Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shri Jeen Mata

Jeenmata Dham is abode of Jeen Mata. Mata is an incarnation of the Durga. Her abode is nestled in the picturesque Aravalli hills in Raiwasa, District Sikar, State of Rajasthan in India, 115 kms from Jaipur-the state capital. The sacred shrine of JeenMata is belived to be thousands of years old. Millions of devotees throng the temple round the year. The congregation of devotees assumes a much colourful look during bi-annual Navratri celebrations - held twice a year in the solar calendar months of Chaitra(around February-March) and Ashvin(around October-November)-popularly known as the Navratris (nine holy days).
Jeenmata temple is surrounded by thick forest on all sides, enveloped in tall mountain curtains from all sides. Its full and real name is Jayantimata. The year of its construction is not known, however the sabhamandapa(congregation hall) and pillars are definitely very old. It is believed that the Pandavas (ancient rulers of Hastinapur state of India),
came to the thick forests of this temple during their exile from Hastinapur. The Pandavas spent part of their exile here incognito and reconstructed the mandir in the style of its present architecture. The place has acquired a great religious importance and is held sacred by all. A natural grace of serenity is lent by the lushgreen vegetation and rich flora and fauna of the surroundings.


There is a popular belief which has come down to people through the centuries that in a village Ghoghu of Churu, King Ghangh loved and married an Apsara (nymph) on the condition that he would not visit her palace without prior information to her (Apsara). King Ghangh got a son called Harsha and a daughter Jeen. Afterwards, Apsara again conceived but as chance would have it, king Ghangh went to her palace without prior intimation and thus violated solemn vow he had made to the Apsara. Instantly, she left the king and fled away with her son Harsha and daughter Jeen whom she abandoned at the place where presently the temple stands. The brother Harsha loved and fulfilled all desires of his sister. Harsha got married on the desire of her sister. Wife of Harsh could not tolerate the love and affection of her husband with his sister. She succeeded in her evil designs to create misunderstanding between the two. As a result, Jeen left the place of her brother to a life of severe austerity and penance in the forests. The brother realized his mistake and reached for Jeen. But he could not convince her to change her mind. Harsh, the brother, also decided to practice the same austerity and penance and undertook the devotion to the Almighty on a different mountain. The two children practiced extreme asceticism atop separate hills in thick forests. With time Jeen gained status of `Durga’ as her Avatar and Harsh achieved the incarnation of `Bhairon’- helper of `Shiva’. In time, a Chauhan ruler built a temple at that place. The main temple has a very high Shikhar (Pinnacle) in the midst.

Goddess Jeen Mata is Devi herself, the very embodiment of divine cosmic power. The deity is Mahishasura Mardini Durga having eight arms. The miraculous deity fulfills the wishes of all her devotees. Whosoever acts unholily in the temple precincts is punished with a divine retribution. Mahishasura was demon in the form of a buffalo. He waged a fierce battle with Shri Durga. He with his forces affronted the goddess with all his demonic powers. The battle with Durga has been beautifully described in the third chapter of Shri Durga Saptashati. Finally, Durga pressed Mahisha with her foot and struck his neck with her lance. The lion too suppressed Mahisha (then in the buffalo form). This lion riding eight-armed form of Durga is Mahishasura Mardini. Here, Jeen Mata is worshipped in her eight-armed form.

Later, the saint of Puri Sampradaya had visited this place and established a Dhuni (Hawan Kund/Hole Hearth). Great Saint Kapil Muni had come to this place and with his asceticism, he generated continous water from the mountains that created a Kund (Water Pond). The Mata is bathed with this holy jal (water of pond) by the head priest of mandir everyday. The holy jal rids the bhakts (devouts of the Mata) of their stubbornest of ills.

Mugal Emperor Aurangzeb wanted to raze to the ground the Mandir of Mata. Being invoked by Her priests, the Mata let out its army of bhairons (a specie of fly family) which brought the Emperor and his soldiers to their knees. He sought pardon and the Kind hearted Mataji excused him from Her anger. Aurangzeb donated akhand (Ever-glow) oil lamp from his Delhi palace. This lamp is still glowing in the sacred sanctorium of the Mata.


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