Manasa Devi Goddess of Snakes Mukkamala Peetham West Godavari
Mukkamala is a small village having shrine of Goddess Manasa Devi who is the presiding diety of all snakes in Peravali Mandal of West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh State, India located 82kms towards East from District head quarters Eluru, 3kms from Peravali and 416kms from Hyderabad (State Capital). The Shrine of this Goddess is well known as Sri Manasa Devi Temple in Mukkamala Peetham, West Godavari.
'Manasa Devi' is the Hindu folk 'Goddess of Snakes', worshipped mainly in West Bengal and other parts of North and northeastern India, chiefly for the prevention and cure of snakebite, for fertility, prosperity and also to get rid of diseases like smallpox, chicken pox etc. According to the folklores of Bengal, She was the one who saved the life of Lord Shiva from the deadly poison. She is very kind and loving towards Her devotees and worse to those who refused to worship Her. She is very powerful and worshipped in different forms with different names throughout India mainly at the time of rainy season, when the snakes are mostly active. One can worship Her in the form of an idol or even as a formless power.
Manasa Devi in Mukkamala Peetham
Mukkamala Peetham is the place where Manasa Devi stayed and did Dhyanam(Meditation). Manasa means the one who fulfils the wishes of her devotees. Manasa Devi is also known as "Vishwamata" who is the only diety worshipped to get rid of Kala Sarpa Dosham and thus well known as Kala Sarpa Dosha Nivarini. It is believed that She is the one who has control on all the snakes present on Earth.
"Vishwa" is a Hindu baby Girl name which means 'Earth', 'Universe'. As Goddess Manasa Devi is the presiding deity of the all snakes present on "Earth or in the Universe", She having control on them is regarded as the Vishwamatha here.
Vishwa name was originated in Hindu, Bengali, Punjabi and Sanskrit.
Manasa Devi Mukkamala
Birth of Manasa Devi:
She is a 'Tantric Goddess', and the story of her birth starts when Lord Shiva was sexually aroused on the banks of the Kalidaha pool, a pond that is present in West Bengal in Rajnagar (a town). There are legends about Nagas or Snakes in the folklore of present tribal Hindus of Southern India (Adivasis) and the aboriginals of Australia. In these legends, these snakes inhabited a big continent that existed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean which sank and the remnants of it formed the Indonesian archipelago and Australia.
Worship and Offering to Goddess:
Before conducting any puja at the temple one must take Bath in the Sacred Godavari River and then upon reaching the temple, to get rid of the Kala Sarpa dosha they have to do Milk Abhishekam of the snake idols and perform 108 Pradakshina's (take rounds around temple) along with chanting of the Devi mantras 108 times. Regular chanting of Her Mantras clears any obstacles in His/Her life.
Her Idol can be placed at home for worship and She is mainly fed milk with sugar daily after worship. She bestows her showers whoever worship her with great devotion either for getting children, regarding their marriage, any graha doshas and helps to overcome any bad circumstances in ones house. Her Idol can be obtained from the dealers of Sai Puja Samagri.
The Shakthi Mantram:
This mantra has to be recited with devotion and sincerity 108 times everyday. Manasa Devi will hear your innermost wishes and fulfill them accordingly.
Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Aim Manasa Devye Swaha !
Legend of Mukkamala Peetham:
According to Puranas, She is well known as Vishahara(the destroyer of poison), Jagadgauri, Nitya(eternal), Padmavati, Jagatkaru Priya, Mansa Devi, Sidha Yogini, Naag Bhaamini, Shaivi, Jaratkaaru, Aastik Mata, Maha Gyaan Yuktaa, Naageshwari, Monosha, Maa Monosha, and few more.
Manasa Devi Goddess of Snakes
According to Puranas, She is the daughter of Lord Shiva and the Sister of Serpent King Sesha and Vasuki (one of the most important Nagas/Snakes). Some Scriptures say that She was the daughter of famous sage Kashyapa and Kadru, and wife of great sage Jagatkaru. As Manasa was born from Sage Kashyapa's mind, She was named as 'Manasa' meaning born out of mind. It was due to this confusion in Her parentage, that Goddess Manasa denied the position which other deities enjoyed and hence, She is one of the furious Goddess for those who refuse to worship Her while very gentle to those who worship Her with full devotion and sincearity.
