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Meenakshi Devi, the Fish-Eyed Cosmic Mother

Meenakshi Devi, the Fish-Eyed Cosmic Mother

The Mother of the Cosmos, “Adi Shakti” (the original Source energy), the Divine Consort of Paramasiva, “Sundareshwara” appeared in her third incarnation as “Meenakshi”, meaning “fish-eyed” from the words “mīna, meaning fish” and “akṣi meaning eyes”. Meenakshi also means “the one who has eyes like that of a fish”. Fishes are said to look after and protect their younger ones with their eyes, similarly goddess looks after her devotees. Just by her one look, one glance our miseries disappear.

She is also called “Angayarkanni”. With her “infinite auspicious qualities” (Ananta Kalyana Gunas), her devotees also call her – Pachchai Devi, Maragathavalli, Thadagai Pirattti, Abhitekavalli, Abhiramavalli, Kayarkan Kumari, Karpooravalli, Kumarithurayaval, Komagal, Sundaravalli, Pandipiratti, Madhurapuri  Thalaivi, Manickavalli, Mummulaithiru, and Vazhudhimagal. Each name stands for a specific attribute.

Meenakshi, the Expression of Ultimate Masculine and Feminine Consciousness

Mother Meenakshi at the Garbha Mandir (Sanctum Sanctorum)

His Divine Holiness, the current 293rd Pontiff of the Shyamala Peetha Sarvajnapeetham, from His Enlightened Consciousness, describes Meenakshi Parashakti exactly as she is:

“All the grandeur of masculineness and the beauty of feminineness expressed in one body… that is Meenakshi. Please understand, if I have to define, describe Meenakshi in one line, of course, it is impossible, but if it is forced, this is the description I will give –

All the grandeur of the Superconsciousness, the Masculine Principle and the beauty of the Feminine Consciousness, the Divine Feminine Principle expressing in one body, is Meenakshi. Meenakshi shines more than Chokkanathar. Meenakshi radiates more than Chokkanathar (Sundareshwara).

Sundareshwara is the embodiment of Superconsciousness, expressing in human body, playing with all his glory. Meenakshi is the expression of the ultimate masculine and feminine Consciousness.”

Meenakshi is the epitome of wisdom, beauty, courage, compassion and efficiency, completely radiating divinity on Earth.

Goddess Meenakshi’s Immaculate Appearance (Birth)

The Pandya King Malaiyadvaja ruled after his father, Kulashekara Pandyan, the blessed king who consecrated Paramasiva’s Svayambhu Lingam, and was blessed with the rare honor to build the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple, and the temple city around it.

Kanchanamala, King Malaiyathwaja’s wife was Goddess Parvati’s ardent devotee. In her previous birth she had intensely prayed for the boon to be blessed with “putra bhagya”. Mother Parvati, pleased with her intense yearning and devotion, blessed and assured her in a sacred darshan (vision) in her dream that – she, the Cosmic Mother, the very source of Existence herself will descend down as a female child to her in her next birth.

Birth of Meenakshi, an Ayonija child (not born from the womb)

Child Meenakshi_Thadathagai

Radiant Child Meenakshi “Thadathagai”

In her next birth, Queen Kanchanamala and King Malayadvaja, not having the fortune of a child, performed a Putakameshti yagna (sacrificial fire offering desiring a divine child) with a prayer to get ‘Putra Bhagya’ (fortune of having a child).

As all divine boons are always honoured, in her next birth as Queen Kachanamala of the great Pandyan kingdom of South India became the mother of Devi herself. The Cosmic Mother verily appeared from the sacrificial fire, Yajna, in the form of Mother Meenakshi Parashakti playfully as a 3-year-old girl child, and took her first seat on the lap of Kanchanamala, the most blessed Queen.

The unsurpassed beauty and divine fire of Meenakshi Parashakti even a child shone as brightly and as radiant as that of the fire from which she appeared.

Rare Marks on Meenakshi

The Queen’s joy knew no bounds on seeing the Divine child girl on her lap. The child Meenakshi had one unique mark on her body. She had 3 areolar regions on her chest area meaning 3 breasts. Noticing this, the king became upset. At that very moment, a divine voice resonated in all directions. It declared to all to name the child as “Thadathagai” (warrior princess) and to bring her up equal to a male child, and also assured the wonder-struck parents that when She meets Her consort, the third breast will simply disappear.

His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Sri Nithyananda Paramashivam reveals deeper Truths behind Meenakshi’s birth (extract from Nithya Satsang – everyday morning discourse – delivered on 7 May 2012 in Madurai):

“Sundareshwara and Meenakshi were not born of any mother’s womb. They did not assume any human body in the usual way like how we all have assumed human body. Meenakshi walked straight out of the homa agni – sacred ritualistic fire – as a 3-year-old. She just reduced her frequency from the Akashic layer, the sky, the space, straight to the physical level. She used fire as the medium. Understand: there are five elements – earth, water, fire, air and space. The beings who are living in space are enlightened beings – jeevan muktas – the divine beings. Beings who are living in this physical earth are human beings.

Meenakshi did not assume the human body in a normal way. She used fire as a medium. If you put these two elements – the earth and water into fire, it will convert them into air and space! Anything in form offered into fire will be made formless. In the same way, anything formless, to assume form, has to enter through the fire. That is why I have to use Arunachala – the fire (the sacred Arunachala hill in the birthplace of HDH where he assumed the human form, represents the fire element). Fire is pre-requisite for the formless to assume the form, for the formless to enter the form. Meenakshi did the same thing. There was a huge sacred fire ceremony, which Meenakshi has used. She used that frequency and just entered from formless to form – assumed the human body of 3-year-old child.

Please understand, it is a very significant information. Only at the age of 3, the pratyakatma chaitanya jagratha (awakening of the individual consciousness) is possible; your bio memory and brain is mature to feel the individual existence of consciousness. Even in my case when I assumed the body, when I took birth, the body was mature and equivalent to a 3-year-old child. My mother used to say I was ten pounds! Indian village mothers can never imagine delivering a ten-pound child because usually Indian village mothers are malnourished, under nourished and I am not born in a rich family, I am born in a very middle class family. And there was no special pregnancy care given to my mother. Nothing! The moment I was born, my mother said I was so huge. She felt as if I was inside for five years!

Because only in three years, the 3rd year, the body becomes mature, the bio memory becomes mature to feel the individual awakening of consciousness. So Meenakshi walked straight out of the fire as a 3-year-old child assuming the form. I don’t even want to use the word human body because her human physiology was never a normal physiology. Of course there is no question of psychology. But even her physiology was never a normal physiology. She just assumed a form, not human body – the first and foremost form of the Supreme Mother, Divine Mother, Meenakshi. The homa (fire ritual) was done by the divine rishis (enlightened Sages) . Meenakshi Sundareshwara assumed the form to elevate human beings to the highest form. Human beings to the highest existence.”

No Incarnation like Mother Meenakshi

The incarnations appear from the Superconsciousness energy simply to please their unalloyed devotees and for the ultimate benefit of the human Consciousness. When they happen, they carry specific auspicious qualities and energies in their bio-memory that are needed to fulfill their divine mission. Unlike any other female incarnations, Meenakshi is the absolute expression, the original source of the Cosmos, ‘Adi Shakti’ manifesting in human form. She carries all the infinite divine qualities in her body. In complete union with her masculine and feminine energy, Her extraordinary expressions of Divinity eclipse all others.

Her body even though appearing like a human does not have the normal physiology of a human body, and so is her psychology, radiating the consciousness of male and female divinity spontaneously.

Regal Upbringing Befitting a Mighty Cosmic Queen

Thadathagai, “The Warrior Queen”

As per the divine voice, the king brought her up as a brave warrior with indomitable prowess. She became a perfect master of the 64 great subjects (maha vidyas). She grew up to become a powerful mighty princess as the Shiva-Shakti (male-female energies) personification.

After the death of the king, she ruled the kingdom exuding exemplary administrative powers, Cosmic justice, and causeless compassion as a Universal Mother to all, all the greatest qualities converging in her.

