Chaya the Goddess of Shadows by Mumtaz Sodha

Goddess Chaya (Shadow)Long ago in an Ancient time there was Surya (Sanskrit for Sun) and his consort Chaya (Sanskrit for Shadow) both inseparable from one another.  Yet as times passed, people forgot about Chaya although they still revered Surya.  However she still stayed despite the lack of acknowledgement and fear.  The love between Surya and Chaya could never be broken, even if it was not understood.

Chaya the Goddess of Shadows

The Sun is high in the azure blue sky shining through the trees as I near the temple, it is barely visible in the distance hidden by undergrowth and out of sight within the dense forest.  I hear the cawing of the crows as I near and their call ignites something within me that I cannot grasp.  I near the steps leading up to the doorway and they are laden with weeds entangling the railings.  I feel my heart beating faster in anticipation of what it is that I will uncover in this long forgotten ancient temple.  The door is in front of me made of heavy timber it is dusty dark and covered in cobwebs, showing that it had stood unopened for centuries.  I pause and wander exactly how long had it been since anyone had entered this sacred place.  I reach within my little velvet pouch that holds the keys and place it in the lock.  I was expecting some resistance as the door had appeared to have not been opened for some time.  Yet the key moves effortlessly in the lock.  I use the big brass handles to push the door, which makes a creaking sound as it opens reluctantly.

My heart is racing and I feel my body damp with moisture as I step inside.  I carry a torch and shine into the deep darkness in front of me despite the clear blue skies outside. As my eyes adjust to the dark I can see the varying degrees of darkness. The windows now completely black with dirt allow little glimmers of light through the murkiness.  I place the torch on a stone and I take out other torches to cast some light.  The room inside is circle shaped and the windows all stand like sinister guarding sentinels.   Then I see Her idol, she is in the middle of the room.  As I near Her, I hear a movement, I flinch turn around and shout;

‘Who’s there?’

She replies, ‘At last you have come.’

The idol in front of me begins to turn her head and slowly moves each part of her body as it comes to life.  I stand there frozen in terror and shock unable to tear my eyes away.  A soothing voice speaks;

‘There’s nothing to be frightened of my Priestess. It is I Chaya (Shadow) you have heard my call and ventured into this deep forest to find Me.’ 

Now She looks fully human Her skin silvery soft in the light, Her features enchanting.  She is dressed in a shimmering black gown that glimmers as She walks towards me.  The light dancing on Her form as though She is not made of solid matter. She glides nearer and I step backwards.

‘What is the matter my daughter, do you not recognise Me, why are you not happy to see me?’ 

She pauses and looks away from me as if in deep thought, then continues;

‘I understand why you are anxious at meeting me, for too long I have been banished and portrayed as a being that is all that is be feared.  This is why I was abandoned, the mystery the depth, the void all things feared.  Yet tell me daughter how can there be Surya (Sun) and yet not Chaya (Shadow)? Surya (Sun) was revered God of the skies and Chaya (Shadow) Goddess was banished.’

She comes close and this time I am not afraid as I am mesmerised by her words.  She holds me by the shoulder and looks into my eyes, Her eyes are dark and so deep there is no end and no beginning.

‘Do you not seek the shade when the heat is blistering? Chaya (Shadow) is always with you wherever light is cast.  To accompany you, to soothe you, yet you don’t acknowledge her.  She is within you, in your core hidden from the world and even to yourself, because you are ashamed to see Her. The darkness, the void, the mystery, the depths of the forest in the Moonlight. She calls to you and you are afraid to meet Her, why?’

She turns away and her voice deepens.

‘I will tell you why, because Her power is feared.  You my daughter have been taught to fear yourself, because you might become too wild, too emotional, too out of control.  The Chaya (shadow) within is this untamed part of yourself that doesn’t care what others think She is potent energy.  In the dense forest under the Moonlight is the energy of wilderness, of unpredictability, of mystery, it is an energy that you cannot embrace in yourself, you are afraid of it. You cannot tame this part of you, you cannot make it conform and sit in a tidy house in suburbia.  It is what the Ancient Mothers of the Land have embraced in themselves long ago, and were slaughtered for their presence. The reason why I called you here to Me is so that you can embrace Me within you. Can you?’

She comes closer and strokes my hair with Her luminous fingers.

‘The truth is, I never left you, and I was always with you. It is you who abandoned Me, will you reclaim Me as your very own?’

Tears of recognition run down my face, She wipes my tears with her cool fingers and states;

‘Without embracing Me, you can never be whole, without being whole you cannot be Divine.’

I weep with this revelation and she stays with me holding me as I open up a part of myself that I locked up for many lifetimes.

Written with Love

© Mumtaz ❤

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2 comments

  1. Very beautiful. By reclaiming the wholeness of our being we can indeed become Divine. We cannot leave the shadow out of our process and indeed the process has everything to do with our shadow and with the judgement we have picked up about ourselves. It is easy to love the Sun, but to love the Shadow..that is real grace and true power.

    Liked by 1 person

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