Saraswati Devi

(18th Shakti Peeth)

 Jnanapradaa satee maataa
Kashmeereshu sarswathi  
Mahaavidhya mahaamaayaa
Bhukthimukthi pradaayini

Story behind Astadasa Shakti Peethas

Brahma performed Yaga to please Sakthi and Siva to request Sakthi in creation of Universe. Sakthi separated from Shiva emerge in the form of Sati and helped Brahma in creation of universe. Brahma sought to give back Sati to Siva. Daksha, son of Brahma performed Yagna with an intention to get Sati as his daughter. Sati born to Daksha and in due course she wanted to marry Shiva.   At that time Brahma saw Prudhvi with bad intention and Shiva cut the fifth head of Brahma with his trident. Daksha got angry and withdrawn marriage of Sati with Siva. But Sati attracted with Shiva and married him. Daksha got hatred on Shiva.

Daksha intended to perform Nireeswara Yaga and invited all the Gods except Siva and Sathi in Kailas. Shiva warned Sati not to participate in the Yaga in the absence of invitation. Sati has gone to Yaga with Nandi and other followers. Sati started yoga which is not possible to the Yogis moving her five elements from their origin. Fire erupted from her grave status of body and she self immolated in the fire.

Enraged to the death and insult of Sati, Shiva in meditation got angry and performed Tandava Nruthya. Shiva has cut some hair from his head in Tandava and thrown on earth. The piece of hair burned and Veerabhadra born with thousand hands, and black body. Veerabhadra is so horrible with three angry eyes, Trident and other weapons in the hands along with skulls in the neck. Siva ordered to destroy the Yaga. Veerabhadra with skulls in his neck destroyed the Yaga and Lord Vishnu opposes him using Sudarsana Chakra. But Veerabhadra swallowed the Chakra and Vishnu given way to take revenge on Daksha. Veerabhadra killed Daksha and returned to Kailash. Daksha was given re-birth after affixing the head of a male goat to the body of Daksha.

Shiva could not bear the separation grief with Sati and left the duty to safe guard the universe. The Gods praised Lord Vishnu and at the request of the Gods, Lord Vishnu used Sudarshana chakra and cut the corpse in to pieces to release Shiva from the worry of the death of Sati. The body parts of Sati fell at several places of the Indian subcontinent and Groin in Trincomalee of Srilanka. The holy places formed are known as Shakti Peet. There is discrepancy in the number of Sakthi Peet as 108, 51and 52 but the 18 Sakthi Peet are familiar as Astadasa SakthiPeeth. The Goddess Dakshayani accompanies with her consort, Lord Bhairava (Shiva) a manifestation of Lord Shiva in all the Shakti Peeth.

Saraswati Devi – Sharda Peeth 

It is believed that the Right Hand of Sathi fallen in Pak Encroached Kashmir at a distance of 150 KM from Mujapharaabad and famous as the 18th Sakthi Peeth with the name of Sarada or Saraswathi Devi. The temple is in ruined condition at present. Adi Sankaracharya visited and worshipped Sarada Devi and it was stated in Sankara Vijaya Kavyam. There is a famous University here with the name of the Deity in the Bharat Sub Continent and Scholars from long distances used to visit the University to study the literature in the Library  of the university. This is the reason for the development of Sarada Lipi (script) in the Northern India and for the change ofthe name of Kashmir to “Sarada Desh.” Sarada Peeth is the third important holy place to the Kashmir Pandits on par with Amarnath and Surya Temple in Marthand of Anant Nag District of the Himalayan Range.                

Saraswati Devi-Sharada Peetham, Sringeri

Sharada Peeth is an abandoned Hindu temple located in the village of Sharda, along the Neelam River in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is situated about 150 km from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, nearly 6500 feet above sea level. The temple is in Sarada Village which believed to be the residence of Shiva by the Kasmir Pandits and Har Mukthi Mountain Valley. The temple is at distance of 130 KM from Srinagar, capital of Jammu Kashmir and 10KM to the De facto line in Kashmir separating Pakistan and India. Sarada Village ruined in the earth quakes and local people utilised the ruins in the constructions of the town.  Sarada Peeth is at the confluence of holy waters of Madhumathi, Krishna Ganga or Neelam River and Sandhili named with the name of Age Sandilya. In ancient Tests it  was described that the devotees taken bath in the confluence have darshan of Chakri, another name of Krishna and Durga Maa.                          

The Legend as per Sarada Sahasranama in Sarada Script written by the last Priest of Sarada Temple, at the time of performing Yoga by the local people and other Priests a beautiful lady named Brahmani appeared and requested to accord permission to participate in the Yaga. She has stated that she and her consort came from a long distance and requested to feed to them. Sandilya informed that he has to obey the conditions of Yaga and he can feed them after the completion of Yaga and after feeding the celebrants participated in the Yaga. Brahmani get angry stating that she is the Hindu Goddess and informed the meaning of the Yaga. She has appeared in the form Saraswathi with clouds, blue ornaments, and weapons and informed that she will merge in the universe. Sandilya died astonishing and deactivating to the situation. Brahmani Devi pleased and given re-birth to Sandilya. She has addressed him as her son and asked to ask for boon. Sandilya prayed to renew the forest and to give re-birth to the deceased persons of the Village. Maa given the boon and ordered to Sandilya to built an Ashram at the bottom of the Hill near the old Madhumathi River and present Neelam River. She resided at Sarada Peeth.               

Another legend is that Sarada Devi pleased to the worship of Sandilya and given boon to give darshan of her original form. She advised him to see the Sarada Forest. He has faced supernatural experiences on the way. He has seen Ganesh on the right side of a hill and his half of his body turned to Gold after taking bath in Neelam River. Sarada Devi appeared in the forms of Sarada, Vagdhevi and Sarswathi and invited him to her residence. He has prepared to perform a  Karma. He has gone to Maha Sindhu River to bring water and half of the water changed into honey. It was converted into a flow called as Madhumathi.         

There are two legends on Sarada Peeth. The first legend is that there are two sisters namely Sarada and Narada ruled the universe, that these two mountains safeguard the valley, that one day Narada saw from the mountain the death of Sarada and sprits are going from her body. Narada get angry and ordered to build a tomb. This tomb subsequently changed to Sarada Peeth. 

The second legend is that a strengthen man lived a queen. She asked one Palace. He has started construction. He feels that the construction will be completed to the morning. But the roof was not completed. It is not completed till date. Sarada Sakthi Peeth was ruined to the earth quakes occurred in the Kashmir Valley. Sankaracharya visited Sarada Peeth to bring the Maa to Sringeri and to establish there. Sarada Devi challenged Sankaracharya to tell that he has not committed any sin. Sankaracharya answered that he has not committed any sins and the sins committed by others do not blur on him. Sarada Devi satisfied to the explanation and set aside the Northern Kashmir Pandits ascending him to the Acharya post of the Vidhya Peeth. It is learnt that Sankaracharya shifted Sarada Devi to Sringeri from the temple without having any roof. In 1947 some stone idols of this temple wee shifted by Swamy Nandalal Ji, a Kashmir saint to Tikker of Kushvara of Kashmir. Later some idols among them were shifted to Devibal of Baramulla. In 2007 some Kashmir Pandits were visited the Temple. There are only ruins at present.