Orissa News

About Maa Tarini

Maa TariniMaa Tarini is the presiding deity for all Shakti and Tantra peeths or shrines in Orissa. The origin of Shakti or worship of the Earth as a female embodiment of power is found across many cultures all over the country. In Orissa, the Shakti cult had it sway during a major part of the history and has left indelible impressions on its culture and religious demeanor in the form of Maa Tarini,Maa Vimala,Maa Samalei,Maa Biraja & many other female goddesses. Maa Tarini depicted as a red face with two large eyes and a mark in the middle which serves as an indication for a nose and also a tilak, is the culmination of all Shakti shrines in the state.

The primitive conception of the Mother is symbolic of the simplicity of tribal beliefs and ceremonies. The red color has been attributed to dyes made out of iron ores or ocher which are quite plentiful in the state and would thus have been used by the tribes for anointing and decorating the sacred figures of worship. The ornate letters in the background mean "Maa" or Mother in the Oriya language. They were a much later addition although the Oriya script did change very slightly over the millennia. In this form she is very similar to the conception of the Goddess Kali at Kalighat. Although the two are embodiments of the same divinity, Kali is the Goddess of death and destruction whereas Maa Tarini is the force of life.

The temple of Maa Tarini or MAA as she is affectionately called by her devotees is ensconced in Ghatagaan in Keonjhar district. This small town set amidst a picturesque background of dense Sal trees and the resounding voice of roaring waterfalls occasionally goes live with the ricocheting songs of its primarily tribal residents. Lying in the heart of this nonchalant township is the majestic temple of the Mother, where she rests with full glory. Sought by millions in the state and visited by thousands daily, the Mother is truly the embodiment of love, kindness and joy.