Jai Srimati Bagalamukhi Mahavidya Devi

Jai Srimati Bagalamukhi Mahavidya Devi
(click thumbnails to enlarge)

Mahavidya Bagalamukhi Devi

Mahavidya Bagalamukhi Devi


Bagala or Bagalamukhi is the eighth Mahavidya in the famous series of the 10 Mahavidyas. She is identified with the second night of courage and is the Power or Shakti of triumph and victory.

Bagalamukhi is described as the Devi with three eyes, of golden complexion, wearing yellow clothes and self-effulgent gems, wearing the Moon as her diadem, wearing champaka blossoms, with one hand holding the tongue of an enemy and with the left hand spiking him. Visualizing her thus, one should meditate on the Paralyzer of the Three Worlds, Srimati Bagalamukhi Devi.

Bagalamukhi can be considered as a terrible or Bhairavi form of Matrika Devi, the mother of all speech. According to Todala Tantra, her male consort is Maharudra, whose one face dissolves the Universe.

The Bagalamukhi Mantra as per Mantra Mahodadhi:

Om Hleem Sarva Dusthaanaam Vaacham Mukham Paadam stambhaya jihvyamkilaya buddhim vinaashaya Hleem Om Swaha

The Bagalamukhi Gayatri:

Om Bagalambayai Vidmahe
Brahmasthra Vidyayai Deemahi
Thannah Stambini Praochandhayat

Bhagavati Bagalamukhi is the great samstambhini (immobilizing or arresting) vidya who keeps the three worlds and the planetary systems locked in their orbits. In the first stage of cosmic cycle (krita yuga), a great disaster arose in the form of vata-kshobha that threatened to destroy the creation. Lord Shriman Narayana, the protector, invoked the Supreme deity Maha Tripurasundari through a specific prayoga named Gheranda-Yoga. Due to this prayoga, Shri Vidya Parameshvari manifested as the great vidya named Bagalamukhi, combining in her the tejas of both Para Shakti and Maha Vishnu (Shakta and Vaishnava). This is the reason for frequent reference to Bagala as Shri Vidya in some tantras and in the Sahasranama of the Goddess as she is the Saishnava manifestation of Shri Vidya, invoked for the specific purpose of stambhana.

There are innumerable worldly uses of this Mahavidya but the greatest benefit the upasaka attains through this Mahavidya is freedom from avidya. In the current age of Kali Yuga when most mantras fail to grant fruits, this Mahavidya continues to grant boons to the sincere upasaka and hence is referred to as siddha-vidya by the Tantras. This Mahavidya is of special significance in the case of rajya bhiyoga. For the mumukshus, this great vidya is of equal importance due to her unparalleled capacity in arresting, sublimating and dissolving vices such as kama and krodha.

In her first hand, Bagalamukhi sports a gada which represents the manifested speech. She sports vajra in her other hand which represents the great destructive or assaultive power of speech. Pasha, which she sports in her third hand represents qualities such as madhurya etc. exhibited by the Devi through which she entices the upasaka towards herself, gradually leading him beyond those to stillness. In her last hand, she grabs the tongue of the demon which represents durvakya or bad words. By grabbing the tongue, Bagala grants her upasaka samyama over the faculty of speech, which is the first and foremost step to conquering other sensory faculties.

Bagalamukhi Maa

Bagalamukhi Maa


References:
nirvANa sundarI Bagalamukhi Reference
Bagalamukhi Wikipedia Reference

A Million Mother’s Love

A Million Mother’s Love
By Mr. Rakesh Menon

An alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai University, Mr. Rakesh Menon joined the Brindavan campus in the 1994 for his Bachelors in Commerce. After this he pursued his Masters in Business Administration in the Bharatiya University in the state of Tamil Nadu. He began his professional career in 2000 and since then has served in the banking industry in India as well as in other countries in various positions. Until recently, he was in the UK working as the Global Product Risk Manager in JP Morgan, Europe. Currently, he is the Vice President, Risk Management, in JP Morgan, India and is based in Bangalore. This is the adapted version of a conversation with him in the studios of Radio Sai for the radio series “Fleeting Moments…Lasting Memories” in July 2008.

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


“God could not be everywhere, therefore He made mothers.” But I had the unique fortune of having the Lord Himself as my mother.

Enraptured by the Sublime Sai Ambience
I was blessed to be at Swami’s feet between the years 1994 to 1997. I was not a devotee before I joined Sathya Sai Baba’s University, neither was anybody in my family. But we had heard of Baba’s college as a unique institution which imparted human values. One of my uncles got me the application form and brought me to Puttaparthi, where I wrote the entrance examination. Swami, at that time, was in Kodai Kanal. Nevertheless, the general ambience of the ashram kindled in me the urge to learn more about Swami.

I was fascinated by the discipline in the ashram; how things happened in clockwork precision, right from the stroke of the bell at five o’ clock at dawn. It felt wonderful to be a part of the Omkaram, Suprabhatam and the Nagar Sankirtan, and feel those positive vibrations. Furthermore, everybody maintained silence irrespective of whether Swami was physically in Prashanthi Nilayam or not. That made a deep impact on me.

Thus, in the summer of 1994, when I stepped into the portals of the University at the Brindavan campus in Bangalore, I was yet to physically see Swami. Now I was not a devotee but already a Sai student. And I was very eagerly looking forward to the ‘Big Change’ that was to manifest in my life.

I hailed from a village in Kerala and now a higher education in a different sort of institution in the city of Bangalore really appealed to me. It seemed exciting, but I was not aware of what I was actually in for.

The first step to the change lay in my acceptance of Swami as God. But how could I accept someone as my guru and God, when I had not even seen Him? Wasn’t it foolhardy to invest my faith on a person, of whom I had only learnt from hearsay? So I decided to test Bhagavan!

Testing Divinity and What an Answer!
We were a group of three boys from the same place who wrote the entrance examination together. And all three of us had got through the test! There was one amongst us who had the habit of smoking. And as the hostel and ashram rules strictly forbade this habit, this boy would go out on the sly, unknown to anybody else, to take the vital puff!

I was aware of his furtive habits and so was the other boy. And we both advised him against persisting with his covert ways, knowing fully well that it might result in his expulsion from the institution altogether. But he remained adamant. Instead, he pointed a finger at a photograph of Sathya Sai Baba in the Sai Ramesh Hall and said, “Let Him say and I will stop.”

I looked at the hall; there were at least 5000 devotees seated there, waiting for Swami. It seemed Swami now had two more tasks to accomplish in such a massive crowd before two Doubting Thomases could accept His divinity. First, to censor the cigar boy and second, to trigger a Big Change in me.

Two days later, this boy got the chance to wave the arathi to Swami. I was sitting close to him. When the bhajans ended, Swami picked up the match box, lit the arathi, and told him in Tamil, “You said that if I ask you to stop smoking, you would do that.” He put the match box back into the boy’s shirt pocket and then continued as if nothing had ever happened. I was flabbergasted! Nobody else knew about that conversation except the three of us.

And I can never forget the expression on this boy’s face – of utter disbelief, shock and fear. Sathya Sai Baba’s words were also heard by the third boy. And we all looked at each other, astounded beyond words. In a crisp one-liner, the Omnipresent Lord had neatly packaged the lesson of a lifetime; it was powerful and unforgettable. This was my first direct experience of Swami’s omnipresence.

‘I will give him a thousand mothers’ love’ – Baba

More was to come. Nine days later, I received a letter from home. It was from my sister and the contents went thus, “We were very strict with you because we wanted you to grow up in the right way and become a respected individual. Now that you are far away, we do miss you.” My sister and I were very close to each other ever since my mother died when we were very young.

The letter made me homesick. And when, in the evening, there was a soul-stirring bhajan extolling Swami as Sai Ma (Mother Sai), I was reminded of my mother and was actually in tears. Soon, I was convulsing hard, with my head bent down I was trying to stem the cascade of sorrow that streamed down my face.

A few boys nudged me during the bhajans saying that Sathya Sai Baba was looking at me. But I did not believe them. The Trayee Session followed soon after the bhajans. These sessions are close interactive sessions wherein Swami would give discourses and move closely among us, interacting and sharing valuable insights peppered with humor. It was a great opportunity for us to listen and learn both from Satya Sai Baba and as well as from the elders.

