Powerful Goddess with 18 hands

Chennai:  One of the powerful forms of Goddess Durgai is Ashtadasabuja Mahalakshmi. The Goddess in this form represents valour as with 18 hands, she took the powers of all the male Gods and killed the demon Mahisasooran.

Since then the deity in this form is worshipped in few temples and one such shrine is the Ashtadasabuja Mahalakshmi Durgambigai Temple in Sembakkam.

Located at Durga Colony, the temple has been in existence for nearly six decades. Speaking more about the temple, P Balasubramaniya gurukkal says, ”The deity here is very powerful and is worshipped by many people.

The temple was established initially by T S Natesa Iyer. At that time the temple was in a tiled roof structure that had all the deities present today.

However nearly 30-35 years ago, one of the devotees named ‘Metro’ Nataraja Iyer, who was into construction business is said to have prayed to the deity that if the houses that he constructed gets a buyer then he would build a temple at the same place for the deity. Soon the Goddess answered his prayers and he rebuilt the temple to its current structure.”

In the main sanctum, Goddess Ashtadasabhuja Mahalakshmi is present.

The deity has 18 hands and explaining more about the idol, the priest says, ”The deity is a combination of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi and is said to have killed demon Mahisasuran in this form. It also has all the powers of the male Gods.

The 18 hands of the deity contains weapons like Indran’s Vajrayudham, Agni’s Sakthiayudham, Yaman’s Dandayutham, Vaayu’s Dwajayudham, Kuberan’s Gadhayudham and also Saraswathi’s Arul Maalai, Brahma’s Kamandalam, Mahavishnu’s Sangu Chakram, Mahalakshmi’s lotus. So this deity is very powerful and worshipping the Almighty sincerely will get rid of any problem in our lives.”

On the left side of the main sanctum, a unique Rettai Vinayagar is present, which is nothing but two idols of Lord Vinayagar placed next to each other. Speaking about this, the priest says, ”This is very unique as one of the idol is Valampuri Vinayagar and the other is Edampuri Vinayagar which can only be seen rarely. Initially the temple had only Edampuri Vinayagar but somehow, the other deity was placed next to it some 30 -35 years ago and since then, poojas are performed to both the idols.”

Behind Rettai Vinayagar, idol of Kasi Viswanathar can be seen. Behind it, idol of Lord Ayyappan is kept. On the right side of the sanctum, on the extreme back, Arumugan is present. In front of it, Ranganathar in Ananthasayanam is present along with Ranganayaki. In front of it, Hanuman idol is present and on the front side Navagraham is kept.

Speaking about the speciality of the tempple, the priest adds, ”Devotees whose marriage is getting delayed are regularly worshipping the deity and their prayers are getting answered. Similarly lot of devotees who wish for a child worship the deity regularly and we ask them to participate in Valagappu Uthsavam that happens during Aadi Puram every year.

By doing an archanai by tying sprouted greens, the next year I see them coming to the temple with their child. Also lot of school and college students worship by keeping their books and hall tickets at the feet of the deity before their exams.”

Every Tuesday in the evening Raahu Kaala Pooja happens regularly. Every month Pradosham abhishekam happens in a grand manner. During Ekadasi special abhishekams are performed to Ranganathar and on Karthigai, abhishekams are done to Murugan.

During Pongal, abhishekams are done to Ayyappan regularly and devotees visiting Sabarimala will start their vratha from here by wearing the sacred mala. To get rid of Sani dosha, Raahu Dosha and Kethu Dosha special archanai and abhishekams are also done.

During Chitra Pournami, paal kuda abhishekam will happen in a grand manner. In the month of Thai and Aadi, there will be a special decoration for the Goddess. During Purattasi, the temple’s annual festival will happen which coincides with the 10-day Navarathri Uthsavam. On all the 10 days, the Goddess will be decorated and on the last day of the festival, the uthsava moorthi will be taken in a procession around the locality,’ says the priest.

Totally three kumbhabhishekams were done in the temple with the latest one in 2008. ”The next one should happen very soon,” adds the priest.

D Venkatraman, Saroja Venkatraman and Ramachandran from Panchamuga Anjaneyar temple are the trustees of the shrine. The temple is open from 7.30 am to 10 am daily and on Fridays it is open till 12 pm. In the evenings it is open from 5.30 pm to 8 pm except on Tuesdays where it would open at 3 pm.

For more details contact 98415 90945.

Aaditya Anand M