She is majorly worshipped in different parts of West Bengal and known as Pre-Aryan goddess Vishahara (the demolisher of poison), who is ritually invoked with sacrifices and offerings. The 'Manasamangal' is the famous tale of Manasa in which the story of her gaining recognition and attaining a place among the Hindu Gods and Goddesses is depicted. She is also considered one of the forms of Lord Vishnu born out of Sambhuti, along with the gods named Abhutarajasas in the Rawala Manwantara.
Here the 'Aryans' are meant as the Historians present in the Hindu Epics, Arya and Anarya are primarily used in the moral sense. The People are catogorised based on their behaviour as Arya or Anarya. Arya is termed typically for the one who follows the Dharma and is historically applicable for any person living anywhere in India (whole Bharat Desha).
Anciently, the term Aryan was used as a national name to designate those who worshipped the Vedic deities (like Indra) and followed Vedic culture (performing sacrifice, Yajna).Thus in this way Manasa Devi is called as the pre-aryan Goddess.
From early Vedic literature, it is seen that the term Aryavarta (in Sanskrit is meant as abode of the Aryans) was designated to northern India, where the Indo-Aryan culture was based. The Manusmrti (2.22) tells us the about the same name Aryavarta to be "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern (Bay of Bengal) to the Western Sea (Arabian Sea)".
In addition to Manasamangal Kavya, there are texts present from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana which are used in her worship. The text referred here belongs to Prakriti Khanda (the second part of the Brahma Vaivarta Purana) where this Purana is a collection of one of the 18 major Puranas which is divided further into four parts. It deals with the goddesses - the Shaktis -the manifestations of Prakruthi, and the essential nature of intelligence. In Prakruthi Khanda, the second part tells us the, the greatness of Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Savithri at the time of creation of the world. During the worship or puja of Manasa Devi people first bath the statues of Manasa Devi with milk (Abhishekam) and then recite the hymns taken from Prakriti khanda.
Her worship reflects a caste conflict in Hinduism, due to the orthodox Bhrahmanism deprived lower castes of the right to have access to Brahmanical learning. The Manasamangal Kavya (a Bengali Hindu religious text) has narration of her story and how she renewed her worship in Bengal is also written dated around 13th Century AD.S
Why She was Rejected As Goddess?
The main reason why she was rejected as Goddess was, she is not the daughter of Goddess Parvathi but daughter of Lord Shiva by a beautiful mortal woman, and being jealous of her Parvathi Devi(Step mother) destroyed her two eyes and sended her back to Pathalaloka(underground where reptiles are there). All the children of Lord Shiva and Parvathi had three eyes but Manasa devi was left with only one eye. Sage Kashyapa created her from his 'mana,' or 'mind', so she could control the reptiles that were creating havoc on earth and it was Lord Brahma who made her the presiding deity of the snakes. It is also believed that Lord Krishna had granted her divine status so that she can establish herself in the pantheon of gods.
It was Her myths which emphasized her bad temper and unhappiness, as she was rejected by Her Father Shiva, Her Husband, and hatred of Her Stepmother, Chandi (here Shiva's wife Parvathi). This mixed parentage of Manasa’s denied her as Goddess and thus, She aimed to fully establish her authority as a goddess and to acquire steadfast human devotees.
Appearance of Goddess :
Manasa is a very graceful Goddess who always adorned the ornaments which are actually snakes. Her vehicle is either the swan or snake. As Swan is also a vahana of Saraswati, its connection gives her the same attribute - Wisdom and Knowledge. The Snake is a symbol of immortality. The "Sij plant" (as called in Hindi or Euphorbia Hguhria called Sehund) is very sacred to Her, which belongs to cactus family and has the ability to cure poisons. Below seen Naaga Kanya is the Buddhist representation of Manasa Devi. She is seen seated on a lotus under a hooded canopy of the five/seven cobras and often portrayed as a 'one-eyed Goddess', sometimes seen along with Her son Astika on Her lap.
Manasa Devi Goddess of Serpents Mukkamala Peetham
Buddhist form of Manasa Devi
Astika, was an ancient Hindu Rishi (a sage), who was the son of Manasa whom she conceived with Jaratkaaru, a mythological sage. That's why their names as Jaratkaaru's or Astika's appear in variations with the Manasa's name. Astika as a great sage helped the ancient serpent people of India to prevent the genocide of the Nagas.
