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THE STORY OF GODDESS VASAVI KANYAKAPARAMESWARI

April 19, 2023 | Total Views : 832
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Goddess Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari is a form of the Mother Goddess, Adi Parashakti, who took birth on earth. Her birthday is celebrated as Vasavi Jayanthi. Goddess Vasavi is worshipped by the Vysya community. Vasavi Jayanthi 2023 falls on April 30. It is on the 10th day of Shukla Paksha in Vaishaka month as per the Hindu lunar calendar that is followed in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Birth of Goddess Vasavi

The Vysya king, Kusuma Shreshti, and his wife, Kusumamba, had no children. Kusuma was the ruler of the kingdom called Vengidesha, which was part of the empire of King Vishnu Vardhana. Kusuma’s capital was Penugonda.

The Kulaguru of King Kusuma, Sri Bhaskaracharya, advised him to perform a Putrakameshti Yajna for a child. During the Yajna, the king and queen received a Prasadam from the Yajna kund. After she consumed it, the queen conceived and later delivered twin babies – a boy and a girl. The royal couple named them Virupaksha and Vasavamba. Court astrologers predicted that the girl would bring great fame to the Vysya community. The king performed the Jathaga Karma and invited many eminent and learned people to come and bless his children.

Vasavi was much loved by her father. He would call her ‘Kanyaka’ after the name of the Vratha that he would perform, which was the Sarannava Vratha Kanyaka Pooja.

Vasavi Kanyaka Parameshwari Jayanthi Services

Vasavi’s Childhood

Even as a child, Vasavamba was more interested in the arts and philosophy. She had no interest for material things. She loved to visit the Shiva temple and spend her time singing and meditating.

When playing with her friends, too, she liked to discuss philosophical matters. Nature fascinated her. She felt that one could learn many things from nature. One could be steadfast like the rocks and mountains when facing problems in life, and one could learn patience from the trees. She felt that pursuing materialistic pleasures would lead one to ruin. She also took part in political discussions with her father and guru. The councilors were open to her suggestions and marveled at her perceptiveness and decision-making skills.

As the years passed, Virupaksha and Vasavamba became adults. They were accomplished and talented, and good-looking. Virupaksha married Ratnavati, whose father was Aridhi Setty of Aelur town.

An Unwanted Proposal

One day, Emperor Vishnu Vardhana embarked on an expedition to expand his kingdom. On the way back, he paid a visit to King Kusuma, his vassal at Penugonda. Kusuma gave him a grand welcome. The townspeople, too, gathered in great numbers to welcome the emperor. Accompanied by pomp and pageantry, Vishnu Vardhana entered the Durbar hall. There, Princess Vasavamba gave him a ceremonial Arathi.

When the king saw the beautiful Princess, he became smitten with her and decided to make her his wife, even though he was much older than Vasavi and was already married. He told his minister to send a proposal to Kusuma Shresti. This was a shock to Kusuma Shresti and his family, as well as the entire clan.

The Vysya community followed certain practices when it came to a girl’s marriage. Vysya girls could not be married to a man outside the family structure. Kusuma did not accept the king’s proposal, but the king was not bothered. Kusuma Shresti finally said that he had to consult with the other elders as he was their leader and could not break the community’s laws.

A King’s Dilemma

He convened a meeting of the Gotrajas, or leaders of the 714 Gotras. Among them, 612 Gotrajas felt that the proposal was a God-sent opportunity. They told Kusuma Shresti that they were in no position to face the king’s wrath and were too timid to fight. They did not wish to waste their time, effort, or life fighting the king. The remaining 102 Gotrajas argued that it was immoral to break traditions. They were against their beloved princess marrying the lustful king. They did not mind losing their wealth and life to uphold their traditions and protect Vasavamba.

Thus, the meeting of the Gotra leaders ended in a stalemate. The Gothrajas who were in favor of the marriage were rewarded by the king, who gave them valuable gifts. But the messenger of the other Gothrajas was humiliated by the king. Feeling confused, Kusuma Shresti called Vasavi and apprised her of his dilemma. However, Vasavamba had no interest in the marriage proposal and said that she wanted to lead a spiritual life.

Vasavi’s Self-Sacrifice

The angry Vishnu Vardhana decided to take her away by force. On hearing this, the 102 Gotras allowed Kusuma Shreshti to begin preparations to defend the kingdom.

But Vasavi did not want any bloodshed. She wanted to follow the path of non-violence and self-sacrifice.

On her directions, 103 fire pits were prepared at Brahmakund on the banks of the Godavari River. Then she asked couples of the 102 gotras to jump into the fire pit in an act of self-sacrifice. The couples wanted Vasavi to reveal her real nature.

Vasavi showed them her true self by appearing in an unimaginable form. She declared that she was an avatar of Adi Parashakti and had appeared on earth to protect Dharma and women. Her goal was to destroy Vishnu Vardhana but through non-violence.

Vasavi then vanished into the fire pit. Following her, the couples from the 102 Gotras, too, performed sacrificed their lives in the fire pits.

Meanwhile, Vishnuvardhana, who was marching towards Brahmakund, heard about the great sacrifice of the 102 gotras and the disappearance of Vasavi Devi. He fell down from his throne, vomited blood, and died.

The descendants of the 102 Gotras who sacrificed their lives in the fire (Agnipravesham), along with Goddess Vasavi, form the modern Vysya community.

One can find temples dedicated to Goddess Vasavi Devi in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. She is a remarkable goddess who performed Atmabalidan (self-sacrifice) to avoid war, destruction, and bloodshed. She achieved immortality and ensured the fame of the Vysya community for all time through her selfless act. She was a true champion of peace, non-violence, spiritual values, and the dignity of women.

Vasavi Kanyaka Parameshwari Jayanthi Services

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