- Dinesh Shahra
Maa Sharda back in Kashmir
An idol of Goddess Sharda, whose journey began from Sringeri in Karnataka, reached Jammu on Friday. As per the reports, devotees sang bhajans, showered flowers, and welcomed the idol, which is the main deity of ancient Kashmir, at Khunjwani, the entry point to Jammu city.
Later, the idol, made from an alloy of five metals, was brought to the Kashmiri Pandit Sabha where hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits welcomed the goddess and paid obeisance to her.
Sharada Temple was once located in Kashmir which was dedicated to the goddess Sharada (Saraswati). This temple was also called Kashyappur which was on the banks of Neelum Kishenganga River (known as Kishenganga in India). “Kashmir was once called Sharada Desh because of this temple.”
Goddess Sharada is the goddess of learning. Sharada Devi means the goddess who imparts the essence of knowledge. Sarada, also known as Saraswati, is a manifestation of the Supreme Truth. She blesses devotees with knowledge, arts and spiritual wisdom.
It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya carried with him an idol of Goddess Sharda made in sandalwood to Sringeri. The statue is still in the Sringeri Matha. Shankaracharya defeated all the scholars in a philosophical debate and entered the temple through the Southern gate to the Throne of Wisdom (Sarvajna Peetha).