In News: Recently Ambubachi mela was organised in the state of Assam.

About the Festival:

  • It is an annual Hindu mela held at Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam.
  • This yearly mela is celebrated during the monsoon season that happens to fall during the Assamese month Ahaar, around the middle of June when sun transit to the zodiac of Mithuna, when the Brahmaputra river is in spate.
  • It is the celebration of the yearly menstruation course of goddess Kamakhya.
    • It is believed that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti, goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time stretch.
    • It is also believed that during the monsoon rains the creative and nurturing power of the 'menses' of Mother Earth becomes accessible to devotees at this site during the mela. 
  • There is no idol of the presiding deity but she is worshipped in the form of a yoni-like stone over which a natural spring flows.

About Kamakhya Temple:

  • It is one of the 51 shakti shrines representing the different body parts of Shiva's consort Mata Sati. 
  • It is considered as one of the prime seats of Tantric cult. 
    • Tantric cult is a system of practices involving the worship of the goddess and designed to empower and release both mind and body.
    • Yogis regard Shakti as the power, lying dormant within the body as a coiled serpent (kundalini), that must be aroused and realized to reach spiritual liberation. 
  • Temple is believed to be the site where Hindu deity Sati’s womb and genitals fell after she burned to death. 
  • Temple’s sanctum sanctorum houses the yoni — female genital — symbolised by a rock.