Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Amma Pratyangira and Swami

The Divine Mother was here. In amplified form. I have spent the last five days with Amma and Swami. The homa or fire puja, Diwali celebration, Amma's Bhavas, 100 devotees-so many beautiful and powerful experiences. Mata Pratyangira is a living force!

On Friday evening Swami and Amma Pratyangira performed a fire puja in my back yard. 108 sacred herbs and plants went into the flames, the fire itself worshiped as Goddess. Sweets, incense, ghee, coconuts, honey, 9 different grains all were offered. From my stereo placed on the back deck, the Lalita Sahasranam-1000 names of the Goddess came resonating through our circle. Amma chanted along while 50 of us were held mesmerized by the energies. For about an hour Amma played her favorite bhajans or devotional hymns and sang along with sheer devotion while Swami performed the puja.

Many of the photos (to be posted at a later date) show Amma and Swami in their bliss bodies or ethereal bodies. They appear translucent yet a smoky veil infuses parts of their physical form. In some certain body parts disappear completely into the ethers. In one of the photos Swami takes on the form of Chinnamasta for it appears his head hovers over his shoulder. Photo after photo shows some divine expression of energy. And the 'fairy' lights around them along the fence continuously shape shift into various forms. The fire itself takes different guises and the entire aura of the evening is infused with the Divine Mother's Love.

After the homa we all went inside for darshan. For days I had prepared the temple space. An altar with many different murti (divine images) was placed around the fireplace. Diwali candles lined the mantel. Amma began performing darshan. Calling out Jai Bhuvaneshwari Ki and everyone would cry out Jai! (Victory to Goddess Bhuvaneshwari). She would then ask the name of each devotee and call out their name with this reverent chant: Jai ______Ki... Jai! the rest of the room would shout. Anandalahari and Francesca played the most divinely melodious music for Amma's darshan. Again Anandalahari's Han drum transported me to another realm. And Francesca's kirtan was haunting-beautifully so. On this sacred holiday Diwali, my house was graced with devotional music, reverence, and love.

Being the hostess I missed much of the darshan and was involved with other sacred interactions. After a couple hours I suddenly knew I needed to go into the living room and be with Amma. I was immediately called up to her. The last to receive darshan. She was already in her Bhava. Fierce and wild-like Kali Maa. Her tongue stretched out, her eyes bulging, her hands in various mudras, until she raised one as if she was holding a sword. She pulled me to her and started chanting. She named the fierce goddesses I worship in my ritual practices. I had not told Amma about my devotion to these goddesses when she was in "normal" consciousness, and here she was embodying some tremendous force and reciting mantras for Varahi, Chamunda, and Chinamasta. I was blasted with energy. My muladhara or root chakra experienced a fiery surge of energy that traveled up my spine and made my entire body shake for minutes. Amma Pratyangirae held onto me tightly and continued to chant and occasionally cackle (!) while my physical form trembled and shook. The kirtan music died down and the room became perfectly silent except for the Divine Mother's breathing and sacred utterances. It was sublime. After she released me I fell back onto one of my sister's knees and grabbed onto another sister's hand. I needed to share the powerful currents of energy that were coursing through me. I could not hold all that energy in my body and indeed experienced a headache all through the night. (Om Namas Chandikayay- She Who Tears Apart Thoughts). Nor could I sleep. So much Shakti! But I also continued to experience sheer Bliss. Devotion. And Love. The evening ended with Amma feeding about 10 of us from this endless pot of savory Indian prasad. She had cooked for us right before the puja-in an hour she had created 8 different dishes that were truly sublime.

Amma does not remember what happened in her bhava state. So after the puja we sat in my living room and shared as best we could- words really can not express the Shakti that blazed through us all that evening. Jai Maa!

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