Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dohakosa of Saraha

Saraha was born to a Brahmin family in Bengal when Buddhism was strongly supported by the court of the region. Saraha became a Buddhist monk and a noted scholar. However, he was expelled from his monastic order, some stories say for drinking alcohol.
He took to the life of a mendicant, a solitary spiritual wanderer. He became the disciple of a Buddhist master of Tantra and Kundalini practices.
Eventually Saraha met a young woman. She was of the low arrowsmith caste. He watched her intently forming each arrow, her gaze steady and not wandering to the left or the right. Saraha saw these actions symbolic of nondual awareness.
This woman shared similar spiritual aspirations, and the two were married. The couple travelled to holy locations, and cemeteries (considered good places for meditation and confronting the reality of death in the Tantric tradition). Since he could no longer support himself as a begging holy man, Saraha took up the trade of his wife's caste -- an arrowsmith. The name Saraha, in fact, refers to the making of arrows (or, more esoterically, it can be translated as "one who aims through the heart of duality").
The couple meditated deeply together and, it is said, they attained enlightenment together.
As a "fallen" monk, however, Saraha was denounced before the royal court. In his defense, Saraha recited a series of spontaneous realization songs, The Three Cycles of Doha. These songs became famous throughout Bengal, and he was widely acclaimed to be a legitimately realized sage.
Saraha began the Buddhist lineage that led to Naropa, Marpa, and Milarepa.

The Royal Song of Saraha (Dohakosa)

Homage to the destroyer of demonic power!

The wind lashes calm waters into rollers and breakers;
The king makes multifarious forms out of unity,
Seeing many faces of this one Archer, Saraha.

The cross-eyed fool sees one lamp as two;
The vision and the viewer are one,
You broken, brittle mind!

Many lamps are lit in the house,
But the blind are still in darkness;

Sahaja is all-pervasive
But the fool cannot see what is under his nose.

Just as many rivers are one in the ocean
All half-truths are swallowed by the one truth;

The effulgence of the sun illuminates all dark corners.

Clouds draw water from the ocean to fall as rain on the earth
And there is neither increase nor decrease;

Just so, reality remains unaltered like the pure sky.

Replete with the Buddha's perfections
Sahaja is the one essential nature;

Beings are born into it and pass into it,
Yet there is neither existence nor non-existence in it.

Forsaking bliss the fool roams abroad,
Hoping for mundane pleasure;

Your mouth is full of honey now,
Swallow it while you may!

Fools attempt to avoid their suffering,
The wise enact their pain.

Drink the cup of sky-nectar
While others hunger for outward appearances.

Flies eat filth, spurning the fragrance of sandalwood;

Man lost to nirvana furthers his own confusion,
Thirsting for the coarse and vulgar.

The rain water filling an ox's hoof-print
Evaporates when the sun shines;

The imperfections of a perfect mind,
All are dissolved in perfection.

Salt sea water absorbed by clouds turns sweet;

The venom of passionate reaction
In a strong and selfless mind becomes elixir.

The unutterable is free of pain;
Non-meditation gives true pleasure.

Though we fear the dragon's
The nature of beginning and end is here and now,

And the first does not exist without the last;

The rational fool conceptualising the inconceivable

Separates emptiness from compassion.

The bee knows from birth

That flowers are the source of honey;

How can the fool know

That samsara and nirvana are one?

Facing himself in a mirror
The fool sees an alien form;

The mind with truth forgotten
Serves untruth's outward sham.

Flowers' fragrance is intangible
Yet its reality pervades the air,

Just as mandala circles are informed
By a formless presence.

Still water stung by an icy wind
Freezes hard in starched and jagged shapes;

In an emotional mind agitated by critical concepts
The unformed becomes hard and intractable.

Mind immaculate by nature is untouched
By samsara and nirvana's mud;

But just like a jewel lost in a swamp
Though it retains its lustre it does not shine.

As mental sloth increases pure awareness diminishes;
As mental sloth increases suffering also grows.

Shoots sprout from the seed and leaves from the branches.

Separating unity from multiplicity in the mind
The light grows dim and we wander in the lower realms;

Who is more deserving of pity than he
Who walks into fire with his eyes wide open?

Obsessed with the joys of sexual embrace
The fool believes he knows ultimate truth;

He is like someone who stands at his door
And, flirting, talks about sex.

The wind stirs in the House of Emptiness
Exciting delusions of emotional pleasure;

Fallen from celestial space, stung,
The tormented yogin faints away.

Like a brahmin taking rice and butter
Offering sacrifice to the flame,

He who visualises material things as celestial ambrosia
Deludes himself that a dream is ultimate reality.

Enlightening the House of Brahma in the fontanelle
Stroking the uvala in wanton delight,

Confused, believing binding pleasure to be spiritual release,
The vain fools calls himself a yogin.

Teaching that virtue is irrelevant to intrinsic awareness,
He mistakes the lock for the key;

Ignorant of the true nature of the gem
The fool calls green glass emerald.

His mind takes brass for gold,
Momentary peak experience for reality accomplished;

Clinging to the joy of ephemeral dreams
He calls his short-thrift life Eternal Bliss.

With a discursive understanding of the symbol EVAM,
Creating four seals through an analysis of the moment,

He labels his peak experience sahaja:
He is clinging to a reflection mistaken for the mirror.

Like befuddled deer leaping into a mirage of water
Deluded fools in their ignorance cling to outer forms

And with their thirst unslaked, bound and confined,
They idealise their prison, pretending happiness.

The relatively real is free of intellectual constructs,
And ultimately real mind, active or quiescent, is no-mind,

And this is the supreme,the highest of the high, immaculate;
Friends, know this sacred high!

In mind absorbed in samadhi that is concept-free,
Passion is immaculately pure;

Like a lotus rooted in the slime of a lake bottom,
This sublime reality is untouched by the pollution of existence.

Make solid your vision of all things as visionary dream
And you attain transcendence,

Instantaneous realisation and equanimity;
A strong mind binding the demons of darkness

Beyond thought your own spontaneous nature is accomplished.

Appearances have never ceased to be their original radiance,
And unformed, form never had a substantial nature to be grasped;

It is a continuum of unique meditation,
In an inactive, stainless, meditative mind that is no-mind.

Thus the I is intellect, mind and mind-forms,
I the world, all seemingly alien show,

I the infinite variety of vision-viewer,
I the desire, the anger, the mental sloth -And bodhicitta.

Now there is a lamp lit in spiritual darkness
Healing the splits riven by the intellect

So that all mental defilements are erased.

Who can define the nature of detachment?

It cannot be denied nor yet affirmed,
And ungraspable it is inconceivable.

Through conceptualisation fools are bound,
While concept-free there is immaculate sahaja.

The concepts of unity and multiplicity do not bring integration;
Only through awareness do sentient beings reach freedom.

Cognition of radiance is strong meditation;
Abide in a calm, quiescent mind.

Reaching the joy swollen land
Powers of seeing expand,

And there is joy and laughter;
Even chasing objects there is no separation.

From joy, buds of pure pleasure emerge,
Bursting into blooms of supreme pleasure,

And so long as outflow is contained
Unutterable bliss will surely mature.

What, where and by whom are nothing,
Yet the entire event is imperative.

Whether love and attachment or desirelessness
The form of the event is emptiness.

Like pigs we wallow in this sensual mire
But what can stain our pearly mind?

Nothing can ever contaminate it,
And by nothing can we ever be bound.


Mansur al-Hallaj is one of the more controversial figures of Sufism. Considered by many to be a great poet-saint, he was executed for blasphemy and sorcery.Orthodox religious authorities took offense at his poetry and teachings, particularly the line in one of his great poems "Ana 'l-Haqq," which translates as "I am the Real," but can also be translated as "I am the Truth" or "I am God." He was condemned by a council of theologians, imprisoned for nine years, and eventually put to death.

