Goddess Bagalamukhi In India Art, Literature and Thought

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Item Code: NAF155
Author: C.V Rangaswami
Publisher: Sharada Publishing House
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788188934959
Pages: 342 (73 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 11.5 inch x 9.0 inch
Weight 1.30 kg
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Book Description
About the Book

India is a land of several goddess cults. The present book attempts to study the cult of Devi Bagalamukhi from a socio- cultural stand point. Devi Bagalamukhi is one of the Dasamahiividyiis or incarnation of Goddess, Parvati. She is a stambhana goddess, destroyer of adversaries- internal as well as external and one who aids Parasiva (the Absolute) in his cosmic function. Besides these aspects, She is also the bestower of fulfillment of all desires-worldly as well as 'bliss'. Her Pithas are located at Datia (M.P.), Varanasi (Sindhiya Ghat), Siddhaparvata (Raichur) and Gauri Pitha (Navilgund, Karnataka) and few other places. There are also individual practitioners of the Goddess all over India.

The book consists of five chapters. The first and second deal with a brief introduction and the Goddess in literature, art and thought. Third to fifth chapters are exclusively meant for a detailed study of social dimensions, including efforts made by preceptors of the Pithas. For instance, Sri Annadanesvara the most recent preceptor of Bagala cult, Sri Cidananda Avadh utaru Rajayogi, Sant Siromani Mahan Santa Ananta Sri Pujyapada Sri Svamiji and Sri Ajata Nagalinga Mahasvamigalu. They have reformed many persons by their counseling impact and spiritual healing.

Hoped that this book would be found useful in inspiring people of this land to have faith in the desirability of their temples and institutions for the perpetuation of their religion and culture.

About the Author

Dr C.V Rangaswami (b.1926 ) had his higher education from Mysore Universities and Karnatak University. He served in both the niversities and its colleges from 1947 to 1986 as a Lecturer in History and Archaeology and later retired as a Reader. He did his Ph.D. thesis titled 'The Government and Administration under the Chalukyas of Badami' , under the guidance of Dr. P.B. Desai, an authority in History.

In a span of 39 years (1947- 86), he has published many textbooks for degree courses and more than 50 articles.

His major research work with U.G.C and ICHR are projects on 'Revenue Settlement Reports as a Source to the History of Twin Cities of Hubli-Dharward' and 'Shri Lalitambika in Literature, Art and Thought'. Other major research work are on 'Sri Pitambara Devi (Devi Bagalamukhi) in Socio- cultural field' was submitted to the ICHR, New Delhi. He has written a short book on 'Siddha Parvatavasini Devi Bagalamukhi (Pitambara Mai)' and edited 'Bagalamba Sataka' of Cidananda Avadhutaru Rajayogt, an ardent worshiper & saint at Sindhanur near Raichur district, Karnataka. At the age of 86, the author is still active in writing books and articles.


India is a land of several goddess cults and a critical and historical study of these cults is interesting. The present book attempts to study the cult of Devi Bagalamukhi from a socio- cultural stand point.

Devi Bagalamukhi is one of the dasamahauidsas ( Vidya = avatiira or incarnation) and the fifth in rank. She is a stambhana goddess, destroyer of adversaries-internal as well as external and one who aids Parasiva (the Absolute) in his cosmic function. As such She is also a Mother Goddess. Worship of the Mother Goddess is a common phenomena not only in the south but in north India also. It has been in practice since the Harappan times. Indeed the supremacy of cult of the Mother Goddess has been upheld by even Western scholars like Friedrich Hailer in Das Gibbet, Payne in the Sdktas, and Starbuck in his article, 'The Female Principle' in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Great Mother Goddess Bagalamukhi is worshipped, particularly in north India as Pitambara Mai - the manifestation of compassion to the devotees, but fatal to Her enemies. Besides these aspects, She is also the bestowed of fulfillment t of all desires - worldly as well as 'bliss'.

Sri Annadanesvara (1899-1991 A.D.) the most recent preceptor of Bagala cult, after Sri Cidananda Avadhutaru Rajayogi (mid 18th century) and Sri Ajata Nagalinga Mahasvamigalu (1821-1881 A.D.) in Karnataka, felt that there is a need of a work on Devi Bagalamukhi on a country-wide basis covering a study of the main centers, particularly Datia (M.P.), Siddhaparvata and Navilgund (Karnataka). Such a work is also to include a survey to the temples of the goddess in India, significance and utility of upiisarui for practitioners, recital of the hymns and epithets of the goddess for the interested masses irrespective of social discription for relief in abject conditions, cultural value of annual festivals and fairs in the temples, social evils and reform, how far realized and need for further reform. Besides these, the book also deals with the role played by preceptors of Bagala cult of the main Sakti pithas of the goddess in social reform and cultural change in modern India. For one of the greatest factors contributing to social change is culture which plays a vital role. Also spiritualism of true saints had and is having its impact on culture, education and social change in India.

