Chamundi Hill, read the board as the car took the right to ascend the hill that overlooks the little town of Mysore. Civilization has since grown and is slowly replacing old world charm with new. As the car turns through hair pin bends, the mind looks over the landscape in anticipation of the Goddess, who has since resided here, ever since the previous yuga when Shakti destroyed herself and her hair fell here on this sacred ground.
My mind lingers over the twists and turns in my life that made me come and visit the Goddess Chamundeshwari again. She brings an aura along with herself, that of shakti, of silence, of a slight uneasiness that over powers the mind. There is a mixed emotion to want to realize what great powers are preserved here which have now crystallized into a small temple for Chamundeshwari devi.
As we approach the entrance, I look at the steps leading up into a smaller entrance. Silver covers the doors, and transforms this whole ambiance into a totally different world. Goddesses of all kinds descend down onto the doors and bless the visiting Bhaktas, this is a theatrical moment as one walks in and the cool air breezing through the walls wakes us up to a heavenly world of beautiful Goddesses echoing the realm of Shakti Peetha. This Shakti peetha echoes of ancient cult practices, of vermilion kumkum smeared across the Goddess forehead and that of the fresh offering lying in waiting - that of an animal, of man, of me.
I closed my eyes and thought deep, I feel I have been here as I descended towards the balipeetha. The power of the Goddess beckons, and I swoon to its tune placing my head over the Balipeetha in complete surrender. Inscribed with the Goddess's feet in the center, this broad stone has felt the knife edge and has been bathed in blood, my blood. Blood flowed loose here, with human sacrifices that might sound chilling but when I place my head here, it doesn't feel wrong anymore! I am here to sacrifice myself, this life, this breath at the feet of the Goddess. What better death can I wish for as I lay my head here for the Goddess to severe and hold in her hand, as my blood flow down as an offering in her cup that she holds in her left hand. My mind I place here for her to control, to take as I merge into her!
As darkness took over I lay here, long ago, my head resting on this sacred stone at this small temple, the walls echoed with mantra bathing my being. As the fire in every oil lamp lit up this little temple, the Goddess residing at its center, descended to my side. Chamunda, in her original wild and untamed form came close and gently towards me, emaciated and present as the consort to Bhairava now sat close by and looks at me with loving eyes. As I lay across this Balipeetha I turned in to look at the Goddess within, the same Chamunda Devi put on a very tamed and warm exterior, decked in flowers and jewelery.
Among the bellowing flames that rise, the Goddess is invoked in sacred syllables that bring her power alive. As the holy water is sprinkled over me and my forehead is anointed with holy vermilion, I breathe slowly listening to the sacred words go by.
Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure|
Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane||
Invoking the Shaktis, Goddess Shankari Devi in Lanka, Kamakshi in Kanchipuram, Goddess Shrinkhala in Pradyumna and Chamunda Devi in Chamundi Hill...
The mind sinks into itself, the water trickles down my spine purifying me the sacrificial offering, and the oil lamps light up my face as the incense forms a gentle cloud of dancing celestial world around me. As I look up to the Mother dressed in a garland of skulls, the sweet notes of a conversation pierce the silence of the night.
Bhagawan deva devesa krupaya thwam jagat prabho|
vamsakhya kavacham broohi mahyam sishyaya|
they anagha yasya prabhavath devesa Vamso vrudhir jayathe||
Oh God, Oh God of Gods, Oh Lord of the universe, please be kind and reveal that Armour to this faultless disciple of yours, which deals about family and by the power of which, the family will grow.
Kantam rakshathu Chamunda hrudayam rakshathachiva|
Eesani cha bhujou raksheth kukshim nabhim cha kalika||
Let my neck be protected by Chamunda Devi
Let my heart be protected be her consort Bhairava Shiva
Let my arms be protected by Isana
Let my belly and navel be protected by Kalika Mata
I look up as the mantras rise, I stare up to the axe that waits, I look up to the Mother who holds me covered in vermilion, fearsome to all but warm and pleasant to me, a beautiful garland of skulls she wears, a garland of which I shall soon be a part. Oh Mother of Parasurama, Oh divine form of Kali, Oh divine daughter of the sage Mathanga, Oh Shambhavi divine consort of Lord Shiva, I give up my life to you, I offer my blood to you, I offer my breath to you. I merge into you.
With the rising tempo that echoes among these walls, this theatrical world creates this illusion as I pass from this world to the next. The shining tip of the axe lets loose and the Mother awakens my soul, as it rises up from this sacred stone, this sacred bed of mine, this balipeetha.
This Balipeetha stands here today, silent and cold. It was once my bed, it was once wet with my blood, on it long ago lay my corpse, on this stony bed my life was an offering. Am here I stand, wondering why, wondering what, wondering how.
A night with Nava Shakti - Chamunda
Chaunsath Yogini temple
The killing of Mahishasura on Vijayadasami
Ekapada Shiva - The one legged Shiva
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