Ashtadasa Shakti Peethas History:-
There was a great king called Daksha Prajapati who was son of Lord Brahma. He had 27 daughters and Sati Devi is one among them. Sati Devi got married to Lord Shiva. When Dashka entered the arena of a yaga performed by Agni, everyone except Lord Shiva stood up as a mark of respect. Daksha felt insulted by Lord Shiva’s behavior. Later when Daksha conducted a yaga himself, he did not invite his daughter and his son-in-law. Though Sati felt bad because of the non invitation, she wanted to attend the yaga against the wish of Lord Shiva.
When Sati, attended the yaga no body has cared for her and she felt insulted by the actions of her sisters and parents. Then when her father started abusing her husband she could not control her feelings and scarified herself at the place of yagna by creating agni from earth with the right thumb of her foot. Knowing this Lord Shiva removed one bunch of Jhatha from his head and hit it on the earth. From that Lord, Veerabhadra has born and rushed to yaga spot and killed Daksha by cutting his head. Later Shiva went to the spot and taken the body of sati from the fire and started dancing with it. The world was terrorized from this Tandava Nritya and to stop this Nritya, Vishnu used his Sudarshan chakra and completely cut the Sati’s body into pieces. These body parts have fallen at various places in India and Srilanka. Where ever these parts have fallen the places are called Shaktipeethas. There are 18 such places and they are called Ashta(8) Dasa (10) Shaktipeethas.
Must-Visit 18 Shakti Peeths:
18 Shakti Peethas listed in Aadi Shankaracharya’s Astadasha Shakti peetam Stotram:
1) Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, Body part has fallen – Groin, Name of the Shakti – Shankari Devi, Koneswaram Temple.
2) Kanchi in Tamil Nadu, Body part fallen – Navel, Name of the Shakti – Goddess Kamakshi, Kamakshi Kamakshi Ammam Temple.
3) Praddyumnam in West Bengal, Body part has fallen – Stomach, Name of the Shakti – Sri Srunkhala Devi.
4) Mysore in Karnataka, Body part fallen – Hair, Name of the Shakti – Sri Chamundeshwari Devi, Chamundeshwari Temple.
5) Alampur in Andhra Pradesh, Body part fallen – Upper teeth part of the body fallen, Name of the Shakti – Sri Jogulamba Devi.
6) Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Body part fallen – Neck part, Name of the Shakti – Bhramaramba Devi, Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple.
7) Kolhapur Maharastra, Body part fallen – Left Eye, Name of the Shakti – Mahalakshmi Devi, Mahalakshmi Temple.
8) Nanded in Maharastra, Body part fallen – Back, Name of the Shakti – Eka Veerika Devi or Ekavenika Devi, Mahur Renuka Devi Temple.
9) Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Body part fallen – Elbow, Name of the Shakti – Mahakali Devi, Ujjain Mahakali Temple.
11) Jajpur in Odisha / Orissa, Body part fallen – Naval (Navi), Name of the Shakti – Girija Devi / Biraja Devi, Biraja Temple
12) Draksharamam in Andhra Pradesh, Body part fallen – Navel, Name of the Shakti – Manikyamba Devi, Kumararama Bhimeswara Temple.
13) Guwahati in Assam, Body part fallen – Yoni, Name of the Shakti – Kamarupa Devi, Kamakhya Temple.
15) Jwala in Himachal Pradesh, Body part fallen – Mouth, Name of the Shakti – Jwalamukhi , Jwalamukhi Devi Temple
16) Gaya in Bihar, Body part fallen – Breast, Name of the Shakti – Sarvamangala Devi, Mangla Gauri Temple
17) Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Body part fallen – Earrings/Third Eye/Throat/Face (Disputed), Name of the Shakti – Kasi Vishalakshi Devi.
18) Kashmir, Body part has fallen – Right Hand, Name of the Shakti – Saraswathi Devi.
Shakti Peetam Stotram with Meaning:
Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure |
Pradyumne Shrinkhala Devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane ॥
Goddess Shankari in Sri Lanka, Kamakshi in Kanchipuram,
Goddess Shrinkhala in Pradyumna and Chamunda in Mysore
Alampure Jogulamba, Sri shaile Bhramarambika |
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika ॥
Goddess Jogulamba in Alampur, Goddess Brhamarabika in Sri Shailam,
Goddess Maha Lakshmi in Kolhapur and Goddess Eka veera in Mahur
Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika |
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike ॥
Goddess Maha Kali in Ujjain Purhuthika in Peethika,
Goddess Girija in Odhyana and goddess Manikya in the house of Daksha,
Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari |
Jwalayam Vishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika ॥
Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati |
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham ॥
Goddess Kama rupi in the temple of Vishnu, Goddess Madhevaswari in Allahabad,
The flame-giving Goddess in Jwala muki and Mangala Gouri in Gaya.
Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam |
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham ॥
Goddess Visalakshi in Varanasi, Goddess Saraswathi in Kashmir,
Are the 18 houses of Shakthi, which are rare even to devas.
If read in the evening daily, it leads to killing of all enemies,
And also cure all diseases and getting of all types of wealth.
Among these, the Shakti Peethas in Kamkhya, Gaya and Ujjain are considered the most sacred, because they symbolize the three most important aspects of the mother goddess namely:
Creation – Kamarupa Devi
Food – Sarvamangala Devi / Mangalagauri
Annihilation – Mahakali Devi
When carefully observed, we can see that they are in a perfectly straight line from Kamakhya to Ujjain via Gaya, symbolizing that each creation of this universe will one day be destroyed without fail. With Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi and Kashi Vishalakshi, we have the most powerful Shat Sakthi Peethams.