India is a nation known for its hypocrisy. In India, what we preach and what we practice, has always been way different. The worship of Kamakhya Devi in Shakti Peeth of Assam is just one more example of the dual nature of Indians. This is the temple that worships the bleeding Goddess and yet menstruating women are not allowed to enter into the premises of the temple.
Legend of Goddess Kamakhya
The Kamakhya Devi Temple is located in the Nilachal Hill in Guwahati, Assam. It is one of the major Shakti Peethas in India. Out of the 51 Shakti Peethas, this is supposed to be one of the most powerful Peethas as it is assumed to house Goddess Shakti’s vagina.
The myth behind it says that Sati Devi committed suicide as she could not bear the insult of her husband Lord Shiva, by her father Daksha. When Lord Shiva became aware of Sati Devi’s death, he got angry. He held the body of Goddess Sati and started doing Tandav or the dance of destruction. If the dance would have continued, then the whole earth would have collapsed.
Lord Vishnu used his Chakra to cut Devi Sati’s body and it got divided into 51 parts. The parts of Goddess Sati’s body fell in different parts of India. Her vagina is said to have fallen in Nilachal Hill where the temple of Kamakhya Devi now stands.
The Menstruating Goddess Kamakhya
The temple of Goddess Kamakhya has an annual Ambuwasi festival. The temple stays closed for three days when the Goddess is said to be menstruating. On the fourth day, the temple opens to celebrations.
It is also said that during this period, the Brahmaputra river turns red. It is not clear whether it is a natural or chemical phenomenon or the Pujaris add vermilion to water. The funny thing is even when a menstruating Goddess is being worshipped, a menstruating woman has to live the taboo of menstruation.