Akilandeswari or Akhilāṇḑeśvarī is one of the main forms of the Hindu goddess, Parvati. She is the goddess of broken hearts, shattered souls, and transition. She can help us in our darkest times: when we get our hearts broken, when we fail, when we are shattered into a thousand pieces, stuck crying on the floor in a wet, snotty heap. She helps us heal and reach a new level of enlightenment, BUT we have to be willing to work with Her, for Her ways are compelling and intense. The famous abode of Akilandeswari is the temple of Thiruvanaikoil in Tamil Nadu, India. Unknown to many and forgotten over the years, She returns to help us heal in our brokenness, amidst this pandemic, gifting us perspectives that can change our lives forever.
Her name references Her Universal and Cosmic powers: Akhila (Universe) Anda (Universe) Ishwari (Sovereign, Ruler). She symbolizes the devastating, invigorating, transformative process that we and our sacred Earth is going through right now. She is the Goddess for times of disarray. Her vahana (vehicle), the crocodile is symbolic of the fear that resides in us, which need not weaken us as we are always prepared to transform and be transformed.
Goddess Akhilandeswari derives Her power from being broken: in instability, fluctuation and uncertainty, pulling Herself apart, living in diverse, constant Selves at the same time, while never finding the need to becoming a whole that has its own limitations – She thrives in a state of powerlessness while discovering new ones, integrating power in the pieces that make up the sum total. However, this is not the kind of broken that implies weakness or fear but the kind of broken that tears apart all the chaos and confusion that gets us wedged in noxious practises and habits, echoing similar associations and habits repeatedly, rather than diving into the terrifying process of trying something novel and profound. While we try to understand our total power in our oneness, Akhilandeswari summons all Her powers from all Her pieces. She is able to see the world whole through the bursts of diversity of Her brokenness. Described as a swirling, multi-faceted prism, She is the light that pours through the beveled cuts of the prism creating a whirling rainbow of colours, creating in its every fracture, diverse beauty and an array of perspectives.
While in pieces, in a pile on the floor, with no idea of how to go forward, our prospects of the future become inconsequential – our stories do not apply and we are in a state of flux, changing, dying, decaying, transforming to becoming incredibly powerful as we piece ourselves together whole, resurrected from our ego and personality death.
Just imagine how much more powerful we can become when we understand every shattered piece within us rather than trying to complete ourselves again and again and give meaning to our wholeness or try to piece together our powerlessness in the fight to stay alive. She teaches us to sink into our abysses and make sense of the surroundings we are in, till we make tangible sense of it, before we emerge whole, again. She teaches us to embrace our scars and to celebrate every wound that keeps breaking us, till we see our own power within and complete our mission of understanding our potential within the victory of the wholesomeness.
Known as the Goddess of Never Not Broken, She reminds us that we are ourselves never not broken, for we have perpetually concealed every broken piece within us, for fear that we might be judged and that the world will see us as misfits and banish us from the confines of ‘normal,’ existence.
SIGNIFICANCE OF GODDESS AKHILANDESWARI’S CROCODILE
Crocodiles are interesting in two ways: Firstly, crocodiles represent our reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. Secondly, the rapacious power of a crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they grab their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl their prey and use the power of spin to feed themselves.
By riding on this spinning, predatory, formidable beast, Akhilanda rejects Her fear and does not allow it to control Her. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water, showing us that when we allow and come in the state of flow, we ride the waves of our pain in power rather than in anguish.
May you find power in your pieces.
SUJATA NANDY WORLD GURUKUL
*Image from Pinterest.