That evening, I was sitting quite far away from the jhoola (the swing on which Swami generally sat). When Swami came, He looked around, searched among the boys, spotted me and then He asked me to come towards Him. Had I committed a grievous mistake I wondered, as I went up to Him?

But when I came closer, Swami pulled me towards Him, held me in a warm, loving embrace, and said, “This boy lost his mother. This boy lost his one mother but I will give him a thousand mothers’ love.” And then, He created a ring for me.

I was too overwhelmed, lost in His love, lost for words. And I was wondering how Swami knew my story; He was mentioning so many facts of my life to people nearby. This was the first time He spoke to me. That day, He touched my heart with His love. And I accepted Him as my Mother.

Sai’s Simply Amazing Care
His love was as tender as a mother yet strict like a father. And since I had no exposure to Swami and His teachings prior to my Brindavan years, He took upon Himself the task of ensuring that I was moulded into a Sai student. There were times when a Father’s guidance surged along with a Mother’s concern.

One such day in Brindavan, I was sitting for darshan. It was a cold winter morning. Satya SaiBaba walked by me, stared queerly at my face, and then went on His usual round of darshan among devotees, accepting letters and blessing them. I was perplexed, praying and hoping all the while that I had not upset Swami in any way, in thought, word or deed.

As I sat on after darshan, I was a troubled bundle of anxiety. And then I saw my commerce professor running towards me, holding something in his hand. As he came to me, he said, “Swami has sent this for you,” and handed me a Ponds cold cream! Apparently, Swami had noticed that I had dry skin because of the weather, so He sent the cream for me in His boundless concern.

Even as I stood there choked for words, I learnt from Swami that day something which I consciously try to apply in my daily life – attention to detail! Swami attended to thousands of devotees that day – collecting letters, conferring blessings, bestowing guidance – and yet He had borne in mind my dry skin and sent the cream! What was a parched epidermis in front of a million other pressing concerns for Swami? But that was the affection of the Divine Mother.

Surprise Gifts of Grace for Sisters
Another of my memorable experiences happened when I was in Kodai Kanal with Sathya Sai Baba. Kodai Kanal is a place where one can witness the parental aspect of Swami like nowhere else. I am reminded of an evening when Swami actually gave money to all of us, students, and asked us to go and buy something for ourselves. I went along with Prof. Anil Kumar to the shop. On the way I thought to myself that here I was with the Lord, pampered with His love, and absolutely taken care of, while my family back in my hometown was still facing life in its coldest.

So I thought I should buy something for them; that was the least I could do with the money Swami gave me. Therefore, as the professor shopped for something for his wife, I bought two pairs of earrings, one each for my two sisters. These were not very expensive, but I thought this was the minimum I could do.

So I had these earrings packed and put them in my shirt pocket. When I returned, Swami instantly started looking about as if He was searching for something. He then came to me and asked, “What did you buy?” and before I could reply, He put His hand in my shirt pocket and took out the earrings.

There was a look of dismay on His face when He saw those jewels, as if to say that they were not really of a good quality. And I was very disappointed, that I had not bought the right gifts for my sisters; that Swami had not approved of them. If Swami did not approve, then surely these are not really good, I thought to myself. That evening went by. That night even after everyone had retired, I was still ruminating over what had happened, and praying for my family.

At breakfast the next morning, Sathya SaiBaba went around looking to everyone’s needs like He did everyday. And when He came to me, He started waving His hand. Out came two identical sets of earrings from the Divine Palm! Swami said, “Those were not good. Give these to your sisters,” and humorously added, “I gave you two identical ones because they might fight.” That was one unforgettable instance of pure maternal affection that stands evergreen in my memories!

Success in the Corporate Space – The Sai Way
Time went on and I was not fortunate to secure an MBA admission in Sathya Sai Baba’s University and I was not sure about my future, because I was going to leave the protected shelter where I was so comfortable. This indeed was a huge transition and the following year I returned five times to Swami for support and strength which I desperately needed. And only Swami could have made that possible.

