kamakhya Temple, situated in the heart of the Nilanchal Hills, is located about 8 kilometres from Guwahati. This temple is one of the famous 51 Shaktipeeths. There is no idol in this temple. Only a flat rock formed in the form of a vagina is worshipped. The idols are installed in an accompanying temple.
Kamakhya Temple Story
It is believed that after Sati committed self-immolation by jumping into the fire of the yajna performed by her father, Lord Shiva did Tandava Nirtya with Sati’s body, and then Lord Vishnu left his Sudarshan Chakra to calm the anger and cut the body of Sati into pieces. At that time, where the vagina and womb of Sati fell, today Kamakhya Temple is located at that place.
Story of Incomplete Stairs
Kamakhya Devi once told Naraka that she would marry him only if he was able to build stairs from Nilanchal mountain to the temple in one night. Naraka agreed to the goddess and started making stairs. Devi felt that Naraka would complete this task, so she devised an idea. She changed a crow into a chicken and asked to bang it before dawn. Naraka felt that he had not fulfilled the condition, but when he came to know about the reality, he ran to kill that chicken and killed it. That’s why the stairs of this temple are still incomplete. The temple of Kamakhya Devi, one of the Siddha Shaktipeeths, is also famous for sacrificing animals, while female animals are not sacrificed in this temple, only male animals are sacrificed.
Ambubachi Festival: Celebrating Mensuration
Kamakhya Devi is also called ‘Bleeding Goddess, the belief behind this is that it is the only form of the Goddess which comes in the cycle of menstruation every year. Devotees of Kamakhya Devi believe that every year in the month of June, Kamakhya Devi undergoes menstruation and the bleeding turns the colour of the entire Brahmaputra river red. During this time the temple is closed for three days but the ‘Ambubachi festival’ is celebrated around the temple. During this time, Tantric, Aghori Sadhus and Priests come to attend this fair along with tourists from India and abroad. Tantric worshipers, sadhus and energy seekers try to attain siddhis by sitting in various caves of Nilanchal Mountain. Devotees and locals believe that during the Ambuvachi festival the doors of Kamakhya Devi’s sanctum sanctorum close automatically and it is considered prohibited to see her.
Menstrual women and their blood have special importance in Tantra practices, so this festival or the time of Kamakhya Devi’s menstruation is the golden period for Tantra seekers, black magic doers, and Aghoris. Before the beginning of this festival, a vagina-shaped rock-cut is worn in white clothes, which are completely drenched with blood. After the festival is over, these clothes are distributed by the priests to the devotees.