Today I visited two temples with my dance teacher, my mum and my healer. It was an unlikely combination of people, but a group that was meant to visit these sacred spaces on an astrologically potent day. Today we had the Sun conjunct Saturn, the re-activation of the Great Goddess Fire Trine and a powerful T-Square between Mars and the North/South Nodes (see – http://wp.me/p4OUNS-c3 ). We visited a Shiva and Kali temple situated on a hill known as Bukit Gasing – and a small miracle occured 🙂
But first – some back-story … Re-wind to a week ago!
On November 11th, 2014, I was with my father and we were waiting for my healer to show up. His train was delayed, and so I suggested we visit some temples whilst waiting. We went to the (same) Shiva and Kali temple on Bukit Gasing – places I go to each time I get a chance – and strange and wonderful things happened.
The Shiva temple on Bukit Gasing is a place that I’ve visited since early childhood. The temple – back then – had a beautiful form, and I loved offering my prayers to a beautiful serpent mound therein. You had a view of Kuala Lumpur unlike any other, and truly you felt as though you were layers up into some other etheric place. It had an otherworldly feel to it, and in the best sense possible.
In recent years, the old temple was demolished to make way for a newer temple – a move which I felt wholly unnecessary (as I’d loved the old one in the first place). Due to structural issues, that too was demolished. And all that remains of both temples is a poignant mound of earth and rubble.
When my father and I went there on November 11th, something strange happened. We hadn’t twigged that it had all been demolished, and so Appa and I gazed upon the mound of earth in a mixture of shock and sadness.
But His vibration was there. In a poignant way, the Lord of Formlessness and Dissolution resided in a Temple with No Form.
All that remained of the Serpent Mound I used to offer my prayers to was a statue of a large 5-headed serpent made of cement (pictured below), hovering over a jasmine bush.
We headed a little further up the hill where priests had kept some idols in a very small mini-temple. The mini-temple housed the Shiva Linga, the row of gods around it, the Navagrahas (Nine Planets), Muneeswarar (an ancient Tamil god), Nagathampirar (the Serpent Lord), Bhairava (the fierce, wild, primordial form of Lord Shiva), Dakshinamoorthy (the ‘Guru’ form of Shiva), all placed in the size of a small living room.
Just before we went in, I noticed one of the priests looking at me in a curious way. I was clad in a long nehru-jacket style suit, with some trousers beneath it, showing maybe about … 1 inch of ankle?
The priest told me to grab an old piece of yellow cloth and tie it around my waist. I was confused at first, and frankly – he seemed the same. So I wore it around me, and as I’m tall, my ankles were still showing. So if it was for ‘modesty’ … it didn’t really help….
My dad looked amused as I shrugged at him and he said I looked like a priest as yellow is the sacred colour for the priesthood – as is white and saffron.
I was a little perplexed about the whole thing as I was the only person at the temple who was asked to wear this. I decided to consider it a form of His ‘Thiruvilaiyadal’ (Divine Play) and focus upon Lord Shiva Himself – and what a beautiful vision he granted me. I saw him as an endless form, so tall, so large, that there was simply not enough of Space in the Universe to contain to him. A beautiful, powerful vision, and one in which in I indicated my readiness to Serve in the ways I needed to.
Taking off the rough yellow cloth, I asked another priest why I had been handed it … He said something about wearing it when one wears ‘half-length trousers’ …. Which made absolutely no sense. Frankly … there was confusion in the air, and I decided that it was Fate that I had to wear a garment handed by a priest.
We then went to the Shivabhatrakaliamman Temple, dedicated to Mother Kali. The temple is also located on Gasing Hill, beneath the Shiva temple. We’d passed by this temple for years, until 2-3 years ago I asked my older brother to take me there. And what I found myself looking at was a 7 ft tall statue of the Mother standing in all Her beauty and Glory. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that this is the only temple I know of in this country who honors the essence of Bhairavi (after whom I am named), and which plans to conduct the ‘Linga Bhairavi (Bhairavi in the Shiva Lingam) Pooja’.
So when I went to see her on November 11th with my dad, I was surprised that she told me to ‘Go and come back in a week’s time’. I paid my respects to the other deities Durga Maa, Shangalli Karuppan / Madurai Veeran / Muniswaran (ancient Tamil gods), Vinayagar (Ganapathi), Nagalinga (The Serpent Lord) and of course, Pechaiamman (The Grandmother / Crone / Healer Goddess). I got the same message from Pechaiamman as well – to ‘Go and come back in a week’s time’.
I continued my worship of the Navagrahas (9 Planets), walked around the main altar thrice, and payed my respects to the Chinese shrine integrated as part of the Temple (that happens in this country, I think it’s cool). As I was headed to the Serpent Goddess’ Shrine (where there is a towering 5-headed serpent sculpture hovering over the Goddess’ image and a beautiful Serpent Mound) — I noticed something new at the temple.
A new alcove had been opened, and in it – two fierce, black-skinned, wild, primordial paintings of Lord Bhairava (Shiva) and Goddess Bhairavi (Kali). The were life-sized drawings in a small room with a single lime on the ground, surrounded by the red powder (vermillion / kungkumam) and a lowly placed red light. I felt at home .. I felt as though THIS was the reason why I’d been told to keep ‘Going’ through the temple.
