Akhilandeshvari literally means, in Sanskrit, “the goddess who is never not broken.” What a name! It sounds terrible to be her — what a bummer to be constantly broken. But in reality, as Stoneberg explains, her brokenness is exactly where she finds her power. She is constantly in flux, constantly changing, breaking herself into pieces, spinning herself like a whirling dervish trying to spin himself towards God. She never allows herself to become any kind of whole self with limitations.
And she’s got a sweet ride: a crocodile! Crocodiles represent our reptilian brain, the place where we feel fear. She does not reject her fear or let it control her, she rides the unpredictable waves of the river right on top of it.
This goddess teaches us that being broken can be powerful. That those times in our lives where we feel confused, and lost, and unsure, and afraid; when our routines change or we lose someone we love, or our hearts are broken into pieces, that we are in one of the most powerful states we could possibly be in. If we can rein in our fears, be with them, and ride them rather than letting them control us, we can become one with the changeability of the tides and let them take us somewhere new.
Routine has its place–understanding who you are and what you want from the world is incredibly important. But it can also become toxic if you are too attached to the way things “should be.” When we practice our yoga, we move through our bodies and our breath and try to make new space where things were blocked or locked out. We are essentially allowing ourselves to become broken again, to see the world in a new way, to become empowered.
Notes sourced from