Ashwarooda Devi was an emanation of Goddess Tripurasundari. She was created from the noose held by Tripurasundari. Why was she created?
Once in a Yagna performed by Goddess Parvathi’s father Daksha, she was insulted and therefore committed suicide. When Lord Siva ran around the universe in fit of rage carrying the dead body of his spouse Parvathi, in order to pacify his anger, Lord Vishnu cut the dead body of Goddess Parvathi lying on the shoulder of Lord Siva into pieces with his Chakrayuda and wherever the cut pieces of her body fell, those spots became Sakthi Peeda with the emergence of Sakthi Devi Temples there. Lord Vishnu’s effort helped in subduing the anger of Lord Siva who finally sat in tapas and simultaneously Parvathi Devi’s soul too sat in penance in Himalayas seeking reunion with her Lord as all these events had occurred due to a doom ordained by Paramathman.
Those events occurred when in Devaloga harassment to the Semi/Demi Gods by an Asura called Surapadman was on its zenith. Surapadman created by Paramathman for enacting certain drama turned out to be a terror and caused havoc in entire Universe including in Devaloga. Unable to bear the torture of Asura Surapadman anymore, harassed Devas, Demi and Semi Gods and Goddesses decided to seek the intervention of Lord Vishnu, but he could not be traced. Already Lord Siva was in Tapas. Since Lord Vishnu could not be traced, the Semi/ Demi gods and Goddesses sent Manmatha also called Kamadeva, a Hindu God for love, to disturb the tapas of Lord Siva and to wake him up to narrate their ordeal. Angered by the act of Manmatha, Lord Siva burnt him with his third eye. Immediately Devas rushed to Lord Siva and pleaded with him to restore the life of Manmatha as the fault of disturbing the tapas of Lord Siva was theirs and not that of Manmatha. Acceding to their passionate appeal, Lord Siva restored the life of Manmatha, but unfortunately along with Manmatha another Asura named Bhandasura another lineage from the clan of Surapadman too came out of the ashes. As soon as Bhandasura came out he too began to harass Devas like Surapadman. Bhandasura had earlier gained a boon that he could be killed only by a woman who wasn’t given birth to by another woman from her womb. Thus he remained unconquerable by anyone and Devas had to lead a life of misery as the two Asura forces tormented and tortured them endlessly. Already Surapadman was harassing them, now the second Asura Bhandasura has added up to their misery and therefore they again rushed to Lord Vishnu to save them from the clutches of Asura forces.
Lord Vishnu realized that Surapadman was destined to be annihilated by the second son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi and the time of his annihilation had also not come as they had not created Lord Muruga. Surapadman’s end will commence only after Bhandasura was killed and Bandasura could be killed only by feminine power. Keeping this in mind Lord Vishnu advised them to pray Sakthi Devi (Parvathi) by performing a Homa with Agni as she was considered to be the source of creation and destruction as well (Because as Parasakthi she is believed to have created Lord Brahma, the creator and Lord Siva, the destroyer). Accordingly when Devas performed Agni Homa and prayed to Goddess Parvathi, she sent from her radiance a supreme self shining Devi with unparalleled beauty in universe, self illuminated with six abnormal powers and energy. Once she came out, she straightaway went to Manmatha and married him as ordained. Since she had come out inheriting six abnormal powers and energy she was called Tripurasundari.
Once Tripurasundari was married to Manmatha, Devas immediately approached Manmatha to save them by vanquishing Bhandasura and he in turn requested his wife Tripurasundari to go and annihilate the Asura. Tripurasundari agreed to annihilate Bandasura by waging a war. Before commencing the war however Tripurasundari pondered over various options to annihilate Bhandasura as he could be killed only by a woman not given birth by another woman from her womb. She remembered that in one of the great epic battles fought by Lord Siva, the earth became his chariot, Mount Meru bow in Lord Siva’s hand, Chandra and Surya the wheels of chariot, Lord Vishnu the powerful arrow, Lord Brahma the chariot rider and then finally the four Vedas his powerful horses that pulled the chariot. Lord Siva created a huge army from his radiance and along with Devas and other forces created by him he won the war. The thought gave the right clue to her to create from her energy a huge army consisting of feminine forces along with Devathas such as Anima, Mahima, Brahmi, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Mahendri, Chamundi, Mahalakshmi and other forces including Avarna Devathas to help her in the battle. Simultaneously she also released Sampatkari devi from her radiance who became the captain of the elephant and other animal forces. From Pasa banam (noose) held in her hand Ashwarooda Devi emerged with a huge cavalry of horses. Since she came out of the fierce powerful rays of Tripurasundari like flame of fire, the Saree Ashwarooda devi was wearing was seen to be Red in colour. Ashwarooda Devi led the cavalier sitting on a giant white horse holding a golden rod called ‘Dandam’ in her right hand. The power of the Dandam (Golden Rod) was such that it not only to controlled the mind and senses but also was able to absorb external energies including crucial five senses of each and everyone when commanded. The Horse which she rode was called Aparajitha meaning invincible and cannot be won-over by anyone. The war commenced.
