Bagalamukhi

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Hanuman

Bagalamukhi
Standstill or Who can take control over enemies physical and mental action.
Bagalamukhi Matrika.jpg
Affiliation Mahavidya
Abode A
Mantra Om hlreem bagalamukhi sarvadustanaam vacham mukham padam stambhaya jihvaam keelaya budheem vinashaya hlreem om swaha
Weapon Mace
Consort Shiva
Mount Corpse or Ghost.

Bagalamukhi or Bagala (Devnagari: बगलामुखी) is one of the ten mahavidyas (great wisdom goddesses) in Hinduism. Bagalamukhi Devi smashes the devotee's misconceptions and delusions (or the devotee's enemies) with her cudgel. She is also known as Pitambara Maa in North India.

Bagalamukhi is one of the ten forms of the wisdom goddesses, symbolising the potent female primeval force.

Iconography[edit]

"Bagalamukhi" is derived from "Bagala" (distortion of the original Sanskrit root "valgā") and "mukha", meaning "bridle" and "face", respectively. Thus, the name means one whose face has the power to capture or control. She thus represents the hypnotic power of the Goddess.[1] Another interpretation translates her name as “crane faced”.

Bagalamukhi has a golden complexion and her dress is yellow. She sits in a golden throne in the midst of an ocean of nectar full of yellow lotuses. A crescent moonnded). adorns her head. Two descriptions of the goddess are found in various texts- The Dwi-Bhuja (two handed), and the Chaturbhuja (Four ha The Dwi-Bhuja depiction is the more common, and is described as the Soumya or milder form. She holds a club in her right hand with which she beats a demon, while pulling his tongue out with her left hand. This image is sometimes interpreted as an exhibition of stambhana, the power to stun or paralyse an enemy into silence. This is one of the boons for which Bagalamukhi’s devotees worship her. Other Mahavidya goddesses are also said to represent similar powers useful for defeating enemies, to be invoked by their worshippers through various rituals.

Bagalamukhi is also called Pitambaradevi or Brahmastra Roopini and she turns each thing into its opposite. She turns speech into silence, knowledge into ignorance, power into impotence, defeat into victory. She represents the knowledge whereby each thing must in time become its opposite. As the still point between dualities she allows us to master them. To see the failure hidden in success, the death hidden in life, or the joy hidden in sorrow are ways of contacting her reality. Bagalamukhi is the secret presence of the opposite wherein each thing is dissolved back into the Unborn and the Uncreated.

Legend[edit]

Once upon a time, a huge storm erupted over the Earth. As it threatened to destroy whole of the creation, all the gods assembled in the Saurashtra region. Goddess Bagalamukhi emerged from the 'Haridra Sarovara', and appeased by the prayers of the gods, calmed down the storm. You can see replica of 'Haridra Sarovara', as described in scriptures, at Peetambara Peetham, Datia, Madhya Pradesh, India . Ganga apologises to Parvati for hurting her sentiments. She urges Parvati not to go outside Kailash. The deities worry about Parvati. Ganga departs from Kailash after seeing Parvati's anger. Nandi and the Shivgans try to stop Parvati from going outside Kailash, but in vain. Mahadev finds it difficult to pacify Parvati. Kartikey and Indradev pray to Parvati not to leave Kailash, but she denies. Parvati transforms herself into Bagalamukhi Devi to destroy the demons and the evil power.

bagalamukhi devi in a kali pooja pandal

Worship[edit]

An image of Bagalamukhi depicted in a Patachitra from Pingla, West Bengal

Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati is considered to be the center of Tantricism, where there is the presence of temples dedicted to the ten Mahavidyas. A few miles away from the Kamakhya Temple is the temple dedicated to the Goddess Bagalamukhi. Major temples to the goddess are situated in the Bankhandi Himachal Pradesh in the north, and at Nalkheda at Agar Malwa district in Madhya Pradesh and Pitambara Peeth in Datia Madhya Pradesh. In South India there is a temple at sree suryamangalam, Kallidaikurichi, Papankulam village in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.[2]

In Somalapura (Ambaa Matha ) of Sindhanur taluk , Yadagiri district of North Karnataka there is a less known but very powerful Bagulamukhi Sidhdha Peeth ( A Sidhdha peetha is a temple built by a great yogi after Devi's sakshaatkara and falling to the love of the yogi , devi promises to preside in the temple )or temple is there built by great yogi Shri Chidanandavadhoota around 300 years ago. 'Shree Devi Charitre' was composed by Chidanandavadhoota which is read in every household of Karnataka even today.

Nepal, where the worship of tantric goddesses had Royal patronage, also has a large temple devoted to Bagalamukhi in the Newar city of Patan in Nepal near Kathmandu. The territory of the Bagalamukhi temple in Patan also has several other temples dedicated to Ganesha, Shiva, Saraswati, Guheswar, Bhairava etc.

See also[edit]

Baglamukhi is the eighth mahavidya, invoked for destruction of enmity, often mistaken for enemy. This is the Supreme divine force, believed to have been invoked by Lord Ram to destroy the demon Ravan with his descendants.

References[edit]

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