Saptashrungi – Popular Pilgrimage Place for the Hindus
By Simtakshi Guha
Located in the Nashik district in the Indian state of Maharashtra, Saptashrungi is a popular pilgrimage place for the Hindus. In literal terms, “sapta” means seven, and “shrungi” means peaks. Hence, the term in its entirety means seven peaks, and therefore goes the belief that Goddess SaptaShrungi Nivasini resides in this place amidst the seven mountain peaks here.
The place also happens to be one among the three and a half shakti peethas in the entire state of Maharashtra, and in the whole country, Saptashrungi happens to be one among the 51 shakti peethas, where it is believed that Goddess Sati’s right arm had fallen when Lord Shiva had performed his Tandava carrying his dead wife, Sati’s dead body.
The story of the formation of Shakti Peethas goes back to ages, when 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 dance of trance—popularly known as the Tandava.
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 sacred Shakti Peethas.
Thousands of pilgrims visit Saptashrungi to pay their tributes to Goddess Saptashrungi Nivasini, and the goddess’ idol is believed to be self manifested here.
Featured Image Source: en.wikipedia.org