Bhuvaneshvari

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Bhuvaneshvari
Highest form of Adi Parashakti
Devi Bhuvaneswari at Parashakthi Temple.jpg
AffiliationBrahman, Durga, Mahavidya, Adi Parashakti, Parvati
AbodeManidvipa
MantraII bhūvanēşī mahāmāyā sūryāmandalārūpīnī I I namanī varadhām sūddhām kāmākhyārūpīnī şīva II
WeaponAnkusa
ConsortShiva as Lingraj or Triyambak

Bhuvaneshwari (Sanskrit: भुवनेश्वरी, IAST: Bhuvaneśvarī) is the fourth amongst the ten Mahavidya goddesses in Hinduism, and an aspect of Devi or Durga as elements of the physical cosmos in giving shape to the creation of the World.

She is the Divine Mother as the Queen of all Worlds. The entire Universe is said to be her body and all beings are ornaments of her infinite being. She carries all the worlds as a flowering of her own Self-nature. She is thus related to Tripura Sundari, the supreme Lady of the Universe. She is also known as Adi Parashakti or Durga, i.e. one of the earliest forms of Shakti. She is capable of turning situations according to her wish. It is considered that even the navagrahas and Trimurti cannot stop her from doing anything.[citation needed] Her consort is Lord Lingaraj, an incarnation of Shiva.

Etymology[edit]

The word Bhuvaneśwari is a compound of the words Bhuvana Iśwari, meaning "Goddess of the worlds" or "Queen of the universe", where the worlds are the tri-bhuvana or three regions of bhūḥ (Earth), bhuvaḥ (atmosphere) and svaḥ (Heavens).

Legends[edit]

During the beginning of time the TridevasBrahma, Vishnu and Rudra did not know who they were and what was their purpose. At this time a flying chariot appeared before them, and a heavenly voice directed them to board the chariot. As the Tridevas boarded the chariot and it started flowing with mind's speed and took them to a mysterious place, which was an island of gems surrounded by ocean of nectar and pristine sylvan forests. As they stepped out of the chariot, the Tridevas were transformed into women, much to their astonishment. As they explored the island they came across an Imperial city protected by nine enclosures and guarded by fierce Bhairavas, Matrikas, Kshetrapalas and Dikpalas. As they entered the city they were amazed by its prosperity and soaring infrastructure and finally reached the Imperial Palace known as Chintamanigriha, guarded by Yoginis. For this was Śrīpūra (alias Devipattana), the capital of Devi Bhuvaneshvari, the Empress of Manidvipa, the abode of Adi Parashakti. When they entered the palace they witnessed Devi Bhuvaneshvari, the queen of all worlds.

Her complexion was red. She had three eyes, four arms, braided hair and was clad in red ornaments. She wore a garland of lotuses and Her body was anointed with red sandalwood paste. She held a goad and a noose with Her left hands, while her right hands displayed abhaya and varada mudras. She was decked with ornaments and wore a crown with a digit of crescent moon as crest jewel.

She was seated on the left lap of Trayambaka Bhairava, who was of white complexion, wore white garments and was decked with ornaments. His hair was matted and was decorated by a crescent moon and Ganga. He had five faces each with three-eyes, and four arms, holding a trident and a battle-axe while displaying varada and abhaya mudras.

The Divine Couple was seated on Panchapretasana, a throne which had Paramashiva as plank while Sadashiva, Ishvara, Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma were five legs. They were being served by many Yoginis, some fanning them, some holding mirror, some offering betel leaves flavoured with camphor, some offering a drink made by mixing honey, ghee, wine and coconut water. Some were ready to dress Bhuvaneshvari's hair, some ready to do makeup, some busy stringing garlands while some singing and dancing to entertain Devi.

The Tridevas witnessed millions of universes each with their own Tridevas, in the sheen of Bhuvaneshvari's toe-nail. Some were getting created by Brahma, some getting sustained by Vishnu while others getting annihilated by Rudra.