Significance of Mukkamala Peetham:
Mukkamala was the place where Goddess Sri Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari Devi had sacrificed her life for a global cause. There are many instances and several stories which tells about the prominance and divine value of this Maha Kshetaram. This place even got fame with Lord Brahma as he performed his yagna here and hence called as Brahma Gunda Kshetram.
Manasa Devi is an important deity worshipped for fertility, getting cured of snake bites and also to get rid of diseases like smallpox, chicken pox etc. She is the prime diety to worship for Kala Sarpa Dosha and said to be the Kala Sarpa Dosha Nivarini.
Celebration of Festivals:
Naga Panchami is a snake festival and also the day of Manasa Devi which is the celebration of the Nagas or Snakes (both deities and cobras), which falls on the 5th day after Amavasya (dark moon) in the month of Shravana Masam (July/August) with great spirit and devotion. In Bangladesh, the Manasa and Ashtanaag Puja is a month-long affair spanning July and August. Devotees pay respect to goddess Manasa and conduct various 'pujas' or rituals to appease her. Special 'murtis' or statues of the goddess are sculpted, various sacrifices made, and prayers chanted. In some places, worshippers are seen to pierce their bodies, poisonous snakes are displayed on the altar, and live shows depicting the life and legends of Manasa Devi are performed.
In South India, especially on this day women with their families visit the temples and bathe the snake idols with water, milk, offer coconut, chalividi of two types (a mixture of sesame and jaggery and rice and jaggery), with vadapappu (soaked moong dal) and panakam (a liquid made up of jaggery,cardammom and pepper) along with a banana which are left into the snake pit and above the Idol of the Goddess. A diya is also lit infront of her and the mud of the snake pit is applied as prasad to the family members and especially to the infants for their well being from any sort of eyes, skin, nose, stomach and ear diseases. Keeping fast on that day is one's own wish.
Naga Panchami a Hindu Festival
In Devi Bhagavata Puranam (Chapter 48, Book 9) it is said as: "I meditate on the Devi Manasa, whose color is fair like that of the white Champaka flower..."
The Nagas or the divine serpents have five colors. The color of Manasa Devi and Neta (a Manasa's sister) is pearl white. The white divine serpents are: Vasuki, Mahapadma, Manasa, Neta. The others like Kulika (he is black) or Padma (he is of rosy lotus color) have different colors. Shesha, a thousand-headed Naga King that upholds the Earth in space, is a form of Lord Vishnu. The pictures of Shesha on the Internet therefore often show Shesha, in addition to white, also in yellow color.
Other dieties worshiped in Mukkamala:
Sri Bala Naga Tripura Sundari Devi
Sri Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari Devi
Astha dasa peethalu
Sri Pratyangira Maha Devi and
Sri Manasa Devi
Nearby Villages to Mukkamala:
The nearby villages are Kakaraparru ( 2kms ), Kothapalli Agraharam ( 3kms ), Peravali ( 3kms), Kapavaram ( 4kms ) and Ajjaram ( 5kms ) to Mukkamala. Mukkamala is surrounded by Ravulapalem Mandal(East), Tanuku Mandal(West), Undrajavaram Mandal(West), and Atreyapuram Mandal(North).
Nearby Cities to Mukkamala:
The Tanuku, Mandapeta, Kothapeta, Nidadavole are the nearby Cities to Mukkamala.
Contact Information: Mukkamala kshetram: 9848513939
How to Reach Mukkamala:
Tanuku is the nearest town and around 13 kms from Mukkamala and is well connected from Road.
There are plenty of APSRTC Buses which run from major cities to here like Peravali APSRTC Bus Station, Ravulapalem APSRTC Bus Station, and Tanuku APSRTC Bus Station which are nearby Bus Stations to Mukkamala.
There is no Railway Station near to Mukkamala in less than 10 km. How ever there are Railway Stations from Near By town Tanuku and can also reach Mukkamala by road after. The Rajamundry Railway Station is the major railway station around 29kms to Mukkamala.
Image Courtesy: www.vishwamata.com,www.dollsofindia.com,gulfnews.com