MYTHOLOGY: Legends hold it that Nandni Mata was a daughter of Yashoda in the Dvapara Yuga. Dvapara is the third of the four yugas coming after Treta yuga and followed by the present Kali Yuga. Yashoda was the wife of Nanda in the Puranic context. The Bhagavata Purana describes Mother Yashoda as the foster mother of Lord Krishna who was born to Vasudev and Devaki. Nanda Maharaja took Krishna into custody from the night of his birth to be protected against Kamsa, the King of Mathura and Devaki’s own brother.
Finally Yashoda is also killed by Kamsa. Yashoda also played an important role in the upbringing of Balarama, Krishna’s elder brother and the son of Rohini, Vasudev’s second wife. Nandavanshi is a term designating the claimed descendents of Nanda, who according to the Harivamsha and Puranas, the head of the Gopas. In Rajasthan the gopas are said to be found in the present Jaipur area.
DEVI MAHATMYAM: Nandni Mata appears in several Vedic hymns. Mother is also described in the Devi Mahatmyam Durga Saptasati, Chapter 11. This is also called Durga Saptami. The hymns in the Mahatmyam associate Mother Nandni with Yashoda as her daughter.
MAHISHASURA MARDINI: This song was composed by the greats sage Adi Shankaracharya sometime around the 8th century sung in praise of Durga’s manifestation Goddess Chamundeswari and describes the way She destroys the demons. Its opening lines are ‘ayi giri nandini, nandita medina, visva vinodini, nandinute….’
GUJARAT: Nandni Mata has been regarded as Pavagh Devi or Mahakali Pavagadh of Gujarat. Pavadadh is a Hill Station near Vadorara in Gujarat. It is famous for its Mahakali temple which draws thousands of pilgrims everyday. This Kalimata temple is believed to be one of the 52 Shakti Peeths also.
GARBA: The famous Adivasi folk dance called ‘garba’ is dedicated to Nandni Mata. The adivasis, despite being heterogeneous set of ethnic and tribal groups brought down many spiritual messages through their folk songs and dances.
NANDNI MATA TEMPLE is a famous temple in the Banswara district of Rajasthan. It is located on top of the hills near Barodiya village in Vagad. Many myths and rituals centre on the black stone statue here some centuries ago which was later destroyed by demolishers, and is now replaced by the new beautiful deity.
Jai Maa Durga
(draft Gods, Goddesses, Minor Deities and Sages)
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