Updated: Sep 13
Universe has both good and evil, and when evil gets out of control, Gods & Goddesses save the universe by destroying it. As we celebrate Maa Durga’s holiness, “The Legend of Bhramarambika Devi” by V. K. Telkepalli tells the story of how Bhramarambika Devi saved us by destroying evil.
Vijayadashami or Dussehra is a festival where we celebrate the destruction of evil. It is a festival which teaches us to be just and follow the path of Dharma. It is the festival where we offer prayers to Maa Durga and worship her nine different forms.
Though the concept of worshipping these nine forms has been mentioned in many Puranas, in summary, it is offering prayers to one great eternal energy that is driving the whole universe. Now, there is no uniform sequence in which these forms are worshipped across India.
Some follow the sequence of Annapurna, Lakshmi Devi, Gayatri, Lalita Tripura Sundari, Saraswathi, Durga, Mahishasura Mardini, and Rajarajeswari. Amongst these forms, it is Mata Rajarajeshwari who is believed to be the supreme energy who created everything.
On the other hand, there are a few who believe in the seven or eight manifestations of the Goddess. The seven manifestations referred as “Sapta Matrika” are Brahmi, Maheswari, Kumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Mahendri and Chamunda while the eight manifestations “Ashta Matrika” are Ugrachanda, Prachanda, Chandogra, Chandanayaka, Chanda, Chandaathi, Chamunda and Chandrika.
Except for these, those who worship Goddess Durga offer prayers to her nine forms namely Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandha Matha, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Maha Gouri and Siddhi Mata. This custom is followed in Srisailam a town in Andhra Pradesh where the Goddess Durga resides as Bhramarambika Devi alongside Mallikarjuna Swami.
The Legend of Srisailam
It is believed that there lived a demon once with the name Arunasura. He was awarded a boon by Lord Brahma the Creator in the Hindu Trinity, for his fervid devotion and worship. The boon was that he can neither be killed by a two-legged or a four-legged living being nor be killed by any kind of weapon.
As soon as he was gifted with this boon, he started causing vexation to all the devas and saints. Being petrified with his terror the devas pleaded Lord Shiva who is the Destroyer in the Hindu Trinity to help them.
However, Lord Shiva hesitated because Arunasura was one of his great devotees. Helpless, all the devas then turned towards Goddess Parvathi to seek help.
She took the form of bhramara, a Sanskrit word for bee and entered Arunasura’s ear. She created humming sounds which eventually led to the death of the demon and then stayed in Srisailam as Bhramarambika.
Visit Srisailam Bhramaramba Devi Temple for more information.
This folklore is available as paperback & ebook.