In the Devi Geeta she mentioned few important places on the earth which she likes a lot. Out of them the top most priority goes to the four Shakti peethas present in Maharashtra. They are:
- Hingula (Tulja devi) in Tulaja puram (Tuljapur)
- Lakshmi (Amba bai / Maha laksmi) in Kolhapuram (Kolhapur)
- Renuka in Matru pattanam (Mahur)
- Jwalamukhi (Sapta shringi mata) in Saptashringam (Saptashringi)
Significance of four Shakti peethas:
What does four Shakti peethas resemble? We can't tell why Jaganmata categorized these four shaktipeethas into a group. But many devotees gave explanations for this number four. The number four resembles the four parts of holy AUM. A kara, U kara, Ma kara and Mmm kara (Ardha matra). That is why they are also called as "Three and half Shakti peethas".
|Shakti||Part of AUM||Guna||Resembling God|
|Tulja bhavani||A kara||Rajas||Brahma|
|Maha lakshmi||U kara||Satwa||Vishnu|
|Renuka mata||Ma kara||Tamas||Maheshwara|
|Saptashringi mata||Ardha matra||Trigunateeta||Adi Shakti|
Any other explanations?
Yes. There are many.
According to Yoga shastras and Tantra shastras, Shakti is present in our body in the form of Kundalini. It is described as a female serpent which is sleeping in Muladhara Chakra turning it's body into three and half (3 1/2) circles. If it is activated with the help of Spiritual practices, it raises and passes to Sahasrara through Sushumna, a small passage in Spinal cord. The three and half folds of Kundalini are compared with the four forms of Shakti present in this list of Four Shakti peethas of Maharashtra.
I heard another important explanation from a devotee of Shakti. These four Shakti peethas are worshiped in Chandi Upasana. Navakshara Mantra and Chandi Yantra are important for Chandi. In that worship, we come across Nanda, Shakambari and Bheema Shaktis. The physical resemblances for them are:
- Nanda : Tulja bhavani : Maya
- Shakambari: Maha lakshmi : Shakti
- Bheema : Renuka : Jnana and
- Saptashringi mata is considered as the combined power for these three.