|15 Manifestations of ‘Ashta Matrikas’ and worship on ‘Ashtami’|
The entire Universe was upset by the wickedness and glaring transgression of morals by the uninterrupted evils displayed by Demon Andhakasura [Siva Purana states that Devi Parvati was playful with Maha Deva by closing His eyes tightly and from the Lord’s perspiration on His forehead a boy of muscular strength was created.]Eventually Andhakasura became the Unconquered King of the Lower Regions like Patala and tormented the entire Universe. After a series of battles were won with Devas who were driven away from the Heaven, Indra approached Brahma and Vishnu who too were ineffective to conquer the Demon as he was fortified with the boons of Brahma. They had finally approached Maha Deva and to His utter surprise He too could not conquer him as each time Maha Deva applied His trident against the Demon, blood streams of the Demon’s body created endless number of Andhakasuras with each drop of his blood. Lord Rudra became so infuriated that from His face produced a mighty conflagration or an inferno-like flame viz. the Yogishwari Shakti. Vishnu too created a highly powerful Shakti named Devi Vaishnavi and other Deities followed suit by creating their Shakti counter-parts viz. Brahmi from Brahma, Kaumari from Kartikeya, Mahendri from Indra, Yami or Poushunyam from Yama, Varahi from Varaha Deva and Maheswari from Narayana. The Eight Matrikas represented the Eight Mind born Enemies viz. Kama or Desire from Yogeswari, Krodha or fury from Maheswari, lobha or avarice from Vaishnavi, Mada or Ego from Brahmani, Moha or infatuation from Kaumari, Poushunya or wickedness from Yamadharani, Matsarya from Indrani and Jealousy from Varahi. The blood streams from Andhaka’s body got dried up by the Matrikas; the Rakshasa Maya or the illusion created by the Demon was terminated and Andhaka too got exterminated. The combined strengh of Marikas is an exraordinary might of Eight Shaktis providing security and propitiousness to devotees and Lord Brahma declared ‘Ashtami Thithi’ in the Monthly Calendar. Those who observe this particular day with fast by eating ‘Bel patra’ with devotion are blessed with excellent health, well being and contentment.
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