Sociologists, social historians and Anthropologists are primarily concerned in the process of social and cultural change in modern India. In this direction, it is hoped that the book would be found useful at least to a little extent in inspiring people of this land to have faith in the desirability of their temples and institutions for the perpetuation of their religion and culture.


Offering my profound obeisance to the great scholars and practitioners of Devi Bagalamukhi cult, an attempt is made in the monograph' to write on the Goddess and Her Sakti pithas with special reference to socio-cultural aspects such as social reform and contribution by the preceptors and practitioners to social change in modern India, social participation in annual festivals and fairs at the temples of the Goddess, evil aspects of fairs and festivals (animal sacrifice, nude worship, practice of deva-dasi, superstitious beliefs, dowry deaths, atrocities on dalist, addiction to liquor, practice of vamacara, miracles (by attainments), reform of criminals, prisoners, ete.) their reform and need for further reform and cure of chronic ailments.

The book consists of five chapters (with illustrations, glossary, bibliography and index) out of which third to fifth chapters are exclusively meant for a detailed study of social dimensions, while the first and second deal with a brief introduction and the Goddess in literature, art and thought, respectively to make the book comprehensive. Worship of Mother Goddess

Worship of Mother Goddess
Whatever a man undertakes to do, supported by his intellectual power and will, he wishes to complete it without any obstacle. If the wish is to be fulfilled, his own efforts are not enough. He needs divine grace for that. We must therefore worship god or goddess. Of the many forms of goddesses, Bagalamukhi Devi is one. Thus the area chosen is a study of a goddess - Devi Bagalamukhi, Bagala cult, meditation and modes of worship or upasana for the aspirant and a simple one like recital of names of the goddess as found in hymnal literature for the interested and devoted masses, whereby reform of ourselves and the society besides agencies of the state and community, may be achieved as for as possible. It is a socio-religious art based study (multi-disciplinary) in which I became interested subsequent to my completion of a U .C.G major project titled Sri Lalitambika in Literature, Art and Thought.

Devi Bagalamukhi belongs to the category of the well known Dasamahavidyas (fig. 1) or manifestation of Sakti energy - Kali, Tara, Kamala, Tripura - Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Bagalamukhi and the rest each of which is a 'great science and art' of approaching the Divine Mother of the Universe for help so that She may carry the devotee across the ocean of ignorance and mortality to the Supreme Light Immortal, the final destination. She is a crane - headed Goddess, seated on a jeweled throne yellow - colored, yellow - clad, bedecked with garlands of yellow flowers, yellow - ornamented, holding a mighty club in one hand and the enemy's tongue with the other. If this is the three dimensional figure or sculpture found in temples, Bagalamukhi yantra (cakra) - stambhana and pujana - represent the two dimensional figure of the Goddess which can be drawn. They contain the seed syllable.

Devi Bagalamukhi is not only a stambhana goddess but also Pardsakti and Srividya, (Rudrayamala), She is the Goddess who aids the practitioner in the path of self-realization. In northern India, She is worshipped by the popular epithet Pitambara Mai or Mata.

Sage Narada, is the presiding rsi and the meter is tristup. The most important objective of the seed syllable, cited, is to produce spells and magic based on Atharvaveda and cause mental aberration to judges in law suits including the counsels and witnesses. But this does not sound rational. On the other hand, a fervent prayer or stuti or recital of epithets by the devotee helps removal of evils. For instance, among the many hymns on the Goddess, the one sung in chorus and engraved on the walls of the sukhanasi of the main shrine at Datia may be cited here.


Preface xi
Acknowledgements xiii
Abbreviations xv
List of Illustrations xvii
Chapter I Introduction 1
Chapter II Devi Bagalamukhi in Literature Art and Thought 13
Chapter III Devi Bagalamukhi in Socio-cultural 53
Chapter IV Role of Preceptors of Bagala Cult and their Social Reform in Karnataka 119
Chapter IV Annual Fairs and Festivals 173
Glossary 199
A Bagalamba Sataka-Sri Vighnesvara Stuti 207
B Sri Bagala Brahmaikya Stotra 233
C Sri Bagalamba Pratahsmarana Stotra 241
D Meditation & Worship of Bagalamukhi Devi 243
E Sri Bagalamukhi Sahasranama Stotram 245
F Sri Bagala Arati 253
G Sri Bagala Avarana Puja 257
H Sri Bagalamukhi Kavaca 273
I Some Bagalamukhi Kavaca 265
Bibliography 279
Index 285
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