Ocean of Compassion.
These are grim days for Goa and India, caught in the grip of a lethal COVID wave.
The great Goan poet and aesthete Bakibab Borkar observed that the serenity and beauty of Goa had a purifying effect not only on us mortals but on the Divine as well.
It was in Goa that a bellicose Goddess Durga shed her ugra swaroopa (fierce mien) to reveal herself as Shantadurga. After the uncontrollable heat and fury brought on by his mission subsided, a gentler Narasimha repaired to Goa together with Lakshmi. And Goa it was where Kali the Terrible assumed her soumya (calm and kind) form as Mahamaya Kalika.
The ancient Mahamaya Kalika temple lies in the village of Kasarpal, named after the Kasars (coppersmiths), the original votaries of the deity. Later the worship and upkeep of the temple passed over to the Daivadnya (goldsmiths) community.
(This is the first of 5 verses from a stuti called Sri Durgastava – composed by the most revered Saccidananda Shivabhinava Nrsimha Bharati Mahasvaminah, when India was attacked in the 19th century by the plague.)
देशस्य परमिदानीं ताटस्थं केन वहसि दुर्गाम्ब ॥
Mother Durga! Having protected this land from many dangers until now, why have You now become impartial? Please tell us.
The Kalika sculpture consecrated is over 800 years old. In the image below it is masked by the gleaming shell.