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Encyclopedia > Kali
Image:Example.of.complex.text.rendering.svg This article contains Indic text.
Without rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes or other symbols instead of Indic characters; or irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts.
Kali

A painting of Kali
Devanagari: काली
Affiliation: Devi
Abode: Cremation grounds
Mantra: Om Krīm Kālyai namaḥ
Weapon: Sword
Consort: Shiva
Mount: Corpse (typically Shiva)
Part of a series on
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Kali is a Hindu goddess. ... Image File history File links Example. ... The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas (writing systems) used in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (627x653, 52 KB) Summary http://in. ... For other uses see Devi (disambiguation). ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Image File history File links Aumred. ... Hinduism is the worlds oldest religion in the world. ... Within Hinduism a large number of personalities, or forms, are worshipped as deities or murtis. ... Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu denominations. ... Hindu mythology is a term used by modern scholarship for a large body of Indian literature that details the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... Hindu philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Reincarnation, literally to be made flesh again, is a doctrine or mystical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. ... Moksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Karma is a concept in Hinduism, based on the Vedas and Upanishads, which explains causality through a system where beneficial events are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful events from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a persons reincarnated lives. ... A puja as performed in Ujjain during the Monsoon on the banks of the overflowing river Shipra. ... Maya (illusion) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Wheel of Life as portrayed within Buddhism, showing the cycle of Samsara, or reincarnation. ...   (Sanskrit) (Devnagari: धर्म) or Dhamma (Pali) is the underlying order in nature and human life and behaviour considered to be in accord with that order. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Devanagari: योग) is a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. ... Shirodhara, one of the techniques of Ayurveda Ayurveda (Devanagari: ) or Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent. ... Yuga (Devnāgari: युग) in Hindu philosophy refers to an epoch or era within a cycle of four ages: the Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga), the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga and finally the Kali Yuga. ... Vegetarianism is the practice of not consuming the flesh of any animal (including sea animals) with or without also eschewing other animal derivatives, such as dairy products or eggs[1]. Some vegetarians choose to also refrain from wearing clothing that has involved the death of animals, such as leather, silk... Bhakti - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Hindu scripture, which is known as Shastra is predominantly written in Sanskrit. ... The Bhagavata Purana (sometimes rendered as Bhagavatha Purana), also known as the Srimad Bhagavatam, written c. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... 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The Shikshapatri is a text of two hundred and twelve verses, and was written by Shree Swaminarayan, a reforming Hindu from the Vaishnava tradition, who lived in Gujarat from 1781-1830 and who was recognised by his followers as a deity during his lifetime. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... map showing the prevalence of Dharmic (yellow) and Abrahamic (purple) religions in each country. ... The percentage of Hindu population of each country was taken from the US State Departments International Religious Freedom Report 2004. ... These are some of the most noteworthy Gurus and Saints of Hinduism: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Adi Shankara Amritanandamayi Baba Lokenath Brahmachari Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaj Bhagawan Nityananda Bhagwan Swaminarayan Chinmayananda Gurumayi Chidvilasananda Lahiri Mahasaya Madhvacharya Mahavatar Babaji Mother Meera Muktananda Narayana Guru Nimbarka Nisargadatta Maharaj Raghavendra Swami Ramakrishna... The Gopuram of temples, in south India, are adorned with colourful icons depicting a particular story surrounding the temples deity. ... The Indian caste system is the traditional system of social stratification on the Indian Subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by a number of endogamous, hereditary groups often termed as jātis or castes. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... Glossary of terms in Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Bronze Chola murti depicting Shivas most famous dancing posture, the Nataraja, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

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Kali (Sanskrit Kālī काली) is a goddess with a long and complex history in Hinduism. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence, while more complex Tantric beliefs sometimes extend her role so far as to be the Ultimate Reality (Brahman) and Source of Being. Finally, the comparatively recent devotional movement largely conceives of Kali as a straightforwardly benevolent mother-goddess. Therefore, as well her association with the Deva (god) Shiva, Kali is associated with many Devis (goddesses) - Durga, Badrakali, Bhavani, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati, Chinnamasta, Chamunda, Kamakshi or kamakhya, Uma, Meenakshi, Himavanti, Kumari and Tara. These names, if repeated, are believed to give special power to the worshipper. The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Goddesses are an integral part of Hinduism, and the worship of goddesses is a significant aspect of Hindu religion. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Tantric can refer to: Tantric yoga, also known as tantra The Louisville, KY hard rock band Tantric This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Brahman (nominative ) is the concept of the supreme spirit found in Hinduism. ... It has been suggested that Mother (neopaganism) be merged into this article or section. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ... For other uses see Devi (disambiguation). ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: , Bengali: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... Kali (Sanskrit: काली) is a goddess with a long and complex history in Hinduism (although sometimes presented in the West as dark and violent). ... Bhavani is a ferocious aspect of Hindu goddess Shakti or Devi. ... This 14th century statue depicts Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right}. It is housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In Hinduism, Gowri or Dakshayani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity, who is worshipped particularly by ladies to seek the long life of... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... In Hinduism, Chinnamastaka (or Chinnamasta) is one of the mahavidyas and an aspect of Devi. ... In Hinduism, Chamunda or Camunda is an aspect of Devi, the supreme mother goddess. ... Kamakhya in Guwahati is an aspect of the Hindu Goddess Sati. ... This 14th century statue depicts Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right}. It is housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In Hinduism, Uma is the goddess of beauty and sunlight. ... Meenakshi deity at the Meenakshi temple in Madurai Meenakshi, according to Hindu mythology, is a deity; a Goddess who is related to two of the three Godheads - Vishnu and Shiva. ... The Royal Kumari Kumari, or Kumari Devi is a living Hindu goddess in Nepal. ... In Hinduism, the goddess Tara (meaning star) is a manifestation of the queen of time, Kali. ...


She is not to be confused with Kali, the male demon from the Mahabharata and Kalki Purana who is the personification of Kali yuga, whose name is spelled with a 'short' a and a 'short' i. In Hinduism, Kali (Devnāgari: ; Gujarati: ; IAST: ; IPA:) is the reigning lord of Kali Yuga and nemesis of Sri Kalki, the 10th and final avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. ... For the film by Peter Brook, see The Mahabharata (1989 film). ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Kali Yuga is also the title of a book by Roland Charles Wagner. ...

Contents

Etymology

Kali is a feminine form of the Sanskrit word "kala," meaning "time". It also means "black". Kali has therefore been translated variously as "She who is time," "She who devours time," "She who is the Mother of time," "She who is black," and "She who is black time". Kali's association with blackness stands in contrast to her consort, Shiva, whose body is covered by the white ashes of the cremation ground (Sanskrit: 'śmaśan') in which he meditates, and with which they are both associated, hence Kali's epithet 'Śmaśanâ.' The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


Kali properly transliterated from Sanskrit is Kālī (spelled with a "long" a), which should not be confused with the common Sanskrit word properly transliterated as Kali (spelled with a "short" a), meaning "terrible." They are grammatically unrelated - along with having different root or stem words, the first is a noun and the latter is adjectival. In Hinduism, Kali (Devnāgari: ; Gujarati: ; IAST: ; IPA:) is the reigning lord of Kali Yuga and nemesis of Sri Kalki, the 10th and final avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. ...


The "terrible" Kali is a similarly named deity who acts as the personification of the Kali yuga in Hindu mythology. Frequent confusion comes in interpreting the "Kali Yuga," or "Terrible Age," one of the four great ages (yugas) of Hindu cosmology, as conflated with the goddess Kali. This is mostly due to her appearance, which is often described as terrible and fearsome. In fact, the goddess Kali should not be confused with the Kali Yuga, as her name has a separate and unrelated meaning. In Hinduism, Kali (Devnāgari: ; Gujarati: ; IAST: ; IPA:) is the reigning lord of Kali Yuga and nemesis of Sri Kalki, the 10th and final avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. ... Kali Yuga is also the title of a book by Roland Charles Wagner. ... Yuga (Devnāgari: युग) in Hindu philosophy refers to an epoch or era within a cycle of four ages: the Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga), the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga and finally the Kali Yuga. ... // an egg broke and out came the planets thanks to gods pet hen The Rig Veda describes the origin of the universe as: Then was not non-existence nor existence: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it. ...


Origin

Kali first appears in the Rig Veda, not as that of a goddess, but as that of the black tongue of the seven flickering tongues of Agni, the Hindu god of fire. However, the prototype of the figure now known as Kali does appear, in the form of a goddess named Raatri. Raatri is considered to be the prototype of both Durga and Kali. The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Chinese Wood (木) | Fire (火) Earth (土) | Metal (金) | Water (æ°´) Japanese Earth (地) | Water (æ°´) | Fire (火) | Air / Wind (風) | Void / Sky / Heaven (空) Hinduism and Buddhism Vayu / Pavan — Air / Wind Agni / Tejas — Fire Akasha — Aether Prithvi / Bhumi — Earth Ap / Jala — Water Agni is a Hindu and Vedic deity. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... A forest fire Fire is a rapid oxidation process that creates light, heat, smoke, and releases energy in varying intensities. ...


In the Sangam era, circa 200BCE-200CE, of Tamilakam, a Kali-like bloodthirsty goddess named Kottravai appears in the literature of the period. Like Kali she has dishevelled hair, inspires fear in those who approach her and feasts on battlegrounds littered with the dead. It is quite likely that the fusion of the Sanskrit goddess Raatri and the indigenous Kottravai produced the fearsome goddesses of medieval Hinduism, amongst them Kali being the most prominent. (See also Sanskritisation) now. ... The ancient Tamil country of the classical era extended from River Krishna to the Cape Comorin(Kanyakumari). ... Sanskritization is a term coined by late M.N.Srinivas, the eminent sociologist from India, to define the process by which castes placed lower in the caste hierarchy seek upward mobility by emulating the rituals and practices of the upper or dominant castes. ...


It was the composition of the Puranas in late antiquity that firmly gave Kali a place in the Hindu pantheon. Kali or Kalika is described in the Devi Mahatmya (also known as the Chandi or the Durgasaptasati) from the Markandeya Purana, circa 300-600CE, where she is said to have emanated from the brow of the goddess Durga, a slayer of demons or avidya, during one of the battles between the divine and anti-divine forces. In this context, Kali is considered the 'forceful' form of the great goddess Durga. Another account of the origins of Kali is found in the Matsya Purana, circa 1500CE, which states that she originated as a mountain tribal goddess in the north-central part of India, in the region of Mount Kalanjara (now known as Kalinjar). However this account is disputed because the legend was of later origin. The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... THE PRIMEVAL ENERGY One of the unique features of Hinduism is the fact that it conceives Divinity also as Mother Goddess. ... Markandeya Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, a Hindu religious text, is in the style of a dialogue between the sage Jaimini, and the sage Markandeya. ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: , Bengali: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... Avidya is the Buddhist term for ignorance. ... It’s the sixteenth Purana. ... Kalinjar is a fortress-city in the Bundelkhand region of central India. ...


Kali in Tantra Yoga

Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as the male deities are. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva's wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kali who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. In many sources Kali is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities. The Nirvnana-tantra says the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva all arise from her like bubbles in the sea, ceaslessly arising and passing away, leaving their original source unchanged. The Niruttara-tantra and the Picchila-tantra declare all of Kali's mantras to be the greatest and the Yogini-tantra , Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra all proclaim Kali vidyas (manifestations of Mahadevi, or "divinity itself"). They declare her to be an essence of her own form (svarupa) of the Mahadevi. Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र weave denoting continuity[1]), tantricism or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in the religions of India. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ... Brahma (IAST: Brahmā) (Devanagari ब्रह्मा, pronounced as ) is the Hindu god (deva) of creation, and one of the Hindu Trinity - Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality for Vaishnavas and a manifestation of Brahman in the Advaita or Smarta traditions. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ...


In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kali is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one passage Shiva praises her: This article is about the deity Shiva. ...


At the dissolution of things, it is Kala [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahakala [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahakala Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kalika. Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [primordial Kali. Resuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.


The figure of Kali conveys death, destruction, fear, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she is also a "forbidden thing", or even death itself. In the Pancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation. This is clear in the work of the Karpuradi-stotra, a short praise to Kali describing the Panacatattva ritual unto her, performed on cremation grounds. (Samahana-sadhana)


He, O Mahakali who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with dishevelled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. 0 Kali, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Sakti [his female companion] in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.


The Karpuradi-stotra clearly indicates that Kali is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with Lord Shiva, who is said to be her spouse, she creates and destroys worlds. Her appearance also takes a different turn, befitting her role as ruler of the world and object of meditation. In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear. Here, Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death.(Hindu Goddesses, D. Kinsley) In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: , Bengali: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ...


Kali in Bengali tradition

Kali is also central figure in late medieval Bengali devotional literature, with such devotees as Ramprasad Sen (1718-75). With the exception of being associated with Parvati as Shiva's consort, Kali is rarely pictured in Hindu mythology and iconography as a motherly figure until Bengali devotion beginning in the early eighteenth century. Even in Bengali tradition her appearance and habits change little, if at all. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ...


The Tantric approach to Kali is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance. In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kali's teachings, adopting the attitude of a child. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way things are. These themes are well addressed in Ramprasad's work.


Ramprasad comments in many of his other songs that Kali is indifferent to his wellbeing, causes him to suffer, brings his worldly desires to nothing and his worldly goods to ruin. He also states that she does not behave like a mother should and that she ignores his pleas:

Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone? [a reference to Kali as the daughter of Himalaya]
Were she not merciless, would she kick the breast of her lord?
Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you. Mother.
You have cut off the headset the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
It matters not how much I call you "Mother, Mother." You hear me, but you will not listen.

To be a child of Kali, Ramprasad asserts, is to be denied of earthly delights and pleasures. Kali is said to not give what is expected. To the devotee, it is perhaps her very refusal to do so that enables her devotees to reflect on dimensions of themselves and of reality that go beyond the material world. (ibid)[1]


Mythology

Slayer of Raktabija

In Kali's most famous myth, Durga and her assistants, Matrikas, wound the demon Raktabija, in various ways and with a variety of weapons, in an attempt to destroy him. They soon find that they have worsened the situation, as for every drop of blood that is spilt from Raktabija the demon reproduces a copy of himself. The battlefield becomes increasingly filled with his duplicates. Durga, in dire need of help, summons Kali to combat the demons. Kali destroys Raktabija by sucking the blood from his body and putting the many Raktabija duplicates in her gaping mouth. Pleased with her victory, Kali then dances on the field of battle, stepping on the corpses of the slain. Her consort Shiva lies among the dead beneath her feet, a representation of Kali commonly seen in iconography, the Daksinakali pose. In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: , Bengali: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... Matrikas, that is, the mothers, are a band of divinities, which always appear in a group. ... Raktavīja was an asura (loosely translated as demon) who fought together with Shumbha and Nishumbha against Durga and Kali or Chamunda. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ... Look up Iconography in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Daksinakali

In her most famous pose as Daksinakali, it is said that Kali, becoming drunk on the blood of her victims on the battlefield, dances with destructive frenzy. In her fury she fails to see the body of her husband Shiva who lies among the corpses on the battlefield. Ultimately the cries of Shiva attract Kali's attention, calming her fury. As a sign of her shame at having disrespected her husband in such a fashion, Kali sticks out her tongue. However, some sources state that this interpretation is a later version of the symbolism of the tongue: in tantric contexts, the tongue is seen to denote the element (guna) of rajas (energy and action) controlled by sattva, spiritual and godly qualities. (McDermott 2003) This article is about the deity Shiva. ... The Sanskrit word guna () has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. // In Classical literature (e. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ...


One South Indian tradition tells of a dance contest between Shiva and Kali. After defeating the two demons Sumbha and Nisumbha, Kali takes residence in a forest. With fierce companions she terrorizes the surrounding area. One of Shiva's devotees becomes distracted while doing austerities and asks Shiva to rid the forest of the destructive goddess. When Shiva arrives, Kali threatens him, claiming the territory as her own. Shiva challenges her to a dance contest, and defeats her when she is unable to perform the energetic Tandava dance. Although here Kali is defeated, and is forced to control her disruptive habits, we find very few images or other myths depicting her in such manner. This article is about the deity Shiva. ...


Maternal Kali

Another myth depicts the infant Shiva calming Kali, instead. In this similar story, Kali again defeated her enemies on the battlefield and began to dance out of control, drunk on the blood of the slain. To calm her down and to protect the stability of the world, Shiva is sent to the battlefield, as an infant, crying aloud. Seeing the child's distress, Kali ceases dancing to take care of the helpless infant. She picks him up, kisses his head, and proceeds to breast feed the infant Shiva. This myth depicts Kali in her benevolent, maternal aspect something that is revered in Hinduism, but not often recognized in the West.


Iconography

The iconography of Kali can be explained by studying the aesthetic formalities of the Nidanshastra -- an authoritative collective on South-Asian symbolism and plastic arts. In Hindu iconography nothing is included without purpose. Starting with their various accompaniments, deities are usually portrayed holding objects in their hands and these objects always have some symbolic significance. The objects or icons which they hold can be roughly grouped into 4 categories: 1) Weapons 2) Plant forms 3) Humans, animals and birds 4) Everyday objects, like a book or a bowl. Some objects are generally carried by wrathful deities, while others are generally carried by peaceful deities. Some objects are traditionally masculine, while others are feminine. And finally, some objects are considered right-hand proper, while others are left-hand proper. Look up Iconography in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Plastic Arts are those visual arts that involve the use of materials that can be moulded or modulated in some way, often in three dimensions. ...


Furthermore, the deities may hold their hands in a specific, ritualized gesture or mudra, or similarly, their legs may be in a ritual pose or asana. The body pose or bhanga can have special significance, as well as the throne or seat, vahana on which the deity rests. Even the dress of the deity can (and often does) have a particular meaning. Virtually, the whole visual ensemble -- crown, ornamentation, garments, skin-pigmentation, etc. -- have significance and can be a vital aid in the interpretation of the particular deity. A mudrā (Sanskrit, मुद्रा, literally seal) is a symbolic gesture usually made with the hand or fingers. ... Eka-Pada-Rajakapotasana or Single Legged Pidgeon Asana is Sanskrit for seat. It is no accident that this word be chosen to describe the posture of Yoga. ... In Indian mythology, the vahana is the object or vehicle that serves a divinity. ...

Popular form of Kali

Classic depictions of Kali share several features, as follows:


Kali has four arms and hands. Two of these hands (usually the left) are holding a sword and a severed head. The Sword signifies Divine Knowledge and the Human Head signifies human Ego which much be slayed by Divine Knowlege in order to attian Moksha. The other two hands (usually the right) are in blessing, which means her initiated devotees (or anyone worshipping her with a true heart) will be saved as she will guide them here and in the hereafter.


She wears a garland of 51 heads, which represents the Varnamala, or the Garland of Letters. This represents the 51 letters of the Devanagari or Sanskrit script. Hindus believe Sanskrit is a language of dynamism, and each of these letters represents a form of energy, or a form of Kali. Therefore she is generally seen as the mother of language, and all mantras. Varamala is set of letters in any one Indian languages like sanskrit. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Dynamism is a term coined by libertarian pundit Virginia Postrel to describe her social philosophy that embraces cultural change, individual choice, and the open society. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ...


She is often depicted naked which symbolyzes her being beyond the covering of Maya since she is pure (nirguna) being-consciousness-bliss and far above prakriti. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities -- she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her -- she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adi-shakti. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Maya (illusion). ...


She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on a seemingly dead Shiva, usually right foot forward to symbolize the more popular Dakshinamarga or right-handed path, as opposed to the more infamous and transgressive Vamamarga or left-handed path. There is a mythological story for the reason behind her standing on what appears to be Shiva’s corpse, which translates as follows: Serpent is a word of Latin origin (serpens, serpentis) which is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit term serp, that is normally substituted for snake in a specifically mythic or religious context, in order to distinguish such creatures from the field of biology. ...

Once Kali had destroyed all the demons in battle, she began a terrific dance out of the sheer joy of victory. All the worlds or lokas began to tremble and sway under the impact of her dance. So, at the request of all the Gods, Shiva himself asked her to desist from this behavior. However, she was too intoxicated to listen. Hence, Shiva lay like a corpse among the slain demons in order to absorb the shock of the dance into himself. When Kali eventually stepped upon her husband she realized her mistake and bit her tongue in shame.It is also said that the story goes like this: In a time of Dark Age when a demon roamed the earth, who had acquired a boon that meant he couldn't be destroyed by any man, from the 3 divine forces of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma a lady figure was formed. This was Durga Maa or Mother Durga. Mother Kali is an incarnation of mother Durga and mother parvati and they all depict the female force of Shiva. The story of Kali goes like this. There came a time when there was so much evil that mother Durga couldn't take it any more that she grew angry and came to earth as Kali Maa. Kali Maa destroyed all the demons and had to drink their blood for our sake for if it fell on the floor the demons would multiply. In her rage she, herself was causing destruction being such a powerful goddess. She was so angry that she was going to stamp her foot on the ground but her power was so great that if she did so she would have caused an earthquake powerful enough to destroy the world. But Lord Shiva himself appeared under her and seeing his divine face she stopped.

However, the symbolism of the above mentioned theological perspective is often seen as antiquated and misogynistic. The more thoughtful (and Tantric) interpretation of Kali standing on top of her husband is as follows: Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र weave denoting continuity[1]), tantricism or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in the religions of India. ...

Taken separately the Shiv tattava (Divine Consciousness as Shiva) is inactive, while the Shakti tattava (Divine Energy as Kali) is active. Kali dancing on Shiva or Mahadeva represents Brahman the Absolute i.e the state beyond all the tattvas.It is the state in which the static and the dynamic are one and the same as Kali despite all her activities has her feet planted on the corpse of Shiva .In other words She is always established in her supreme state. Here we need to go into a deeper meaning of the term 'activity'.On the one hand it means the act of creation, preservation,destruction as opposed to which there is absolute stasis.Yet on the other hand one may ask- is not absolute stasis itself, as far as it involves remaining and persisting as such,not an activity ? Shiva's being in his static state is possible only because of Shakti's activity as the power to BE as opposed to the power to BECOME. Here we arrive at the absolute oneness of Shiva and Shakti like that of fire and its burning power. In our way of speech we say that fire 'has' the power of burnng as if fire is one thing and the power another. But what is fire itself but the combination of light and heat (which together are its burning power)? Fire exists by burning ,without this power it will simply die down .Without Shakti Shiva cannot exist. hence He is put in a position subordinate to Her. Lakshmi is a common aspect of Shakti Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of Gods female aspect, sometimes referred to as The Divine Mother. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. ... Mahadeva is another name for Shiva, (from the Sanskrit Maha = great, Deva = God). ... Brahman (nominative ) is the concept of the supreme spirit found in Hinduism. ...

To properly understand this complex Tantric symbolism it is important to remember that the meaning behind Shiva and Kali does not stray from the non-dualistic parlance of Shankara or the Upanisads. According to both the Mahanirvana and Kularnava Tantras, there are two distinct ways of perceiving the same absolute reality. The first is a transcendental plane which is often described as static, yet infinite. It is here that there is no matter, there is no universe and only consciousness exists. This form of reality is known as Shiva, the absolute Sat-Chit-Ananda -- existence, knowledge and bliss. However since this state excludes matter and mind it is not perfect(purna).The other aspect is the Divine Mother Kali in whom the duality of Sat-Chit-Ananda and maya melts down, who is both Brahman and Prakriti, Both with and without attributes, both matter and spirit This form known as Kali or Shakti is perfect(purna)since like Shiva she transcends all yet excludes nothing ;plays in the form of the universe and (in its entirety) is still specified as the same Absolute Sat-Chit-Ananda.Shiva is the highest but Kali is higher than the highest and hence She is called 'Paratpara'. It is here in this plane that the Supreme can be experienced as the Supreme without negating the universe (as we commonly know it)which is experienced and is described by the Tantric seer as the play of Shakti, or God as Mother Kali. Shankara can refer to: Shiva, the Hindu god Adi Shankara, Hindu philosopher of around 800 CE Also written, Sankara This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... The Upanishads (; Devanagari ) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most forms of Hinduism. ... Satchitanada (Sanskrit: सच्चिदानंद) is a devanagari compound of three Sanskrit words, Sat (सत्), Chit (चित्), and Ananda (आनंद), meaning True Being, Pure Consciousness and Bliss respectively. ... Satchitanada (Sanskrit: सच्चिदानंद) is a devanagari compound of three Sanskrit words, Sat (सत्), Chit (चित्), and Ananda (आनंद), meaning True Being, Pure Consciousness and Bliss respectively. ...


From a Tantric perspective, when one meditates on reality at rest, as absolute pure consciousness (without the activities of creation, preservation or dissolution) one refers to this as Shiva or Brahman. When one meditates on reality as dynamic and creative, as the Absolute content of pure consciousness (with all the activities of creation, preservation or dissolution) one refers to it as Kali or Shakti. However, in either case the yogini or yogi is interested in one and the same reality -- the only difference being in name and fluctuating aspects of appearance. It is this which is generally accepted as the meaning of Kali standing on the chest of Shiva.


In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And, because of her terrible form she is also often seen as a great protector. When the Bengali saint Ramakrishna once asked a devotee why one would prefer to worship Mother over him, this devotee rhetorically replied, “Maharaj, when they are in trouble your devotees come running to you. But, where do you run when you are in trouble?” The Bengali people are the ethnic community from Bengal (divided between India and Bangladesh) on the Indian subcontinent with a history dating back four millennia. ... Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bangla: রামকৃষ্ণ পরমহংস Ramkrishno Pôromôhongsho), born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (Bangla: গদাধর চট্টোপাধ্যায় Gôdadhor Chôţţopaddhae) [1], (February 18, 1836–August 16, 1886) was a Hindu religious teacher and an influential figure in the Bengal Renaissance of the Nineteenth century. ...


Throughout her history artists the world over have portrayed Kali in a myriad of poses and settings (see figs. A, B, C & D) some of which stray far from the popular description provided above, and are sometimes even graphically sexual in nature. Although there is often controversy surrounding these images of divine copulation, the general consensus is benign and free from any carnal impurities in its substance. In Tantra the human body is a symbol for the microcosm of the universe; therefore sexual process is responsible for the creation of the world. Although theoretically Shiva and Kali (or Shakti) are inseparable, like fire and its power to burn, in the case of creation they are often seen as having separate roles. With Shiva as male and Kali as female it is only by their union that creation may transpire. This reminds us of the prakrti and purusa doctrine of Samkhya wherein vimarsa-prakasa has no practical value, just as without prakrti, purusa is quite inactive.But unlike Prakriti Shakti is not unconscious and is governed by her own will.Yet she needs Shiva as the ground for her manifestation just as a painter needs a blank canvas to give forms to his imagination. This (once again) stresses the interdependencies of Shiva and Shakti and the vitality of their union. Given the popularity of this Goddess, artists everywhere will continue to explore the magnificence of Kali’s iconography. This is clear in the work of such contemporary artists as Charles Wish, and Tyeb Mehta, who sometimes take great liberties with the traditional, accepted symbolism, but still demonstrate a true reverence for the Shakta sect. Prakrti or Prakriti (from Sanskrit language) is, according to samkhya philosophy, the basic matter of which the universe consists. ... In Hinduism, Purusha (Cosmic Man) is the self which pervades the universe. ... Samkhya, also Sankhya, (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: Sāṃkhya - Enumeration) is one of the schools of Indian philosophy. ... Charles Wish Charles Wish is a California artist best known for visually fusing American Regionalism styles with 16th - 19th century South Asian, Tantra & Buddhist motifs (debut show Detroit, Michigan, 2005). ... Tyeb Mehta is an Indian artist from Mumbai. ... A Shakta, pronounced shaakt, is a follower of a sect of Hinduism which worships the Mother Goddess, or Shakti, in any of her various manifestations. ...


Development

A painting of Kali.
A painting of Kali.

In the later traditions, Kali has become inextricably linked with Shiva. The unleashed form of Kali often becomes wild and uncontrollable, and only Shiva is able to tame her. This is both because she is often a transformed version of one of his consorts and because he is able to match her wildness. His methods vary from challenging her to the wild tandava dance and outdoing her, to appearing as a crying infant and appealing to her maternal instincts. While Shiva is said to be able to tame her, the iconography often presents her dancing on his fallen body, and there are accounts of the two of them dancing together, and driving each other to such wildness that the world comes close to unravelling. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (480x640, 84 KB) Author: Balaji Viswanathan File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (480x640, 84 KB) Author: Balaji Viswanathan File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...


Shiva's involvement with Tantra and Kali's dark nature have led to her becoming an important Tantric figure. To the Tantric worshippers, it was essential to face her Curse, the terror of death, as willingly as they accepted Blessings from her beautiful, nurturing, maternal aspect. For them, wisdom meant learning that no coin has only one side: as death cannot exist without life, so life cannot exist without death. Kali's role sometimes grew beyond that of a chaos -- which could be confronted -- to that of one who could bring wisdom, and she is given great metaphysical significance by some Tantric texts. The Nirvāna-tantra clearly presents her uncontrolled nature as the Ultimate Reality, claiming that the trimurti of Brahma, Visnu and Rudra arise and disappear from her like bubbles from the sea. Although this is an extreme case, the Yogini-tantra, Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra declare her the svarupa (own-being) of the Mahadevi (the great Goddess, who is in this case seen as the combination of all devis). Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र weave denoting continuity[1]), tantricism or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in the religions of India. ... Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र weave denoting continuity[1]), tantricism or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in the religions of India. ...


The final stage of development is the worshipping of Kali as the Great Mother, devoid of her usual violence. This practice is a break from the more traditional depictions. The pioneers of this tradition are the 18th century Shakta poets such as Ramprasad Sen, who show an awareness of Kali's ambivalent nature. Ramakrishna, the 19th century, Bengali saint, was also a great devotee of Kali; the western popularity of whom may have contributed to the more modern, equivocal interpretations of this Goddess. Rachel McDermott's work, however, suggests that for the common, modern worshipper, Kali is not seen as fearful, and only those educated in old traditions see her as having a wrathful component. Some credit to the development of Devi must also be given to Samkhya. Commonly referred to as the Devi of delusion, Mahamaya, acting in the confines of (but not being bound by) the nature of the three gunas, takes three forms: Maha-Kali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Saraswati, being her tamas-ika, rajas-ika and sattva-ika forms. In this sense, Kali is simply part of a larger whole. The Great Mother manifests itself in myth as a host of archaic images. ... Ramprasad Sen (Bangla: রামপ্রসাদ সেন) (1720-1781) was a Bengali song-writer and singer of Hindu devotional songs, specially Shyamasangit (Songs devoted to the goddess Kali). ... Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bangla: রামকৃষ্ণ পরমহংস Ramkrishno Pôromôhongsho), born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (Bangla: গদাধর চট্টোপাধ্যায় Gôdadhor Chôţţopaddhae) [1], (February 18, 1836–August 16, 1886) was a Hindu religious teacher and an influential figure in the Bengal Renaissance of the Nineteenth century. ... Samkhya, also Sankhya, (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: Sāṃkhya - Enumeration) is one of the schools of Indian philosophy. ... Maya, in Hinduism, is many things. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ... Lakshmi (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी ) is the Hindu goddess of wealth, light, wisdom, the lotus flower and fortune, and secondarily of luck, beauty, courage and fertility. ... In Hinduism, Saraswati (Sanskrit ) is one of the goddesses, the other two being Lakshmi and Durga, that form the female counterpart of the Trimurti. ... In Hinduism and Budhism, Tamas, or tamo-guna, is the lower of the three gunas. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ...


Like Sir John Woodroffe and Georg Feuerstein, many Tantric scholars (as well as sincere practitioners) agree that, no matter how propitious or appalling you describe them, Shiva and Devi are simply recognizable symbols for everyday, abstract (yet tangible) concepts such as perception, knowledge, space-time, causation and the process of liberating oneself from the confines of such things. Shiva, symbolizing pure, absolute consciousness, and Devi, symbolizing the entire content of that consciousness, are ultimately one and the same -- totality incarnate, a micro-macro-cosmic amalgamation of all subjects, all objects and all phenomenal relations between the "two." Like man and woman who both share many common, human traits yet at the same time they are still different and, therefore, may also be seen as complementary. Sir John Woodroffe (1865–1936), also known by his pseudonym Arthur Avalon, received his B.C.L. (Bachelor of Civil Law) from University College, Oxford. ... Dr. Georg Feuerstein (born 1947) is a well-known German-Canadian Indologist, and a Western authority on Yoga. ... This article is about the deity Shiva. ... For other uses see Devi (disambiguation). ...


Sadhakas and sadhikas (of all generations) prescribe various benign and horrific qualities to Devi simply out of practicality. They do this so they may have a variety of symbols to choose from, symbols which they can identify and relate with from the perspective of their own, ever-changing time, place and personal level of unfolding. Just like modern chemists or physicists use a variety of molecular and atomic models to describe what is unperceivable through rudimentary, sensory input, the scientists of ontology and epistemology must do the same. One of the underlying distinctions of Tantra (in comparison to other religions) is that it allows the devotee the liberty to choose (from a vast array of complementary symbols and rhetoric) that which suits one’s evolving needs and tastes. From an aesthetic standpoint, nothing is interdict and nothing is orthodox. In this sense, the projection of some of Devi’s more gentle qualities onto Kali is not sacrilege and the development of Kali really lies in the practitioner, not the murthi. // In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek , genitive : of being (part. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... Bronze Chola murti depicting Shivas most famous dancing posture, the Nataraja, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. ...


The following passages (A & B) and footnotes are from the "Devi-Mahatyam" and both show two much contrasted descriptions of the divine-feminine.

A Brahma said: You are Svaha1 and Svadha2. You are verily the Vashatkara3 and embodiment of Svara4. You are the Sudha5. O eternal and imperishable one, you are the embodiment of the threefold matra6. You are half a matra, though eternal. You are verily that which can not be uttered specifically. You are Savitri7 and the supreme Mother of the devas.
1 The propitiatory mantra of the devas uttered when an oblation is poured in the fire for them.
2 The propitiatory mantra of the manes (Pitrs) uttered when offerings are made in ceremonies in honor of departed ancestry.
3 Vashatkara in this text signifies Yajna, Vedic sacrifice.
4 all utterances.
5 Sudha, is the nectar of the devas and signifies immortality.
6 sound measures, long, short and unmetered. Also interpreted as omkara, made up of a, u and m, the original three sounds, made with open, intermediate and closed lips
7 The famous Savitri hymn which occurs in the Rigveda.
B Out of the surface of her forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose. Bearing the strange khatvanga (skull-topped staff ) , decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger’s skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep reddish eyes, filling the regions of the sky with her roars, falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hordes of the foes of the devas. Brahma (IAST: Brahmā) (Devanagari ब्रह्मा, pronounced as ) is the Hindu god (deva) of creation, and one of the Hindu Trinity - Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. ... In Hinduism, Svaha is a minor goddess, wife of Agni. ... In Hinduism, Svaha is a minor goddess, wife of Agni. ... It has been suggested that Sargam be merged into this article or section. ... Mécanique Avion TRAction or Matra is a French company covering a wide range of activities mainly related to aeronautics and weaponry which today operates as the Lagardère Group. ... Savitri and similar spellings represent various Sanskrit words and names:- Savitri, with all vowels short, is a (confusing) Roman-phonetic spelling of the Vedic Hindu sun god Savitr. ... It has been suggested that Deva (tribe) be merged into this article or section. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... In Hinduism, Yajña यज्ञ (Sanskrit yajñá worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice) is a Vedic ritual of sacrifice performed to please the Devas, or sometimes to the Supreme Spirit Brahman. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... The Rigveda (Sanskrit: , a tatpurusha compound of praise, verse and knowledge) is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns dedicated to the gods. ... In Hindu mythology, the Asura are a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes misleadingly referred to as demons. ...

Kali in popular culture

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is an Academy Award winning 1984 action/adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. ... Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Heavy metal (sometimes referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. ... Dissection was a well-known Swedish black metal band formed in 1989 by guitarist and vocalist Jon Nödtveidt. ... Maha Kali is an EP by the Swedish black metal band Dissection. ... Reinkaos is the third album by the Swedish blackened death metal band Dissection. ...

See also

A drawing of Thug Prisoners published by Illustrated London News, C. 1857 Thuggee (or tuggee) (from Hindi thag thief, from Sanskrit sthaga scoundrel, from sthagati to conceal) was an Indian network of secret fraternities who were engaged in murdering and robbing travellers, operating from the 17th century (possibly as early... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Kali. ... Goddesses are an integral part of Hinduism, and the worship of goddesses is a significant aspect of Hindu religion. ... Lakshmi is a common aspect of Shakti Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of Gods female aspect, sometimes referred to as The Divine Mother. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. ... In Hinduism, the ten mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms) are aspects of Devi. ... Shaktism is a denomination of Hinduism that worships Shakti, or Devi -- the Hindu name for the Great Mother -- in all of her forms whilst not rejecting the importance of masculine and neuter divinity. ... 1: In Hinduism, Devi (goddess) is the personification of the supreme God as the Divine Mother of Hinduism. ... In Hinduism, the goddess Tara (meaning star) is a manifestation of the queen of time, Kali. ... Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bangla: রামকৃষ্ণ পরমহংস Ramkrishno Pôromôhongsho), born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (Bangla: গদাধর চট্টোপাধ্যায় Gôdadhor Chôţţopaddhae) [1], (February 18, 1836–August 16, 1886) was a Hindu religious teacher and an influential figure in the Bengal Renaissance of the Nineteenth century. ... Ramprasad Sen (Bangla: রামপ্রসাদ সেন) (1720-1781) was a Bengali song-writer and singer of Hindu devotional songs, specially Shyamasangit (Songs devoted to the goddess Kali). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Languages Romani, languages of native region Religions Christianity, Islam Related ethnic groups South Asians (Desi) The Roma (singular Rom; sometimes Rroma, Rrom) or Romanies are an ethnic group living in many communities all over the world. ... The Black Madonna of Częstochowa, Poland A Black Madonna or Black Virgin is a statue or painting of Mary in which she is depicted with dark or black skin. ... Sothis is the Greek name of a starn that the Egyptians considered unusually significant. ...

References

  • Shakti and Shâkta, Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe), Oxford Press/Ganesha & Co., 1918
  • Sri Ramakrishna (The Great Master), Swami Saradananda, Ramakrishna Math,1952
  • Devi Mahatmyam, Swami Jagadiswarananda, Ramakrishna Math, 1953
  • The Art of Tantra, Philip Rawson, Thames & Hudson, 1973
  • Hindu Gods & Goddesses, Swami Harshananda, Ramakrishna Math, 1981
  • Hindu Goddesses, David R. Kinsley, University of California Press, 1988
  • Kali (The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar) Elizabeth U. Harding, Nicolas Hays, 1993
  • Impact of Tantra on Religion & Art, T. N. Mishra, D.K. Print World, 1997
  • Indian Art (revised), Roy C. Craven, Thames & Hudson, 1997
  • A Dictionary of Buddhist & Hindu Iconography (Illustrated), Frederick W. Bunce, D.K. Print World, 1997
  • Tantra (The Path of Ecstasy), Georg Feurestein, Shambhala, 1998
  • Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Religions, John Bowker, Oxford Press, 2000
  • Tantra in Practice, David Gordon White, Princeton Press, 2000
  • Encountering Kali (In the margins, at the center, in the west), Rachel Fell McDermott, Berkeley : University of California Press, 2003

Further reading

  • Divine Initiation by Shri Kali Publications (ISBN 0-9582324-0-7) Copyright © 2001 Bhagavan Shri Shanmukha Anantha Natha and Shri Ma Kristina Baird. All rights reserved. One entire chapter on Mahadevi with a commentary on the Devi Mahatmyam from the Markandeya Purana.
  • Devi Mahatmyam (ISBN 81-7120-139-3)English translation by Swami Jagadiswarananda. Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004, India.
  • Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar (ISBN 0-89254-025-7) by Elizabeth Usha Harding
  • In Praise of The Goddess, The Devimahatmyam and Its Meaning (ISBN 0-89254-080-X) by Devadatta Kali
  • Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley
  • The Sword and the Flute: Kali & Krsna (ISBN 0-520-03510-0) by David Kinsley
  • Encountering Kali: In the Margins, at the Center, in the West (ISBN 0-520-23240-2) by Rachel Fell McDermott
  • Kali: The Feminine Force (ISBN 0-89281-212-5) by Ajit Mookerjee
  • Kali Puja (ISBN 1-887472-64-9) by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
  • Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair: Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess (ISBN 0-934252-94-7) by Ramprasad Sen
  • Hymns to the Goddess and Hymn to Kali (ISBN 81-85988-16-1) by Sir John Woodroffe (aka Arthur Avalon)
  • Aghora, at the left hand of God (ISBN 0-914732-21-8) by Robert E. Svoboda
  • Mother of the Universe: Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment (ISBN 0-8356-0702-X) by Lex Hixon
  • In the Beginning is Desire : Tracing Kali's Footprints in Indian Literature (ISBN 818798161X) by Neela Bhattacharya Saxena

Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati (born 1923), is an important yoga master and guru in both his native India and the West. ... // Lex Hixon Alexander Paul Hixon, PhD, 1941-1995, spiritual teacher and author In his 53 years of life, Lex Hixon, an accomplished poet, philosopher and spiritual practitioner, explored extensively the truth of the great religious traditions. ...

External links

Kali at the Open Directory Project The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from , its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. ...



Hinduism | Hindu mythology | Indian epic poetry
Female Deities: Devi | Saraswati | Lakshmi | Dakshayani | Parvati | Durga | Shakti | Kali | Gayatri | Sita | Radha | Mahavidya | more...
Male Deities: Deva | Brahma | Vishnu | Shiva | Rama | Krishna | Ganesha | Murugan | Hanuman | Indra | Surya | more...
Texts: Vedas | Upanishads | Puranas | Ramayana | Mahabharata | Bhagavad Gita
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Kali's boon is freedom, the freedom of the child to revel in the moment, and it is won only after confrontation or acceptance of death.
Kali is Mother to her devotees not because she protects them from the way things really are but because she reveals to them their mortality and thus releases them to act fully and freely, releases them from the incredible, binding web of "adult" pretense, practicality, and rationality.
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