Bagala (or Bagalamukhi) is a powerful esoteric goddess who has become ever more popular due to her reputed powers of captivation and control. As a personality she is invoked to control the thoughts and speech of one’s enemies, and is often called upon to aid in winning court cases.
The following mantra is a pranama mantra, a mantra that offers reverence and worship. We recommend using pranama mantras as simple and effective forms of worship.
Puja is a feast for the senses – beautiful flowers, intoxicating incense, delicious food, beautiful murtis. Performing puja makes us feel good, like we’re doing something, like we’re serving God/dess.
What does it mean to surrender? And how is this relevant to the Tantric path?
There was a time when practicing some form of hatha yoga – that is, physical postures – was inseparable from Tantric practice. In the beginning, serious practitioners are often required to sit for extended periods in order to complete what their gurus ask of them. As one progresses on the path, intense sadhanas require great physical effort to maintain the health of the body while going through the rigors of the path. Hatha yoga is a physical practice that is based on asanas or postures, which are said to prepare us to sit for sadhana.
I am a Shakta, and for me, MAA (an informal word a child uses for its Mother, like “Mama”) is the representation of Infinite Being, of pure existence from which all things emerge.
Essentially, we are all MAA, we are all just in different phases/states/stages of realized awareness about the nature of Her existence. The best of gurus teach their disciples to listen to their own Atman (and how to listen, through sadhana) as the supreme guide, because Atman is not separate from Brahman/MAA/Infinite Being (these words are interchangeable), rather than relying on them totally. They may give us guidance and advice, but ultimately they will encourage us to first begin to hear, and then begin to listen to MAA directly. We must each come to our own realization, do our own sadhana, make our own mistakes, and release our own “I” in order to emerge from the darkness of non-awareness.
One of the most consistent comments I hear from devotees is this:
“I would love to practice more meditation/yoga/puja/etc., but I just don’t have enough time/am too busy/have too much on my plate/can’t/don’t know how.”
The problem is the same for beginners as well as advanced practitioners. As we travel along any spiritual path and dive more deeply, things don’t get easier, they get harder. Yes, some things get easier – concepts become familiar, we might learn certain things more quickly or need less basic instruction as time goes on. But the deeper we go, the bigger the obstacles are. So what is the answer?
Compassion is an oft-overlooked yet vital part of the Hindu and Tantric path toward personal happiness and liberation. In the Devi Mahatmyam, the Gods praise Mahadevi (literally, the Great Goddess) in all Her forms with a famous and powerful hymn called the Devi Suktam. One of the verses from the hymn praises Her as compassion (daya):
ya devi sarvabhutesu dayarupena samsthita |
namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah ||
Devi Mahatmyam 5.65-67: To that Goddess who exists in all things as the form of compassion, I adore her, I adore her, I adore her, again and again!
The Goddess is compassion, She is manifested in all things as compassion. What does this mean in a real day-to-day sense?
KALI is the Mother of Time. One of the meanings of the word “Kala,” the root of Kali’s name, is “time.”
Time is something we can’t conquer as humans. No matter how strong, wealthy, or clever we are, time devours us in the end. It comes for us relentlessly, devouring our lives as children, as adults in middle age, and finally devours life itself in our old age when we die. But Kali devours time itself – She is beyond time.