Pic credit: istockphoto. Shakambhari Purnima today: Know more about the festival
- Devotees of Goddess Shakambhari celebrate Shakambhari Purnima on the Purnima Tithi of Paush Maas
- This form of feminine power is believed to be an incarnation of Devi Parvati
- Devi Shakambhari is hailed as the Goddess of fruits and vegetables or the Goddess of vegetation
Devotees of Goddess Shakambhari celebrate Shakambhari Purnima on the Purnima Tithi (Full Moon Day) in the Hindu month of Paush (which concurs with Gregorian January). This form of feminine power is believed to be an incarnation of Devi Parvati. And today, on the day of Paush Purnima, devotees shall pay an ode to this avatar of the Mother Goddess. Read on to know more.
Who is Goddess Shakambhari?
As mentioned above, Goddess Shakambhari is an avatar of Devi Parvati. She is hailed as the Goddess of fruits and vegetation. Shakambhari is derived from the Sanskrit words Shak (meaning vegetation) and Bhari (meaning the bearer or holder).
Goddess Shakambhari’s pictorial depiction shows her with a bluish skin tone. She has four hands. In the upper left and right hands, she holds a bow and a lotus respectively. And in the lower right and left hands, she holds fruits and vegetables.
Here’s how Goddess Shakambhari came into being
Once, there lived a demon named Durgamasur, who performed intense penance to please Lord Brahma. The demon wanted to obtain the four Vedas (the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda) from Brahma, the creator of the Universe and the author of the sacred scriptures. After years of penance, Durgamasur succeeded in pleasing Lord Brahma, who granted him the boon of obtaining the Vedas.
Gradually, the sages on the earth and the Devas in heaven lost all their powers in the absence of the Vedas. No Yagya or Havan was performed, and the Sages lost their knowledge. Soon the earth was hit by a famine owing to the dearth of water and rain. Therefore to save creation in the Universe, Devi Parvati appeared as Shakambari to eliminate Durgamasur and retrieve the Vedas from his clutches. Subsequently, she showered her blessings on the earth. Hence, Maa Shakambhari is worshipped as the Goddess of fruits and vegetation.
Shakambhari Purnima festival
The Shakambhari Navratri culminates on the Purnima Tithi of Paush Maas. This Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Shakambhari. It is distinct because unlike other Navratris that begin on the Pratipada Tithi (first day of the Lunar fortnight), Shakambhari Purnima commences on the Ashtami Tithi (eighth day) and ends on Purnima. Thus, devotees of the Mother Goddess pay ode to her by celebrating this festival.