When the heavens open
bring forth the force
the wilderness the heat
the power alive
the potency let lose
the divine embrace
such energy released
the Goddess arrives
The power of the Mother
felt through in history,
a power so strong
mere humans crumble
the heat so much
it scorches the soul
no one can survive this fury
the Goddess brings alive.
Such was her fierceness
her Ughra swarupa
the heart fears
this form of the Goddess
burns away to ashes
all mankind those alive
who witness her fury alike
One such form is known as the Kali swarupa, where though she has warmth and appears coy, her fierceness rules supreme. In the Tamil Nadu landscape, we revisit this Goddess at 4 Shakti sthalas which stand out for their strangely mystical stories bearing almost the same solution to control her fury. Thiruvotriyur, Thiruvanaikkaval, Kanchipuram and Mangadu have each seen this anger of the Goddess in the ancient days.
There is another possible explanation to this theory of controlling her fierceness. It could have been possible that blood(animal) sacrifices might have been performed at some these altars to appease the Goddess and this practice was curbed. Also, these shrines of the Goddesses existed well before they were formally consecrated into temple shrines. The Goddesses energy was felt and experienced more than her physical presence was seen in stone at some of these shrines.
Mythology holds that Shakti manifests Herself as Thripurasundari at the current temple of Thiruvotriyur facing south. Her counterpart Vattaparai Amman resides in the north of the temple.
At Thirvanaikkaval the Goddess manifests herself as Akhilandeshwari in the ughra form, so fierce is her form that her devotees could not withstand the power.
At Kanchipuram, the Goddess takes the form Kamakshi Amman and manifests herself in ughra form, sending ripples of fury around, so much so that it could be felt among her devotees who walked along what is now the temple precincts.
At Mangadu (meaning Mango grove), Parvati was reborn as Sri Adikamakshiamman in repentance of her act of covering the Lord's eyes playfully which turned the whole universe into darkness for a short while causing unrest and fear in all creatures alive. Kamakshi is known to have waited here for Lord Shiva, to be wedded to Him as promised and when he didn't come she is believed to have performed the Panchagni Sadhana*, a fire ritual with five sacred yagnas, four yagnas burning around her each in a cardinal direction while she stood in the center of the fifth on her left toe, with the rising flames engulfing her right leg bent upwards as her hand stayed raised above her head holding the japamala(picture below). She came to be known as Sri Tapas Kamakshi at Mangadu. So fierce was her anger before She went to Kanchipuram to be finally married to Lord Shiva, as instructed by Him. The heat of these fires could still be felt by her devotees.
One thing is strangely common among all these forces of the Goddess. It took just one form of Lord Shiva to calm her fury down. Adi Shankaracharya mastered the art of conquering the fury of this Goddess and brought her back into the world as a warm and endearing mother to all her devotees, rather than as a fierce Goddess. Battling her Ughra form, he brought down this fury, this wild energy of the Goddess purely by a science unknown to all but felt within the self. He placed the potent Sri Chakra yantra with the Mother bringing down her fury across the lands.
This has been a divine dialog, one that Adi Shankara has with the divine mother Parvati in her various forms, this has been illustrated in recent times by Paramacharya Sri Chandrasekhar Mahaperivar, who also had enough and many dialogs with the divine mother before he finally took Samadhi and merged into her divine light. This also marked the end of possible sacrifies and brought into existence a more potent and friendly form of ritual practice that appeased the Goddess and depicted her as a Divine mother within her shrine chamber.
At Thiruvotriyur, Adi Shankaracharya installed the Sri Chakra Yantra opposite the shrine of Vattaparai Amman. At Thiruvanaikkaval Adi Shankarcharya is known to have made two sets of earrings called Tatankam, a pair of powerful Sri Chakra Yantra studs adorning both the ears of the Goddess, within her sacred shrine. At Kanchipuram, Adi Shankaracharya established the Sri Chakra yantra at the feet of the Goddess, within a gold metal plate that is installed and worshiped everyday. Adi Shankaracharya requested the Mother never to leave the temple complex, and hence symbolically the "utsavamurthy" of the Goddess takes leave of Shankaracharya at his shrine within the inner prakaram, before she leaves for her daily procession. At Mangadu Adi Shankaracharya is known to have installed the Ardhameru Sri Chakra yantra to appease the power and heat of the flames left behind by the Goddess.
Dwelling more into the form and power of the Sri Chakra, its value lies further and beyond mere material satisfaction. The Sri Chakra within the temple of every house in India brings alive the Goddess who resides within her shrine chamber and its not a mere Hindu manna machine for health wealth and happiness. A complex mystical diagram to calm the very fury of the Goddess, when the Gayathri mantra is chanted brings power and peace to the worshiper. Its a science of spiritualism, divinely illustrated by Adi Shankara that resides within our very own homes, at the center of which the bindu holds the seat of the Goddess Kamakshi, the Mother, in an endearing "Soumya" form.
*The Panchagni Sadhana is performed to kill five evils which dominate the mind leading one towards misery. The five evils are Kama (Desire), Krodha (Anger), Lobha (Greed), Madha (Ego) & Maacharya (Attachment). If one wins over all these five evils they can attain the supreme bliss and union with the Lord. This is depicted by Kamakshi Amman before she marries Lord Shiva.
Please excuse the audio in the embedded video, it appears to be Buddhist.