By Swami Harshananda
Śākambhari literally means ‘One who is full of vegetables’.
Significance of Śākambhari
In the Durgāsaptaśatī the Divine Mother, while addressing the gods who had supplicated her, tells them that when severe drought affects the world, she will bring out plenty of śāka or nourishing vegetables out of herself and save the famished people.
Iconographical Representation of Śākambhari
- One hand shows the abhayamudrā.
- She is described as the Mother of the three worlds Trailokyajananī.
- The Mahābhārata describes a place of pilgrimage known as Śākambharī.
- Fasting at this place improves one’s health.
- She is an aspect of Durgā having sixteen hands, carrying in them the following items:
- Magic wand
- Durgāsaptaśatī 11.49
- It means gesture of protection.
- Vanaparva 84.13
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore