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Saptashrungi Devi Temple Vani (Saptashurngi, Maharashtra)

About

Bhramari is a Hindu Goddess. She is an incarnation of the Goddess Shakti. Bhramari means ‘the Goddess of bees’ or ‘the Goddess of black bees’. She is associated with bees, hornets and wasps, which cling to her body. She is typically depicted as holding a mace, trident, sword and shield in her four hands.

Bhramari means bees in Sanskrut. There are black bees around the Devi.  Maa Bhramari is said to be manifestation of Maa Kalika. The “Hring” sound produced by her bees is one of the Seed-Mantra or Beejakshar mantra of the Devi.

The deity has 18 arms holding different things like Battle axe, Arrow, Beads, Sword, Bell, Sudarshan Chakra, Mace, Thunderbolt, Lotus, Bow, Cudgel, Lance, Trident, Conch, Noose, Shield, Water pot etc. The idol is 10 ft high. The Goddess is smeared with Sindoor all over the body. There is also a stone image of a buffalo representing the demon (Mahishasur) at the foot of the hill whom, the devi as Mahishasura Mardini had slain. There is a trishul or trident in the courtyard to which bells and lamps are tied. Devi is believed to be a Swayambu (self manifestation) and residing at one of the rocks of Saptashrunga. The temple is also considered as the Bhadrakali Mandir of old Nasik.

The tenth book and thirteenth chapter of the Devi Bhagavata Purana records the exploit of the goddess Bhramari in detail. She is also briefly alluded to in the Devi Mahatmya. The Devi Bhagavata Purana describes how she slew the demon Arunasura.

In the city of the demons, there lived a powerful demon named Arunasura. He was a furious God-hater and a hypocrite, who wanted above all else to conquer the Gods. He went to the banks of the Ganges in the Himalayas and practiced a very strict penance to Brahma, who believed him to be the protector of the demons. He held in his body the five Vayus and began meditating, repeating the Gayatri Mantra and practicing austerities. For the first ten thousand years, he lived by ingesting only dry leaves, for the second, he lived by drinking only drops of water and for the third, he lived by inhaling air alone. For the fourth ten thousand years he did not consume anything and thus practiced his penance. After the fourth ten thousand years, his belly had become dried up, his body had withered and the nerves of his body had become almost visible; only the life breath was lingering there. At this point a halo of light emitted from his body and began to burn the whole world. With his eyes closed, he appeared to be blazing with fire, as if he were a fire himself.

Observing his penance and resolve, Lord Brahma saw fit to bless Arunasur with protection from all two or four legged creatures. This blessing gave Arunasur the confidence to call on all the other demons living in the nether regions, and fight a final battle with the Gods above. The demons came and saluted him as their king and by his command, they sent messengers to the Heavens to signal their intent. Upon hearing the news, Indra trembled with fear and went instantly with the Gods to the abode of Brahma. After discussing the situation with Brahma, they went to the Vaikunth to recruit Vishnu. There they all held a conference on how to kill the demon who sought to overthrow them.

While they were conferring, Arunasur and his army went to the Heavens. The demon utilized the power of his penances by assuming various forms and seized possession of the Moon, the Sun, Yamraj, Agni and all the others. All the Gods, dislodged from their stations, then went to the region of Kailash and presented to Lord Shiva the dire nature of their situation. After conferring with Shiva, they turned to Parvati, the part incarnate of the Adi Parashakti. Parvati was aware of Arunasur’s blessing, and devised a plan to kill the demon with the help of six-legged creatures.

After taking control of all the celestial regions, Arunasur’s next intention was to attack Parvati directly. Confronting him, Parvati grew to a massive size, wielding a mace, trident, longsword and shield in her four hands. She closed her eyes in concentration, calling forth countless bees, hornets, wasps, flies, termites, mosquitos and spiders from the skies. They crawled onto her body and clung onto her, merging with her to create the divine form of Bhramari Devi.

In the battle that ensued, the demons’ swords were blocked by Bhramari Devi’s shield, while her other arms inflicted damage on the massive army. She ran through the ranks, stabbing with the trident, chopping with the longsword and reducing demons to powder with powerful swings of her mace. The bees, hornets, wasps, flies, termites, mosquitos and spiders which clung to her emanated forth in a wave over the ranks. When Arunasur was the last demon remaining on battlefield, she retreated and sent out all of the insects to attack him. They crawled all over him and ripped open each part of his body: his breasts, chest, back and belly, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes were all torn apart. Soon after seeing Arunasur’s great fall, the insects returned to Bhramari Devi and clung on her again. The Gods, who were in awe of this new form, gave her great praise. On the successful decimation of the demonic forces, all of the gods were able to return to their celestial homes.

Anasthan Shakti Peeta is one of the most famous Shakthi Peetas.  Sati’s chin fell here. Devi is worshipped as Bhramari or Chibuka (meaning Chin) and Lord Shiva as Vriktaksh/Vikrakatakkha (one with crooked eyes) or Sarvasiddhish (one who grants all wishes). Here Devi is worshipped as Maa Saptashringi, as there are seven peaks (Sapta Shrunga) around the Devi. Brahmari Devi Shakthi Peeta is also known as Janasthan Shakti Peeta.