Since the Dandam (Golden Rod) was fully under the control of Ashwarooda Devi, once she emerged from Tripurasundari, in a wink of moment she absorbed the entire powers of Bhandasura and his forces into her Dandam (Golden Rod) thus making them ineffective to fight further. The power stripped Asura forces were vanquished in the next wink of moment by the forces of Horse cavaliers. Tripurasundari Devi too wasted no time in killing Bhandasura in wink of moment. What was the principle theory established by these events ?
When one self controls the senses, all other thoughts and movements emanating from the brain become motionless and fail to act further. This principle has been actually exhibited when the Dandam (Golden Rod) in Devi Ashwarooda’s hand absorbed all the senses of the Asura forces and that of Bhandasura thus blocking the mind power to think and naturally ineffective to fight further.
Only Bhandasura’s physical body was annihilated after Devi absorbed all his senses along with his athman (soul) into her Dandam ( Golden Rod) making him mentally dead, but left his body physically alive to be killed by Tripurasundari. This again established that both the birth and death emanated from the same power i.e Parasakthi. Proactive Bandasura was created from the ashes by the divine power and the end too came to him through the same divine acting in another form called Ashwarooda Devi, who was created by Tripurasundari Devi, who was in turn created earlier by Goddess Parvathi from her power rays. Thus Ashwarooda Devi was indeed the shadow goddess of Parasakthi who herself created Ashwarooda Devi for limited purpose and role in another form.
The entire act of events exhibits to the universe that whenever one desired to get wisdom and liberation, then he has to first quell his entire senses and unconditionally surrender to divine with no feelings in mind. When the mind becomes blank his physical body remains unattached to emotions. He realizes that he is no more by himself and only an atom in divine force. When he reaches such a point he gets wisdom and liberated. The point of his liberation becomes similar to Bhandasura when Ashwarooda Devi sucked his senses into her Dandam (Golden Rod) to pave way for his annihilation, where as in the case of one who is liberated, he voluntarily renounces his senses to annihilate the worldly desires.
After the episode of Bhandasura’s annihilation it became practice in universe for every one of the Kings on earth who desired to annex their neighborly Kingdoms, to perform Ashwametha Yagna to pray Ashwarooda devi seeking blessings for the success in their mission. Followed by the Yagna they used send an horse tied with a rod holding the flag of Ashwarooda Yagna to alien countries asking the rulers there to surrender by allowing the horse to run through their territory. Those who refused to surrender had to block the horse run, and keep it tied to their shed to signal readiness to war. The Kings who performed Ashwametha Yagna believed that the rod with Yagna flag tied to the Horse would absorb the strength of their enemies to pave way for their surrender like how Bhandasura’s strength were absorbed in to the Dandam (Golden Rod) of Ashwarooda Devi before Bandasura was annihilated. Some of the Pundits opine that initially the Ashwametha Yagna was known as Ashwarooda Yagna and as time passed the Yagna underwent several changes with additional rituals and contents and came to be called Ashwametha Yagna meaning Yagna by horse sacrifice. Ashwa meant horse.
The crucial turning point in the episode of Bhandasura was the act of Ashwarooda Devi who absorbs the entire senses in him to push him into the state of inaction when his physical body like bark of a tree was exposed to annihilation and rightly Tripurasundari Devi killed him in wink of moment. This establishes the importance of control over the senses, pre requisite in the path of wisdom and liberation. When the senses are renounced, the mind becomes blank when neither the happiness nor the agony has any effect and life becomes simpler. As one reaches the said stage their path to wisdom and liberation gets opened. In order to reach this stage the true worship of Ashwarooda Devi will be useful.
Since Ashwarooda devi absorbed the entire energies and senses of Bhandasura forces into her Dandam (Golden rod) it was believed that when one surrender to Ashwarooda Devi, they will gain control over their ever wavering mind and senses which fly like a horse, to gain internal peace and strength to vanquish the inimical enemies of nature.
Every day one can chant 108 times the following mantra of Ashwarooda Devi to gain control over their mind and senses. They will also get their enemies vanquished in whichever form they may appear.
–Ambika Aanadhinithana Ashwarooda Aparajitha-
-:The gist of the mantra is:-
Oh, universal mother Ambika, I pray your emanation Ashwarooda devi riding the invincible white horse called Aparajitha, to be with me to bestow strength and clear obstacles on way in controlling my ever wavering mind so that my life will remain ever peaceful. Oh, Ashwarooda Devi, I take refuge into thee.
Similarly if the picture of Ashwarooda Devi is kept hung at the entrance of home no evil forces can dare to enter the home as their energy and power will get absorbed into her Dandam (Golden Rod) held in hand. Even if the evil forces enter home, they will remain powerless to harm the inmates.
For some unknown reasons the bygone practice of performing Ashwarooda Homa was on the wane for some centuries, but once again it has began to resurface in many parts of the country. It is stated that Ashwarooda Homa is being performed in Vaikom Mahadeva Temple in Trichur in Kerala.