Friday, October 30, 2015

Shakti Peetha 1

The Shakti Peetha (Sanskrit: शक्ति पीठ, Śakti Pīṭha, seat of Shakti) is a place of worship consecrated to the goddess Shakti or Sati, the female principal of Hinduism and the main deity of the Shakta sect. They are sprinkled throughout the Indian subcontinent.

The history of Daksha yagna and Shakti's self immolation had immense significance in shaping the ancient Sanskrit literature and even had impact on the culture of India. It led to the development of the concept of Shakti Peethas and there by strengthening Shaktism. Enormous stories in Puranas & other Hindu religious books took the Daksha yagna as the reason for its origin. It is an important incident in Shaivism resulting in the emergence of Shree Parvati in the place of Shakti Devi and making Shiva a grihastashrami (house holder) leading to the origin of Ganapathy and Subrahmanya.
Shakti Peethas are shrines or divine places of the Mother Goddess. These are places that are believed to have enshrined with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered throughout Aryavartha in sorrow. There are 51 Shakti Peeth linking to the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit. Each temple has shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava, and mostly Shakti and Kalabharava in different Shakti Peeth have different names.

Some of the great religious texts like the Shiva Purana, the Devi Bhagavata, the Kalika Purana and the AstaShakti recognize four major Shakti Peethas (centers), like Bimala (Pada Khanda) (inside the Jagannath temple of Puri, Odisha), Tara Tarini (Sthana Khanda, Purnagiri, Breasts) (Near Berhampur, Odisha), Kamakhya Temple (Yoni khanda) (Near Guwahati, Assam) and Dakhina Kalika (Mukha khanda) (Kolkata, West Bengal) originated from the limbs of the Corpse of Mata Sati in the Satya Yuga

Apart from these four there are 51 other famous Peethas recognised by religious texts. According to the Pithanirnaya Tantra the 51 peethas are scattered all over India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and Pakistan. The Shivacharita besides listing 51 maha-peethas, speaks about 26 more upa-peethas. The Bengali almanac, Vishuddha Siddhanta Panjika too describes the 51 peethas including the present modified addresses.

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