Ashtamaadhyaaya: The Glories of Ekaamreshwara and Baalaa (Tapah) Kamakshi

Suprasannam Mahaa Devyaa Nitya Kalyaana Sundaram, Mahaapralayapaapaghnam Rasaaleshamaham Bhajey/

(By greeting Ekaamreshwara who manifested himself by destroying the effects of Maha Pralaya, who enjoyed the grace of Devi Parvati always and who provided auspiousness to one and all, Maharshi continued the narration of Kamaakshi Vilasa to King Suratha)

Devi Parvati installed a Grand Shiva Linga made of sand to the East of Ekaamra Tree in the Rudra Shaala:

Hastapramaanaamulaat Kadali kusumaakritih, Umaalinganasankraanta kuchakankana mudrutah/

Kshitilingaswarupascha chutalingaakriti Swayam, Sadaa Shivaanugrahaatmaa sa Chatur murti madhyagah/

Shivaamshasshivajasshuli Kailaasaatsamupaagatah, Mrigaankushavaraabhiti viraajita Chaturbhujaha/

Kundendudhavalaakaaro Nitya Kalyaana sundarah, Vyaaghra charma paridhaano Gajacharmottareeyakah/

BhasmoddhulitaSarvaangastrinetra Shashi Shekharah, Sachaamombikaa Gangaa Savya Dakshina sevitah/

Gangaabhujangavilasat jataamakuta manditah, Rudrakotyaam nivaasena Rudrakotiriti shrutah/

Ekaamra nilayasshambhuh Puraav Devyaa stuto harah, Mahaa Pralaya Paapaghnah punah Kalyaana hetavey/

(Then Maha Deva Linga who manifested himself was of hand size, of the shape of Plantain Tree Flower as though with the Mudraas / imprints of Parvati’s hand-bracelets caused by her embracing her husband Shiva; the Prithvi Linga was of Sada Shiva Swarupa; Chaturmurti madhya or the Middle of Four Deities ; Rasaala Lingaakaara or of the Linga of Mango Shape, Shivaamsha Sambhuta or manifestation of Shiva; Shiva Sangjnnaata, Shuladhaari, Kailasa vaasa, Abhaya Viraajita Chaturbhuja or upbeat with Protective Four Hands, Dhavala Chandraakaara or of the Shape of Full Moon, Nitya Kalyaana Sundara or Ever Propitious, Vyaaghra / Gaja charma dhara or the wearer of Tiger / Elephant Skins as his colthing; Tri Netra, Bhasmadhulita Sarvanga or he who smeared ash all over his body; Chandrasekhara; ornamented with Ganga and Serpents around his head gear covering his knotted hair; with Ganga and Ambika serving with their hand fans on both the sides; and the resident of Rudra Kshetra famed as Rudra Koti! Thus Haimavati commended Shambhu who resided as and at the Ekaamra Mahiruha Mula!

As Devi Parvati then recalled to Shiva about the incident of Shaktis and her closing his Three Eyes when Pralaya took place as described in previous pages, she suddenly noticed that Maha Deva’s golden coloured Body had turned blue and asked him about the possible reason for this colour-tranformation. Shiva replied that actually Devi Parvati herself was responsible for this since she closed his three eyes to save her of the embarrassment of all the Shaktis getting naked and due to that unpardonable sin that she committed there was Pralaya and the whole sequence of happenings followed! Parvati felt ashamed of her action that caused the entire havoc and fell on his feet begging of Maha Deva for a remedy to atone of her incorrigible sin. Parama Shiva then instructed Parvati to manifest herself as baby child at Badarikaashram and a childless Maha Muni named Katyaayana would bring her up with great care and affection till she attained Eight Years. Later on, the Bala could bestow Moksha to the Muni and collect his ‘Yoga Danda’/ Stick, Japamaala/ counting beads, Deepas, Chaamaras or hand fans used for worship, Pustaka or Books, Vyaghraasana or Tiger skin to sit on, Ganga Tirtha, Ganga-sand and umbrella to proceed to Varanasi for meditation.

Maha Deva stated that there would be a ‘Kshaama’or drought in Kasi and then Parvati should distribute ‘Anna’ (food) to one and all and secure the Epithet of Annapurna Devi. Thereafter she should travel to South and settle down at a Place which would called Kanchipura!

