Guwahati: As Durga Puja (also known as Durgotsav or Sharodotsav) is set to begin next month (11-15 October 2021), a northeast India-based forum of nationalist citizens reiterates its demand to revitalize the Hinglaj Mata Mandir, a Shakti Peeth located in Baluchistan, which has mythological connections with Kamrup Kamakhya legends. Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA) in a statement urged the Union government in New Delhi to pursue with the Baluchistan authorities for necessary steps so that the Sanatani Baloch nationals can worship the deity without any fear or trepidation during the annual religious festival that marks the victory of Maa Durga against the demon Mahishasura.
The Hinglaj Mata temple in a mountain cave on the bank of Hingol river inside Hingol National Park, adjacent to the Makran coast of Arabian Sea in the south-western part of Pakistan, is a revered place for Hindus and thousands gather there to pray in front of Goddess Shakti with rituals. Prominent Baloch nationalist leader Hyrbyair Marri, while interacting with the PPFA recently, mentioned that the Hinglaj Mata temple is in a deplorable condition due to the indifferent approach of occupying Pakistani forces in Baluchistan. President of the Free Baluchistan Movement said Baloch people have high regards for the shrine even though majority of them practise Islam.
The spirited Baloch leader also greeted the Hindu families of Baluchistan and Bharat (Hindustan) on the occasion of the impending religious festival that epitomizes the victory of good over evil. The Hinglaj temple has an idol of Goddess Shakti (Sati), daughter of Daksha Maharaj, who married Lord Shiva against her father’s wish. According to popular belief, in an important Yajna organised by proud king Daksha, Sati (Parvati) and Shiva were not invited, but she wanted to attend the ritual.
Daksha made humiliating comments against Shiva and, faced with the disgrace, Sati immolated herself. Angry Maheswar soon arrived there and cut Daksha’s head. Mahadev then took Sati’s corpse on his shoulder and performed Tandava Nritya as he started wandering about. Then, with an aim to douse Shiva’s rage, Lord Vishnu cut Sati’s mortal remains into 51 pieces through Sudarsan Chakra. Body parts of Sati fell at various places and all these locations became places of deep significance and came to known as Shakti Peeths. It is believed that Sati’s head with Hingul (vermillion/sindoor) fell on the place (now in Baluchistan) where the Hinglaj temple is located. The most sacred part (Yoni) fell on Nilachal hills of present-day Guwahati (then a part of Kamrup empire), where the famous Kamakhya temple is located.
The PPFA appeals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take a personal interest to activate diplomatic channels with an aim to revive the Hinglaj temple and pave easier ways for Indian pilgrims to visit the shrine. As the Baloch nationals are secular in nature, they should also be taken into confidence in fulfilling the dream, concluded the forum.