The pregnant clouds had shaded the evening skies with a sudden loom of darkness. With not much motion in sight, the village appeared isolated and sequestered.
An ancient temple at the corner of the dainty village street beckoned her towards its inner sanctum.
Jaya was bewildered. It was not her typical self to be enticed by such anomalous feelings of theism when she was certain of being agnostic.
As a travel-blogger, her profession demanded her travels to places beyond the
She felt a magnetic pull as she placed her first step within the periphery of the house-of-worship.
A gentle breeze carrying a sense of deja-vu swept over her and she felt herself in a state of tranquil peace. The rains began slashing heavily against the parched earth spreading the petrichor’s rich fragrance but surprisingly, Jaya remained dry and unaffected by the downpour.
She couldn’t comprehend the mystical effects and walked into the main sanctum-sanctorum. As soon as she stepped into the rustic beauty of the stone carved walls, the only tube-light flicked off.
A solitary oil-lamp was the sole radiance illuminating the magnificent Shiva-Linga placed in the centre reflecting its glow through the angled mirror placed behind the idol.
The flawlessly sculpted Linga stood crafted to perfection in black-stone; three horizontal ash lines on the linga’s uppermost part, with a dot in the centre made from sandalwood topped with a bright vermillion dot gave it the appearance of the third eye. The idol was clothed in a pure white dhoti laced with red and green border woven intricately with gold. A perfumed fragrance lingered heavily in the air.
“Welcome home. It’s time to explore your Self. Are you ready yet?” a powerful voice echoed from the idol, causing goosebumps to lace Jaya’s soft skin.
“Who… are… you?”
“It’s time to restart the unaccomplished mission left centuries ago.”
“I really don’t remember anything!”
“Oh! You will now.”
An unanticipated glint of bright light sparked within and encased her into a translucent bubble. Jaya felt a vacuum suctioning her towards the unknown. When she regained her senses, she found herself in a dark cave that glowed uncannily with an iridescent blue hue.
As her vision got adjusted to the low light, she realised that the shimmer emerged from precious blue sapphires encased in the cave walls.
The gleaming light gave a mystifying effect to the surroundings. The air within was warm despite its otherwise cold surroundings. Jaya could hear the mountain’s gentle sibilance from her confines.
A gargantuan serpent slithered its way and raised its hood to address Jaya.
Jaya stood flabbergasted and traumatized in the panic of encountering such a massive creature.
“I’m Vasuki, the Divine Lord Shiva’s ornament and the second King of the Nagas. In my multi-hooded form, I had wrapped myself around Mount Mandara, during ‘Samudra Manthan’— the churning of the ocean of milk by the Devas and Asuras,” he introduced himself in a hissing tone.
“Is this even real? Or am I dreaming? It’s strange that despite your majestic presence, I don’t feel much agonised, although I do experience some apprehension.”
“You are a mission carrier. Your purpose is to spread the message of love and peace to mankind. Your profession as a travel-blogger is destined to take you places to help spread the effulgence of The Divine Lord and carry the message of unity and peace amongst the masses.”
“You seem to be rather modern. I mean, you speak of my profession as being projected with a mission. How cool is that?”
“Hisss….sss…ss, well, that’s how I am. Now get ready for your test.”
“I’m not prepared for any test. How do you imagine I do it without any prior notice or lesson?”
“Kundalini is the cosmic power in individual bodies. It is not a material force like electricity, magnetism, centripetal or centrifugal force. It is a spiritual potential of Shiva and Sakti or the cosmic power. In reality it has no form. Brace yourself for the nerving experience.”
Before Jaya could respond, she felt her eyes closed into a state of deep meditative trance. Vasuki coiled himself around her form from feet upwards, until her entire body was seemingly crushed by the serpentine figure. An uncertain sheen encircled the form and the serpent-coiled human body shuddered vigorously as if impacted by an electric current.
The vision was eye-catching and impressive. The sapphire stones contained in the cave walls reflected a fluorescent glow and tiny sparks splintered in full force within the dome. A cosmic laser show was witnessed. A cadenced rhythm of the pungi hypnotised the air within, while the air had a lingering aroma of fresh ‘bhasm’. The sweet scent of the screw-pine flower capsulated the surroundings and time halted to witness the miraculous transformation.
After what seemed like eons, whilst not knowing if time had actually passed or not, awareness was installed again.
Vasuki uncoiled himself and Jaya’s form appeared with an inexplicable metamorphosis. A subtle radiance glistened upon her tender face and her body had ash smeared from head to toe.
Vasuki then presented her with the rarest ‘Nagamani’ and asked her to consume it. Jaya did so without questioning. The jewel embedded itself in the centre of the throat and sparkled with a divine refulgence.
“Hisss…ss…ss, you are now ready to spread the message of Love and Light and uplift the energies of the planet. Wish you luck, my girl.”
Jaya was once again pulled into a vacuumed whirlwind and as she stepped out of her mystical effect, she found herself in the temple sanctum as a rejuvenated being. She felt her body covered in ash and the radiance in her throat brightened the chamber as she touched it. Vasuki peeked from behind the majestic Linga and vanished without a trace.
The oil-lamp glistened brighter than ever as Jaya bowed to the Linga and stood to embark upon her new mission towards protecting and transforming Nature and all of lifekind.
1. Linga- symbol of divine generative energy, especially a phallus or phallic object as a symbol of Shiva.
2. Pungi- a local musical instrument used by snake-charmers meant to hypnotise snakes.
3. Bhasm- Sacred Ash symbolic of Lord Shiva