Yatra Vyaaghraasanam Soma Vrittham tat Sutrakam Ghatam, Saikatam Linga Rupam cha Japaaksho Bilwa maalikaa/

Nagabhushanam chhatra Trishulam Yoga dandakam, Chaamaram Yuvati yugmam Vyanjanam Shukarupakam/

Ghata deepa dwayam vahni rupam Dhenuscha Pustakam, Vidyaadharam Suchikaam cha Taptamudram cha Saankuram/

Gangaatirtham Payorupam Bhavedyattra Manonmani, Tat Kanchinagaram viddhi tatra Somasuvrittakey/

(Where there is Vyaghraasana, Soma Vrittha or an Edifice to install Shiva Linga, Sutrakam or pipe to drain holy water after Abhishka, a Saikata Linga or a Sand-made Linga, Japamaala, Bilwamaala, Naagaabharana or Ornaments of Serpents, Chhatra / Umbrella, Trishula,Yoga danda, Chaamara, Yuvati Yugma or two maids, a Shuka or Parrot, Ghata Deepa Dwaya or Two Deepas made of Mrittika, Vyajana or fan made of Yak’s hair, Dhenu or Cow, Pustaka, Vidyadharam, Diksuchika, a Tapta Mudra, Gangaajala and such other Sacred items utilised for Shiva Puja would be the Place called Kanchi Nagara where Devi Parvati should settle down!

Maha Deva instructed Devi Parvati further that she should perform daily ‘Ksheeraabhisheka’ to the ‘Saikata Linga’ on the Soma Vrittha along with Soma Sutra adorned with Bilwamaala and Nagaabharana, while carrying Trishula, Yoga danda and parrots on her shoulders as chaamara would be served by two maids on the sides and offering ‘Naivedya’ of Mudgaankura or of sprouted greengram; she should then execute Dhyana amid ‘Panchaagnis’ standing on ‘Suchakoparitalaas’. Shiva then assured that her ‘Maha Paapa’ in causing Pralaya by closing his Three Eyes would be washed out.

Following Maha Deva’s instuctions, Devi Parvati commenced her atonement by converting hership as a Baby in Varanasi where Katyayana Maharshi brought her up till she was of eight years as a Baala, then as Annapurna during the drought period saving Varanaasi from hunger and providing Moksha to the King of Kashi and down to Dakshina Bharata having carried all the Puja Dravyaas as prescribed by Shiva above. Having searched for a suitable Place in Kanchipura, surprisingly she discovered a Single Mango Tree and named it as Ekaamra Vriksha and decided to perform severe ‘Tapas’under it. Meanwhile Brahmarshi Narada who was on a Tirtha Yatra arrived at Kanchipura and spotted an Eight year old Baala preparing herself to perform Tapas under the shade of the Maha Chuta Vriksha. As he approached her she conveyed to him that she decided to marry Chandrachuda Shankara, that she was physically and mentally prepared to carry out Tapas and requested him to help her. Narada was extremely delighted and gave to her ‘Upadesha’ (Instruction) of ‘Pancha Baana Mantra’ and left Southward. Devi Parvati commenced her Tapas as Tapah Kamaakshi on her ‘Janma Nakshatra’; she performed such severest and most austere Pancha Baana Japa that created flames of Kaamaagni targetted to Shiva which could not be endured by him any longer; he then directed Devi Ganga to reach the Tapaswini at once. Ganga then attracted three crore fifty lakh Tirthaas from Shiva’s body-hair roots and having assumed the Swarupa of Maha Pralaya travelled at such top speed and heavy sound towards where Gauri as Tapah Kamakshi was in meditation that even Gauri shouted ‘Kampa’ ‘Kampa’ as she was badly disturbed in her concentration of Tapas; as her two companions viz.Maha Kaali and Durga arrived, Gauri instructed them to forestall the gushing flow of Ganga. Durga Devi stood against the Pralaya Jala and displayed the Kapaala in her hands with a Signal called ‘Vishwa Bhakshana Sanjnaka’; but that massive flow of high tides had the insrtuction of Shiva to Ganga and thus Shiva was offended as was terminated by the show of a Kapaala. Devi Kaalika supplemented her efforts and stopped and diverted the flow and Gauri commended Kaalika and gave her the encomium of Mahaa Pralaya bandhini. But the offended Shiva threw with anger a piece of his ‘Jataajuta’and the fury of Ganga that emerged from the knotted hair of Shiva was simply unconquerable! Since the sound and fury of the rushing water was unstoppable not only by her maids but even by herself, Gouri Devi prayed to her brother Purushottama so that her Tapas would not be disturbed. Janadnana then assumed a gigantic Swarupa from Earth to Sky wearing Chandra around his neck as Chandra- Kanthaakya; Parvati shivered with fright that instead of Narayana, Maha Deva appeared himself as that huge Figure wore Chandra around his neck. But Narayana asked Gauri not to get frightened, that Massive Figure was himself and that soon Maha Deva would arrive as he was merely testing Gauri’s tenacity to perform Tapasya!! Devi Gauri then tightly embraced the Shiva Linga and having closed her eyes said most emphatically and desperately that Maha Deva was her ultimate refuge! Meanwhile, Chandrakanthaakya Vishnu appeared in a smaller Form and assured Parvati that he would continue to reside before where she resided.