When I completed my MBA in another institution, I started my career with HSBC Bank. The corporate environment was cold, emotionless and unforgiving. Although the stress levels were critical, it was to percolate, at least through team work. But the fact remained that it is mostly every man to himself, so completely different from the brotherhood I enjoyed in Swami’s hostel. And in this new scenario, one didn’t have any choice but to dive within and look for inner reservoirs of courage and strength.

That is when I realized that whatever Swami has been teaching works in the corporate environment, that values gives one the growth. And practising Swami’s teachings did wonders for me – His directions on the right attitude towards work, dignity of labor, the right man management through leading by example, and practising what one preached.

These simple messages of Swami actually helped me move ahead in my career right from HSBC in India, to the Middle East with Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank where I was handling quality assurance and operation risk audit, to the UK where I am currently managing quality assurance for risk, globally, for JP Morgan.

A common thread runs through all these career positions. And it had to do with my values. Initially people didn’t understand why I behaved in a way which was totally different from the entire team of people around me. Nevertheless I clung on to the values I had imbibed as a student, especially the qualities of patience and perseverance. That helped me win the trust and credibility of the people I reported to, of my peers and my subordinates. I lead by example such that my subordinates were always willing to go an extra mile for me.

I remember an audit wherein my team worked round the clock to turn around a weak control situation into a strong order success. Even though there was no overtime, they worked day and night because they did not want to let me down at any cost.

The highlight was this: one of my subordinates came on the morning of his marriage to finish off a task! That was what I consider as success in a corporate environment. The challenge to manage the people and all the functions become more or less achievable.

Tackling different individuals, impressing them by being a silent worker and leading by example – that is something which I really learnt in Swami’s college and I still hold on to it. And when people ask me about my personality and the secret of my professional growth, I only talk about my University, the ashram in Puttaparthi and my Guru and my Mother, Sai. What I am today is only because of Sathya Sai Baba.

What words of gratitude can I have for my Swami, who, time and again, showered His love on me, treating me more like a son than a student? He has given me the love of a mother and the guidance of a father – a love that keeps me joyful and brings me back to Him, a love that gives me strength in my career and helps me face life and all its challenges. And I know that I never need to worry, for my Mother’s watchful eyes are always on me – caring, protecting, guiding, comforting and loving.

RadioSai Reference

Mother Supreme – Mother So Sweet & So Dear

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Mother Supreme – Mother So Sweet & So Dear
By T. Ravi Kumar

Dr. T. Ravi Kumar joined the erstwhile Sri Sathya Sai College at Brindavan (Bangalore) as a student for his intermediate course in the year 1974. He continued this with his Bachelors in Science in the same college. After he completed his Masters in Science (Chemistry), he joined the Sri Sathya Sai College as a faculty member in 1981. Later, he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from the Sri Sathya Sai University in 1990. Currently, he is a Reader in the Department of Chemistry in the Brindavan campus of the same university. Additionally, he is a talented speaker and a keen student of Sri Sathya Sai literature.

The saddest day and the happiest day in my life fell on the same day – September 15, 1963. I was only 4 ½ years old then, and my mother had passed away that day. In the evening, as her body was being taken away for cremation, my cousin, who was slightly older than me, whispered into my ears that my mother would be taken in a procession. That somehow made me a lot happier as I imagined that it would be like the temple procession. Every image that my little mind could evoke of that religious parade was one of joy and gaiety.

But when my cousin said that “… she will not return” I was plunged in grief. All attempts to soothe me failed, and so I was taken across the street to my aunt’s house to keep me distracted. This aunt of mine was a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, and so there was a nice photo of Baba in the front room of the house. Looking at it, I asked her who He was.

And she told me: “This is God. Pray to Swami and He will protect you”. Little did I realize then that the Divine mother’s compassionate eyes had fallen on me, at a time when my physical mother’s eyes had closed. And from that instant, I can say, my life has never been the same again.

It was in the year 1968 that my father was cured of cancer by Sathya Sai Baba by just uttering “Your cancer is cancelled”. Father lived for 38 years after that, and died of old age a couple of years ago! He was active till his last breath.

My family and I had always thought that it was only in 1968, after this miraculous curing of my father’s cancer, that we had the good fortune of being drawn to the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba. But the sweet Lord was soon to remove our misconception!

