Monday, July 7, 2014

Ambubachi Mela-A Portrayal of Endurance and Sanctification


Ambubachi Mela is the most significant and famed fiesta at the Kamakhya Temple in the capital city, Guwahati of the state of Assam. Widely renowned as the Ameti or the Tantric fertility festival, the Ambubachi Mela has a close connection with the tantric rituals and customs. The Ambubachi festival is intimately linked to the Tantric sect and is also celebrated as Kamkhya Devi Puja. It is supposed that Goddess Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle during these days and consequently the temple remains shut for three days. The Mela is celebrated with full pomp and show for four days.

History
The Ambubachi festival is one of the major attractions of the state of Assam. It is the celebration of the annual menstruation phase of goddess Kamakhya. It is understood that the superintending goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, goes through her yearly stage of menstruation during this time stretch. It is also presumed that all through the monsoon showers the innovative and fostering supremacy of the 'menses' of Mother Earth becomes available to devotees at this place during the festival. No statue or figurine of the deity exists but she is worshipped in the outline of a yoni-like stone as an alternative over which a natural spring flows.

When is it Celebrated
Devotees in bulky figures linger outside the temple as the temple will be opens on the fourth day. Sanyasins from all around the world gather at the Kamakhya temple during this period. Every year tons and thousands of devotees hover around the temple of Kamakhya during the Ambubachi Mela in the month of Ahaar (mid June).

How is it Celebrated
During the festival of Ambubachi, it is very vital to allow Mother to rest. It’s like a Mother’s Day in India. We are supposed to take great care of our Mother for her unconditional love. Ambubachi is celebrated amidst 22-26 of every month, with the beginning of the monsoons. During this period, Assam turns into a mere water body with water all around it.

On the very prime day, a piece of cloth, preferably red silk is used to cover the altar or the idol in order to give Her some privacy. At this stage, she is considered to be extremely powerful, thereby cleansing and revitalizing the entire Earth, which in practice is Her body itself.

On the 4th day, the deity is bathed to reclaim limpidness and various rituals are performed. It is only after this procedure that the doors of the temple are unfastened to the devotees. According to the myths of Hinduism, after the death of His adored Sati, Lord Shiva was in great anguish and while flying through the skies, dropped her burnt body parts on the earth. The arena where her yoni resided is known to the world as Kamakhya.

Main activities:
As soon as the temple is opened, people hurry to the temple in order to grab the propitious Prasad which in practice, is small tits and bits of cloth, which becomes soggy with the menstrual fluid of Goddess Kamakhya. It is considered very commanding and fortunate if tied to the arm.

Ambubachi Mela has acquired the position of a nationalized festival with innumerable number of devotes and followers rushing to Guwahati in order to enjoy the auspicious festival. The festival also attracts numerous people from the foreign land as well who flock to the place to witness the fiesta.

As per the myths, during the three days when mother earth undergoes menstruation, devotees are bounded by some limits such as they are not allowed to cook or perform any sort of puja or indulge in activities such as farming.

Where all is it celebrated

The Ambubachifestival is celebrated in Guwahati with huge pomp and show. Situated at a considerable distance of about 5kms from Guwahati resides the temple complex of Kamakhya which witnesses the Ambubachi Mela.