Mahur Renuka Devi a Popular Hindu Pilgrim Place
By Smitakshi Guha
Located in the Nanded district of the Indian state of Maharashtra, Mahur is a popular Hindu pilgrim place that houses a list of temples where devotees visit in large numbers every year to pay their homage to the deities. The most prominent one among these temples is the Renuka Devi Temple, which also happens to be a Shakti Peeth.
The temple is most significant in Hindu culture for two reasons. First and foremost is due to the fact that it is a Shakti Peetha. The story of which according to legend goes like this: Long ago, Sati’s father Daksha made his mind to perform a yaga at his place. For the same, he visited Kailash in order to invite all the gods and goddesses. When he reached out for Lord Shiva, his son in law, the latter was busy in his own musings in a state of trance. However, unaware of his trance, Daksha misunderstood it for his indifference. As a result, he left the place and returned home without inviting Lord Shiva or his daughter Sati.
Although feeling insulted, being a rooted woman, Sati thought she should pay her father a visit during the event of the sacrifice. She asked for her husband’s permission for the same, but he told her that she may only face insults after to her parental home and asked her to do what she wished to do. Sati decided to visit her maiden place for the event, and when she did so, she faced a lot of humiliation from everyone present there and her presence was nothing less than completely unacknowledged. Deeply hurt and shattered, she thought it was only better to end her life rather than going back to her husband’s place with such an insulted and crestfallen demeanor.
She sacrificed her body and ended up falling dead, shocking everyone. When Lord Shiva came to know about this tragedy, his hysteria knew no bounds and carrying Sati on his shoulders, he performed his Nobody was able to stop him until Lord Vishnu showed up and in order to put an end to the misery of Lord Shiva on his beloved wife’s death, he sent his chakra forward, that cut Sati’s body into 18 pieces, all of which fell on the holy grounds of earth at different places. These places came to be known as the Shakti Peethas.
On the other hand, the other significant reason for the place’s popularity is that the goddess after whom the place was named, Renuka, who was the wife of Sage Jamadagni, was beheaded by her own son Parashurama. After the incident, her head had fallen in this place, and much later, she was given rebirth by her own husband to Parashurama. Hence, the Shakti deity in the temple here is worshipped by the name of Renuka Devi.
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