One day, when I had the blessing of speaking in His Presence, I mentioned about how my family and I had come under Swami’s fold. But the all-knowing Lord corrected me by saying, “Not 1968 – 1963”.

Sathya SaiBaba went on to mention “Do you remember the day your mother died? Did you not ask your aunt, seeing My photo ‘who is this, aunty?’ From that day onwards, I have been looking after you”. And what an exciting journey it has been with Sai Maa to guide me! Swami has been a mother, nay much more than a mother to me!

Teenage Adventures
At the time it was made known that my father was suffering from cancer, our lives went through quite a few twists and turns. Since he was not expected to survive the cancer ailment, on returning to office after his trip to Puttaparthi, he found many of his colleagues, who were quite junior to him, had been promoted. This meant my father had to work extra hard to make up for lost time and opportunity.

At that time, I was studying in high school and fell into bad company. The school I studied in had the distinction of having three cinema theatres in front of it, and we – my friends and I – used to spend our afternoons in the cinema theatre watching movies and whiling away time. In fact, we would see as many movies as there were days in a week – we would even go for a morning show to make up for not seeing one on Sundays, which was a school holiday!

From ‘Good Boy’ to God’s Boy
One Sunday, my family and I went to Brindavan (Baba’s ashram in Bangalore) for Swami’s darshan, and Sathya Sai Baba picked us for an interview. Now, normally everyone looks forward for this blessing. You only need to see the joy on the faces of the devotees thus selected to understand what it means to them.

However, as we went to the interview room, I was filled with mixed feelings. There was a slight panic somewhere within my heart along with the joy that we had secured the coveted interview. As Swami returned from the darshan, He passed us and patting me on my cheeks, said “Good boy”.

Now, anyone who gets this remark, even once in his life, would feel that the purpose of life has been achieved, and would be excited and thrilled. But, believe me, it was nothing compared to the bliss I felt. The reason for this was two fold: on the one hand, Sathya Sai Baba had ‘certified’ that I was a good boy and I could wear this on my sleeve. But more importantly, on the other hand, it was also a feeling of tremendous relief as it confirmed that even Sathya Sai Baba was not aware of what I was up to!

However, the very moment this thought passed me, Sathya Sai Baba looked at my father and enquired about the other friends who had accompanied him. On being told that they were on the grounds outside, Baba sent him to fetch them.

He then turned towards me and with a sweet smile, again said, “Good boy”. I felt a glow within for a millisecond maybe, till this assertion became a question. “Good boy?” I tried to look as innocent as good boys do, but the questions followed: “Where were you yesterday at 2.30 in the afternoon?” Trying to look as pan-faced as I could, I answered confidently, “Swami, yesterday was Saturday. I must have been in the classroom…”

Satya Sai Baba quipped back saying, “That’s right, you should have been…. But where were you?” (I realized that the questions were becoming tougher and decided to remain silent). Swami continued, “Shall I tell you? You were sitting in the third row from the last in Ajanta theatre with your friends G and P on either side of you watching the film Katti patang” (a Hindi movie; the title means “a runaway kite”).

That was a precise description of my life till then! Swami’s voice trailed off, when from the corner of my eye I noticed that my father was coming with his friends. I shuddered realizing that it would be a red letter day in more than one way. Swami might choose to expose me within a second’s time and my father would punish me… my father strongly believed in the theory ‘do not spare the rod and spoil the child’. But what followed next, transformed me inside out! Instead of revealing it all to my father, Sai Maa, with the most loving smile, said, “He is a good boy. I was advising him to keep good company”.

I was moved beyond words can express. I asked myself, “Is there anyone in this world who can be and is so kind, in spite of knowing everything about you? Who could have loved me and helped as much, despite my many shortcomings?”

I reasoned that Sathya Sai Baba could have used this incident to demonstrate to my father and the others His omniscience, but chose to save me instead. From that moment, I decided to love this Mother with all my heart and serve Her lotus feet all my life!

This incident, truly, marked a new beginning in my life; I turned a new leaf. But what made it even better was when, after my schooling, Swami gave me the priceless privilege of being selected for the Sri Sathya Sai College for my intermediate class (XI and XII grade).

