Following Buddhist traditions we can define Mahasiddhas as great achievers of Buddhahood between 8th-12thcenturies who propelled the Mahamudra technique of meditation. We see some of the same Mahasiddhas as Siddha Yogis in Saivait Nath tradition. Does this indicate a merger of Buddhism and Saivism more than a thousand years back? I do not know if there is any conclusive evidence.

Shiva had to call all his Siddha disciples from different parts of the world through meditation to give his wife a chance to establish her truth. All Siddhas assembled in Kailas before Shiva. Parbati served them food and water. As she had predicted, the image of her lustful glance on the water in the golden pitcher maddened everyone. Besieged by an unspeakable yearning for love, none of them could help fantasising himself in the arms of beautiful women.

Once Shiva, the leader of the Yogis and his wife Parbati were discussing about his disciple’s duties on earth. Parbati wanted them to marry and have families but Siva differed saying that was impossible while his disciples were not attached to any mortal entity. The Goddess said, “Even if one can overcome anger, greed and other attachments,desire for women is the one of the six inherent human traits not even a monk can shun. Please allow me to prove – I will invoke their lust only with a gaze through the corner of my eyes.”

However, as Shiva asked her the outcome of her test, she narrated everything – that she had given boons to all of them fulfilling their desire. Only Gorakshanath’s desire seemed difficult to understand. Shiva smiled, “He is the purest Yogi disciple of mine; I would consider you the winner if you can charm him with your tricks.”

Everyone felt the lust for a sexual union with a woman in their minds. Only Gorakshanath had a different thought – “If I was born a son of such a beautiful mother, I could drink her milk sitting on her lap. She would have taken care of me with heartfelt affection, feed me,even clean my poops without disgust.” Hearing Goraksha’s thought, the Goddess decided to test him further – his looking at a young attractive lady as mother seemed unnatural.

Parbati saw Gorakshanath’s spiritual Guru Meenanath falling into the trap of beautiful women in the Land of Bananas,marry and enjoying worldly pleasures of family life. She felt annoyed seeing Goraksha still mediating to fulfill his spiritual goal unperturbed. She undressed before appearing in front of him – stretching her hands above her head. As soon as Goraksha saw her, he recognised her to be Shiva’s wife. “What this mischievous lady is doing here?” –  He thought while rushing to pluck a leaf from the tree under which he was sitting. Plucking aleaf he covered her vagina with that and then disappeared. The Goddess returned home embarrassed but with a vow to take another chance of allure him.

She took the form of a fly before approaching Goraksha once again. Seeing a fly moving before his mouth, the mendicant swallowed it. Through meditation he came to know who the fly actually was. He closed own anal tract to teach the Goddess a lesson. Going inside him,she did not find a way to come out. Struggling in pain, she called the Yogi, “I understand you know who I am. Staying inside your stomach causing me pain. You should not behave like this with your spiritual guide’s wife. Give me the way to come out so that I can go back home.” Gorakshanath chuckled hearing her meek request.However he too understood he had to let her go. Pondering which route he should open for a moment, he finally decided to open the anal track. This was only way he could ensure not seeing her again. The track was too narrow even for the fly.She broke her waist while struggling to come out.

The humiliated and injured Parbati decided to stay on the earth. He took the form of a Rakshsi now while living in the nearby forest. She began catching one human a day for her food.

Her absence for so long became reason for Shiva to worry. Not seeing her anywhere around, he meditated again to trace her.Guessing her presence close to Goraksha, he came to him. “Where is my wife –what did you do to her?” – He charged his disciple. The ever-conscious disciple laughed at him, “Too much of hemp and cannabis made you insentient. You can’t even remember where you lost your wife and came on earth to blame a celibate Yogi for hiding a woman?”

Anyway the yogi sympathised with his spiritual leader. He took up traveling to find his wife out. As he was going through the forest, the Goddess, now in the form of a Rakshasi pounced on him. Strength of his spiritual power made her immobile. He rebuked her, “What are you doing here?You are a Goddess, wife of the Shiva the greatest of the Yogis occupied with such a filthy act? Shame on you for eating humans! You should go back home at once.” The Goddess replied, “I can, only if you worship me establishing my temple here.”

The Yogi Gorakshanath not only promised so, he established the idol of the Goddess there in form of Kali and worshiped her building a temple. Pleasing the Goddess with his devotion, he took her to her husband in Kailas.

Kali idol of Kalighat temple, Kolkata

*Local belief says that the Kali idol and the temple of Kalighat were established by the Nath Yogi Gorakshanath. This story narrated in Gorakshavijay – “Ballad of Goraksha” supports the belief.

© Kathakali Mukherjee, 2018