Living Mantra pp 113-148 | Cite as

Self-Made: Svayam Siddha Kali Pitham, Guntur

  • Mani Rao
Part of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion book series (CAR)


At the Svayam Siddha Kali Pitham in Guntur, the stone image of Goddess Kali manifested in front of a group of people. Swami Siddheswarananda Bharati is the guru here and reputed for siddhis (powers) and access to deities. Narratives in this chapter are about earnest effort, experiments with mantras and discoveries. One practitioner decodes new mantras from within a hymn, and another finds that different permutations in a mantra give rise to distinct deities. An atheist begins an obsessive mantra-sadhana based on a dream vision, a practitioner spends years doing mantras to overcome an administrative obstacle, a devotee who “stockpiles” mantra for decades now receives information from Hanuman personally, and a yogini describes how mantras were given to her by deities in person, and had transformative effects. An interview with Siddheswarananda covers new ground where he speaks about how deities gave mantras to human beings to help communicate with them. The conclusion debates instrumentality and the favor of deities, and the intervention of mantras with Nature.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mani Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.BengaluruIndia

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