Bhuvaneshvari enlightened the Tridevas with Her greatness. Trayambaka is Brahman while Bhuvaneshvari is Brahmashakti. Though they appear distinct, both are of the nature of one another. Trayambaka is Adipurusha while Bhuvaneshvari is Mulaprakriti. To help Trayambaka perform his three-fold Lila, Bhuvaneshvari has created three forms of him- Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. Thus, Tridevas are forms of Trayambaka. Thereafter Bhuvaneshvari gave her shaktis Saraswati to Brahma, Lakshmi to Vishnu and Kali to Rudra and departed them to their respective places.

Brahma with Saraswati created an cosmic egg and Rudra with Uma split it, exposing the Pancha Bhootas. Brahma with Saraswati fashioned the universe from Pancha Bhootas, and Vishnu and Lakshmi sustain it. At the end Rudra with Kali will annihilate the universe so that Brahma and Saraswati can start afresh.

Temples[edit]

Bhuvaneshvari. Consort - Shiva
Bhuvaneshvari worshipped with other Mahavidyas in a Kali Puja pandal in Kolkata.

There are several temples dedicated to Bhuvaneshwari across India. In South India most of the Srividhya tradition upasaka worship her. In Kerala she is also popular among Shaktas.

She is worshipped as the patron goddess of Bhubaneswar and by Utkala Brahmins of Odisha.

  • Annual Bhuvaneshwari Puja at Chandannagar, India (2018)
    A Natmandir dedicated to the goddess can be found in Hatkhola Chandannagar where the goddess is worshipped annually for a month in the month of Sravan. Here the image of the goddess is built in traditional Bengali style flanked by Shiva and other gods.
  • Another temple dedicated to Bhuvaneshwari is located in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu.
  • A small shrine is also dedicated to her inside Jagannath Temple, Puri and Devi Subhadra is worshipped as Bhuvaneshwari.
  • The Samaleswari shrine and Cuttack Chandi Temple in Odisha two are dedicated to her.
  • A dedicated temple of Bhuvaneshwari Devi is located at Gondal in Gujarat which was established in 1946.[1]
  • Nochipra Bhagavathy-Kshetram temple located at Westhill, Calicut in Kerala is a 900+ years old temple where the main deity is Bhuvaneshwari Amma, the divine mother. Bhuvana Iśwari, meaning "Goddess of the worlds" or "Queen of the universe" where the worlds are the tri-bhuvana or three regions of bhūḥ (earth), bhuvaḥ (atmosphere) and svaḥ (heavens). In this most loved form Bhuvaneshwari Amma becomes the provider and grants everything in abundance to her devotees and is capable of turning any situations per her wishes.
  • The Kamakhya Temple houses a Bhuvaneshwari shrine.
  • Bhuvaneshvari Amma is also known to be the devate of Karnataka or the kannadamma and the Bhuvaneshvari temple at Historical city of Badami is one of the oldest temple.
  • There is a temple dedicated to Bhubaneshwari Devi, situated in the small town of Jamshedpur, at a place called Telco. Locals believe the temple to be quite powerful, and the temple sees devotees making promises of sarees to the Goddess, in return for granting their prayers. A powerful temple of Bhuvaneshwari Amma is situated in choorakkodu, Adoor near Vellakulangara.
  • There is a temple dedicated to Bhubaneshwari Devi, situated at the bank of the river Krishna at Bhilawadi in Sangli district of Maharashtra.
Bhubaneshwari Devi at river bank

In Northern India, Mathura the city of Krishna also has a centuries-old "Bhuvneshwari MahaVidhya" temple just opposite to Krishna Janmbhoomi.

One more Temple in Maharashtra, Shri shetra Audumber, sangli district.

In North America, Bhuvaneshwari is worshipped at Parashakthi Temple in Pontiac, Michigan.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Images of Bhuvaneshwari temple of Gondal
  2. ^ "Welcome to Parashakthi (Eternal Mother) Amman Temple, Pontiac, Michigan, USA". Parashakthitemple.org. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2012-03-03.

Further reading[edit]

  • Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by David Frawley
  • Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley