Kamarupa Devi Peeth


           Because the goddess Kamakhya is worshipped in the symbol of a Yoni, it has often been held that the cult of the Yoni sprang up first in Assam and then spread over the rest of India. But the subject has not been discussed more closely and it has not been shown that the sensual tantric forms of Yoni worship owe their origin to Kamakhya worship. This article purports to be a short examination of the myths that clustered around the origin of the Yoni-goddess in Assam, with notices of such parallel beliefs and practices outside of Assam as may enlarge the scope of the future discussion of the topic. The two principal Sanskrit works that bear upon the subject are the Kalika Purana and the Yogini Tantra, both composed in or near about ancient Assam. As frequent references have been made to them in the body of the text, the abbreviations K.P. and Y. T. have been adopted.

The shrine of the goddess Kamakhya is situated about three miles from the present town of Gauhati and about fifty miles from the range of hills inhabited by two aboriginal matriarchal tribes, the Khasis and the Garos, the former belonging to the Austro-Asiatic and the latter to the Mongolian stock.

KAMAKHYA KAMAKHYA

 

About Temple
           The original Kamakhya temple was destroyed during the Moslem invasion early in the sixteenth century, and the present temple was rebuilt in 1565 A.D. by King Naranarayana of Cooch Behar and fitted with all the paraphernalia of a medieval Hindu temple. What the original forms and features of the temple worship were, it is difficult to say. There is a tradition amongst the local priesthood, who were imported from abroad by the Koch king, that the former worshippers of the goddess were Garos, and pigs were offered as sacrifice.

When Naraka, an adventurer from Mithila, founded a kingdom in ancient Assam (prior to the fifth century), he established himself as a custodian of this Yoni-goddess, and perhaps in conformity to her name he changed the name of the kingdom from Prag.Jyotishapura to Kamarupa. The people whom he conquered were Kiratas–strong, ferocious, ignorant and addicted to meat and drink. They had shaven heads and their skin was yellow as gold (K.P.). As they were the original inhabitants, the goddess might have been in their keeping or belonged to some sub-tribe amongst them.

According to the K.P. a cosmopolitan mode of worship prevailed in Kamakhya. Foreigners could worship the goddess according to the practices current in their own localities. In other countries, conformity to local customs was compulsory, but in Kamarupa foreigners were exempted from conformity to local rites and ceremonies in worshipping the goddess (K.P.). The Y.T. raises the Yoni-symbol to the height of something like a pantheistic conception in describing all temples and places of worship in Assam as so many Yonis. It characterises Kamarupa as a land of nine Yonis which include vithi (avenue); upa-vithi (sub-avenue); Pitha (holy site), etc., etc.

The Y. T. has also recorded certain local customs prevalent in different parts of ancient Assam. It characterises the local religion as being of Kirata origin. It prohibits asceticism, celibacy and protracted vows, and enjoins fish and flesh eating, free association with women and sexual contact after puberty. The teeth of the women are not white, and they are constantly addicted to betel-nut chewing. In a place called Saumara in the east of Assam, people eat everything and sell everything. Women are well cantented. In another place called Kolvapitha further east, people follow laws determined by their own tribesmen (Y.T.).

In the myth of the Y. T. there is nothing to show that the Yoni circle or Kamakhya had any connection with Durga or Parvati. The etymology of K.P. refers to a later fable based on imported ideas.


How to reach:

Nearest Bus stands: Nilachal, Gauhati.
Nearest Railway stations: Nilachal, Gauhati.
Nearest Air port: Gauhati.

MahaSakthi Peetas

sankari devi

Kamakshi devi

Shrinkala devi

Chamundeswari devi

Jogulamba devi

Bhramramba devi

Mahalakshmi devi

Eka Verika devi

Mahakalai devi

Puruhutika devi

Girija devi

Manikyamba devi

Kamarupa devi

Madhaveswari devi

Vaishno devi

Sarvamangala devi

Visalakshi devi

Saraswathi devi

 
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