Guwahati ( Assam), June 22 : It is that time of the year in Assam when devotees from across the country and outside flock to Kamakhya Temple to pay their obeisance to the Goddess Kamakhya and seek her blessings.
The Ambubachi Festival in the Kamakhya temple started today (June 22 ) and will continue till Sunday( June 26) .
Thousands of devotees and sadhus from West Bengal, Odisha, and other parts of the state have gathered at the temple premises here .
Ambubachi means “spoken with water”, implying that the expected rainfall this month would render the ground fertile for reproduction. Daily worship is not permitted during this time.
Agricultural activities, including ploughing, sowing, and transplanting crops, are also prohibited. Devotees avoid eating cooked food, while used utensils and clothes are washed and symbolically purified by sprinkling water on the fourth day.
The Goddess is worshipped after the cleaning ritual, when it is auspicious to enter the temple. The prasad distributed to the devotees comes in two varieties — Angodak or “water from the spring”, and Angabastra or “cloth covering the body”.
As a part of the rituals, the temple doors were symbolically closed for four days with the ‘Pravritti’ on Wednesday, Maa Kamakhya Devalaya’s head priest or ‘Bor Doloi’ Kabinath Sarma said.
‘Nivriti’ or the opening of the door will take place on the morning of June 26.
In view of the devastating floods in the state, the festival is being observed in a subdued manner this time.
“As the auspicious Ambubachi Mela begins from today, I pray to Maa Kamakhya to bless everyone with good health, happiness & prosperity, besides help us ward off all evils,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.
The doors of the temple are closed for four days, marking the belief that the annual menstrual cycle of Goddess Kamakhya happens during this time. It reopens on the fifth day when devotees throng the temple to seek blessings.
During the last two years, the Kamakhya temple was closed to the public due to the pandemic and the Ambubachi rituals were performed only by the priests.
The Kamakhya Temple is the principal seat of of tantrism in the entire sub continent. Tantriks take the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas on tantrism practiced in their respective areas. During Ambubachi, what is worshipped is not an image of the goddess but rather a process—menstruation as it is believed that the creative and nurturing power of the menstruation of Mother earth becomes accessible to devotees at the site during Ambubachi.