Kamakhya Devi: Tantric Goddess of Desire
Kamakhya Devi is a Tantric Goddess of Desire. She evolved in the Himalayan hills. According to Kaalika Purana and Yogini Tantra, the Tantric texts, her name means “the famous goddess of desire.”
Kamakhya is also known as Kali, Maha Tripura Sundari, Shakthi, Mahamaya, Kameshwari, Shodashi, Kalikamba and so on.
Lord Shiva had a first wife named Sati, who was the daughter of the ruler, Daksha. Daksha was not happy with his daughter marrying Shiva, who was just roaming around the world without any work. Once, Daksha organized a holy Vedic sacrifice, but he did not invite his daughter or son-in-law. Sati came to the function without invitation and was insulted by her father. Enraged, she falls into the holy fire. Shiva became furious and began his dance of destruction, Rudra Thandava, with sati’s body on his shoulder, and said that he would stop only when the body decomposed. All the gods feared that Shiva’s anger would destroy them. They asked the help of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu followed Shiva wherever he went and sent his Sudarshana chakra to rip off the dead body. It is said that Sati’s various parts fell at 51 places in India. After her entire body had disappeared, Shiva became calm and started his penance. All the places where the parts of Sati fell are now sacred places. Temples have been built in these regions. They are called as Shakti Peetas. At Kamarupa, Sati’s yoni – or the vulva is said to have fallen; Kamakhya temple is constructed on this site.
Kamakhya is a very important Goddess of the tantric worship. She is also known as Mahamaya, the greatest Goddess of Illusion. This means that she can take any form and fool anyone according to her mood.
Kamakhya is a very young goddess, of 16 years. She has twelve arms and six heads. Each head is of a different colour. Her features can tell that she is a very powerful God, who is omnipresent. She wears a red sari and lots of ornaments. She also wears red flowers like hibiscus. She sits on a lotus, which is born from the navel region of Lord Shiva, who is sitting on a lion.
Bramha and Vishnu sit on her either side.
Maa Kamakhya holds a sword, trident, bow, arrows, discus, shield, club, bell, goad, kapala, lotus, and conch in her hands. The kapala is a bowl or a skull of a human.
The 16th-century renowned Kamakhya temple is in Kamarup in Assam. It is said that the earlier manifest of Kamakhya found at Garo Hills has been destroyed. However, some stories say that Vatsayana, the priest took care of the manifest and moved it to Kashmir and later to the forests in Himachal.
The temple in Assam was rebuilt in 1645. It is one among the Shakthi Peetas. It is also a very famous pilgrimage site in the world. It is located in the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati.
Kamakhya is a Goddess of Tantra, and she has many devotees.