Who is Jagadhadri?
Scientists believe that solar systems form when heat is trapped in a cloud of dust that starts then starts to spin. As the spinning of the dust cloud continues, the cloud eventually becomes extremely hot in the centre and cools down in the periphery.
Where does all this heat come from and where does it all go? The energy which disperses this heat, and provides stability to the planets – thereby allowing them to rotate on its axis and enter a stable orbit around the Sun is what is taken care of by Devi Jagadhadri. The power that stabilizes a planet’s orbit – i.e. the magnetic energy at the North pole and thereby allows a planet to stably enter into orbit is the energy that is attributed to Devi Jagadhadri. This energy therefore has the ability to stabilize, maintain and disperse the immense heat that is formed when a solar system is created.
If we consider the nine planets of our solar system (or eight, if we ignore Pluto), and consider that each of these planets have their own poles and axis and orbits, then the energy is split into nine different parts for our solar system. If you were to merge each of these nine powers together, then the energy that results is known as “Parasakthi”. If we then consider all the solar systems in our galaxy – (the Milkyway), and were then to merge the energies from each of the solar systems within, then the resulting energy is termed as “Mahasakthi”. Finally, the merging of all Mahasakthi’s, leads to the ultimate energy – “Adisakthi”. Thus, Devi Jagadhadri is a part Sri Om Adisakthi. She is one and the same. She is therefore the “sakthi” or energy from whom everything is controlled.
Once the planets and their orbits were taken care of, Jagadhadri’s job is to maintain it and ensure that the whole system is in complete working order. It therefore goes without say that even the slightest changes in this balance could have catastrophic effects for entire solar systems and glaxies!
Why do we give her the form that we give her?
The following story is from the Devi Bhagavatham. Once there was an Asura named as “Bandasura”. After much tapas, he acquired a boon that he believed would enable him to remain immortal – Bandasura could only be killed by a girl who was less than 5 years if age and she should not be born from a womb. Soon his atrocities were starting to become quite unbearable.
At the same time, the Devas were starting to feel their own greatness. They all felt indestructible and felt that there powers were greater and soon forgot all humility. They forgot where they came from. Seeing this, Devi Jagadhadri appeared before them in the form of a small light. This light then looked at them and said, “You are forgetting that I am the energy within you that enables you to carry out all that you wish. Without me, you will not be able to do anything!”. The Devas were annoyed by this and decided to teach the light a lesson. Vayu Bhagawan (Got of Wind) decided to blow it out of existence, but no amount of blowing was enough. Varuna Bhagawan (God of Water) then decided to extinguish it with water but even he was not able to. Even Agni Bhagwan felt that the heat emanating from that tiny light source was greater than what he possessed!
Soon the devans felt their folly and they all bowed to the divine light and said, “Who are you? Why is it that we were not aware of you?”. To this the light told them what its role in the universe was and explained to them that it was the “sakthi” or energy within that enabled everyone to carry out what they thought.
They then asked the energy if it had a form. The energy replied by saying that it possessed no form but would accept any form that they gave to her. She asked them, “What form do you wish to give me.” Because of Bandasura, the rishis said that they wanted to see her as a mother. She therefore appeared before them as a mother – the picture we have of Devi Jagadhadri at the ashram is the one which was worshipped by the Devas and Rishis.
The Devas then bowed to her and humbly requested her to take on the form of a young girl and destroy Bandasura. She then took on the form of “Bala Thirupura Sundari” in order to kill Bandasura.
Where does Devi Jagadhadri reside?
After the killing of Bandasura, she was called for again in order to destroy Mahishasura and Shumbha and Nishumbha as explained in the Devi Mahathmiyam. In the Devi Mahathmiyam she is given other names such as Bhuvaneshwari, Rajarajeshwari, Maha Durga and so on. At the end of the devi Mahathmiyam, she tells the Devas that she is always there with them, but she steps aside and lets them do what they need to do. If she is to do all the work, then there would be no need for other gods to take avatars or show themselves.
Jagadhadri literally translates to “Jagam” = world and “adhari” = to control and maintain. As she maintains the earth’s orbit and axis, we say that she resides in the North Pole. At the north pole, there is a golden lotus or “Swarna Kamalam” known as the “Mani Thadaagam”. When any diety is to take an avatar, there rays fall on the Swarna Kamalam and a “mani” or “pearl” is produced which is then transported to wherever it is that it needs to go. Devi Jagadhadri ensures that this is done at the right time, for each deity has its own power and if too many deity’s take avatars at the same time, then the Earth will not be able to stand the power.
Similarly, when a soul wishes to depart this earth, it needs to pass through Devi Jagadhadri for she will be able to say “You have still more work to do on this planet, so better you take the role of a guru and go to X” or, “Your karma now allows you to leave this planet, you can now go towards Mukthi” and so on. She therefore also acts as a gatekeeper and ensures that the balance of energies on the earth is maintained.
What is the relationship between our Swamiji and Devi Jagadhadri?
A small photo of Devi Jagadhadri was given to Swamiji’s family (then known as Ravi Narayanan). This picture was given to his family by his maternal grand-father. While doing japa, he was instructed to send this picture to Ravi Narayanan’s house and was told that that is where the picture belonged. Thus the image of Devi Jagadhadri reached Ravi Narayanan.
When Ravi Narayanan took up sanyaasam, he started praying to this image. He did not know that she was Jagadhadri then. Also, as he only ever heard the voice of Devi, he always assumed that the voice belonged to Sri Om Adisakthi, rather than Devi Jagadhadri. It was never a big issue for him – as both Devi Jagadhadri and Sri Om Adisakthi are fundamentally the same.
Later in his life, before going for agni tapas, he came to realize that the voice that had been instructing him all these years actually belonged to Devi Jagadhadri and so she was his Guru. Once he came to know that Devi Jagadhadri was his Guru, he had her idol made and she was duly established as the head of Sri Om Pancha Sakthi Peetam.