12 Traditional Forms of Adishakti
Who is Adishakti?
The stories of her different forms are described in Hindu Puranas. Of these, twelve forms of Adishakti are closely connected with Bengali twelve months. I would like to present these forms of Adishakti in my article.
Goddess Gandheshwari is the worshiped in Bengali first month, Boishakh. She is mainly worshipped by perfumers. This business community of Bengal is the proponent of the worship of Goddess Gandheshwari. It is said that there is an abundance of perfumes in Bengal due to Her grace and so the perfume business of Bengali perfumers is booming.
Phalaharini or Phalaharini Kali is a form of Adishakti in the Tantric school of teaching. This form of Adishakti is worshiped for destroying all Karma Phala (effects of bad actions). As Phalaharini is the destroyer of the Karma Phala (effects of bad actions), She is still worshiped in every corner of Bengal in the month of Jaishtha. The day of Phalaharini Puja celebration falls on the Amavasya day in the month of Jaishtha.
Many people know that the date of Ambubachi falls at the beginning of the month of Ashar. There is also a rhyme in this regard – ‘6 Ashar Ambubachi, tar nei kono Panjipunthi’ (As Ambubachi festival is celebrated on the fixed date of the month of Ashar, no festival calendar is needed for this). Goddess Kamakshya, another form of Adishakti, is worshiped on the occasion of Ambubachi. This form of Adishakti (Kamakshya) is worshipped for fertility in Bengal.
Goddess Shakambhari is worshiped in the month of Shravan. It is believed that this form of Adishakti brought abundance in nature in the month of Shravan, and by her grace the fields of Bengal were filled with vegetables. And so this goddess is green. Worship of Goddess Shakambhari is now rare. Maybe he is still worshiped in a remote village in Bengal.
Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are Purusha and Prakriti. The union of Shiva and Parvati makes the way of life in the world. According to the Puranas, Lord Shiva met Parvati for the first time in this month. So Parvati is the adored goddess of the Bengali month of Bhadra.
In the month of Ashwin, the Hindu devotees in Bengal worship goddess Durga, the killer of Durgamasura. The Akalbodhana mentioned in the Ramayana and the one worshipped by Ramachandra is this form of Adishakti. With the passage of time, the form of Mahisasurmardini (the killer of Mahishashura) and goddess Parvati, the mother of four children, was mixed with this goddess and Durga Puja, the biggest Hindu festival was introduced in Bengal.
It is well known that Goddess Jagaddhatri is worshiped in the month of Kartik. It is said in the Katyayani Tantra that once Indra, Agni, Vayu and Chandra – these four deities became very arrogant. They forgot that they got their power from Mahashakti or Adishakti. Then goddess Jagaddhatri, a form of Adishakti, appeared in front of them. She is the protector goddess of the world. So, she is called Jagaddhatri.
The Katyayani form of Adishakti is worshiped in the month of Agrahayan. Goddess Katyayani is said to fulfill the desires of marriage and children. According to the Srimad Bhagavatam, the gopinis of Braj used to worship the idol of this goddess in the month of Magh with the intention of getting Lord Krishna as their husband. Later, the worship of Katyayani was introduced in the month of Agrahayan in Bengal.
Poushkali is worshiped in many Kali temples of Bengal. This form of Adishakti is called Mokshadankarini (the goddess who blesses devotees with Moksha or salvation). Mulo ( Radish), one of the main vegetables of this month, is offered to this goddess (Poushkali). So many people still call this puja as ‘Mulokali Pujo’.
Ratantikali, another form of Adishakti is worshiped in the Kali temples of Bengal in the month of Magh after Poush. This form of Divine Mother is called Ratantikali. The worship of Ratantikali is performed on Krishna Chaturdashi in the month of Magh. This form of Adishakti is called the protector of home peace. The devotees worship her to get happiness in worldly life.
Goddess Sankatnashini is worshiped in the month of Falgun. At the beginning of spring, various diseases are seen in the houses of Bengal at this time. So the worship of Sankatnashini is seen to be performed in different places in Bengal in the month of Falgun. The devotees pray to this form of Adishakti so that they can be safe in their ‘Shankat’ (crisis).
Goddess Basanti is worshiped in the season of Basanta (Spring). She is usually worshipped in the month of Chaitra. Actually Basanti Puja is the celebration of Durga Puja. This form of Adishakti brings abundance in nature and fills the earth with grains in this month. Many people worship Adishakti in the form of Annapurna in the month of Chaitra.