Thursday, April 16, 2009

KALI :the compassionate one ( facts and myths)


" Ya devi sarva bhuteshu
buddhi rupena samsthita
namastasyai namastasyai
namastasyai namo namaha"

To the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of intelligence Salutations to Her,
Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

The Divine Mother’s magic is as ancient as life itself. She existed before gods and mortals, and she will still exist even after the great dissolution. Mother is pure energy in subtle form, but in times of need or just out of a desire to play, she manifests.

Many people fear the mysterious black goddess Kali. Her symbolism startles them because they try to understand with their brain. One needs to understand with one’s heart. Kali is an experience, a very personal one. If one gets a taste of the ecstasy of Her Divine Love even only once, one’s life is transformed and becomes holy. Adhi Para Shakthi manifested herself in 10 different Avatars for the upliftment of the mankind .

The 10 different (Dhasa Maha Vidyas) Avatars are mainly…

Kaali

Tharasundari

Bhuvaneshwari

Bairavi

Chinna Mastha

Bhagalamughi

Thoomavathi

Maathangi

Kamalathmigha

Thiripurasundari

you may have read about THIRIPURA SUNDARI or RAJA RAJESHWARI ( one of the Dhasa Maha Vidyas) in my previous posts,now let us see another….

The first and foremost Manifestation of the Adhi Parashakthi was in the form of Kali. Kali Stands for the endless Time . As she contains within herself the endless Time She is called Kali and is shown nude to symbolize that she is infinite as the universe.it impossible to dress someone who is bigger then the universe right . ( Kalam means time in Sanskrit and Tamil) or Kaliga-one who has won the time. Kali also denotes black in Sanskrit. She is associated with darkness and black colour. She is the God who is associated with destruction of evil and Death.her dark and long matted hair acts as her clothes…every detail given in kalis form is not to tell this is how she is but to descripe her characteristics.most of us understand her form in the wrong way…some even think that she is a blood thirsty godess who can only be appeased with sacrifices and blood offerings but the truth is she is the most compassionate one who will never bear any of her creations suffer. Its in such cases that she will take her gruesome form which she took to kill the evil asuras and dark forces, To punish those who harm her innocent devotees and harmless creatures in the name of sacrifice in her hounor!

Thousands of names like Kalakandi, Thigambari, Kala Hanthiri, Maha Kali
talk about her omnipresence, her extraordinary kindness, her ruthless pursuit in destroying evil. Kali is worshipped in many different forms in many levels. In general every time Kali appears as an avatar to kill an evil Asura she is worshipped as a pertinent diety.Though Adhi Shakthi is one, man kind has thrust their desire to see the Shakthi in hundred different forms to satisfy their inner needs.Kali is her form which protects mankind and banishes the troubles they face from evil people and dark forces.

The origin of Kali goes like this….In a period of war between the Gods and the demons, the evil demon king Mahishasura took advantage of a brief respite to gather an army and declare himself the Lord of Heaven, Ruler of the Universe. This blasphemous title reached Vishnu, the head God, who shot a blinding light from his forehead in fury. Shiva was also angry and beamed a sharp ray of terrible light in the same direction. Brahma, Indra, and the other mighty Gods also shot forth-intense rays of light. At one point, all the Gods’ rays joined, and the light culminated in the form of a woman: A face formed by Shiva’s light, Yama gave her hair, and Vishnu her arms; the moon God Chandra’s light formed two breasts, Indra’s becoming her waist, and Varuna’s her thighs; Earth’s light gave her hips, and Brahma contributed feet; Agni, the fire God, fashioned her three eyes.As soon as the Goddess was created, the Gods prayed to her, worshipping her with praise as SRI DURGA PARAMESHWARI; ornaments of jewels, earrings, bracelets, and a garland of eternal lotuses; and weapons, suchas a trident, a discus, and a thunderbolt. Shouting invocations to the Devi, the God’s watched the demons charge towards them in battle.The demons, armed with arrows, clubs, swords, and spears, went straight towards the enormous manifested Goddess’ towering form, which was laughing with amusement. She easily smashed weapons, hurled demons and killed with her mighty sword and mace. yes. Each God contributed their power to manifest the Devi, the great Mother Goddess. A demon the posed a threat to the Devi was the demon Raktabija, who possessed the magical power of creating new demons from his own blood. Everytime he was wounded, each spilled drop of blood generated another demon.Devi then produced from her THIRD EYE apure form of her fury to destroy the evil and that was KALI
According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Brahma granted the boon to Raktavera that for every drop of his blood that fell on ground hundreds of demons like him would be produced. Thus the only way of slaying Raktavera was by not allowing even a drop of his blood to fall on the ground. Thereby Kali pierced him with a spear and drank all his blood as it gushed out. Kali once gave free rein to her blind lust for destruction. To stop the world from being destroyed Lord Shiva brought himself to the feet of Kali. On sensing her husband beneath her feet she stopped and thus the world was saved.

