|Maa Tarini Temple|
ମା ତାରିଣୀ ମନ୍ଦିର, ଘଟଗାଁ
Maa Tarini edit
Maa Tarini is one of the embodiments of Shakti and is one of the chief presiding Goddesses in Odia culture. Maa Tarini is the presiding deity for all Shakti and Tantra peeths or shrines in Odisha. The origin of Shakti or worship of the Earth as a female embodiment of power is found across many cultures all over the world. In Odisha which has a high density of tribal population whose religious practices have been assimilated into the mainstream Hindu faith, the worship of natural formations such as rocks, tree trunks, rivers is widespread among the tribes.
Maa Tarini is always depicted as a red face with two large eyes and a mark in the middle which serves as an indication for a nose and also a tilak. This primitive conception is symbolic of the simplicity of tribal beliefs and ceremonies. The red colour has been attributed to dyes made out of iron ores or ocher which are quite plentiful in the state and would thus have been used by the tribes for anointing and decorating the sacred figures of worship. The ornate letters in the background mean "Maa" or Mother in the Odia language. They were a much later addition although the Odia script did change very slightly over the millennia.
In this form she is very similar to the conception of the Goddess Kali at Kalighat. Although the two are embodiments of the same divinity, Kali is the goddess of death and destruction whereas Maa Tarini is the force of life. Two of the names of Kali are Maa Tara and Maa Tarini. The hill shrine of Maa Tara Tarini the breast shrine of adi Shakti in Ganjam district of Odisha represents the force of Both Kali and Tarini and known as Maa Tara Tarini.
Origin of the goddess edit
In the Ramayana, after Sita was abducted by Ravana, Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana started searching for her. When they reached the forest, near which later Vijayanagar was founded, Rama worshipped Devi Durga and sought her help. The goddess instructed Rama while he was meditating that he must not see her when she appears or she will turn to stone. Rama could not control himself and saw her and the goddess was embodied as a stone idol. She told Rama not to worry and call her later when she would definitely aid him.
This second puja was performed by Ravana himself near Rameswaram before the Vanara Sena could cross over to Lanka. Ravana was deemed fit because this ceremony was performed in order to achieve victory in the war to follow. In order to defeat a warrior like Ravana, the performer had to be a Brahmin who performed the ritual of Trisandya everyday without fail. At that time, Ravana was the only such Brahmin in all of Creation.
After Prabhu Shri Rama left, the stone idol was worshiped by the local tribes. Thus the ancient tribal goddess was described as a Hindu goddess.
Continuation of the history edit
Bhanja thus worshiped the goddess for her blessings in the war to follow. Bhanja was victorious and both the princess and the goddess were brought back to Puri. After the king of Keonjhar died, Bhanja returned to his state and took the idol of the goddess with him.
Mythological accounts hold that Maa Tarini agreed to follow Bhanja provided he never looked backed all the way from Puri to Keonjhar. Bhanja agreed and the two left on horseback. Near the Baitarini river in modern Keonjhar district, Bhanja could no longer hear the following horse. He looked back and Maa halted then and there and asked Bhanja to construct her temple and worship her there.
The exact sequence of events which led to the installation of the goddess at her chief shrine in Ghatagaon are still a matter of debate among historians. The reason is that the events have been recorded by poets in devotional works dedicated to her which thus also include some mythological events. Nevertheless, the gist is as below:
Near about 1475 CE King Purushottama Deva ruled Kalinga. Once on a trip to South India he chanced upon Princess Padmavati of Kanchi and proposed marriage. The proposal was accepted and the minister of the king of Kanchi traveled to Puri to finalise the arrangements. The Rath Yatra was in full swing and he saw the king sweeping the chariots of the deities. Marriage to a sweeper was unacceptable and hence the marriage was called off. Insulted, the King of Puri declared war on Kanchi. He was defeated in the first war. He prayed to Lord Jagannath and it is believed that he was directed to appoint one Govinda Bhanja as his Senapati or General of his army. Bhanja was in fact the son of then the king of Keonjhar and was staying in Puri because of differences with his father.
Under the command of Bhanja, the army marched towards Kanchi. In the forests near Vijayanagar, the horse of Bhanja refused to move any further. Whatever may be the real reason it is here that Bhanja and thus Hindu society as a whole was introduced to Maa Tarini and she was admitted into the Pantheon.
Alternative history edit
It is said by the local people that King of Kendujhar was bringing Tarini Maa from puri to Kendujhar with a condition that if he turn back then she'll not move further. The King was riding a horse and Goddess was following him to Kendujhar. King could know that Maa Tarini was coming behind from the sound of her ornaments but near the ghatagaon in the deep forest the sound of the ornaments didn't came and the king looked back thinking that she's not coming. But Maa Tarini was coming and due to the forest mud her ornaments sounds was not coming. Due to the condition Maa tarini stayed there and worshipped as the queen of Forest.
Rites and rituals edit
The practice of Tantra is associated with all manifestations of Shakti throughout the Indian subcontinent. Utkal, a coastal kingdom which was carved out of the former Kalinga is described to have many important shrines and areas for the practice of Tantra. Maa Tarini is the presiding deity.
Sacrifices - Human and Animal edit
Sacrifices have been offered to many deities all over the world and the same is true in India. However, the practice persisted well into the 20th century in many shrines in Assam, Odisha and Bengal. Although both human sacrifices are banned and criminal, sporadic incidents occur. Tribes in many parts of India sometimes sacrifice virgins to the goddess.
Sacrifice of large animals like buffaloes are banned but goats are still sacrificed in some remote temples.
- Chaiti Yatra is the most popular and famous festival of this place celebrated in the month of April. Generally it celebrates between the last 5 days of Chaitra and the first 2 days of Baisakha i.e. from 9–15 April of every year. The first day of Baisakha is treated as the Odia New Year (ଓଡ଼ିଆ ନବବର୍ଷ)।
- Patua Yatra is another most famous festival of this place celebrated in the month of April.
- Ashadhi parba (ଆଷାଢ଼ି ପର୍ବ) is also Celebrated here in the last Thursday of the Odia Month: Asadha (ଆଷାଢ଼ ମାସ)
SIde view of Maa tarini Temple
Shops inside temple campus
- "History of The Shrine | Maa Tarini". maatarini.com. 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
Govinda Bhanja wanted only one thing for himself .He wanted to bring Maa to his kingdom
- "Thousands rush to deity's sunabesa". The Times of India. 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
Maa Tarini fasts one day every year for the good of her devotees