Shakambhari Mata(शाकम्भरी देवी)
Shakambhari Mata (शाकम्भरी देवी) is the divine mother, an incarnation of Ishwari, consort to
Lord Shiva (शिव) . Shakambhari Mata is called "The Bearer of the Greens."
Shakambhari comes from "shakam" joined with the root "bhri" ( shaka means vegetables or food and root bhri
means to nourish). Maa Shakambari is the incarnation of Shakti, Goddess Durga,
Maya -Mula-Prakriti - Adi Parashakti. Maa Shakambari glory was originally told by Shiva to Maa Parvati and Sri
Skanda and has references in Skanda Purana.
The Demon Durgam had acquired all four Veda
from Lord Brahma through penance. He also received a boon from Lord Brahma that caused all the
pujas, yajnas and havis that were offered to the gods to reach him instead, making him invincible. Durgam became very arrogant and started
tormenting the whole world. As a consequence, it did not rain for one hundred years and the whole world was hit by a very severe drought.
The rishis and munis took refuge in the caves of the Himalayas, and
meditated upon the Supreme Devi. The Goddess appeared in front of them bearing a wonderful form. She had countless eyes that gave her the name
Satakshi, and was carrying grain, cereals, vegetables, greens, fruits and other herbs and because of this was called Shakambhari. The goddess
was so moved by their plight that tears rolled down from her eyes for nine continuous days and nights. The tears became a river, which ended
the drought. The rishis and munis and the gods then requested that she recover the Vedas, which were in possession of Durgam. Durgam discovered
through his messengers that people were living happily and immediately attacked with a large army.
The goddess protected the frail rishis, munis, gods and others by
putting up a huge wall of fire around them, and then let her discus hover around it. There ensued a tremendous battle between the Devi and
Durgam. From her body manifested the ten most powerful powers who had
never been in the universe before Dashamahaavidya and 64,000 other goddesses. At last the goddess Satakshi/Shakambhari killed Durgam
with her trident and recovered the Vedas from his possession. At that very moment all the mantras and japas that the rishis, munis and gods
had performed earlier but had been absorbed by the demon Durgam transformed into the bright light of a 10,000 suns and entered the
Devi. She then handed over the Vedas to the deities. Ishwari is also known as Durga as she killed the demon Durgam.
The story of Shakambari is told in Chapter 28 of the Devi Bhagavatam Purana, titled, "On the glory of Shatakshi Devi". Also, in The Devi
Mahatmyam, her story is told in Chapter 11 and in the artha murti rahasyam an addendum to the Devi Mahatmyam.