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