Daśa Mahāvidyā दश महाविद्या
8. बगलामुखी Bagalāmukhī
Bagalāmukhī is the eighth of ten Mahāvidyā-s. There is no word in Sanskrit as baga. It is mentioned as baka, which means hypocrite. But there is also another opinion wherein valgā is the original word. Valgā means a woman. But whatever be the original word, it is strange that why the word bagala was derived. It appears like a proper noun, without any significant meaning. But generally, this goddess is not worshiped much, as she is capable of causing negativities. She can turn a good person as a bad person and rich man as pauper. She is often worshipped in Tantra for various purposes such as paralysing enemies, etc.
There are three stories about her origin. It is said that there was a torpedo in kṛtayuga, the first of all yuga-s (kṛita or satya, treta, dvāpara and kali yuga-s). During this turbulent time, several beings were destroyed because of torpedo. Even Lord Vishnu was so concerned about it and He meditated to find a solution. Parāśakti appeared before Him and gave Him Bagalāmukhī from a pond, whose water was yellow in colour. Water in the pond is full of turmeric, which is considered as most auspicious. Only Bagalāmukhī could quell the storm. Since she is clad in yellow attire, she is also called Pītāmbarā Devī (Pītāmbara means dressed in yellow clothes and Viṣṇu is also known as Pītāmbara)
There is another story which says a demon called Madan attained boon and as a result of that, whatever he said came true. People were suffering due to him and they started worshiping Bagalāmukhī and by the time she was about to cut his tongue, he realised his mistake and prayed to her to permit him to stay at her feet. It is said that she granted this boon.
Third story is related to Dhūumavatī. It is said that Dhūumavatī was born in the place where Pārvatī, Consort of Shiva, immolated herself in homa fire of her father Dakṣa, by entering into the sacrificial fire. From the fire, thick smoke came and this is said to be Dhūmāvatī. That form of Pārvatī before self-immolation is known as Bagalāmukhī.
Bagalāmukhī is known for her magical powers. It is also said that one can acquire supernatural powers by worshiping Her. Lots of things are spoken about her capability to destroy enemies. She is also said to control five prāṇa-s in the body (prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, udāna and samāna). Though she has been portrayed as a negative goddess, it is also said that she is capable of bestowing highest spiritual knowledge and consequent liberation. There are instances where she is said to be seated on corpse. There is a particular practice called “śava sādhana” or practices with a corpse. She is also said to be chief of army of Lalitāmbikā, probably an indirect reference to Vārāhī (Lalitā Sahasranāma 76 speaks about Vārāhī).
She is said to be living in the upper palate of human body, where cerebrospinal fluid enters throat from the skull. This fluid is known as amṛta in kuṇḍalinī meditation. When she is meditated upon, she protects the aspirant. She is also described as the commander of the army of Parāśakti, as Bagalāmukhī was created by Parāśakti, only to destroy that great storm. This storm can be subtly explained as the storm of the mind, where mind fights hard to find out what is right and what is not right. A realized mind is always beyond dualities. But an ordinary mind always struggles to find a solution, leading to multiple thought processes. If she is worshiped properly, mind is calmed.
She is often described with four hands, adorning yellow colour attire (yellow not only symbolizes auspiciousness, but also removal of all diseases) and yellow colour ornaments. She is described only with two hands. In her right hand she holds a club and with her left hand, she is pulling the tongue of demon Madan. The subtle conveyance is that ego manifests in the form of speech, is to be eradicated to calm down the mind, as only in a non-turbulent mental state, Self can be realized.
There is only one mantra for her. Her bījākṣara is ह्ल्रीं hlrīṁ. This is pronounced only as “hleem” where r is silent and not pronounced as “hlreem”. Why ह्ल्रीं hlrīṁ is her bījākṣara? It is made of ha + la + ra; ha is the bīja for ākāśa; la is the bīja for earth and ra is the bīja of fire. As agni or fire is considered as the carrier of our worship to the respective gods, in all auspicious mantras, invariably agni bīja ‘ra’ is included. While ह्रीं hrīṁ (māyā bīja) energises prāṇa, ह्ल्रीं hlrīṁ stabilises it. ह्ल्रीं hlrīṁ has also the power to act on negativities such as black magic, etc. (Black magic is only the fear inculcated and not a reality; but there are many contradictory opinion on this; it is also used for captivating and arresting and all other such activities). Generally this bījākṣara is not used. At the same time, all such evil acts can be removed only by this bījākṣara. It is the only bījākṣara that prevents negative influences affecting our spiritual path, in particular during kuṇḍalinī meditation.
ॐ ह्ल्रीं बगलामुखि सर्वदुष्टानां वाचं मुखं पदं स्तंभय जिह्वां कीलय बुद्धिं विनाशय ह्ल्रीं ॐ स्वाहा॥
om hlrīṁ bagalāmukhi sarvaduṣṭānāṁ vācaṁ mukhaṁ padaṁ staṁbhaya jihvāṁ kīlaya buddhiṁ vināśaya hlrīṁ om svāhā ||