Kamakshi Amman in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu is one of the most venerated Shakti shrines in India, and is regarded as one of the Shakti Peethams associated with the legend of Shiva and Daksha Yagna.
Kamakshi means - She whose eyes awaken desire, or She who has beautiful eyes.
Significance of Goddess Kamakshi:
Kamakshi - The word is derived from “Ka” means Goddess Saraswati (God of Education), “Ma” means Goddess Lakshmi (God of Wealth), “Akshi” means Eye. The name as a whole refers as the god lives in Kanchi with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her both eyes. The Lalitha Sahasranama poem is an idle example for the goddess power - "Sachamara Ramavani Savya Dakshina Sevitha”
The place where goddess resides is “Gayatri Mandapam” in the temple. The Goddess lives in temple in 3 forms. They are Sri Kamakshi main deity, Sri Bilahasam and Sri Chakram. The goddess is in a sitting posture of “Padmasana”, with four hands holding Pasa, Angusa, Pushpabana and Sugarcane in each hand.
As per Markandeya Purana, King Dasaratha performed “Putra Kameshi Yagam” in this temple for the Birth of a child to his kingdom. The King performed pooja to goddess in the temple.
Significance of Kanchi / Kanchipuram:
Kanchi is also known as Mokshapuri and is also the Pancha Bootha Sthla of Lord Shiva representing Earth element.
“Ayodhya Madhura Maya Kasi Kanchi Avantika!
Puri Dwarakavathi Saiva Sapthaithate Mokshadaiyeka!”
As the stotra reveals the Holy India consists of seven Mokshapuris out of which one mokshapuri is in South India named as Kanchipuram.
Pushpeshu Jhati : Purusheshu Vishnu:
Naarishu Ramba: Nagareshu Kanchi:
Jagadguru Sri Adisankaracharya visited Kanchipuram and felt the goddess is in a ferocious mode that the entire sanctorum was very hot. So to personify her and accomplish to her to normal state the saint sung songs in the praise of goddess named “Soundarya Lahari” then he established a Sri Chakra in front of her idol to keep her cool and personified. This srichakram is visible to all of us and all the poojas are done to srichakram too. The Saint established Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and attained Sarvagyna peetam in this holy city.
This legend is associated with the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice and the origin of the Shakti Peethas of India.
Sati, the consort of Shiva was the daughter of Daksha Prajaapati a descendant of Bhrama.. Sati had married Shiva against the wishes of her father. The vain Daksha performed a great yagna (with the sole aim of insulting Shiva), to which he invited all of the gods and goddesses except his son in law Shiva. Against Shiva's wishes, Sati attended this sacrifice and was insulted by her father. Unable to bear this insult, Sati immolated herself.
Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva through Veerabhadra, destroyed Daksha's sacrifice, cut off Daksha's head and replaced it with that of a goat, as he restored him to life. Still crazed with grief, he picked up the remains of Sati's body, and danced the dance of destruction throughout the Universe. The other gods intervened to stop this dance, and the disk of Vishnu cut through the corpse of Sati, whose various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed the sites of what are known as Shakti Peethas today.
The place where the back part of Sati is said to have fallen here.
- The annual festival is celebrated in the month of Maasi.
- The silver chariot festival falls on the 7th day of Navaratri.
- Aadi Pooram
- Aippasi Pooram
- Sankara Jayanthi
- Vasanta Utsavam in Vaikasi.
- All Pournami (Full Moon Day)
18 Shakti Peetha Stotram:
लङ्कायां शाङ्करीदेवी कामाक्षी काञ्चिकापुरे ।
प्रद्युम्ने शृङ्खलादेवी चामुण्डी क्रौञ्चपट्टणे ॥ 1 ॥
Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure
Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane || 1 ||
अलम्पुरे जोगुलाम्बा श्रीशैले भ्रमराम्बिका ।
कोल्हापुरे महालक्ष्मी मुहुर्ये एकवीरा ॥ 2 ॥
Alampure Jogulamba, Sri shaile Bhramarambika
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika || 2 ||
उज्जयिन्यां महाकाली पीठिकायां पुरुहूतिका ।
ओढ्यायां गिरिजादेवी माणिक्या दक्षवाटिके ॥ 3 ॥
Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike || 3 ||
हरिक्षेत्रे कामरूपी प्रयागे माधवेश्वरी ।
ज्वालायां वैष्णवीदेवी गया माङ्गल्यगौरिका ॥ 4 ॥
Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari
Jwalayam Vishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika || 4 ||
वारणाश्यां विशालाक्षी काश्मीरेतु सरस्वती ।
अष्टादश सुपीठानि योगिनामपि दुर्लभम् ॥ 5 ॥
Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham || 5 ||
सायङ्काले पठेन्नित्यं सर्वशत्रुविनाशनम् ।
सर्वरोगहरं दिव्यं सर्वसम्पत्करं शुभम् ॥ 6 ॥
Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham || 6 ||
Part of the
|Place||Name of Shakti|
|1||Heart||Trimkomali (Srilanka)||Sankari Devi|
|2||Back part||Kanchi (Tamilnadu)||Kamakshi Devi|
|3||Stomach part||Praddyumnam (Gujarat)||Sri Shrunkala Devi|
|4||Hair||Mysore (Karnataka)||Chamundeswari Devi|
|5||Upper teeth rows||Alampur (Andhra Pradesh)||Jogulamba Devi|
|6||Neck part||Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh)||Bhramramba Devi|
|7||Eyes||Kolhapur (Maharastra)||Mahalakshmi Devi|
|8||Left hand||Nanded (Maharastra)||Ekavirika Devi|
|9||Tongue||Ujjain (Madya pradesh)||Mahakali Devi|
|10||Back||Pithapuram (Andhra Pradesh)||Puruhutika Devi|
|11||Navel||Cuttack (Orissa)||Girija Devi|
|12||Left cheek||Draksharamam (A.P)||Manikyamba devi|
|13||Reproductive organ - Yoni||Gauhathi (Assam)||Kamarupa Devi|
|14||Fingers (hand)||Prayaga (Uttar Pradesh)||Madhaveswari Devi|
|15||Head part||Jwala (Himaclapradesh)||Vaishnavi Devi|
|16||Breast part||Gaya (Bihar)||Sarvamangala Devi|
|17||Wrist||Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)||Visalaksi Devi|
|18||Right Hand||Kashmir||Saraswathi Devi|