In a small village near the ancient city of Ujjain , now the state of Madhya pradesh is the Gadkalika temple.
This temple is famous because it is here that one of the greatest poets of India got the blessings of the beautiful goddess Kalika Maa and became Kalidasa.
The story is about a shepherd boy who was stupid and considered useless by everyone in the village.
He would do the dumbest thing none would ever imagine. Once he sat on the branch of a tree that he was cutting himself. He never had the presence of mind or the ability to think and do things in a normal way. All that he did showed how idiotic he was and the whole village had given up any hope of making him understand.
This young shepherd however had a very good quality…he worshipped the Kalika Maa, goddess of the temple in the village. He was very sincere in his devotion and always came to the temple, sat there for hours and share the day’s experiences with the goddess.
A few years later, one day there came a situation when even his wife gave up on him and frustrated with all the happenings in his life, he came crying to Kali’s door. He had nowhere to go and sat at the door imploring to Kalika Maa to save him from troubles caused by his stupidity. He was feeling dejected and was desperately searching for a solution. He wondered if he should sacrifice his life in order to fulfil his prayers.
Would Kalika Maa listen to his pleadings?
He was hungry and tired and soon felt asleep at the door of the temple.
Kalika Maa loved betel leaves that gave her tongue the lovely red colour. She was chewing her favourite betel leaves as she was entering the temple and saw the young shepherd at her door. His mouth was calling out her name even in sound sleep. She understood that he was hungry and feeling extremely tired.
How could a mother bear to see her child hungry? But all she had was the betel leaves..she stuffed a few of them into the sleeping shepherd’s mouth.
He awoke with a start and seeing the goddess in front of him knew not what to say. All he could do was cry and plead again.
He held his tongue responsible for all the chaos caused because of his stupidity. If only he had spoken wisely or used the right expressions. .things would have been much better in his life, he considered.
He was about to cut off his tongue in a fit of emotion when Kalika Maa stopped him.
She made him open his tongue and wrote OM on it.
What a miracle? The shepherd immediately felt an inner change in him and began to sing in praise of the goddess. He had become a knowledgeable and wise man.
It is thus how we got Kali-dasa- the servant of Kali. His supreme devotion made him the best poet of his time and he was also one among the nine gems in King Vikramaditya’s court.
Kalidasa’s Shakuntala, Meghasandesham, Kumarasambhavam and others are truly brilliant pieces of writing.
Doesn’t this give us the hope that the Divine is full of love for all the creations in the Universe. God doesn’t differentiate between the intelligent and those less intelligent.
All that matters is purity of the soul and devotion along with the immovable belief that the Divine would always set things right.