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Kateel Devi – Story of Kateel Durgaparameshwari Devi

Kateel Devi, also known as Kateel Durgaparameshwari, is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Durga. The story of this incarnation of Goddess Shakti is part of two legends. The goddess is worshipped in this form in the famous Kateel Devi Temple at Kateel near Mangalore in Karnataka.

Legend has it that once there was a severe drought on Earth. There was no water on earth and the living beings were dying out of thirst and starvation. Sage Jabali who was meditating in a cave woke up on hearing the cries of living beings.

Sage Jabali decided to perform a yajna and eradicate the drought. But there was no material available for the Yajna. So the sage went to heaven and requested Indra for help. Indra asked Nandini, the daughter of Kamadhenu, wish fulfilling cow, to help Sage Jabali.

But Nandini was not ready to set foot on earth which had housed demons like Ravana etc.

Sage requested her to forget the past and follow him to earth. But Nandini was adamant.

Sage Jabali was a very calm saint. But this time he lost his patience and cool and cursed Nandini that she will be a river flowing on the very same earth which she desisted to visit.

Nandini soon realized her folly and begged for forgiveness. The Sage relented and told her that only Mother Goddess Shakti can help her.

Nandini then offered prayers to Goddess Shakti at Kanakachala on earth. After several years, Goddess Shakti gave darshan to Nandini and told her that she will be relieved of her curse when she will appear as a linga. She asked Nandini to become a river and flow on earth till then.

Nandini then became a river on earth and flowed from the foot of Kanaka Mountain. With her appearance on earth, the drought disappeared and once again the earth was fertile.

She then waited for the appearance of Mother Goddess Shakti.

The demons Shumbha and Nishumbha, who were killed by Goddess Durga, had a minister named Arunasura who had escaped to the netherworld. Here he built a city named Ekaveeradri and waited for the beginning of dark age – Kali Yuga.

When Kali Yuga started, Arunasura performed penance at Amaravana. The penance was so severe that Brahma and Goddess Vani Devi were forced to make an appearance before him. The demon demanded immortality from Brahma, which was denied.

Then Arunasura demanded the boon that he be not killed by any God, demon, reptile, Yaksha, Gandharva, Kinnara, Kimpurusha, Siddha, Sadhya, Vidhyadhara or by man or woman, by animals that move on two or four legs or by any weapon. The boon was granted.

Goddess Vani Devi initiated him in the Gayatri Mantra and told him that as long as he chanted the mantra, death will not approach him.

Demon Arunasura now became the most powerful on earth. He conquered all the worlds and made Indra, the king of celestial beings, his vassal. All living beings suffered under his tyranny.

The celestial beings, saints and living beings approached Brahma. He was helpless so he directed them to Shiva. Mahadev decided to take the matter to Bhagvan Vishnu. Here the Trimurtis decided to invoke Mother Goddess Shakti.

They invoked Mother Goddess in mount Meru. She told them that as long as Arunasura practiced Gayatri Mantra, he could not be killed. She asked Brihaspati to approach the Asura in disguise and instruct him in atheism.

Brihaspati then went to Arunasura and had a long discussion. Brihaspati tried to reason that Arunasura was the most powerful being and therefore he should not offer prayers to anyone. In fact all beings should offer prayers to him. Arunasura was not ready to accept the argument. But Brihaspati continued his argument and instilled pride and arrogance in the demon. The demon was finally convinced about his false power and soon decided to stop offering prayers. He stopped chanting the Gayatri Mantra and ordered that from that day onwards all prayers should be dedicated to him.

Soon Goddess Shakti appeared as a beautiful damsel in the pleasure garden of Arunasura. The ministers of Arunasura took the news of the damsel to their master. The demon king soon appeared before Devi and was enamored by her beauty. He asked her to marry him.

Goddess Shakti laughed and reminded him that She is the same Chandika who had killed his masters Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Arunasura was taken aback by this revelation and he took out his sword and charged to attack the Goddess. But She disappeared into a rock. The demon scanned the pleasure garden but could not find the Goddess.

He then asked his army to ransack the garden. The demon army was attacked by Mother Goddess as Raktheshwari. She killed the entire army.

Arunasura then came out and attacked the rock into which Devi had disappeared. He stabbed and jabbed at the rock. Suddenly thousands of bees emerged from the rock. They attacked Arunasura. Goddess Shakti herself appeared as huge bee and alighted right on the demon's chest and pierced his heart with a sting and killed the demon.

The six- footed bee is neither two-legged nor four-legged; and the bee is neither god, nor demon, nor man nor animal nor reptile and the sting of a bee is no weapon of any kind. Mother Goddess Shakti, thus, killed Arunasura without violating the boon of Brahma.

Sage Jabali, Nandini, celestial beings and living beings were overjoyed by the divine act. They prayed to the Goddess to abandon the fierce bee form and take a kind and benign form.

Mother Goddess agreed to the request and decided to appear as a Linga form. The Goddess then appeared in the middle of Nandini River as a Linga. The single river divided into two near the linga and joined again.

Thus Nandini was relieved of the curse.