Happy Birthday, Ahladini! Happy Birthday to You!

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birth of krishna and yogmaya

Yogamaya, thank you for being my personal Shakti ‘Swabhiki’ and helping me enjoy my walk through this wonderful adventurous path called Life.

Dear Krishna, Hey “Sokha” (friend) Happy Birthday to you too!

Ahladini, I am grateful that you share your birthday with Krishna on this Janmashtami. If you were not there, then we might not have had Krishna. 

In a tryst with destiny, Ahladini Shakti was born on the dark tempestuous night to Yashoda and Nanda in Gokul, a hamlet on the banks of river Yamuna. Same night when Lord Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev in Mathura, behind the dark grating prison bars. He was the eighth son born with the cosmic prediction to kill Kansa, the cruel king of Mathura. Like King Herod, Kansa wanted to get rid of Krishna at his birth and defy the fate of his life.

So, there was a plan.

After Ahladini, Yogamaya was born, while her mother was still enduring the labor pain, someone from Mathura crossed the rough and turbulent Yamuna River on that stormy night with the newborn baby boy tucked under his arm and came to Gokul. He then carefully swapped out the baby girl leaving behind the newborn Krishna to the safe abode in the care of Yashoda and Nanda. The deprived baby girl never got the chance to feed on her mother’s milk or know the love of her doting father. And the world seldom celebrates her birthday.

Yet, she is the female power, the personal Shakti, Swabhiki who saved Lord Krishna.

 As the king of Mathura heard about the birth, he came to the prison cell to take the life of the newborn and redefine his destiny by overruling the prediction. As he picked up the baby girl and was about to smash her brutally against the hard rock stone walls of the black prison wall the bundle slipped out and less we know what happened after that.

We are much better at glorifying the Akashvani (divine broadcast), ‘Tomaare badhibe je, Gokule barichhe je se’, in translation, ‘O stupid Kansa, you are destined to be slain by the one saved and safe in Gokul’.

She probably grew up somewhere in the treacherous Vindhya Mountains among other kids of a herding family.

The little boy grew up happily, nurtured by mother’s love and father’s care. So many beautiful stories abound about the mischiefs of the toddler as he grew up. Later, in the course of life, the little boy came to know about his birth parents, reunited with them and had a safe and secure life.

What happened to the girl? We never cared to know. Her parents never cared to know. Her mother must have cried all her life but dared not look for her.

She was, after all, a girl. A girl!

Also read: A Woman’s Dream of Freedom

She was ordained to be sacrificed and always be there to be the power behind the ‘big guy’.

You remember Subhadra, from Mahabharata? Ahladini-Yogamaya is Subhadra, Krishna’s little sister and always in support of his brother Krishna with the magical power of ‘Mahamaya’, illusion.

Again, Happy Birthday Ahladini! Happy Birthday Yogamaya!

Thank you for being there in support of Krishna and giving me the power of Swabhiki.

There is only one temple dedicated to Yogmaya in the entire world which is situated in Mehrauli in New Delhi. The deity is worshiped as the mother of all beings and is considered one of the personal powers of the divine. 

According to another folk legend, Mughal emperor Akbar II’s son Mirza Jahangir had fired at the British Resident from a window of the Red Fort. Though the Resident was unharmed, he was infuriated. As a result Jahangir Mirza was exiled to Allahabad. 

Akbar II’s wife was distraught and prayed for her son’s release. Folklore has it that the Queen dreamt of godddess Yogmaya and vowed to offer pankhas (fans) made of flowers at the Yogmaya temple and chadar (floral sheet) at the nearby Sufi shrine of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. This practice has since continued and the ritual is known as Phool Walon Ki Sair, a three-day festival held in October every year.

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