The Temple of Kamaksha

The Temple of Kamaksha

Hundreds of Indian folktales tell us of the shrine of the goddess Kamaksha. According to these tales, it was not for an ordinary human being to approach the place where she dwelt. Only magicians and tantriks riding enchanted flying trees, could go there at night. The region was frequented by ghosts and ghouls who naturally were weird in their conduct towards human beings. Only if a seeker was brave enough to risk an encounter with these fearful beings could he then enter the temple and worship the goddess. If the goddess was pleased, the seeker could gain mastery over many supernatural powers. He could perform miracles.

Even today, there are thousands of magicians in India who end their mantras with: “I command this to be done in the name of Goddess Kamaksha.”

Though Kamaksha is popularly associated with tantnk beliefs, mystic experiences could come to people who were her sincere devotees.

The temple of Kamaksha is one of the main temples dedicated to the Mother Goddess in India. Mythology and folklore give us many stories about the origin of the temple. It is generally believed that it was built where a part of the dead body of Sati, the wife of Shiva, fell after Vishnu had cut it asunder with his Sudarsana Chakra.

We do not know who built the original temple of Kamaksha, but it was destroyed by the fanatic Kalapahar in the 16th century.
Soon afterwards, Malladeva, the King of Assam, went on an expedition to conquer Bengal. In the battle that was fought between Malladeva and the Sultan of Bengal, Malladeva was badly beaten and his brother, Sukiadeva, was captured by the Sultan.

At night, Sukiadeva saw Kamaksha in his dream. She told him that it was wrong to fight a battle while the temple of their goddess lay in ruins. Sukiadeva realised their blunder. He was told by Kamaksha, as the dream continued, that he would be released when he cured the Sultan’s mother who would soon be bitten by a snake.

In awhile, Sukiadeva was called upon to try and cure the Sultan’s mother as all other efforts had failed. Sukiadeva, by the grace of Kamaksha, proved successful and was set free.

Sukiadeva and Malladeva then devoted their attention to building a new temple over the ruins of the old one. It is said that the new temple was built with bricks baked in ghee.

Today it is easy to visit the shrine of Kamaksha which can be seen on the beautiful Nilachal hill in Assam, about four-and-a-half kilometres from the city of Gauhati. Dozens of buses run every day from the city to the foot of the hill. From there, there are lighter vehicles for the temple.
Inside the temple there is a cave. Inside the cave stands a block of stone, symbolizing the deity. There is no image of the goddess. The mode of worship, too, is flexible. A visitor can worship according to the rites he is accustomed to.

A great number of people visit the temple during festivals like Durga Pooja & Manasapooja.

To this day, Kamaksha remains the symbol of man’s urge to achieve mastery over the secret laws of occult world.

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