She is riding a lion. She dresses in a garland of severed heads and a skirt made of dismembered arms, or she wears nothing at all. Her dark, dishevelled hair cascades down her back. Her eyes are bright red from intoxication and rage. Her red tongue protrudes from beneath sharp white fangs that gleam against her blue black skin.
Her numerous hands hold a sword, a trident, a severed head dripping fresh blood, and a kapala, or skull cup, which collects the blood. She is frequently accompanied by snakes and a jackal. She wanders in cemeteries. Kali ma may appear more like a demon than a loving goddess at first glance and without understanding. However, she is simply misunderstood. She does not fit neatly into the categories of good and evil. She, in fact, transcends both.
The History of Kali Ma
Kali ma goddess is willing and capable of performing the necessary dark deeds that others are not. She is willing to sacrifice her ego. She gladly slaughters demons and drinks their blood. Her love is so strong that she destroys evil in order to provide freedom. She breaks our attachment to the temporary body and reminds us to appreciate the beauty of life because death is unavoidable. Her garland of severed heads represents her children, whom she has freed from the ego's illusion. Kali ma reminds us that our bodies are only temporary and that we should not become too attached to them. Her garland is shown with either 108 or 51 heads. In Hinduism, the number 108 is considered auspicious. It symbolises the entirety of existence, as well as the Earth, Moon, and Sun. The number 51 represents the 51 characters of the Sanskrit language, which is the source of all sound. Kali is frequently regarded as the mother of language and all mantras.
Kali Ma Appearance
Kali's skirt is made of human arms that have been dismembered to represent action. Kali ma goddess receives all karma. All souls merge with Kali ma at death and are reborn with their karma restored. This is also a reminder not to get too attached to the results of your actions, as they do not belong to you.
Because Kali ma is infinite and pure, she appears naked or dressed only in a garland of heads and a skirt of arms. She is sometimes referred to as digambari, which means "clad in space," because no finite clothing can cover her infinite form. She is so pure that she has no need for clothing because this is all Maya, or illusion. Because she is limitless, all-encompassing, and transcendent, her skin is dark black (often depicted as dark blue). She is Nirguna Brahman, which translates as the Highest Brahman—the ultimate reality—in its most unmanifest state.
Embrace the Knowledge
She represents the three gunas, or qualities of Prakriti, or nature. Sattva, goodness, and purity are represented by her white teeth. She creates life by utilising her sattvic nature. Her tongue is red, symbolising rajas, passion or activity. Her rajasic nature is used to preserve life. Her eyes are red from rage and intoxication, representing tamas, ignorance, or inertia. Tamas is her weapon of choice.
Kali ma goddess holds a sword of knowledge to destroy ignorance and a severed head to represent liberation from the ego, or attachment to the body, in her left hands. Kali's two right hands are shown in varada mudra (fearlessness) and abhaya mudra (fearlessness) (blessings). She is most commonly depicted with four arms, though she has ten at times. Her ten-armed form is known as Mahakali, and her ten arms are shown holding a variety of ritualistic objects and weapons, each representing the power of one of the Devas. This implies that Mahakali is in charge of each of these deities' powers.
Kali ma goddess is Shiva's consort, the Destroyer and Transformer. The two live on cremation grounds, reminding us that the body is a transient state. Kali, the goddess, is frequently seen dancing on Shiva, who lies motionless beneath her. Although Shiva is the destroyer, it is Shiva who must calm Kali ma when she becomes too violent. In addition, Kali ma actively encourages Shiva's destructive tendencies. They are the illusion busters. They grant moksha, or liberation, by destroying the ego and the illusion of duality. In battle, Kali ma is frequently summoned. The battle against the demon Raktabija is one of the most well-known stories in which Kali ma appears. Raktabija is undefeated in this battle due to his ability to create a clone of himself for every drop of his blood that touches the ground. The goddess Durga summons Kali ma to defeat the demon and his legions of clones. Kali ma goddess defeats him by drinking every last drop of his blood, preventing him from replicating himself, and eating each of the demon's clones.
Origin Story of Kali Ma Goddess
There are several stories that tell of Kali's birth. In one story, she is born during a battle between the goddess Durga and the buffalo demon Mahishasura. Durga rode a lion into battle while carrying a weapon in each of her ten arms.
Brahma had granted Mahishasura a boon. He asked for immortality, but Brahma granted him near immortality instead. He could not be killed by a man or a god; he could only be killed by a woman. He was certain that no woman could ever destroy him because he was such a massive demon. Mahishasura terrorised both men and gods. He raised an army and conquered the heavens, driving out the gods who were powerless to oppose him. No woman alive could ever defeat him.
Durga was so enraged during the battle that her anger exploded from her forehead in the form of Kali. Kali was born enraged and went on a rampage, attacking and devouring every demon she came across. She made a necklace out of their heads and wore it around her neck. Her rampage seemed unstoppable. The bloody assaults continued until Shiva laid down in her path. Kali calmed down once she realised who she was standing on.
This story explains Kali's appearance at battlegrounds, graveyards, and cremation sites. In another version of the story, after Mahishasura drives all of the gods from the heavens, the devas (gods) seek advice from the trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva).
The combined powers of the Trimurti - Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva - combined with the powers of all the devas to form one massive flame that took the form of Kali. Every part of her was created by God. She made a powerful sound that echoed throughout the universe, filling the earth and the skies. She spanned all three worlds: earth, heaven, and the underworld. When Mahishasura heard the sound, he went to investigate. The battle began, and Kali easily defeated every demon. Throughout the battle, Mahishasura transformed into a buffalo, a lion, a man, an elephant, and then back to a buffalo. Despite his best efforts, Kali defeated him.
Other versions of Kali's birth involve the goddess Parvati. Parvati sheds her dark skin in one version. This skin transforms Kali and gives her the name Kaushika, which means "Sheath." Parvati is depicted here as Gauri, the Fair One. In this story, Kali's blackness represents eternal darkness, which has the ability to both destroy and create.
Kali has many facets. She personifies a complex duality. Despite the fact that she appears in many violent stories, including her origin stories, she is also regarded as a goddess of creation. Creation cannot exist without destruction, as Kali clearly demonstrates. Kali is revered as a destroyer. However, Kali is revered as a creator. Expectant and new mothers seek fertility from Kali, and artists seek inspiration from Kali. She can be found sometimes annihilating demons and sometimes bringing peace to expectant mothers. Kali always represents humanity's dark AND light, good AND evil.
Kali ma is summoned when immediate action is required. She is a formidable opponent. She is prepared to face the world's torment. She, like any good mother, is willing to go to great lengths to protect her children. However, like any good mother, she is willing to punish her children in order to teach them.
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