Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kali Temple Devotees

I am always on the lookout to help out the devotees coming to the temple. I advise them about the easiest way to get Dharshan.

The Pandas do not like my helping out.

A helpful Panda tells you that the temple is about to close and you should hurry up. This is a trick to make you take his help. The temple closes only in the afternoon. But such advise is given throughout the day.

I do not intervene in such a situation.

But I do help people who do not attach themselves to the Pandas.

But how do the people take it? Frankly they do not want such advice. I am ignored and often they try to impress me with their knowledge of the temple. Rarely does someone take my advice.

A couple of days back a group from outside were in the Nat Mandie for a Dharshan. I told them to give some amount to the employee sitting in the front varandah so that they will make way for Dharshan. The immediate reply was " We have already given Rs.50." The fact is that they have given the money to the Panda.

Giving money to the right person is very important.

A gentleman was asking about the Nakuleshwar temple. The pandas told him that it is outside. I stepped in and gave him directions to go to the temple. But the gentlemen almost told me that he knew all about it. Strange behavior.

In general people trust the Pandas than any fellow devotee. No wonder no one helps you out in the temple.

Still, it is my Mother's house and I am duty bound to help the devotees.

What is your experience?

Friday, November 13, 2009


कालिकायै विद्महे श्मशानवासिन्यै धीमहि

तन्नो घोरा प्रचोदयात्।

I was thinking of posting an article about Upasana/Sadhana of Maa Kali in the web site. A long unfulfilled promise.

I will now post a series about Kali Upasana, Kali Mantras and also trace the history of Kali worship in India.

Kali is worshiped all over India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. There is a mistaken impression that Kali worship is confined to eastern India. This is far from true.

We hear of Kali worship from the times of Kalidasa the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language

His famous poem on Mother Kali is Shymala Dhandakam

You can find an English translation here.

Some of you especially from South India may shout now. "Stop. Shymala Dhandakam is about Saraswathi and not Kali. I know the poem. My grandmother used to recite it. It is very popular in South India."

Yes. It is very popular in South India and is known as a poem on Saraswati. But that information is wrong. The above quoted translation is by a Tamil Brahmin. See his comments. Then Kalidasa who called himself as Kali's servant would be writing about Kali and not Saraswati. The term Shymala means dark colored one. We also call Maa Kali, Shyama. Pray when did Saraswati become dark in color? She is portrayed as fair in color in all other slokas.

Matha marakatha shyama as Kalidasa calls her.

Of course there is another theory that Shyamala is Matangi or Raja Matangi. But there is nothing to indicate that Kalidasa was a worshipper of Raja Matangi.

Maa Kali is well known for bestowing her Upasakas with Kavithvam or the ability to compose poems. There are slokas for that. About that later.

Again Kalidasa lived during the period of King Vikramaditya. We all know the stories of Vikramaditya, his minister Bhatti and of course the famous Vethaal. Vikramaditya was again a worshipper of Maa Kali. The stories are full of magical powers (Ashtama Siddhi) and Kali Upasana is well known for getting Astama Siddhi.

The place of birth of Kalidasa and Vikramaditya viz. Ujjain has played a major role in the spread of Kali worship.

By the way The mantra that Kalidasa reportedly used was the Shadakshari (six lettered ) Mantra

क्रीं - क्रीं -हुं - हुं - ह्रीं - ह्रीं

Friday, October 9, 2009

Karma - Astrology - Prayaschitta

Yesterday in my house we were talking about doing Prayaschtta or pariharams (in Tamil) as advised by Astrlogers.

Now the question is what is the role of Prayaschitta in Hinduism?

Hinduism believes in the Karma theory. Your present life is determined by the Karma of the previous births. The horoscope represents a picture of your life at the time of your birth.

The Karma theory varies with the Philosophical systems. In Purva Mimansa the oldest Philosophy, our life is pre-determined by the Karmas of the previous births. There is no way you could change that. But you can to some extent alleviate that by doing good Karmas in the present birth. This is the basis of the Prayaschitta system. But this does contradict the theory that there is no escape from the effects of the past Karmas. Again Purva Mimansa does not believe in a supreme God.

In Vedanta and especially Bhakti Marga, it is believed that God decides our life. MAA can burn away your past Karmas. Even if the Karma does take effect it can be mitigated. And also she decides when and how the effect should take place.

An example:

Due to your past karma you have to lose Rs.10, 000 in this life. Repayment of past debts as it is called. By praying to MAA you can overcome the effect of this.

1. MAA could make you rich, so that a loss of Rs.10,000 is peanuts to you.

2. More important (even if you are not rich) she could give you an mental attitude where you do not feel the loss at all. This is very important. You would have seen people who brush aside such losses with absolute indifference and also people (even those who are rich) who feel dejected and crest fallen with even a small financial loss.

Trust in MAA and leave everything to her. Pray to her.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More about Kali temple

Kalighat Kali temple is one of the most popular Saktha temple visited by thousands of devotees every day. MAA is Karuna Moyi, Daya Moyi and Ananda Moyi. MAA is well known for granting boons to devotees. No wonder people come from allover the world to visit the temple.

But about the temple itself. How is it?

1. One of the (if not the) dirtiest temple in India.

2. The only temple in India where Beggars and Vendors have a free rein. The Nat Mandir is used by Beggars as their home. You find them sleeping there at any time of the day. The Beggar Children use it as their play ground. The beggar children sit on the floor among the crowd and tug at your feet. They kick the devotees who are sitting there meditating.

The vendors of the so called Raksha thread forces one mala on your head and demand money. Then you have the vendors of Kumkum and other Puja material. Then you have permanent sweet shops inside the temple.

Is this a way a holy place should be run? Temple for MAA is called MAA Badi or Mother's house. Do we keep our Mother's house like this?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Why this Blog - I

I have been receiving feedback from the guest book of my web site about the Kalighat Temple

The guest book is not the place to post about bad experiences. So I have been editing out such posts.

But we do need a forum for posting such incidents. And where I can post my experiences in the Kalighat temple.

So here it comes.