Goddess Annapurna

Annapoorneshwari, Annapoorna

In Hindu mythology, Annapurna is the Goddess of food and nourishment, and considered as the sustainer of prosperity. In Sanskrit, ‘Anna’ means food and grains, and ‘Purna’ means full, complete or perfect. Hence Annapurna is empowered with the ability to provide food to an unlimited amount of people. She is an avatar (incarnation) of Goddess Durga and resides atop Mount Annapurna. She is depicted with a jeweled vessel containing food in one hand and a spoon in the other to distribute the food among her devotees. Lord Shiva is often depicted begging before her, with a skull begging-bowl, and the Goddess serving food.

Annapurna is worshipped for attaining perfection in wisdom and achieving the spirit of renunciation.

Annapurna is the presiding Goddess of Kashi (Varanasi). She is considered as the 'Mother of the Universe'. Spiritual liberation of her children though ‘Atma Gnjana’ (Knowledge of the Self), is rendered by the goddess. The goddess is revered in Adi Shankara’s immortal hymns, Annapoornashtakam.

According to myth, the goddess started a journey from Badrikashramam. Viewing the drought in the land for twelve years, she terminated her journey at Varanasi. There is a golden image of the goddess in the temple, which is near the Visweshwara Temple. During Deepavali festival on Dhanathriodasi day, the idol is shown to the devotees.

Updated on 25th July, 2005


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