Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya - The Visionary Engineer

DasaMahaVidyas - IV
Bhuvaneshwari
Goddess Bhuvaneshwari is the fourth of the dasamahavidyas who gives shape to the creation of the world. Goddess Parvati is the Sagunroop of Goddess Bhuvaneshvari. Her name itself means the ruler of the universe. She is the cosmos personified as Goddess. Worshipping her promotes a cosmic vision and absolves us from the narrowness of opinion and belief. She gives us world vision and a sense of the infinite.

She is also known as Maya which means illusion. When things are measured, we are in their limited forms and forget the underlying unitary space in which they appear. This is how illusion arises. We must understand that all manifest forms are merely waves in the infinite space of the Divine Mother. She is often depicted as having a crescent moon on her head with four hands and three eyes. In her two hands she holds the noose and the goad. With the other two hands, she gives the gestures that grant boons and dispel fears.

She is also known as Rajarajeswari and protects the Universe. Here is the story of her manifestation from the "PranatoshiniGrantha". Brahma had the desire to create the Universe, and he did intense tapasya to invite the energy of Creation, Kriya Shakti. Parameswari, pleased with his tapasya responded to his invitation and came as Bhudevi or Bhuvanesvari. She is red in color, seated on a lotus flower. Her body is resplendent and shining with jewels. She holds a noose (paasham) and a curved sword (ankusham) in two of her hands and the other two assume the mudras of blessing and freedom from fear. She resides in Shiva's heart. Bhuvanesvari is the Supreme Empress of Manifested Existence, the exposer of consciousness.
This Great Cosmic Power is worshipped as the Great Goddess protecting all worlds of Manifestation. Actually this attribute of the goddess is symbolized by her very name, meaning the Glorious Queen or Governess (Ishvari) of the entire Creation, with all the worlds (Bhuvana) it contains. Bhuvaneshwari is the creator of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether, of the entire Nature (Prakriti), of the Sun and the Moon. In other words, she is the Divine Mother protecting all worlds. Therefore the whole Macrocosm stands as her body and the countless existing beings represent her precious jewels and adornments.

Bhuvaneshwari represents the power of the endless opening and expansion, of equality in spirit and deep peace that nothing can disturb, containing and supporting all things. Indeed, we will be able to better understand this assertion when evoking the tantric teachings regarding the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari. They say that the Goddess is the original space out of which anything or being is later on objectified.

The frantic adoration of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari makes it possible to transcend the human being's ridiculous limitations as it reveals us the fact that true universal love, free and completely unattached, has no shape. In other words, such love is not "restricted" and focused upon one or the other of the objectified shapes (a human being, an animal, etc.), nevertheless it encompasses all shapes. Such a sublime love is neither limited to nor does it aim at holding onto something just for itself. This aspect makes it always manifest in a deeply altruistic way. On the other hand, the ineffable space of love permanently "nourishes" all that comes out of it thus generating growth and development.

The symbolic description of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari depicts her as having three eyes (symbolizing the total knowledge of all the worlds in Manifestation), very large breasts (symbolically nourishing all beings with the essence of life) and a smiling, kind face. These details underline the maternal aspect of this Great Cosmic Power's manifestation once more. Her glory and greatness are also symbolized by the pure radiation it emanates (resembling the rising Sun) and the Moon pouring her divine nectar (or soma) from the goddess's head.

As she represents space, Bhuvaneshwari is Kali's complementary aspect. As we know it, Kali represents time: the two goddesses therefore stand as the two main aspects of the Supreme Goddess (Shakti), respectively infinity and eternity. In other words, we can say that somehow Bhuvaneshwari creates the "stage" where later on Kali dances her terrible dance of life and death. This analogy also allows us to notice the fact that the supreme goddess simultaneously is the one witnessing (or observing) as well as the one rejoicing at and taking part in Kali's cosmic dance.

The legend describing Great Cosmic Power, Bhuvaneshwari's apparition into manifestation says that in the Beginning only the Sun (as the Creator of the entire Universe) was the master of the sky. The sages (rishis) begged the Sun (Surya) to create more worlds and offered him soma as sacrifice. Then Surya used his Supreme Energy in order to manifest the worlds (lokas or bhuvanas). This Supreme Energy thus assumed a shape of its own as the splendid manifestation of the Great Cosmic Power Bhuvaneshwari. Bhuvaneshwari's physical beauty radiates out of her inner splendor.


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