Poems by Hallaj

Your spirit is mingled with mine

Your spirit is mingled with mine as wine
is mixed with water;
whatever touches you touches me.
In all the stations of the soul you are I.

You glide between the heart and its casing

You glide between the heart and its casing as tears glide from the eyelid.
You dwell in my inwardness, in the depths of my heart, as souls dwell in bodies.
Nothing passes from rest to motion unless you move it in hidden ways,
O new moon.

Kill me, my faithful friends

Kill me, my faithful friends,
For in my being killed is my life.
Love is that you remain standing
In front of your Beloved
When you are stripped of all your attributes;
Then His attributes become your qualities.
Between me and You, there is only me.
Take away the me, so only You remain.

If They Only Knew

What earth is this
so in want of you they rise up on high 
to seek you in heaven?
Look at them staring
at you
right before their eyes,
unseeing, unseeing, blind.. . .
I was patient,
but can the heart be patient of
its heart?
My spirit and yours
blend together
whether we are near one another
or far away.
I am you,
my being,
end of my desire.
The most intimate of secret thoughts
envelopedand fixed along the horizon
in folds of light.
How? The "how" is known
along the outside,
while the interior of beyond
to and for the heart of being.
Creatures perish
in the darkenedblind of quest,
knowing intimations.
Guessing and dreaming
they pursue the real,
faces turned toward the sky
whispering secrets to the heavens.
While the lord remains among them
in every turn of time abiding in their every condition 
every instant.
Never without him, they,
not for the blink of an eye --
if only they knew!
nor he for a moment without them.

I am the One whom I love

I am the One whom I love, and the One whom I love is myself.
We are two souls incarnated in one body;
if you see me, you see Him,
if you see Him, you see us.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Granny Lalla

Kashmir has produced many saints, poets and mystics. Among them, Lal Ded is very prominent. In Kashmir, some people consider her a poet, some consider her a holywoman and some consider her a sufi, a yogi, or a devotee of Shiva. Sume even consider her an avtar. But every Kashmiri considers her a wise woman. Every Kashmiri has some sayings of Lalla on the tip of his tongue. The Kashmiri language is full of her sayings.

Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims affectionately call her "Mother Lalla" or "Granny Lalla". She is also called "Lallayogeshwari". Some people call her Lalla, the mystic.

It is said that Lal Ded was born in 1355 in Pandrethan to a Kashmiri Pandit family. Even as a child, Lalla was wise and religious-minded. When Lalla was twelve years old, she was married. Her in-laws lived in Pampur. The in-laws gave her the name Padmavati. Her mother-in-law was very cruel. She never gave her any peace. It is claimed that her mother-in-law used to put a stone on Lalla's plate. She would then cover the stone with rice so that people would get the impression that Lalla had a plateful of rice. Lalla would remain half fed, but would never complain about her mother-in-law. Her father-in-law was a good man and he was kind to her, but her mother-in-law made her miserable. She would even speak ill of Lalla to her husband. Poor Lalla knew no happiness either with her husband or with her mother-in-law.

When Lalla was twenty-six she renounced the family and became a devotee
of Shiva. Like a mad person, she would go around naked.

She became a disciple of Sidh Srikanth. She would only keep the company of sadhus and pi:rs. She did not think in terms of men and women. She would claim that she had yet to encounter a man, and that is why she went about naked. But when she saw Shah Hamdan, she hid herself saying: "I saw a man, I saw a man."

Why is Lalla so famous in Kashmir? She was illiterate, but she was wise. Her sayings are full of wisdom. In these sayings, she dealt with everything from life, yoga, and God to dharma and a:tma:. Her riddles are on the lips of every Kashmiri.

The exact date of Lalla's death is not known. It is claimed that she died in Bijbehara . People like Granny Lalla do not really die. Lal Ded is alive in her sayings and in the hearts of Kashmiris.

