The color red represents so much. It is the color of the vermilion, played by the ladies during Durga Puja in West Bengal, the color of wedded bliss and also the color of ……….menstruation.
While sometimes, it is pious and holy, other times, it is considered a taboo and a social stigma in the society.
Kamakhya is a famous temple nestled in the beauty and greenery of Assam (Guwahati), worshipped for its power and purity, and wondered at for its mysticism and rituals. The story dates back to the mythological era, wherein Shiv and Sati were unified as husband and wife.
Located on the Nilachal hill, in the capital city of Guwahati, the deity of the temple, Kamakhya Devi is revered as the ‘Bleeding Goddess’. It is believed that the ‘Garvagriha’ of the temple cocoons the mythical womb and vagina of the hindu goddess, Sati.
Legend has it that Sati fought with Shiva to join in a yajna, her father was offering to appease the gods. Sati’s father talked lowly about Shiva on the occasion. Enraged at the insult of her husband, she sacrificed herself to the fire.
When Shiva heard about the incident, he was outraged. Carrying his wife’s corpse in his hands, he indulged in the ‘Dance of Destruction’, which we call as ‘Tandav’. To stop Shiva from the rampage, Vishnu sent out his chakra and sliced Sati’s body which fell in 108 locations, across the country, now come to known as ‘Shakti-Peeths’.
The place where her womb and vagina fell is the Kamakhya Temple.
It is believed that during the month of Ashaad (June), Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya turns red. The temple is closed for 7 days, believing that the goddess is menstruating. The ‘Prashad’ consists of blood and sometimes, even flesh of birds and animals.
A country where menstruation talks are still a ‘hush-hush’, and ‘gruesome’, kamakhya temple stands tall. Celebrating womanhood in all it’s glory and splendor, voicing the idea that the girls are all faces of ‘Shakti’. They are the creators- real ones.