Bahuchara Mata

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Bahuchara Mata
Bahuchara Devi.jpg

Bahuchara Mata is a Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility in her Maiden aspect, of the incarnation of the Mother aspect of Shakti. She is considered patroness of the hijra community.[1] Her primary temple is located in Becharaji town in Mehsana district of Gujarat, India.

Depiction and symbols[edit]

Bahuchara Mata is shown as a woman who carries a sword on her top right, a text of scriptures on her top left, the abhay hasta mudra ("showering of blessings") on her bottom right, and a trident on her bottom left. She is seated on a rooster, which symbolises innocence.

One of the theory says that she is one of the goddesses in Sri Chakra. The real symbol of her vehicle is kurkut which means the serpent which has two mouths. Bahucharaji is seated on the low end and the other end goes to Sahasrara, which means that Bahucharaji is the goddess starting the awakening of kundalini which eventually leads the liberation or moksha.[2]

Legend[edit]

Bahuchara Mata was a warrior's daughter of the Charan caste. It is believed that Bahuchara Mata was travelling in a caravan when a marauder named Bapiya tried to molest her. Bahuchara Mata announced 'tragu', a form of self-immolation, and cut off her breasts, thus shedding her femininity. The marauder Bapiya was thereafter cursed with impotence. To attain penance Bapiya worshipped Bahuchara Mata by dressing and behaving as a woman, thus ultimately shedding his masculinity.

Temple[edit]

Bahucharaji Temple is located in Bahucharaji town in Mehsana district of Gujarat, India. It is 82km from Ahmedabad and 35km west of Mahesana. The original shrine was built by a king called Sankhal Raj in 1152 ce and the first surviving mention of the shrine was found in an inscription dating 1280 ce. According to the inscription no changes were made in the temple architecture until the eighteenth century.[3]

There are three shrines of the Goddess within the temple complex. The oldest part of the shrine complex termed 'Adyasthan' (the original site) is a small temple enclosing a sprawling, small-leafed varakhadi tree, believed to be the site where the goddess first appeared. Adjoining this is another small temple, the madhya sthan (second or intermediate place), which houses an incised plaque representing the goddess and has a locked silver door at its entrance. This part of the temple is believed to have been built by a Maratha named Fadnavis (or an official with that title) in the eighteenth century. In 1779 {{smallcaps|ce}), Manajirao Gaekwad, the younger brother of the Maratha ruler of Baroda, built a third structure close to the original shrine after the goddess cured him of a tumour. The third is the main temple today and contains the Bala Yantra of quartz crystal representing the Goddess. Saint Kapildev and Kalari king Tejpal have also contributed to the construction and renovation of the temple. The temple complex is beautifully decorated with stone carvings and wall paintings. Though less well-known outside of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the temple is considered a minor Shakti Peetha and every year about 1.5 million pilgrims visit this temple.[4]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Aditi Dharmadhikari (7 May 2015). "Bahuchara Mata's Story: A Hindu Goddess Worshipped By India's Transgender Community".
  2. ^ Yogi Ananda Saraswati (2012-08-20). "Devi: Bahuchara Mata". Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  3. ^ Samira Sheikh (2010). "The Lives of Bahuchara Mata" (PDF). The Idea of Gujarat. pp. 86–87.
  4. ^ "Integrated Development Plan of Bahucharamataji Temple". Revenue Department, Government of Gujarat. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2007-11-28.

References[edit]

External links[edit]