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Oh Goddess Bagalamukhi,
some say the yellow one.
We see you glowing gold,
coming from the east.
You are the great paralysis.
We gather upon your birthday
to courageously come to honour
the wake-up shock that you admister.
You are the great shock that pierces the chakra
and brings us to silence.
To you we bow
.”

Boonath

The story of Bagalamukhi references the colour gold quite centrally. It starts in the Golden age of Satya Yuga. Satya Yuga translates as ‘the age of truth’. It is first among the four ages.

Satya Yuga is the Golden age of balanced harmony. Bagalamukhi appears from a golden pond of Turmeric that is known as the sacred Haridra pond. Bagalamukhi was summoned by the golden God Pitambara. This is a name of Vishnu who is keeper of the Golden-age. Pitambara can be translated as, ‘the one who is wrapped in yellow’.

The story goes that the Golden-age was threatened by a storm. The forces of equilibrium had become disturbed, and thick grey clouds threatened the order of cosmic balance.

Pitambara prayed deeply until the gift of Bagalamukhi, the golden Goddess of beauty, appeared from the sacred Golden pond.  Bagalamukhi Emerged in dazzling beauty from the sacred golden pond. She stupefied and beamed with radiant countenance of skin dyed gold by Turmeric.

The golden effulgence of her beauty, that manifested upon the earthly plane, was paralyzing. Her golden jewellery tinkled and chimed through infinity as she walked with shining effulgent grace. The bells of her bracelets emitted sacred sounds that paralyzed the doom of the suffocating storm that had been brewing in the heart and soul of existence.

Bagalamukhi means,
‘the one who paralyses
and captures
by her very gaze’
“.

The golden God Pitambara could once again rest into his golden world, as Bagalamukhi restored order by paralyzing the impending storm. Bagalamukhi did it only by the power of her golden gaze. She came to be known as Pitambari, the one with the Golden yellow gaze.

The Solar Plexus and its opposite

The sacred Golden pond, called Haridra, takes its name from the root spice known as Turmeric. Turmeric is an important herb for the health of the fire element in the body, which dwells in the solar plexus.

The right measure is a panacea for regulating the fire element in the human organism. Taken in excess, turmeric can cause dryness in the constitution. This pond in the story outlined above, represents the solar plexus chakra.

The storm clouds threatening to obscure the Golden-age represent the opposite spectrum of clouds of Kali Yuga, that is, the dark Iron-age. If the gathering storm clouds gather in excess, unbalance in equilibrium and order ensues.

The opposite colour in the spectrum to Yellow is Indigo. The indigo Chakra is the Agya chakra at the Third eye, with which the Solar is connected as its opposite. The Third-Eye is ruled by the dark Moon and the Solar plexus is ruled by the sun. We here see the two opposite polarities starkly at play.

In Tantra opposite polarities hold a secret: they both attract and repel each other, just like night and day, hot and cold, man and woman. The vision of the balance of opposites is revealed by Bagalamukhi’s startling gaze. This detail of balancing opposites is one of the keys to Bagalamukhi ritual worship.

The Goddess who disperses psychic clouds

Bagalamukhi is the Goddess force who arrests the movement of the clouds in the psychic sky of our spirit. We might be all-to-used to the pattern of the movements of our inner thought forms and structures. They may be taken as a normality and something that we hold dear to and nourish.

The Tantric comes to recognise those structures of the self, that are opaque and impenetrable forms. By studying the psychic sky of the self, the Tantric learns to recognise the clouds that obscure the vision of the Goddess.

“Bagalamukhi
is she who creates a pause
in the familiar and habitual patterns
of the movement,
of the psyche world
we live within.”

In the pause that she offers we come to the discovery of translucent spheres of being, where visions are glimpsed. The closer we contact her vision, the clearer the vision of reality becomes.

Khechari Mudra

Khechari Mudra
is the practice of working
with the tongue.

The tongue is the intersection between the polarities of the solar plexus and the third eye, while at the same time, it connects the energies of the sexual and throat Chakras together.

Tantra prescribes many techniques of working with the tongue. The nerves of the tongue are profoundly related to the solar plexus and sexual nerves. The vagus nerve is stimulated through the tongue.

Particular placements
of the tongue
all have their specific functions.

Khechari Vidya (wisdom of Kechari) is a secret practice that is initiated upon Bagalamukhi Jayanti. Specific mudras and mantras in combination with the movements of the tongue can direct the energy. An upward placement, for example, can send the energy up to the third eye. A downward placement sends the energy to the sexual Chakra. A directly frontal placement connects to the solar plexus Chakra. According to the placement of the tongue, the whole system of Chakric energies can be worked with. Bagalamukhi is the keeper of this Vidya (wisdom)

The tongue goes North

This brings us to another myth that relates to  Bagalamukhi. When we see the Goddess Bagalamukhi in pictures, she is portrayed as pulling out the tongue of a ghoulish looking little man with bulging eyes.

The story tells us that Madan was a Yogi who became Asuric (destructive) after he gained the Siddhi of Khechari Mudra. It is a story – as are all yogic tales – to meditate upon in order to glean its deeper meaning.

This is the Siddhi (magical power) of speech, often referred to as Vakk Siddhi. Those who work with the Khechari Mudra of the tongue in very deep ways, gain the power of speech. What is said can come to manifest when the power of Khechari is evoked.

Khechari yogis
are careful
and sometimes very reserved
with speech.

Now, the story tells us that the Asura Madan had the power of Khechari Mudra, but his heart was eclipsed by bitterness, and so he cursed left right and centre and caused much suffering.

The golden glowing goddess appeared and stunned his eclipsed heat and pulled his tongue in the Northern direction, bringing his energies into communion with his third eye.

The upward movement of the tongue connects the sexual energies and digestive fires with the subtle energies of the third eye. Bagalamukhi is the Goddess force that draws the gold out of the swamp of habitual murky dwelling.

Upon this Half Waxing ritual night we shall approach Bagalamukhi with the prayer of receiving Khechari Vidya. This is a ritual time of working with the solar forces as mirrored in the rising Moon. Bagalamukhi Ritual is very much about studying the impact of our active words. Not only the spoken words, but also the words that resound and colour our innermost being. Some of the practices of Bagalamukhi that we shall engage in are preliminaries of the Full Northern Mudras of Khechari.

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