Kamakhya Devi - Temple of the Bleeding Goddess

Kamakhya Devi Temple is situated in Guwahati, Assam located in the Nilachal Hills. It is known as one of the Shakti Peeth, the symbol of feminine godly power. It is the only temple that celebrates the mensural cycle of a woman and is also called the Bleeding Goddess Temple. Subjects like mensural cycles that cause shame when discussed in society are discussed openly here. It is said that the vagina of Shiva’s consort, Shakti fell here and thus, it is also a temple of fertility. Women come here so that they can be blessed and conceive. In June, the Brahmaputra turns red. It is said that at this time, the Goddess is having her period.

The legend of the temple says that when Sati’s father did not invite her and Shiva for a great religious yagna or sacrifice that he was conducting, Sati became angry and humiliated. She barged into the yagna ceremony and jumped into the fire in rage. Shiva saw that and went mad with grit. He carried his wife’s burnt body on his shoulders and started doing the cosmic dance of destruction called the Tandav. The other Gods feared that the universe will end and so they ran to Vishnu for help. Vishnu followed the dancing Shiva and threw his Sudarshana Chakra at Shiva. The Chakra cut the body of Sati into 51 pieces. There is a temple and Shakti Peeth in every place each piece fell. This is to celebrate the power of woman and glorify them as goddesses. Kamakhya Devi Temple is located where the vagina of the Goddess fell. Rebuilt in 1685 AD, this temple is known for its animal sacrifice of blood to appease the goddess Kali. Behind the temple is an area where little lambs are tied by rope. They have been blessed through puja and have a red tick on their forehead marking them for the sacrifice. Blood is poured into black iron pans and smeared on the stone sculpture to the Goddess. This ritual, when performed, can cure barren women and make them fertile again.

A Steep narrow lane takes you to the entrance gate of the temple. In the middle, you can see hawkers and shops selling bases, knives and utensils for the animal sacrifice. I stopped to chat with a few Sadhus outside the temple to get their views on the legend of Kamakhya Devi. The area is busy with families and people clamouring to go into the temple or just sit on the stone ledge inside the temple area. I managed to rope a local kid who carried my GoPro camera and took pictures of me. All in all, I managed to get a lot of raw footage for my video.

So you see, topics like the vagina and periods were considered religious and have been given such a high place in Puranic and Vedic culture. So it was the Phallus of Bhutan and now it is the Vagina of Shakti for me. Two fistic and most prominent symbols of sex and religion merge in our society where religion hails sex and its practices as godly and divine instead of keeping it in the shadows as it were. This shows that sex is actually godly and the source of all creation. Therefore, sex should be worshipped and celebrated.

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