Fire of the Feminine
Sadhguru: Allowing the feminine to find its place in any society is very important. If just masculine finds expression, we will have enough to eat, but we will have no life to live. If you want to use analogies, if you call the root the masculine, the flower and the fruit is feminine. The very purpose of the root is to bring the flower and the fruit. If that does not happen, the root will go waste.
All the great civilizations on the planet were goddess worshipers. It is only when nomadic tribes created very aggressive patriarchal cultures and religions, that feminine worship was slowly banished and burnt out of the world. India is still the only country where the worship of the feminine is a live process. Even today in South India, there isn’t a single village without a goddess of their own. The basis of this culture is in celebration of the feminine, but slowly, the culture evolved into an exploitation of the feminine. So, we want to revive the feminine in a powerful way.
Linga Bhairavi is a very powerful, fierce feminine form. But feminine energy worshiped as a linga is rare. A few have been there, but in very withdrawn kinds of situations. Probably this is the first time that this kind of space will be open to the public and handled in a different way altogether.
One sad thing that is happening in the world is, women are either becoming like Barbie dolls or they are trying to become like men. They have jealousy, masculine ambitions and other nonsense, but they don’t have that feminine fire. That is what a woman could add to this world, that she is like a fire. Linga Bhairavi is a big-fire woman, not a small-fire woman. She is not a doll, she is not a man, she is feminine to the core.
Dhyanalinga is more oriented towards your ultimate wellbeing. Immediate wellbeing is also packed into it, but for people who are seeking health, prosperity, and these kind of things, Linga Bhairavi will be far more responsive. But she also has the spiritual dimension attached. If you give yourself deeply into the process, even if you went there in search of material wellbeing, slowly she will take you into that.
Birth of a Goddess
A participant shares his experience of the Linga Bhairavi Consecration.
It had been an exciting three days leading up to Linga Bhairavi’s full consecration, rich in atmosphere and significance. Around 5 p.m. on Thursday, 28 January 2010, about 5000 Isha meditators sat shaded from the hot sun by bamboo and palm leaf canopies around the temple complex, waiting for the consecration to begin. A sea of white clothes and red Bhairavi scarves embodied the sense of unique occasion. The electric atmosphere began to grow and crackle.
Then, Sadhguru arrived, dressed in a beautiful white robe with red trim. Sadhguru came across playful, anecdotal and relaxed, discoursing while making shapes from solidified mercury. I reminded myself of what Sadhguru had said at the last darshan before the event – this process was too big and unfathomable for the mind to comprehend, so he advised us to just “soak it in.” This proved sound advice as I watched things unfold that felt more like a scene set in ancient Egypt or Atlantis.
Her liquid mercury “spine” inserted, there was only a short wait until Sadhguru revealed her form – eyes first…
The second day progressed and we approached the birth of Devi. Her liquid mercury “spine” inserted, there was only a short wait until Sadhguru revealed her form – eyes first – to gasps and cries from the crowd. I joined the howling, as her eyes terrified me at first sight – the Divine Feminine as fierce warrior! Soon after though, her expression seemed softer, full of the wide-eyed bafflement of a newborn baby, and I felt a wave of loving compassion toward this freshly birthed Goddess. The atmosphere as Sadhguru walked home after the birth was almost indescribable. His eyes were filled with tears. It was a beautiful and humbling sight.
The night culminated around 3 a.m. as the huge sixteen ton slab of granite for the final roof section sealed the space above the Goddess, to a wild reception by the crowd. Our collective heartbeat pounded along throughout, to the tireless music of Sounds of Isha, whose stunning vocals, drums and percussion helped sustain the energy levels and effort required of the occasion. I wanted to participate one hundred percent, and felt a responsibility not to become a drain or part of a collective burden on Sadhguru, who had frankly stated that he would have preferred the event to be a small, private affair, but had chosen to offer it up to as many people as possible – the word “privilege” doesn’t even begin to describe it!
I recalled what Sadhguru had said about living ecstatically and devotionally, and felt a sudden contrast with the dry sterility of much of westernized living – even most of our festivals lack lustre.
The last “official” event of the consecration was the procession around the temple with a “mobile” Devi idol, and this I found more than a little confusing. I felt as if I were on a film set; men in loincloths juggling fire around a gigantic bull statue, as brightly clad women chanted to hypnotic rhythms. “Okay, so he’s worshiping the Divine Feminine in the shape of an ellipsoid with eyes. Is this really any different to thinking of the Earth as our Mother or the female energies as ‘Goddess?’” Whatever works – and, as I have learned ever more experientially over the last two years since Inner Engineering, I simply accepted what was before me and watched my poor mind try to grasp the ungraspable, finally surrendering, and get gently blown like an over-taxed circuit. I recalled what Sadhguru had said about living ecstatically and devotionally, and felt a sudden contrast with the dry sterility of much of westernized living – even most of our festivals lack lustre.
