Body-Yantra: Sahasrakshi Meru Temple, Devipuram
Established by Amritanandanatha Saraswati, a scientist-turned-seer, Devipuram has a temple in the shape of a three-dimensional Sriyantra (aniconic Goddess form). Rao begins by describing the beginnings of Devipuram and proposes mythical parallels. The rest of the chapter is a series of case studies from Amritananda’s followers. Subbarao Kompella aka Guru Karunamaya (known for effusions of honey from an image of the Goddess worshiped by him) discusses how he mediates new mantras, and how one might tell the difference between real visions and imagination. Mani Prasanna, a key leader in the Kalavahana puja movement, shares her own formative experiences and discusses how imagination and feeling are crucial to realizing oneself as an embodiment of the divine. Other practitioners share extraordinary stories of mantras that become involuntary utterances, of receiving packets of precognitive information, of entering mantra practice and soon finding themselves chased by strangers who claim to have been sent by the Goddess. Embodiment is the theme of this chapter as Goddess and mantra are embodied in the location, bodies and lives of the practitioners.
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