Digvijaya, the Tour of Victory

Before being coronated as the ruler, the valiant Princess won tours to establish her hegemony over other kingdoms and lands in all 8 cardinal directions to bring all under her compassionate protection and welfare. Her expedition is called ‘Dig Vijaya’ or a tour of victory, across the continents of the world. After Thadathagai’s coronation as the Queen, she conquered many countries hoisting the auspicious Pandya’s flag far and wide, reaching the whole planet and beyond. Later, she marches towards Mount Kailasha, the Cosmic abode of Paramasiva, the Cosmic Father. She first faced the Bhoota Ganas, the commanders and soldiers of Paramasiva. Unable to cope up with her mighty warrior powers, they simply withdraw themselves from waging the war.

The First Vision, ‘Nayana Deeksha’ of Her Beloved, Lord Sundareshwara

Meenakshi’s Darshan of Sundareshwara at Kailasha

At last came the sacred moment of eternity, the time for Meenakshi  Prashakti to meet face-to-face with the Lord of Kailasha Himself, Paramasiva! Paramasiva appeared Himself before the brave queen to directly wage the war with her, seeing all His commanders losing by just the glowing presence of Meenakshi!

Upclose Vision of Meenakshi’s hand wedlocked into Chokkanathar’s divine hands

At the very first sight of Paramasiva, Mahadeva, her Divine Consort-to-be, her third breast disappeared, as was predicted by the divine voice.

The striking unmatched beauty of Mahadeva, the embodiment of all that is beautiful and auspicious, and His glowing tiger-skin attire wrapped over His handsome body, the divine love in His lotus eyes pierced every pore of Meenakshi’s being. She was awe-struck and the very idea of the self, time and space disappeared, melting into the vision of Her beloved.

Immediately throwing all her weapons, the symbols of her masculine energies, she becomes enchanted and spell-bound overflowing in bliss, and all the sacred, divine feminine qualities spontaneously started expressing in her, as if hidden and waiting all life, to sprout and flower in Mahadeva’s, Paramasiva’s one darshan (vision).

Thus, by losing the war, she won everything, reuniting with her eternal consort, Paramasiva Himself, who commanded her to go back to Madurai committing he would follow her to wed her as Sundareshwara, the most handsome one, as per her condition that he be extremely handsome in the form that he assumes in Madurai!

Shiva Awakens Meenakshi's Kurma Nadi

Paramasiva, just by his stability and power that he radiates, awakened the kurma nadi (a nerve plexus located in the throat area when focussed upon, stills the mind in meditation) of Meenakshi during the nayana deeksha (giving a vision or darshan where the person seeing the darshan and Divine Being giving the darshan are able to see each other). When the kurma nadi of Meenakshi was awakened, she experienced intense power – the power of stability. She became enlightened.

Her enlightenment was complete. The other dimension was added to her life.

Meenakshi Tirukalyanam, the Celestial Wedding

Meenakshi TiruKalyanam, the Sacred Marriage ceremony

On the 8th day from the hallowed first meeting at Kailasha, amidst Cosmic celebrations with nature blossoming into its full beauty expressing its joy, the Divine marriage ceremony called “Meenakshi Tirukalyanam” happened.

All celestial devatas (Gods), all great sages, and all representatives of the Universe came down to planet Earth from all known and unknown directions to celebrate their parents’ auspicious wedding! The whole Cosmos became soaked in ecstasy as if drunk in the Divine bliss of witnessing “Meenakshi-Sundareshwara Tirukalyanam”. The Pandyan King left no place untouched in ornamenting the richest city of the planet, Madurai as beautifully as His daughter, Meenakshi. The divine fragrance of holy jasmine flowers, most dear to Meenakshi filled the air of Madurai on the Divine celebration.

Meenakshi (the ‘fish-eyed’ one), the guardian deity of the temple town of Madurai, and the bridegroom, the vagrant ascetic called Sundareswara (the handsome God) from the Cosmic center of the Universe, Kailasha united in the sacred ceremony of eternal union.