Five Sayings of Lal Ded

By a way I came, but I went not by the way.
While I was yet on the midst of the embankment
with its crazy bridges, the day failed for me.
I looked within my poke, and not a cowry came to hand
(or, atI, was there).
What shall I give for the ferry-fee?
(Translated by G. Grierson)


Passionate, with longing in mine eyes,
Searching wide, and seeking nights and days,
Lo' I beheld the Truthful One, the Wise,
Here in mine own House to fill my gaze.

(Translated by R.C. Temple)


Holy books will disappear, and then only the mystic formula will remain.
When the mystic formula departed, naught but mind was left.
When the mind disappeared naught was left anywhere,
And a voice became merged within the Void.
(Translated by G. Grierson)


You are the heaven and You are the earth,
You are the day and You are the night,
You are all pervading air,
You are the sacred offering of rice and flowers and of water;
You are Yourself all in all,
What can I offer You?


With a thin rope of untwisted thread
Tow I ever my boat o'er the sea.
Will God hear the prayers that I have said?
Will he safely over carry me?
Water in a cup of unbaked clay,
Whirling and wasting, my dizzy soul
Slowly is filling to melt away.
Oh, how fain would I reach my goal.
(Translated by R.C. Temple)


Monday, February 25, 2008


Someone asked, "What am I?"
Guangfan answered, "There is nothing in the whole universe that is not you."

"He perceives the oneness of everything, does not know about duality in it". Tchuang Tzu

"The True Man In dwelling he has no shape, and in abiding he has no place. In movement he has no form, and in quiescence he has no body. He is there but looks as if he were gone, he is alive but looks as if he were dead. He comes in and out of the spaceless and has gods and demons at his orders; he sinks into the unfathomable and enters into the spaceless. He exchanges his form with what is different from him. End and beginning for him are like a ring, and nobody knows his patterns. This is how his essence and spirit can lead him to ascend to the Dao. This is where the True Man roams. As for inspiring and expiring while emitting the sounds chui and xu, exhaling the old and inhaling the new [breath], hanging like a bear and stretching like a bird, bathing like a duck and leaping like a gibbon, glaring like an owl and staring like a tiger--these are for the people who 'nourish their form', and he does not confuse his mind with them."
Huainan zi

"Following the pathway and uniting with the ultimate, it is therefore called root of Heaven and Earth." Wang Bi

"If one has a self it is impossible to achieve the great oneness."Kuo Hsiang

"In ultimate sameness you have no self; and without self from where would you get to have anything." Tchuang Tzu

"Desirous of lust and beautiful sight, one injures one’s essence and loses one’s vision."Ho Shang Gong

"Therefore the sage embraces the OneAnd becomes the model of the world."

"Can you keep the spirit and embrace the One without departing from them?"

Lao Tzu

"The ten thousand things have ten thousand different forms but in the final analysis they are one. How did they become one? Because of non-being…. Therefore in the production of the myriad things, I know its master. Although things exist in ten thousand different forms, their material forces are blended as one."Wang Bi

Zen quotes

Sitting Quietly
"Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself."
Zenrin Kushы (The Way of Zen 134, 222)

"The blue mountains are of themselves blue mountains;
"The white clouds are of themselves white clouds."
Zenrin Kushы (The Way of Zen 134, 222)

Mountains are Mountains
The famous saying of Ch'ing-yьan Wei-hsin (Seigen Ishin):
老僧三十年前未參禪時、見山是山、見水是水、及至後夾親見知識、有箇入處、見山不是山、見水不是水、而今得箇體歇處、依然見山秪是山、見水秪是水 (The Way of Zen 220 k)
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters. 13 Ch'uan Teng Lu, 22. (The Way of Zen 126)

Eternity in an hour
萬古長空 An eternity of endless space:
一朝風月 A day of wind and moon. (The Golden Age of Zen 246, 322 n.2)
"One of the most frequently reiterated couplets in Chinese Zen literature" (The Golden Age of Zen 246)

天地同根 Heaven and earth and I are of the same root,
萬物一體 The ten-thousand things and I are of one substance.
Zen Master Sкng-chao/Sхjх (僧肇 384-414)

