Santoshi Mata Temple in JodhpurThe worship of Santoshi Mata or the Goddess who bestows Satisfaction and guards against all ills re-emerged as a popular cult of the mother goddess in the early sixties. The temples dedicated to the Mother Goddess renowned as Santoshi Mata were already present sporadically in some pockets of northern India. They gained popularity and began to be established in a larger spread of locations after the sixties. These temples were observed to have spread to all the form direction in the country.
The Santoshi Mata temple at Jodhpur in Rajasthan is an example of one of the earliest temples dedicated exclusively to the Goddess. This temple had been situated on the banks of the Lal Sagar Lake earlier and therefore the ruling deity of the temple was called the Lal Sagar ki Mata or the mother goddess of the Lal Sagar Lake. During those days animal sacrifices were elaborately offered up to the Mother Goddess by her devotees. Gradually with the turn of the decade the temple underwent a total changeover.
As the reigning deity Santoshi Mata was considered purely vegetarian the traditions of elaborate animal sacrifices came to a total stop and all vestiges of the previous rituals were done away with. The Mata Santoshi temple of Jodhpur has taken on a totally new image with which their emerged of the new cult of Santoshi Mata in the early seventies. The ritualized fasting for sixteen Fridays became a popular form of appeasing the goddess. Many of the devotees began offering the popular ‘gur, chana’ jaggery and gram white to the Goddess.
The Santoshi Mata incarnation of the Mother Goddess has been depicted as sitting on a lotus just like Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, who is also the consort of Lord Vishnu. The Mother goddess has also been shown as carrying the sword and trident as her weapons of choice.
The devotees of the Santoshi Mata adhere to some stringent rules in their day-to-day lives. They do not eat any non-vegetarian food and avoid eating anything sour or Fridays or their day of fast. The Santoshi Mata temple of Jodhpur has a large number of devotees visiting it regularly and paying obeisance to the Mother Goddess.