Introduction about Tantra/Shakti Sadhana
It is a “Non-Vedic beliefs and practices that emphasized the existence in man of divine powers that could be activated and experienced by means of special spiritual procedures.” However, it was adapted and adopted by Hinduism at a later stage.
The Story of Hindu Literature
When Sati, the wife of Shiva and the first incarnation of Parvati, Sacrificed herself at a yagna performed by her father King Daksha; a very distraught Shiva started dancing with her body. The world was terrorized from this Tandava Nritya and to stop the devastating penance, Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra (The whirling knife on his finger tip) and completely cut up Sati's Body in several pieces. Wherever her body parts fell, a temple was erected to commemorate different manifestations of Shiva and Parvati and became a Hindu pilgrimage. They are called Peetha or Sakti Peethas. Sati is also called Devi or Shakti (Strength). These temples are scattered from present day Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Religious Tradition of Bengalis
Traditionally it is observed that Bengalis are culturally inclined to Shakti Sadhana. They built a Kali Bari where they are in a position to do it, irrespective of the place. This is true for all Bengalis, who are believer of faiths originated in Indian subcontinent. The Kali Puja is basically a Shakti Sadhana, which is also known as “Dakhshinachari Tantra Sadhana” and also known as Shakti Sadhana. Ancient Bangadesh means the area of the Valley formed by River Ganga and River Brahmaputra and little part of present MP, as specified in ancient Indian literatures.
There are about 55 Shakti Peethas or Centers of Shakti spread over present India, Bangladesh,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However there are some differences of opinion. Out of all Shakti Peethas, 4 are known as Adi Shakti Peethas, which are in and around ancient Bangadesh (comprising of Present West Bengal of India; Kamrup at present with Assam of India; Part of present Bihar of India; Tripura of India and present Bangladesh) and Orissa. Besides this, around 50% of total Shakti Peethas are found to be in ancient Bangadesha. This only indicates the Shakti culture of Bengalis. We find a variation and difference in opinion. It may be primarily due to lack of proper historical records and documents.
The article is divided into four parts namely:
1. Details on Adi Shakti Peethas.
2. Details of Shakti Peethas in ancient Bangadesh (comprising of Present West Bengal of India; Kamrup at present with Assam of India; Part of present Bihar of India; Tripura of India, part of present MP and present Bangladesh).
3. Sakti peethas located in adjoining/neighboring areas of ancient Bangadesh.
4) Details of other Shakti Peethas
Efforts have been made to furnish the details on location/place, importance/belief and how to reach the place, wherever possible.