During the Taamasa Kalpa- Bhautyaakhya Manvantara- Kritha Yuga- Bhavanaamaka Vatsara -Chaitra Shukla Pournami- Uttara phalghuni Tritiya Paadaaramba when Kurmaavataara took place, Mahadeva held Tapah Kamakshi, lifted her and got her seated on his left lap. Then Devi Kamakshi prostrated before Maheshwara and returned to her seat. Shiva then addressed Hari in the presence of Brahmaadi Devas, Muniganaas, Nandi and Rudra ganaas to say that he gave a promise to Agastya Maharshi to celebrate his wedding with Gauri every year and hence he as Gauri’s brother could now commence the Celebrations. Hari then made an open announcement and Invitation to one and all while all the Devas and Devis took up various preparations rightaway. Some took charge of cleaning and illuminating the Streets of Kanchipura, Vishwakarma got ready with the construction and decoration of a huge Hall and Stage Arrangements, Gandharvaas and Kinnaraas held the duty of organising musical and dance extravaganzas, some assumed the charge the kitchen and catering, some others took care of Invitations and Protocol. Devis Lakshmi, Saraswati and Indrani were fully in charge of all arrangements concerning the Bride and the minute details of her dresses, ornaments, perfumes, flowers and so on suited to each function during the Grand Wedding. Sapta Maharshis were concerned with the procedure of the wedding and details of step-wise functions, the Mantra mix, the Homaas and men and material required. As the Run-Up before the Wedding Day, there were celebrations for nine days with singings and dances, feasts and festivities, Shiva Pujas and Abhishekas, Vedaadhyanas and Shiva / Parvati Stutis and Group Chantings of their Glories.

On the arrival of the most auspicious ‘Sumuhurta’ on the Tenth Day of the Celebrations in Uttaraphalguni Shubha Nakshatra, Maha Deva accompanied by Nandi and Pramathaganaas was most reverentially welcomed by Narayana accompanied by Brahma and Indra and was ushered to the Vivaha Vedika when Sapta Rishis prostrated and recited ‘Ahwaana’ Veda Mantras. Deviganaas including Lakshmi, Vani, Indrani, the wives of Dikdevatas and of Sapta Rishis accompanied Shri Kamakshin Devi with bhakti to the Vivaha Vedika where Paramshwara was already waiting. Sapta Rishis in itiated Sankalpa and further proceedings, when Narayana washed Maha Deva’s feet while Devi Lakshmi was pouring Ksheera and Gangodakas from a golden vessel and Narayana dried Shiva’s feet with his silk upper garment softly and respectfully gave Devi Gauri’s hand in the hand of Shiva. Then Brahma requested Maha Deva to tie up Mangala Sutra around Gauri’s neck and as per Veda Mantras requested the couple to perform Jayaadi homas, Saptapadi, Laaja homas, Naak Bali and such other Mangala Karyas. Devas and Rishis recited Vaidika Mantras; some greeted in raised voices ‘Hara Hara’and others with slogans of ‘Jaya Jaya’. Then Muni Patnis (wives) sang delightful ‘Mangala Haaratis’. As Vishnu materialised ‘Pancha Bhakshya Bhojya Lehya Choshya Paaneeyaas’, all the Guests relished the most satisfying and grand Bhojana along with ‘Amraphalaas’ and were treated with Taambula-Chandana-Kasturi and a plethora of expensive gifts while the guests were delighted to utter ‘Parameshwara -arpanamastu’. On this most auspicious occasion, Vishwakarma gifted to Devi and Maha Debva a golden chariot like the one gifted to Maha Deva at the time of Tripura samhara; Indra gifted a Sphatikamani Chhatra. Brahma gifted a ‘Navaratna Ranjkita Jataa Kireeta’ .On that evening, there was a procession of Kamakshi and Ekaamreshwara when the latter announced to all the Bhaktaas that on every Chaitra Shukla Purnima, that there should be celebrations and ‘Kalyanotsava’of Kamakshi and Ekamreshwara and that who the ever performed or atleast visioned the Sacred Function would attain Shasvata Shambhu Loka. Devi Kamakshi was called by that name since she was the Fulfiller of ‘Kaamaas’or the desires of one and all.

Maharshi Markandeya affirmed to King Suratha that a Shambhu naamaka Vipra happened to see and even participate in the kalyana and received ‘Sahasra Kanya Kalyaana Phala! Who ever reads or hears the above account of Shri Kamakshi sahita Ekaamra Swami Vaibhaa would achieve Koti Linga Pratishtha Phala and Moksha!

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in