(Last Updated on : 16/11/2015)
Annapurna or Annapoorna is considered as the Hindu Goddess of nourishment. She is needed to feed all the inhabitants as ordered by Bisheswar. She should take care that none suffer from hunger. Anna means food and grains. Purna means full, complete and perfect. She is a form of Parvati
, the consort of Shiva. In Hindu parlance it is generally told that food should not be wasted as Goddess Annapurna would be angry. She is considered as the upholder of richness.
Once Lord Shiva
told Parvati that the world is an illusion and that food is a part of this illusion called Maya. The Divine Mother became angry. To demonstrate the importance she disappeared from the world. Her disappearance brought time to a standstill and the earth became unfruitful. There was no food anywhere and all the beings suffered from hunger.
Mother Parvati was filled with compassion seeing all the suffering, and reappeared in Kasi and set up a Kitchen. Hearing about her return, Shiva ran to her and admitted his mistake. Since then Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Annapurna.
Annapurna is portrayed as holding a golden ladle adorned with various kinds of jewels in her right hand and a vessel full of delicious porridge in her left. In some cases, Lord Shiva is shown standing to her right with a begging bowl.
Some of the well-known temples dedicated to Goddess Annapurna are in Varanasi
, Uttar Pradesh
. The other temple is situated at Horanadu in Karnataka
. Annapurna Puja is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Annapurna which is a major ceremony in West Bengal
other parts of east India. This Puja is performed by women. It is observed during the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month according to the Bengali calendar. Annapurna Jayanti is a Puja which is observed in North India in the month of Margashirsh. Annapurna slokas are recited while worshipping her. In south India she is worshipped during Navaratri
. In Kasi she is known as Bhavani as the female Shakti of Bhava is one of the names of Lord Shiva. She is called the "Mother of the Three Worlds".