Goddess Bahuchar Mata
GODDESS BAHUCHARA MATA. As a manifestation of Mother Goddess, Bahuchara Mata is the Patron Goddess of the Hijra community, meaning eunuchs or hermaphrodites. Civil rights advocate the current word ‘transgender’. By and large the Hjras adhere strictly to ahimsa or non-violence. They consider innocent killing of birds and animals as sin. Any form of unkind assault is also ahimsa. Thus Bahuchara Mata also stands for ahimsa in general. The word ‘hijra’ is said to be derogatory. Without the advantage of vernacular translation, it is used here without any imputation to character but with all due respect.
MYTHOLOGY: (1) A king prostrates before Bahuchara Mata for the boon of an offspring. He gets a son. But the prince Jeta was impotent. The Goddess appears in his dreams to order that he cut of his genitals and wear women’s clothes. Thereafter he is to devote his life as her servant. The Goddess also identifies all impotent men in the region to chop off as well. Punishment for breaching this would be seven generations of impotency. This saga is said to have brought about the cult of Bahuchara Mata, whose devotees are required to self-castrate and remain celibate.
(2) In another intriguing myth associated with Bahuchara Mata. The goddess was once a princess with a deviant behavior husband. Now, he never comes to the bridal bed but prefers disappearing in the jungle where he ‘behaves like a woman.’ Well he undergoes punishment by castration!
(3) In another version, a man who attempted to molest Bahuchara Mata. He was cursed with impotence. As usual, he was forgiven when he agreed to ‘drop’ his masculinity, dressed as a woman, and worshipped the goddess. Footnote: One is reminded that in generality, folklore, defies ordinary rules of story- telling.
BAHUCHARA MATA TEMPLE: Said to be constructed in 1783 AD, the temple of Bahuchara Mata with its stone decorations, is located in Bechraji town in Mehsana district of Gujarat, India. The origin of Bahuchra Mata is situated at Varakhdiwala temple in Bechraji. There is another, the Toda Mata temple in Sankhalpur which is two kilometers away. Among the three Shakti Peeths in Gujarat , the Goddess is worshipped as Bala at Bahucharaji, as Ambika at Ambaji and as Kalika Mother at Pavagdah. At Bahucharaji, Mataji is residing as a young girl.
(Chp: draft Gods and Goddesses)
By Yogi Ananda Saraswati
Goddess Bahuchar Mata
|Goddess Bahuchar Mata|