Chithirai Brahmotsav, Yearly Marriage Anniversary Celebrations at Madurai

Amidst celestial celebrations, this divine marriage was celebrated every year as the famous “Chithirai Festival” at Madurai, attracting huge crowds with over 1 million (10 lakh) devotees and pilgrims. Chiittirai refers to the first month in the Tamil calendar. Their marriage ceremony is traditionally performed for over two weeks during this time with all its royal paraphernalia, the best of resplendent beauty, that only Vedic culture can display! During this time, the entire Madurai city enters a palatial and celestial space and decorates itself just like a new bride.

64 Divine Plays of Lord Sundareshwara

Lord Paramasiva Himself ruled the Pandyan empire for a period in the name of “Sundara Pandiyan”, “Soma Sundarar”, “Sundareshwara”, “Chokkanathar”. During this golden time, Lord Sundareshwara playfully performed His Divine leelas (divine acts), creating the wonderful 64 leelas (Divine plays) called the Tiruvilayadal (Tiru – Divine; Vilayadal – lay). Along with 64 leelas, He played unaccountable miracles proving his causeless compassion for not only his devotees, but for anyone who sincerely calls, seeks His grace, and even those fortunate ones, who got blessed without even praying.

Such was the causeless and sweet compassion of Paramasiva’s playful incarnation, Lord Chokkanathar.

Travel into the space of causeless Grace of the 64 great divine plays of Chokkanathar…explore them here!

Thereafter, Lord Muruga (Subramanya), the second son of Paramasiva and Devi Parvati was coronated to rule the Cosmic empire of Meenakshi in the name of “Ugra Pandiyan”.

Extraordinary Healing Powers

A rare painting of Chokkanathar with Meenakshi on a swing from the wall of the Meenakshi Amman Temple.

Meenakshi Parashakti      embraced her subjects with such Motherly compassion. She captured the hearts of her citizens and devotees with her miraculous healing powers. Each morning she gave her healing darshan (her physical appearance to public) in Her royal assembly as the “Sabha Nayaki”, the ultimate Queen of all royal assemblies.

Her five-story palace adjoined a great hospital where students and teachers from many cultures worked and volunteered together, caring for thousands of people who flocked in from all over the world.

Her administrative ruling powers, her ‘Ishvaratva’, the empowered leadership, is a lesson for all kings, leaders even today. She manifested her leadership giving ultimate Cosmic justice to all Her citizens.

Eternal Living Presence at the Meenakshi Sundareshwara Temple

Deities of Soma Sundareshwara and Meenakshi Amman beautifully bedecked with pristine jewels and garlands

Deciding to continuously be available and eternally bless and shower their protection, grace, and overflowing compassion as the Cosmic Mother and Father, both Meenakshi and the Cosmic King, Chokkanathar established themselves at the Madurai Meenakshi Sundareshwara temple for eternity.

Relaxing their bodies into the presiding deities as the “Somasundarar and Meenakshi Amman” forms, they still run and will eternally run their Cosmic kingdom, and radiate their ever living presence.

The Living Deities Blessing All

Their sacred bodies with which they performed all their Divine acts are most beautifully resting as ‘Jeeva Samadhis’ (final resting place of mortal body) just where their main sanctums are worshiped by millions of prayers daily from ages. The Sachala Murtis (living God incarnation in body) have enshrined themselves into Achala Murtis (living deities) at the Garbha mandir (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple. Even though no longer in the moving body, they are as much present as ever and their Divine Presence is invoked through the name or form they used while in the physical plane. When we pray to the deity or chants their names, the corresponding divine vibration is automatically awakened, and becomes available on the energy plane to guide and bless us.

Divine Hymns and  Rendition for Meenakshi Devi

Meenakshi Amman is Loved and Adored by All

‘Silappadikaram’, an ancient post-Sangam period Tamil literature, describes Goddess Meenakshi as “Thadathagai Pratiyar, a warrior Goddess, with a crescent moon on her matted hair, with two arms – the left holding a lotus and the right holding a sword. She is described as having the right side in crimson colour and the left in dark colour – Ardhanari (half male-half female) form.