Goddess Shakambhari – The Deity of Greens Dispels Darkness,
Nourishes & Fulfills Your Needs
Goddess Shakambhari Devi is an aspect of goddess Durga. Shakambhari means the one who nourishes with foods of nature. She is Shataakshi with one hundred eyes. She is moola prakriti who manifests in plants and especially in the forest and hence called Vanashankari. She protects all beings whether plants or animals that belong to the forest. Meditating on this mother aspect of goddess Shakti removes sorrows quickly, puts aside difficulties and darkness. She provides eternal nourishment, fulfillment and grants immortality.
Goddess Shakambhari Devi’s depiction is that of a deity that holds a lotus, bow and arrow, also carries flowers, herbs, roots and vegetables symbolizing her status as the goddess of vegetation and feeding. She has three eyes on her forehead besides eyes all over her body. Her stories are described in Devi Mahatmyam Chapter 11, Devi Bhagavata Puranam Chapter 28 and also Murti Rahasyam which is an addendum to Devi Mahatmyam. Shakambari Devi just emerged, was not born in a biological way, to dispel darkness for the sake of mankind. Here it means the tendency of humans to ignore spiritual qualities like compassion, generosity, forgiveness, and love that is replaced with violent mannerism and illicit practices that cause drought and famine to affect lives. She retrieved the Vedas from Durgam, a demon who troubled everyone for hundreds of years resulting in Adharma (unrighteousness) and therefore severe drought and famine occured. She was moved when she saw people suffer and tears fell from her eyes for nine days which formed a river that made the land fertile. She also brought all types of food with her like vegetables and fruits that earned her the name Shakambhari which means the one who bears vegetables.
Shakti Peetha temples for Shakambhari Devi are located in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh and Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. There’s also a large, famous temple dedicated to the goddess in Badami, Karnataka.