Saturday, 19 January 2013

A headless deity is worshipped here

In Hinduism, even a small cut, dent or a mark on an idol makes it only a piece of sculpture unfit for worship. The Agama Shastra lays down elaborate rules which have to be strictly adhered to if an idol is to be worshipped or a temple is to be built around it.
However, there is a temple in India where the deity is headless. The head is not on the neck of the deity but it is held in its hand. The deity here stands on the body of two persons. In one hand, she holds her own head and in the other the scimitar  with she decapitated herself.
This is the temple of  Chinnamasta in Rajrappa in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand State.
The main attraction of the Chinnamasta or Chinnamaskika is this temple where the fiery Goddess stands on the body of Kamdeo and Rati in the lotus bed.
The temple is also known  for its Tantric style of architectural design. Apart from this temple, there are ten other temples in the complex.
Chinnamasta, often spelled Chinnamasta and Prachanda Chandika, is one of the Mahavidyas, ten Tantric Goddesses. She is the fiery incarnation of  Devi with three jets of blood spurting out of her neck. The blood is being drunk by her severed head and two attendants.
Chinnamasta is generally depicted standing on a copulating couple. She is believed to be a form of Kali.
The temple stands atop a small hillock at the confluence of Damodar and Bhera rivers.
This is an ancient temple and it is mentioned in the Vedas, Puranas and other Hindu scriptures. A Shakti Peetha, devotees from Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and even Orissa come to the temple. The book, Durga Saptashati, also mentions the temple.
The temple is considered as notable a tantrik site as the Kamakhya Temple of Assam. Animal sacrifice is still practised  here and animals are routinely killed on Tuesdays, Saturdays and during Kali puja.
The full moon and new moon days see a rush of devotees.
Rajrappa is also a pilgrim centre for the Santhals and other tribals who come to the place for immersing ashes of the dead in  Damodar.  As per Santhal folklore, Damodar  is their final resting place and in their folk songs, Rajrappa is referred to as “Thel Kopi Ghat” (Water Ghat).
Devotees tie a red thread around a rock in the temple for the fulfillment of their wishes. Rajrappa is 28 kms away from Ramgarh Cantonment and it is on National Highway No 23.
Besides, religion, the place is also known for its natural beauty. The hills around Rajrappa and Ramgarh are a visual treat. The hot springs of  Rajrappa are famous.
There is awaterfall at the place where Damodar joins the Bhera. Emoinent filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, chose this place as a setting for Chinnamastar Abhishap.


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