I paid my respects to the Serpent Mother and my dad and I left to pick up the healer (whose delay made this visit possible). Right next to the train station was another Goddess temple … in fact, the same temple in which my grandparents got married. So … my dad knowing what I’m like, pulled the car over so I could go in and pay my respects.
As soon as I stepped inside, I realized the temple was conducting special prayers for Goddess Pratangyira Devi (whom I’d shared an image of just a few days prior – she is the Lion-Headed Goddess, also linked with the energy of Bhairavi) and for Gayatri Devi (the feminine Principle in Unified form). I spent quite a while walking around and praying to all of the gods, much to the curiosity of a small child whose eyes kept following my movements.
I was told to return in a year’s time, on Nov 11th 2015. Goddess knows what’s in store for me then.
Fast forward to the present … a week later … Nov 18th. Only a few days ago (after I’d been told to go back to the temple on the 18th) did I realize the astrological significance of the date. I’d only had about 2 hours of sleep as – try as I might – I wasn’t able to upload a video on the most recent transits.
My mum, who normally doesn’t travel much decided to come along as I’d told her about the Bhairavi shrine. My dance teacher provided the transport and my healer arranged to meet to us.
There was so, so much traffic but we had the sense of … being able to make it to the temples (on Bukit Gasing) on time.
We went to the ShivaBhatraKaliamman temple first, to see Mother. I prayed to my heart’s content, with an oil lamp in my palm, walking around the whole premises. I felt peaceful, and at exactly the right place and the right time. I had the sense She was pleased, and kept walking around. My party was joyful and moved by the Bhairava-Bhairavi shrine and the other installations at the temple.
I spoke briefly to the priest there (who knows who I am) and he explained that the Shrine was opened only 4-5 months ago. It was where Maha-Kali was originally placed before being shifted to Her present location. Now typically, Hindu temples have a trishulam (trident) representing Lord Bhairava-Shiva towards the outer section of a temple. He represents the protection of Boundaries.
But Bhairavi? Here’s the first time I’d seen her represented alongside Him.
The priest explained – as with the name of the temple itself (Shiva-BhatraKali-Amman Temple), that their rationale was that Bhairava/Bhairavi (Shiva/Shakti) ought not to be separated. They needed to be represented together.
A temple after my own heart ❤ ❤ ❤ , in other words.
But that wasn’t all…
She told me to do an Archana (where you buy a ticket and the priest says some prayers for you, giving you some fruits and thunooru (holy grey ash) and kungkumam (vermillion, red powder) to take home).
This is unusual for me as I tend to do my prayers myself. But it was a clear missive, and so I did.
I had my party (myself, mum, my dance teacher, my healer) hold the silver tray together as we stated our names and Signs/Ascendants for the archana.
Here’s where it got strange. The priest (a different person from the one I spoke to) looked somewhat off-balance – like he was being disturbed by something. The mantras did not match the gods he prayed to, and Dakshinamoorthy (the ‘Guru’ form of Lord Shiva) was left out of it. My dance teacher and I were listening and observing and knew something strange was at work…
Again, Thiruvilaiyadal (Divine Play), this time by the Mother.
I waited till Dakshinamoorthy was honored, and realized that he’d forgotten to give us the customary fruits and powders you get when you buy an archana ticket. I said no matter, and made to leave.
Suddenly … he remembered and he did something most unusual.
He took a the usual fruits and such, but …
He Also Took the Bangles Placed at the Feet of the Mother. And handed my M/mother a Lime.
The Lime was one that had been on Her Trident (we later discovered).
(For context, you don’t get those Bangles when you go to a temple — those are for Her! The same with the Lime!)
It was a tremendous Blessing … and one that was new to us all (having traveled in India and other sacred sites).
But here’s where it gets even more powerful.
My mum – as she was praying to the Grandmother Goddess (Pechaiamman), had offered her bangles (which is something people do). There was no way the priest could have seen as Pechaiamman’s alcove is towards the back of the temple. (and it’s not something you get a trade for). People leave their bangles when they pray for children, or for other specific wishes.
My mum didn’t say a word, till she got glass bangles (from the feet of the Mother herself) ….
Now if that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.
We then went to the Shiva temple, further up the hill. I was extremely tired (with only 2 hours of sleep) and the hill isn’t an easy climb. I knew if I lagged, I’d feel the pain more … and so I began chanting the Shiva Tandava Strotam … and shot up the hill, faster than my dance teacher and healer. They were as surprised as I was 😀
The priests gave us the same curious, slightly puzzled look – and no yellow cloth today. I could feel their stares upon me as I was walking around and offering my prayers. My dance teacher and I performed pranayam as the temple was closing – and – one again, another beautiful vision. Which I shall share when the time is right.
We had some prasadam in the form of ponggal (sweet rice) from the temple and vadai (a savoury donut) and walked back down the hill. I touched the soil of the rubble, feeling His presence within once more.
So all in all, Miracles and the Love of the Divine.
Om Namah Shivaya.
Blessings and Love to All,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD