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The Divine Mother ....Her Birth

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The Divine Mother


Her Birth


The ancient Hindu text the Chandi tells the story of how the Divine Mother Goddess was born to slay the demons who were threatening the Gods themselves. When the evil demon king Mahishasura declared himself to be the Ruler of the Universe, the blasphemy so enraged the Gods that a powerful beam of light began to issue forth from the forehead ("third eye") of each of them. When the blinding beams of Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, Indra, Yama, Agni, and all the other Gods met at one blazing point, the energy came to life in the form of a Goddess. Thus, she is considered Shakti, the creative power of the Divine.

The Divine Mother


Each of the Gods gave Her His most powerful weapon: Shiva's Trident, Vishnu's Discus, Indra's Thunderbolt. Roaring fiercely, Kali single-handedly battled Mahishasura and his entire army of powerful, magical, crafty demons. She devoured, slashed, tore, and crushed every one. But even after the demons were slain, Kali's battle frenzy raged on. She continued to dance wildly, slashing and ripping at the dead demons, dancing from corpse to corpse, shaking the foundations of the universe itself. The Gods realized they had to stop Her or the universe would be destroyed.


So Shiva, Her Husband, stepped forward. He lay down among the corpses on the battlefield, motionless. As Kali continued her dance of death, She suddenly realized that She was dancing on top of a live body--and it was that of Her Husband! Overcome with shame at the unthinkable disrespect She was showing by touching Her Husband with Her feet, She bit Her tongue and stopped Her dance.


Her Many Forms


Kali is usually considered to be an aspect of Parvati, the wife of Shiva. (Parvati is also sometimes known as Uma.) Another aspect of Parvati is Durga, the ten-armed demon-slaying goddess celebrated in September-October during Durga Puja, the largest religious festival in Bengal.


Ma Kali, as devotees affectionately call her ("Mother Kali") is known to take on many different forms or moods, some related to particular places, miracles, or incidents (comparable to the many manifestations of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of the Springs, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Lourdes, etc.). Kali's forms range from the benign protectress to the terrifying demon-slayer. Even robbers who waited in the forests of Bengal to ambush travelers used to worship their very own form of Kali: Dakait Kali.


Her Symbolism


In spite of the variety of forms She takes, Kali can always be recognized by certain characteristics. Her long hair flies about wildly (unlike the meticulously plaited hair of a modest Hindu woman), indicating Her infinite freedom. She is usually depicted standing on the prone body of Shiva, with Her tongue out. In contrast to Shiva's pure white complexion (He is smeared with ashes in the tradition of a sannyasin), Kali is the deep black of a limitless Void that has the power to swallow up everything. Her name comes from the Sanskrit word kala, "time"; she is the power of time, which devours all.


She has three eyes and four arms. Her upper right hand makes a gesture meaning "fear not," while the lower right hand's gesture promises the granting of boons to Her devotees. Her left hands hold a bloody sword and a freshly severed human head. Thus She combines the compassionate and the terrible aspects of the Divine. Yet even in Her terrible aspect She is looking out for the good of Her devotees--indeed of all humanity: The head She has severed represents the ego, the biggest obstacle to our realization of God.


She wears nothing but a skirt and a garland--but the skirt is made of human arms, the garland of skulls. Again, however, these symbols transcend the obvious macabre associations with Her destructive nature. The arms represent work or action, also known as Karma: All work belongs to Her and should be dedicated to Her. The fifty skulls in the garland represent the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, the root of all knowledge, indeed of creation itself.



from Adyapeath website






[This message has been edited by jijaji (edited 01-01-2002).]

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Who is the Woman yonder who lights the field of battle?

Darker Her body gleams even than the darkest storm-cloud,

And from Her teeth there flash the lightning's blinding flames!

Disheveled Her hair is flying behind as She rushes about,

Undaunted in this war between the gods and the demons.

Laughing Her terrible laugh, She slays the fleeing asuras,

And with Her dazzling flashes She bares the horror of war.


How beautiful on Her brow the drops of moisture appear!

About Her dense black hair the bees are buzzing in swarms;

The moon has veiled its face, beholding this Sea of Beauty.

Tell me, who can She be, this Sorceress? Wonder of wonders!

Siva Himself, like a corpse, lies vanquished at Her feet.

Kamalakanta has guessed who She is, with the elephant's gait;

She is none other than Kali, Mother of all the worlds.



from Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

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Dear Jijai prabhu, Can't let this vividly beautiful thread of your's slip away without some positive comment. I really enjoy these descriptions of Mother Kali--wild or what, eh? Please don't misinterpret or be offended if I say she's my kinda gal!


Of course, my perspective is that everything and everyone is included in Sri Radhika as the basis of Krsna's internal potency that supports all His other energies. Some may consider Radha merely a sweet, innocent young girl. She does have another side, though...at least to my mind! Haribol!!!





Radhe Radhe always Radhe!


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Kali the Mother


The stars are blotted out,

Clouds are covering clouds,

It is darkness, vibrant, sonant,

In the roaring whirling wind

Are the souls of a million lunatics,

Just loose from the prison house,

Wrenching trees by the roots,

Sweeping all from the path.

The sea has joined the fray,

And swirls up mountain waves,

To reach the pitchy sky,

The flash of lurid light

Reveals on every side

A thousand thousand shades

Of death begrimed and black--

Scattering plagues and sorrows,

Dancing mad with joy,

Come, Mother, Come!


For terror is Thy name,

Death is in Thy breath,

And every shaking step

Destroys a world for e'er,

Thou `Time`, the All-Destroyer!

Come, O Mother, Come!


Who dares misery love,

And hug the form of Death,

Dance in destruction's dance,

To him the Mother comes.



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Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my

tears of sorrow.

The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet,

but mine will hang upon thy breast.


Wealth and fame come from thee and it is for thee to give or to

withold them. But this my sorrow is absolutely mine own,

And when I bring it to thee as my offering thou rewardest me

with thy grace.


Rabindranath Tagore

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