This meant that I could enjoy Swami’s proximity, and could grow up in the Divine Presence. That was in the year 1974. But now, when I look back at the tapestry of my life, I can see how Swami has so intricately and lovingly woven it with threads of gold.

Growing Up, Literally, with the Lord
Being in the junior most class, and that too the shortest, did not do much to boost my self-confidence. I secretly yearned to add a couple of inches to my height. One morning, in my first year, standing in front of the porch in Brindavan, Sathya Sai Baba said, “All short boys come to the front”. I was surprised to see that there were about 8 of us!

Sathya Sai Baba called the warden and instructed him to give us all a ‘medicine’ for growing tall! He handed over a box and instructed that it be given to us with hot milk in the morning everyday. The warden marched us to his office, and as an additional precaution noted down our heights. The next morning, when we were given the ‘medicine’ we were delighted to find that it was very tasty and sweet. How many times have we heard of a ‘sweet medicine’? But when the dispenser is the Divine Mother, how else would it be?

After fifteen days the ‘medicine’ was fully consumed. The warden went to Swami for the next ‘dose’. Swami just said, “There is no need. Measure their heights and see for yourself”. And of course all of us had grown taller. The evasive couple of inches had been added! Realization dawned on me that there was nothing too small to escape Swami’s attention, and nothing too big that He could not bless us with.

The Overpowering Sai Shakthi
It was a few days after the 70th birthday celebrations in the year 1995. I was sitting in the first line in the Bhajan Hall. Sathya Sai Baba had called a group of devotees and was inside the interview room.

I was reading an English translation of the Tamil classic Periya Puranam which my sister had presented to me a few days ago. It was the life story of Thirugnana Sambandar – a child devotee of Lord Shiva. In that particular story, one day, when the father wants to go to the temple tank for a bath and swim, the child, who was barely aged a couple of years, insists on accompanying him.

A tantrum follows and the father is forced to take the child to the temple tank. The father goes for his bath, leaving the child on the tank bund. After sometime, the child starts crying…….

At this moment, Sathya Sai Baba came out of the interview room and putting away the book I was reading, I looked at Him. Sathya Sai Baba came into the Bhajan Hall, went along the aisle, and talked to a devotee at the end of the hall.

When He returned, He looked into my eyes and asked, “Tell me how many litres of milk do you need?” The first thought that came into my mind was that Swami had warned me to reduce my weight six months before, and in fact, had even listed the items to be avoided! Had I failed in the attempt to diet? Swami repeated the same question thrice, and being unable to understand the purport of the question I remained silent.

For sometime after Swami returned to the interview room, His question kept bothering me… ‘Why did He ask me this question?’, I pondered. When, even after intense effort, I could not understand what the question meant, I decided to shelve it for the present, consoling myself that Swami would reveal the true meaning at the appropriate time, and returned to reading the book from where I had left off:

‘….. the child starts crying. It was hungry. Seeing its plight, Shiva and Shakthi appear before the child and the Divine Mother gives the child a golden bowl of milk. When the father returned from the swim, seeing the drops of milk on the child’s face, he questioned the child. The small child, who till then was barely lisping, sings out a poem describing the Divine couple.’

You can imagine my state. I put the book down, as tears of joy filled up my eyes. I was exhilarated when I realized that the very same Shiva and Shakthi had asked me the same question just a few moments ago!

I also realized that it was at the same spot (in the Bhajan Hall), that in 1963, on the Guru Poornima Day, Sathya Sai Baba had declared that His was the incarnation of both Shiva and Shakthi and cured Himself of the paralytic stroke.

To be a child and to enjoy the loving care of the Divine Mother is the greatest of experiences. Once in Trayee Brindavan, Swami was consoling a new student who had just joined that day, and was crying due to home sickness. He said, “I shall take very good care of you like your own mother… ask Ravi here, he knows”.

There is a famous quote which says, ‘the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world’ illustrating the supremacy of the mother’s role in shaping the citizens of tomorrow. How lucky all of us are, as the ‘Hand that rules the world, rocks our cradle!’

Reference