"Nan-ch'uan and his lay disciple Lu Hsuan (陸亘). Lu was reciting Seng-chao's saying:
天地與我同根 Heaven and earth come from the same root as myself:
萬物與我爲一 All things and I belong to one Whole.
However, he did not really understand the full purport of it. Nan-ch'uan pointed at the peonies in the courtyard, saying, 'The worldlings look at these bush of flowers as in a dream." Lu did not see the point." (The Golden Age of Zen 285)
陸大夫向師道、「肇法師、也甚奇怪、解道"天地與我同根、萬物與我爲一"」師指庭前牡丹花曰、「大夫、時人見此一花株如夢相似」 (The Golden Age of Zen 324 n.92)
"While Rikkх, a high government official of the T'ang dynasty, had a talk with his Zen master Nansen, the official quoted a saying of Sхjх, a noted monk scholar of an earlier dynasty:
Heaven and earth and I are of the same root,
The ten-thousand things and I are of one substance
and continued, 'Is not this a most remarkable statement?' /

Nansen called the attention of the visitor to the flowering plant in the garden and said,
'People of the world look at these flowers as if they were in a dream.' " (The Essentials of Zen Buddhism 483-4)

Merge your mind with cosmic space, integrate your actions with myriad forms.
Ch'an master Hung-chih Cheng-chьeh (宏智正覺 Wanshi Shхkaku, 1091-1157)
(Transmission of Light xi)

"Entering the forest he moves not the grass;
Entering the water he makes not a ripple."
Zenrin Kushы (The Way of Zen 152, 224)

Everyday Mind
争如著衣喫飲、此外更無佛祖 "There's nothing equal to wearing clothes and eating food. Outside this there are neither Buddhas nor Patriarchs." Zenrin Kushы (The Way of Zen 152, 224)

Seeking the Same Thing
From the K'un-lun mountains eastward the (Taoist) term "Great Oneness" is used. From Kashmir westward the (Buddhist) term sambodhi is used. Whether one looks longingly toward "non-being" (wu) or cultivates "emptiness" (sunyata), the principle involved is the same. Quoted by Fung Yu-lan (1), vol. 2, p. 240, from Seng-yu, Ch'u San-tsang Chi-chi, 9. (The Way of Zen 82)

Ocean of Pure Reality
清淨眞如海 Ocean of pure Reality,
湛然體常住 Its substance, in fathomless quiescence, exists eternally.
Ch'an master Fo-kuang Ju-man (佛光如滿 Bukkх Nyoman)
(The Development of Chinese Zen After the Sixth Patriarch 64)

Mt. Shivling

Mt. Shivling (Garhwal Himalaya)
Elevation 6,543 m . Location Uttarakhand, India

Shivling is a mountain in the Gangotri Group of peaks in the western Garhwal Himalaya, near the snout of the Gangotri Glacier. It lies in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, 6 km (4 mi) south of the Hindu holy site of Gaumukh (the source of the Bhagirathi River). Its name refers to its status as a sacred symbol of the god Shiva. It was called "Matterhorn Peak" by early European visitors because of its similarity in appearance to that Alpine peak. While not of locally great elevation, it is a dramatic rock peak, and most visually striking peak seen from Gaumukh; that and the difficulty of the climb make it a famed prize for mountaineers.


Sunday, February 17, 2008


From the book Kashmir Shaivism The Secret Supreme by Swami Lakshmanjoo, verbally revealed the essence of the first fifteen chapters of Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka.

Chapter 4 - Pratibimbavada
In the ordinary worldly course, sound is reflected outwardly in ether and inwardly in the ear. Touch is reflected outwardly in air and inwardly in the skin. Form is reflected outwardly in fire and in a mirror, and inwardly in the eye. Taste is reflected outwardly in water and inwardly in the tongue. Smell is reflected outwardly in earth and inwardly in the nose. These reflections, however, are just like the reflections in a mirror. They only take place individually. All five reflections are not available at once; only one thing is reflected in each. In a mirror form is reflected. Touch cannot be reflected in a mirror nor can taste, smell, or sound. A mirror will only reflect form. It is only in Supreme God Consciousness that you find all five reflected at once. In fact, although these reflections are experienced individually in all of the sense organs—sight in the eye, sound in the ear, etc.—these reflections could not even be observed if consciousness were not there. Awareness is needed and this is found in consciousness, not in the organs.

