Travelogue: Vishalakshi, Shakti Peeth in Varanasi
This beautiful temple is a Shakti Pitha and is a sacred temple dedicated to the Goddess. Vishalakshi Devi is the Goddess who is the goal of the universe. She is also known as “She with Enormous Eyes.”
As we strolled down the small alley way to get to the temple, we could feel Mother’s presence in the stillness.
I was surprised to learn that this Shakti Pitha actually had three murtis of Vishalakshi. The first murti was just inside the entrance of the temple. The second stands directly behind that murti, and is not visible to the public. The third murti was further into the interior of the temple.
Shree Maa and Swamiji performed worship to the Goddess, attracting many people who gathered to watch.
Then, Swamiji told the priest we would like to do a recitation of the 108 Shakti Pithas listed in the Devi Gita. The priest was concerned that we would get too much disturbance sitting in the front of the main temple, so he took us to the second, more private area of the temple. Much to my surprise, this was the location of the third murti of Vishalakshi.
As we chanted from the Devi Gita, I noticed that the very first amongst the names in the scripture is Vishalakshi of Varanasi! That realization made the recitation so memorable.
After the recitation, Shree Maa performed a short puja to the murtis of the Nine Planets and then to a Shiva Lingam, both of which were inside the small temple.
Shree Maa later recounted that She and Swamiji had visited this same temple long ago.
She told that at that time, almost no devotees came to this temple and very few people had read the scriptures and understood that this small temple was actually a Shakti Peeth.
This allowed them to easily worship Vishalakshi without the crowds.
Since their worship many years ago, the temple is now vibrant with devotees constantly coming to pray to the Divine Mother.
Everywhere Shree Maa and Swamiji go, they try to wake up the divinity that is inherent in each of us. By the example of their own love for God, even forgotten temples become filled with life again!
It is an endless privilege to watch their activities steeped in pure love.