Who Is Bagalamukhi?

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The crane-headed

Bagalamukhi Definition

The eighth personification of the Mahavidya, a group of ten tantric goddesses, Bagalamukhi is the one who ‘paralyzes enemies’. She is also known as Bagalā as well as Pitambari in North India.

Bagalamukhi deep dive


Representing the divine feminine, or Shakti’s, hypnotic power, the Goddess is said to be able to stop manifestations and cease any action at both a micro and macro level. She is the unparalleled power.

This is reflected in her mythology, immediately paralyzing an asura demon, Madan’s, power of speech after she was sent by the gods to stop his abuse of his siddhi (supernatural power). As well as speech, she became known for her ability to paralyze any of her opponent’s faculties.

In this respect, she is known as the ‘Paralyser of the Three Worlds‘.

Bagallamukhi, Kalighat painting, 1850-1950
Bagallamukhi, Kalighat painting, 1850-1950

Another myth states how, at one time during Satya Yuga, the first phase of the Yuga cycle, there was a great storm that threatened the future of the universe. This cosmic storm killed many important people, including creators of the universe, and threatened to wipe out all life.

Seeking counsel, Lord Vishnu went to the holy pond named Haridrakhya, a yellow pond sometimes called turmeric ocean, to pray to Aadi Shakti for a solution.

Shakti heard his prayers and manifested in the form of Bagalamukhi.

Her light spread from the pond in every direction, pacifying the storm and saving the universe from complete destruction. Like the pond, she is yellow in color with a golden complexion, hence is also referred to as Pitambari (pita is yellow).

The supreme ‘weapon’, or light of Bagalamukhi, that annihilates any conflict is that of spiritual knowledge – also known as the weapon of Brahma (Brahmastra).

According to Todala Tantra, her male consort is Maharudra.

Crane symbology

Bagala (the crane) and Bakamukhi (heron-faced) are the other names of the Goddess.

In India both the crane (bagala) and heron (baka) are viewed as birds of deceit; they appear to stand perfectly still for long periods of time in shallow water, calm and serene as if in a moment of introspection, yet in reality, they are merely waiting to catch their prey.

Like the crane, she is able to bring enemies into a false sense of security in order to destroy them. Similarly, to a crane waiting to catch fish, she has unwavering concentration.

two cranes in a river

Dasa Mahavidya

These ten goddesses are each manifestations of Goddess Shakti or the ten aspects of Adi Parashakti. They include every aspect of the physical and spiritual realm.

They are:

  • Kali
  • Tara
  • Shodasi
  • Bhuvaneshvari
  • Bhairavi
  • Chinnamasta
  • Dhumavati
  • Bagalamukhi
  • Matangi
  • Kamala
A modern depiction of Goddess Shakti
A modern depiction of Goddess Shakti

Bagalamukhi in your life

Why call on Bagalamukhi?

Though incredibly fierce, Bagalamukhi’s devotees are severely protected by her, with the power to transfix those who pose them any harm. She is the Goddess of the planet of Mars and thus bestows its fiery and courageous powers upon her devotees.

Like the other goddesses, sadhana, a practice in which the practitioner evokes a divinity by absorbing themselves into it, requires proper initiation by a tantric guru.

Though, it’s still possible to attain her blessings through worship, of which the Bagalamukhi Mantra is one form. As well as mantras, you could perform offerings, rituals, and use the help of yantras.

She can support you with the mental and physical means to defeat your foes. Offerings to the Goddess are ideal in situations such as wanting to win in a court case, be successful in a job or promotion interview, and win against business competitors.

Her control over the power of speech leaves others silent with no room to refute.

Her arguments win with an incontestable conclusion as she pronounces the ultimate, unchanging, and absolute truth. Because of this, you may call on her for success in debates or discussions.

a man triumphantly holding his arms up at sunset

Baglamukhi also protects you from:

  • Black magic
  • Accidents
  • Unnatural events
  • Disease and illness
  • Poverty

Bagalamukhi Mantra

The below mantras can be chanted for all-round protection and stability from the Goddess.

1. Baglamukhi Gayatri Mantra

Om baglamukhyae cha vidmahe stambhinyai cha dheemahi tanno bagla prachodayat

Sanskrit: ॐ बगलामुख्यै च विद्महे स्तम्भिन्यै च धीमहि तन्नो बागला प्रचोदयात

Meaning: I pray to Goddess Baglamukhi, who has the power to immobilize enemies. I ask that you grant me clear vision, strong Goddess.

Bagalamukhi Matrika, Watercolour, 19th Century Nepal
Bagalamukhi Matrika, Watercolour, 19th Century Nepal

2. Baglamukhi Mool Mantra

Om Hreem Baglamukhi sarva dushtanaam vaacham mukham padam stambhya

Jivhaam keelya, buddhim vinaashya hreem aum swaaha

Sanskrit:ॐ ह्रीं बगलामुखी सर्व दुष्टानाम वाचं मुखम पदम् स्तम्भय।

जिव्हां कीलय बुद्धिम विनाशय ह्रीं ॐ स्वाहा 

Meaning: prays that the Goddess makes the enemies powerless and ineffective by immobilizing their speech, body, and intelligence

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To go deep and expand your yogic knowledge, access our free Yoga Terms Encyclopedia, where we host a profound wealth of ancient and timeless yogic wisdom in an accessible modern format.

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Liz is a Qigong and Yoga teacher based in Gloucestershire with a love for all things movement, nature & community. She strives to create a trauma-informed space in which everyone is empowered to be their authentic selves. www.elizabethburns.co.uk

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