My mind cannot grasp all that it has soaked in over those three days, so I’ve left it to my heart to write this piece, trying to capture just a whisper and a glimpse of the extraordinary kaleidoscope of the Goddess’ birth! May the energy of the Devi bring joy and devotion to all our hearts…
Happy Birth, Devi, to You!
Devi is a Living Entity
Sadhguru answers a question on how one can experience Devi as a living entity in their life.
Sadhguru: Since we started off with the Bhairavi consecration in January 2010, there has been no looking back. It has been a roller coaster of excitement and Devi has touched the lives of a countless number of people. Already four full-fledged Bhairavi temples have been confirmed, and many small ones are coming up. So, She is going places.
The reason why many people are able to feel Devi much more than Dhyanalinga is simply because She is physically manifest. Dhyanalinga is subtle; it takes a certain receptivity to feel it. It is of a completely different dimension. Devi is physically manifest – She can do pleasant things, but She can even slap you in the face. Fifty fingers may be left on your face. So, is Devi manifest? She very much is. Is She physically manifest? Very much. As far as I am concerned, She is a living entity for me and for many people.
If there is not much of you, you will feel the presence of what is not you.
So, “What should I do to experience Devi?” You don’t have to do anything. If there is not much of you, you will feel the presence of what is not you. If there is too much of you, you won’t feel anything anywhere. Not just here, anywhere. Devi is difficult to miss. But most people are like this – they have not felt their heartbeat, they have not felt their own breath, they cannot see the full moon. If you don’t notice a mosquito biting you, your heart beating, your breathing, if you don’t notice how food behaves within you, how will you notice Devi? There are a few things which have manifested in some people’s lives with Bhairavi which are very strange and, probably, they would not want to talk about it, so I will leave that alone, but things have happened. But the problem with most people is that they are already imagining something.
Don’t imagine anything. Imagination is not good for experience. If you think imagination is a substitute for your experience, it is a stupid way to live. Imagination will feel pleasant for some time. But if it goes out of control, you will go nuts. With imagination, you can go to heaven in two minutes and come back and you are in the same place – a little depressed because you are back. Experience is different. Experience transforms life. I am talking about real life experience. Physically manifest experience. It is very much possible.
If you are absolutely in devotion, nothing of you will be left. If nothing of you is left, She will be as strong and real as the morning sunlight.
So…devotion. It is not because you are singing for Devi or loving Her that She will appear. She is always there. She doesn’t care whether you are devoted or not. Your devotion has nothing to do with Her. Your devotion has something to do with you. If you are absolutely in devotion, nothing of you will be left. If nothing of you is left, She will be as strong and real as the morning sunlight. The only thing is, for you to feel it, you must be empty. How empty you are, that strongly you will feel it.
Your devotion is not about Devi, your devotion is about dissolving yourself. But without Her, you cannot be devout. You need something, you need someone to be devout, so you can use Her. Right now, everything that you see as the world is your interpretation, it is your reflection. In this condition, there can be no devotion, there can be no perception. What you see is not the world, not the creation, not the Creator. To demolish this “you” that has become so big, you see Bhairavi everywhere. Now, after some time, everything is like that. If you see a leaf, “Oh, it looks like Bhairavi.” If you see a flower, “It looks like Bhairavi.” Don’t say this to anyone, just do this within yourself. This is a fantastic device to lower the sense of who you are. Who you are will just disappear over a period of time.
Is this not stupid? An idea that works, do you call it stupid or smart? It works, that’s all. All devices are to be used, not to be analyzed. It is not for analysis, it is for use. If you use it, it works. If you analyze, what is there in it? If I analyze you, what the hell is there within you? There is really nothing. Isn’t it?
RED – The Colour of Exuberance
Sadhguru: In the tradition, Devi has always been red, since red is the most vibrant color – and feminine represents that. Devi spaces always have very active involvement of red in many ways.
Sadhguru: At one time, not a single home in this country was without a consecrated space, a little temple or shrine, and for a very long time, the maximum number of shrines were always maintained by women, not by men. Only the public ones were maintained by men. Linga Bhairavi is taken care of by women called Bhairagini Maas, who do a certain type of sadhana which is Devi oriented. It is probably one of the only temples in the world taken care of by women, but it is for everyone. She has been created in a certain way, She will be maintained in a certain way which is very unique – it is a certain process that only the feminine can do.
Bhairavi Shatakam is a powerful, vibrant chant to invoke the grace and presence of Devi.
For more information…