The universe, therefore, is reflected in the mirror of consciousness, not in the organs, nor in the five gross elements. These are merely tattvas and cannot reflect anything. The real reflector is consciousness. In consciousness, however, you see only the reflected thing and not anything that is reflected. That which is reflected (bimba) is, in fact, svatantrya (absolute independent freedom of Lord Shiva).

"This whole universe is the reflection of svatantrya in God Consciousness."

There is no additional class of similar objects existing outside of this world that He reflects in His nature. The outside element, that which is reflected, is only svatantrya. The infinite variety, which is created, is only the expansion of svatantrya.

You can understand this by taking the example of cause and effect. When a potter makes a pot, he takes clay and gives form to that clay with his potter’s instruments, such as a stick, a string, and the potter’s wheel. Within the potter’s creative activity, two kinds of causes can be distinguished. There is the material cause, which in Sanskrit is called upadana karana. This is that cause which travels with the effect. It cannot and does not become separated from the effect. Second, there is the formal cause, which in Sanskrit is called nimitta karana. The formal cause does not travel with the effect. The material cause is the potter’s clay and the formal cause is the potter himself with his stick, string, and wheel. In the ordinary worldly course, the reflected object (bimba) seems to be the cause of the reflection (pratibimba), because the reflected object cannot exist without that which is reflected. We have seen, however, that all reflection is really a reflection in God Consciousness.

If the reflected object is really the cause of the reflection, then what kind of cause is it? Is it the material cause, which travels with the effect, or is it the formal cause, which does not travel with the effect?
It cannot be the material cause because that would mean that there is something outside of God Consciousness, which travels to become part of the effect, which is the reflection. It is our theory in Shaivism that nothing can exist outside of God Consciousness. There cannot, therefore, be any agency which is separate from God Consciousness which travels with the cause, because if it is separate from God Consciousness, and therefore from the effect, it would not exist.

If the reflection of some object is existing in the mirror of God Consciousness, then of what is that object a reflection?
We have seen that if the object which is reflected were to remain outside of God Consciousness, then it would not exist. There can be nothing, therefore, which is outside to be reflected in the mirror of God Consciousness. There is only the mirror. There is no external cause, which has gone into the reflection, which is the effect. There is only the mirror of God Consciousness.

But what then is the cause of this reflection?
Svatantrya is the mirror. Svatantrya, the absolutely independent will of God, is the cause of this reflection. Unlike ordinary reflection which we experience in the world, wherein an object can be distinguished as the cause of that reflection, in God Consciousness only the reflection exists and not anything that is separate and reflected. In this causality, svatantrya is the formal cause, not the material cause of the reflection. It does not travel from the cause into the effect because, as I have explained, there is no cause which could be separate from God Consciousness. It is His free will, that He wills, and what He wills appears in the mirror of His Consciousness. It is simply His will (svatantrya). In reality, only the reflection exists and not anything that is reflected.

This universe, therefore, is found in the reflector of God Consciousness, not through the agency of anything of which it is a reflection (bimba), but through His svatantrya, where the universe is contained in seed form.

"Svatantrya is the seed of everything. Everything exists in the mirror of God Consciousness with svatantrya as its cause."

