|Location of Mahashu temple, Uttrakhand. uttaranchal.com|
|Mahashu temple, Uttrakhand. www.wikiwand.com/|
Hinduism is not a religion and it is a way of life and there are innumerable deities in the Hindu pantheon. The basic being the ''Trinity Gods'' - Sri Brahma, Sri Vishnu and Sri Shiva and their consorts. The three gods are in charge of duties such as Creation, Sustenance and Destruction respectively. Their respective consorts goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati are in charge of various aspects of life. There are many sub and demi gods and goddesses within the realm of Hindu religion. In addition to them in the south Indian states, there are village gods called ''Kaaval Deivam'', ''Ayyanar,'' etc and, it is believed, even to day that they protect the villagers all through the year and take care of their health, wealth, agriculture production, etc.
In the northern states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradssh, there are village gods and goddesses who are believed to be supreme and protectors of the people and their welfare. Such temples are quite famous in the Garhwali area, a sub Himalayan region and the main deity is Lord Mahasu that is worshiped as Mahasu Devta. The main temple is on the eastern bank of the Tons River (Tamas) at Hanol village, near Chakrata, about 190 km from Dehradun. The devotees are mostly the local people of Hanol and other nearby villages of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Mahasu Devta, it is said, is not only supreme but also the sole arbiter over the mortals. The Mahasu Devta are four in number each with his jurisdiction and place of worship; their mother is Devladli Devi. They all emerged from the ground here during ploughing through divine power. They appeared to get rid of the evil minded demons who gave all kinds of troubles to the people living there.
|Gram Devta . Mahasu Devta temple, Uttrakhand. picuki com|
At the beginning of ''Kaliyuga'', evil forces had begun to emerge in the forms of demons and Asuras, wandering over the wooded areas of what is now called Uttrakhand and killing people and damaging villages. The most fearful demon ''Kirmir'' had devoured all the seven sons of a pious Brahmin named ''Huna Bhatt''. Besides, driven by infatuation, he wanted to possess Kirtaka, wife of the Brahmin. Being a devotee of Lord Shiva, she prayed to the lord to protect her from the demon. Lord Shiva blinded Kirmir and thus Kirtaka could run away to her husband. On advice, the couple then prayed to Hatkeshwari Devi of Hatkoti (ashtbhuji Durga) who told them to approach Lord Shiva again for help. Finally, Lord Shiva got rid of the evil-minded demon from that area.
As instructed by the God, Huna Bhatt, upon his return to his place, performed certain rituals to invoke Goddess ''Shakti'' with a view to protecting this region and the people living here. Goddess Shakti emerged in all her splendor from the ground with leaping flames around her.She told Huna Bhatt to plough every Sunday a part of his field. The plough was made of solid silver with a shoe of pure gold and it was yoked with a pair of bullocks that had never been put on yoke before. On the ''seventh Sunday'', the Mahasu brothers with their ministers and the army would emerge from the ground to get rid of the demons.
|AGram Devta .Mahasu Devta temple, Hanol. Uttrakhand|
the furrow) and his warriors Shitkulia, Kaolu and others raided
the mountains of Masmor where Keshi had gone. Upon killing
the demon, Chalda Devta returned home with great joy. He divided
the country among the brothers so that they might rule their respective territory and guard against calamities of all the people who would worship them as god and perform jagara.
A mistake was committed without any intention. As Mahasu Devta appeared a day earlier on the 6th day instead of 7th day, as promised to Huna Bhatt , the man who ploughed
the field, all the other brothers received some kind of injuries. Only Chalda and Devladli Mata remained unhurt. Botha preferred to settle within his temple at Hanol on the right bank of river tons. Pavasi keep moving over his domain and spend years turn by turn at Hanol, Lakhmandal, Authana and Uttarkashi. Chalda, being sound of limb, was to exercise away in the whole dominion in the Botha Mahasu name — twelve years on end he roamed among his subjects. According to the legend each of
four deities is betowed with a bir (attendant); they are Kapala, Kaolu, Kailath and Shitkulia. All the birs have balyayinis (female helpers).
Thus these Mahasu gods protect the villagers in this Garhwali region and here, they are the supreme and villagers carry on their functions, festivals, etc all in the name of Mahasu Devita, an unbroken tradition that been around for centuries.