Tulja Bhavani Temple and its meaning

Website design By BotEap.comThe sacred temple of Tulja Bhavani is the home of Kulaswamini, the patron deity of Maharashtra.

Website design By BotEap.comBefore delving into the meaning of Tulja Bhavani, it should be mentioned that the MAHIMA (divine importance) of the temple is multiplied due to the legend that Tulja Bhavani herself gifted the sword to Shivaji, who worshiped it as ishta devta (interestingly, the word Devta is a feminine gender in Sanskrit!). With that sword, Shivaji won all the battles he participated in.

Website design By BotEap.comAt the risk of sounding overtly dismissive, this is a mother legend and this never happened. This form (Bhavani) of the goddess is quite fierce. She defeated Mahishasur (Mahish: Buffalo/Asur: Demon) and killed him. The temple now stands where the demon’s head is believed to have fallen. This is also a legend. But astha asthim mithyam na sarvate (when faith reigns supreme, falsehood is believed as truth).

Website design By BotEap.comAnother legend associated with the place is that Shivaji’s arch-rival Afzal Khan planned to destroy and desecrate the temple and the idol of Mata. She came to the priest’s dream and advised him to change her idol. So this rare ‘chala moorti’ (moving idol) is not fixed in one place.

Website design By BotEap.comNow comes the philosophical interpretation of Tulja Bhavani and his raudra roop avtar (fierce form). Hinduism, in its deity worship, believes that the god/goddess can serve all purposes and have benevolent, benign as well as harsh, harsh, and distressing forms. The Hindu dharmshastra believes that depending on the situation, the deity takes the avatar. Dushtaam nighranam devi asitu raudram (To defeat and punish the misguided, the god/goddess takes on a fearful avatar) and ‘Madhuram prrtyarthe devam asitu maardav’ (To bless the good and pleasant, the god/goddess becomes benign) : in Hindi-jaisa simple des/Vaisa bhes/Jaisa insaan/Vaisa Bhagwaan.

Website design By BotEap.comTulja Bhavani is the ishta devta of Maharashtra. Historical accounts of the third battle of Panipat between Ahmadshah Abdali’s force and Marathas suggest that the Maratha soldiers were invoking their battle goddess (Bhavani, especially Tulja Bhavani). Unfortunately, she did not come and Abdali’s marauding army has just finished off the Marathas. It was so one-sided that in Marathi there is still a derogatory phrase, ‘Panipat Jhala’ (Panipat happened) because almost every family in Maharashtra at that time lost at least one male member in that battle which took place in 1761.

Website design By BotEap.comTulja Bhavani somewhere has that image of Benevolent Ma Durga in the consciousness of Bengalis. When during Shaardiya Durgotsav, Ma Durga’s idol is created, she is seen killing Mahishasur. But in Bengal, this raudra roop is juxtaposed with her daughter’s homecoming. There, she is a daughter who comes home.

Website design By BotEap.comReligious legends, although always false, bring new and interesting dimensions. Religious minded people when they visit Maharashtra, make an effort to visit Tulja Bhavani and seek its blessings. The visiting hours of the Tuljapur temple are from 4 am to 09:30 pm.

Website design By BotEap.comShe is also known as the ‘goddess of warriors’ (Veeranchi devi). Professor VS Sukhtankar, who edited the original Mahabharat of Vedvyas at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, was of the opinion that the phonetic sound of the very word BHAVANI evokes images of something related to battle, war and war cry. It is a combination of beatific and brutish, benign and boisterous, bold and beautiful.

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