The theory of reflection (pratibimbavada) is meant for advanced yogins. This theory teaches them how to be aware in their daily activities, while talking, while walking, while tasting, while touching, while hearing, while smelling. While they are performing all of these various actions they see that all of these actions move in their Supreme Consciousness. Their vision, their perception, heretofore limited, becomes unlimited. The mode of their actions becomes absolutely unique. They see each and every action in their God Consciousness. They exist in the state of Sadashiva. Each and every action of their life becomes glorious. This is the awareness that comes from the practice of pratibimba.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bhadrakali Temple

Bhadrakali Temple at Hanamkonda is significant Devi temple located on the hilltop between the twin cities of Hanamkonda and Warangal in Andhra Pradesh. The temple is held in high esteem by devotees of the of Goddess Bhadrakali popularly called the ‘Grant Mother Goddess’. Remarkable feature of the temple is the square shaped stone image of the Goddess (2.7 X 2.7 meters). In the image goddess is seen in a sitting posture with fierce looking eyes and face. The Goddess can also be seen wearing a crown and having eight hands holding various weapons.
High point of Bhadrakali Temple is an artificial lake of 2 ½ kms radius in the vicinity of the temple. Number of natural rock formations in the surroundings add to the spiritual charm of the temple and are the most dominant feature of the temple. Some of the unique shaped rocks are said to carry immense spiritual powers. The structure of the temple is said to be 250 years old. Though the image of the deity is called the Bhadrakali, the goddess is said to have been transformed by the mantras into a very rare form called the Tripura Sundari, which includes the Kali form. Tripura Sundari is regarded as the supreme manifestation of Prakriti - the feminine power which is the vital energy of the universe. Literal meaning of Tripura Sundari is 'The Beauty of the Three Worlds' or more precisely the three Cites or 'Pura'
The best time to visit the famous Bhadrakali Temple in Warangal is the Telegu month of ‘Sravana’ which corresponds to the month of August - September according to Gregorian Calendar. At this time a festival is organised and the deity is aesthetically decorated in various forms. Housing about 8 major and 12 minor temples surrounding mountains of Bhadrakali Temple exude a sacred aura when a large number of devotees gather to offer prayers.People who visit Bhadrakali Temple also visit Hanamkonda Fort which is just a kilometer away from the another well known thousand pillared Hanamkonda Temple. Inside the fort is the Siddeshwara Temple housing a small Linga shrine.

|| om kalikaye vidyamahe shmshanvasini dhimahi tanno devi prachodayat ||

Karni Mata

This ornate, isolated Hindu temple was constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the early 1900s as a tribute to the rat goddess, Karni Mata. Intricate marble panels line the entrance and the floors, and silver and gold decorations are found throughout.
But by far the most intriguing aspect of the interior is the 20,000-odd rats that call this temple home. These holy animals are called kabbas, and many people travel great distances to pay their respects.
The legend goes that Karni Mata, a mystic matriarch from the 14th century, was an incarnation of Durga, the goddess of power and victory. At some point during her life, the child of one of her clansmen died. She attempted to bring the child back to life, only to be told by Yama, the god of death, that he had already been reincarnated.
Karni Mata cut a deal with Yama: From that point forward, all of her tribespeople would be reborn as rats until they could be born back into the clan.
In Hinduism, death marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one on the path to a soul's eventual oneness with the universe. This cycle of transmigration is known as samsara and is precisely why Karni Mata's rats are treated like royalty.
Gautam Ghosh, professor of anthropology and Asian studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, noted how rare this rat-worshipping temple is. "In India, as in the West, rats aren't treated with particular veneration."
In Hinduism, many deities take animals forms. "The main theological point is that there's no dividing line between what forms gods or goddesses can use," said Rachel Fell McDermott, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures at Barnard College in New York City. "There's nothing to say they can't take form as a fish, a bird, or even a rat."
Ghosh noted that this temple is linked to the royal family who ruled Bikaner, a nearby city. When a Hindu royal family is seeking greater power, they look to the local cults for a patron god—or, according to London-based art historian George Michell, usually a goddess—to help them attain that power.
The male gods are not as powerful for direct involvement in people's lives, he explained, so cults surrounding local goddesses are commonly used to help sway things in their favor. Kings who want to be powerful in India must be protected by goddesses. This is how the Karni Mata Temple was established.

Jai Mata Di !