Rituals of Ambubachi Mela
The festivities last for four days and the temple remains closed during this period as the Goddess is said to be menstruating. According to the Hindus, during the monsoon season, the pilgrims are able to receive the blessings of Devi Kamakhya in the form of her menses. There is no definite idol of the deity but devotees offer their prayers in front of a stone which is structured like a ‘yoni', on top of which flows a natural spring. The festival symbolises the harmony between the reproductive part of the female body and the cycles of nature.
After three days, the doors to the temple are opened and prasad is distributed in two forms- Angodak and Angabastra. Angodak is the fluid part of the body, which is the water from the spring and Angabastra is the cloth covering the body. It is a piece of the red cloth used to cover the stone yoni during the days of menstruation. The Kamakhya Devi is bathed properly and some other rites are performed to cleanse the deity and to make sure her purity remains intact. And finally, on the fourth day, the devotees can enter the temple and worship the goddess.
Innumerable pilgrims consisting of common people from various Indian states, 'Bauls' of West Bengal, black-clad 'Aghoras', holy 'sadhus', 'khade-babas', 'Tantrics', 'Sadhvis' with long matted hair and many 'Sanyasins' pay visit to this Mela. Several foreigners also visit the Ambubachi Mela to receive the divine blessings of Kamakhya Devi.
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