It’s difficult to make your way through the bustling crowds at the normally serene Kamakhya Temple in Assam during Ambubachi Mela.
MAA’s energy is wild and potent, and She is alive in the palpable energy that pulses through the throng of Her devotees gathered outside Her temple. Almost every square inch of the grounds is covered with crimson-clad devotees who sing, chant, meditate and shout their devotion to the Divine Mother, positioning themselves just outside Her most holy shrine during the time of Her annual menstruation.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Ambubachi Mela.
1) Ambubachi Mela is the celebration of the menstruation of Mother Earth. The common notion is that Ambubachi Mela is the celebration of the annual menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya.
2) Ambubachi or Ambubasi is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘ambuvachi’ which means ‘the issuing forth of water’.
3) Ambubachi is also known as Amthihsua, Ameti, Amoti, Ambabati.
4) It is believed that if you worship at the Kamakhya Temple during this auspicious period, all your desires are fulfilled.
5) The concept of Ambubachi possesses agricultural, social and religious ideas that contribute to the emergence of this phenomenon, resulting in observance of rituals for this occasion.
6) The prasad known as Rakta Bastra is a red cloth which is believed to be soaked in the menses of the Goddess.
7) Goddess Kamakhya is Goddess Kameshwari, the Goddess of Desire.
8) The belief – Goddess Kamakhya is the source as well as the fulfilment of all the desires of mankind.
9) Tantric feel an amazing rush of energy and power during Ambubachi and practice various rituals during this time. This festival is also known as the tantric festival of fertility.
10) It’s like Mother’s Day which we celebrate to honor our mother, making her feel special, loved and cared.
The Sanskrit term ‘ambuvācī’, from which the local Assamese word ambubachi or ambubasi is derived, literally means “the issuing forth of water,” referring to the swelling of the Earth’s waters from the onset of monsoon. Outsiders often mistakenly think that this festival is a celebration of Kamakhya’s menstruation, but, in fact, it is the menstruation of the entire Mother Earth, and as Kamakhya is the seat of Her yoni, it becomes the focal point for related festivities.