The Shakti Peethas are places of worship consecrated to the goddess Shakti or Sati. They are sprinkled throughout the Indian subcontinent. This goddess Shakti, the Goddess of power is the complete incarnation of Adi Shakti, has three chief manifestations, as Durga, Goddess of strength and valour, as Mahakali, goddess of destruction of evil and as Goddess Gowri, the goddess of benevolence.

Bhramari Devi Mandir is one of the 51 Shaktipeethas belonging to Devi Sati/ Durga where the left leg of Devi Sati fell at Trisotra, Salbari village, Bodaganj, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.

Generally we are aware of the different manisfestations of godess Sati like Durga, Kali, Laxmi, Saraswati, Manasha Devi, Jagatdatri Devi and Santoshi Maa but we are quite unaware of the fact that another such manifestation of Mother Godess is Maa Bhramari Devi. Her immense exuberance and adorned with wonderful ornaments she reveals herself blessing us, curing and wiping off epidemic from this very earth.

The left leg of Devi sati was discovered by a person known as Sri Budha Bhairab (Lal Thakur). He belonged to a poor family from belakoba. He once had some incurable illness and the doctors treating him gave up hope of his surviving the illness. His family members being very poor left him in a distraught place near the banks of river teesta on the edge of Baikunthpur forest in Bodaganj to die.

There he went into penance for a long period without any food. He survived his illness with the grace of Devi Bhramari who appeared in his dreams. He was enlightened about the left leg of Sati which is one among the 51 Shakti Sthals’. The place was where he was left to die. It is below two trees which have joined together naturally to form the shape of a temple above the leg.

Janasthan Shakti Peetha is the most famous Shakti Peetha where it is said that the “Chin” of Maa Sati fell and the idols are Devi Maa as Bhramari and Lord Shiva as Vikritaksh Bhairav. Other names are Devi as Chibuka (the one with the chin) and Shiva as Sarvasiddhish (the one who can provide all desires). It is also known as Goddess Saptashrungi (Goddess with seven arms) located in Vani, Nasik,

Bhramari Devi is a dark Goddess identified as another form of Maa Kalika. It is said that she is “as brilliant as a million dark suns”, she is surrounded by black bees and holds black bees in the first of her hands, others of which are in the “boon-granting” and “fear-allaying” gestures. She destroys egoistic demons while her bees make the Seed-Mantra “Hring”.

Maa Saptashrungi or Devi Saptashringi is a site of pilgrimage situated 60 kilometers from Nashik. According to Hindu tradition, the goddess Saptashrungi Nivasini dwells within the seven mountain peaks (Sapta means seven & shrung means peaks) it is located in Vani, a small village near Nashik in India. Devotees visit this place in large numbers every day.

This temple is one among the 51 Shakti peethas located on the Indian subcontinent. The Devi is said to be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. She is surrounded by seven (sapta-in Sanskrit) peaks (shrunga-in Sanskrit), hence the name- Sapta Shrungi Mata (mother of the seven peaks).

The image of the Devi is huge-about 10 feet tall with 18 hands, holding various weapons like;- String of Beads, Battle Axe, Mace, Arrow, Thunderbolt, Lotus, Bow,Water Pot, Cudgel, Lance, Sword, Shield, Conch, Bell, Cup, Trident, Noose, Spinning Disc (Sudarsana Chakra).

The idol is always coated with Sindoor, which is considered auspicious in this region. She is also known as Mahishasur Mardini, the slayer of the demon Mahishasur, who took the form of a buffalo. Hence, at the foot of the hill, from where one starts climbing the steps, there is the head of a buffalo, made in stone which is believed to be a demon.

Saptashrung Mountain was a part of the forest called Dandakaranya mentioned in the Ramayana. It is mentioned that Lord Rama, along with Seeta had come here to pray to Amba and seek her blessings.

Among the ancient seers, Sage Markandeya (who was called the bhakta markandeya and the author of Devi Mahatmyam the book containing 700 slokas praising and the life of the goddess amba) and Sage Parasher (the first worldly incarnation of Sriman Narayan as the son of Kashyap and Aditi) completed their tapascharya (a long, multi-year period of meditation and prayer in solitude, a kind of penance, to seek the ultimate truth. In much of Hindu mythology, this is done to seek a meeting with God) at or near Saptashrungi.

Sant Dnyaneshwar, in Dnyaneshwari, his commentary on the Gita, mentions that his father, Vitthalpant, had also visited Saptashrungi. At a later point, Nivruttinath, the elder brother of Dnyaneshwara, is said to have visited Saptashrungi, and then moved on for his Samadhi at Tryambakeshwar near Nashik.

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Timing

All Days of the Week: 06:00 am – 06:00 pm.

Distance

  • From Delhi it is 1248 KM away.
  • From Mumbai it is 234 KM away.
  • From Kolkata it is 1799 KM away.
  • From Chennai it is 1542 KM away.

Location

Saptashrungi, Nashik,
Maharashtra 422215.