She acquired her name Kali meaning ‘conqueror of time’ as she subdued her husband Lord Shiva by trampling over him. This way Devi the symbol of fertility conquered Shiva, the inexorable destroyer, who was equated with time. Seen standing on top of ever willing shiva… We have heard people say that it was a imposter who she was stepping on and that its not shiva.well the truth is it is shiva.she is shown like that to symbolize the unity between them shivam and shakthi are inseperable ,its just like how bala thiripura sundari is seen seated on shiva .when she is alone she creates destruction but when shiva comes in contact with her the world becomes fertile once again with life! The most important thing we need to understand is that most of our deitys’ forms have inner meanings to it.WE SHOULD NEVER INTERPRET IT IN OUR OWN WAY…if we look up to our puranas,Vedas and books on Hinduism, there are many texts that give us explanations and stories behind these deitys and their forms…

Kali is the Goddess of destruction,one whostand with her foot on Lord Shiva’s chest, a severed head in one hand, her sword in the other, and wearing a garland of skulls. Kali is worshipped as the Mother Goddess who protects from evil. She also epitomise strength or ‘Shakti’ and the darker side.. Her puja usually takes place at midnight on the day of the new moon… she is usually potrayed smeared with blood, the brow bearing a third eye, like Shiva’s. She has four arms. She holds in one a weapon, in another the head of a giant, dripping blood; the other two are raised to bless the worshipers. Her terrible appearance is made all the more gruesome with her ornaments of necklace of snakes, skulls and heads and a belt from, which hangs demon’s hands. If she is the destroyer of Mahisasura (as Durga), Shumbha, Nishumbha, Chanda, Munda, Raklavirya (as Kali ), she is also the compassionate Mother. The two mudras in her right ands, ‘abhaya’ (protection from fear) and ‘vara’ (granting of boons) and the raised blood-smeared sword in one of her left hands with the freshly severed head of a demon dangling from the other hand, with three eyes standing for the sun, the moon and fire (Agni) make her a most complex symbol of love, compassion and error.

Aspects of Kali are Chandi, the fierce and Bhairavi, the terrible in which she is the counterpart to Shiva’s aspect of Bhairava, when he takes pleasure in destruction. Another name of this form is Chamunda. Kali Puja is performed on a new moon night. As Kali is associated with dark rites and maanthreegam , the rituals performed are austere and offered with great devotion..kali means karunai(compassion) as told in the vedhas.she grants her devotee whatever they want no matter they are wanting it for good or bad purposes.but those who use her blessings in the wrong way to hurt others in anyway or to do evil deeds will definately meet their end in her hands as she is the compassionate mother and also the fiearsome destructor who can’t bear see her children suffer. In the Hindu religious texts, different representations of Goddess Kali are available such as Siddha Kali, Bhadra Kali, Raksha Kali, Shwashan Kali and Maha Kali.she has according to old sources 8 forms. They are called Ashta maha kali…..

Sri Kali

Sri Kala Rathiri

Sri Chamundi

Sarva Maya Mundi

Badrakali

Sri Maha Kali

Sara Sandigai

Bairavi

Dakshina Kali and Kughiza Kali are 2 important forms in all the three lokhas and worshipping them brings peace and prosperity.

Sri Kali: containing of time within her she is called Kaali or Kaliga . She appears with 8 hands carrying weapons and an Asura is under her feet.

Sri Kala Rathiri:

During death she comes as Payangiri, surrounded by 12 powers residing in the heart chakra of the mankind.She appears with 8 hands and has fire on her head.

Shri Chamundi:

During the destruction of Chanda Munda Asuras, Kali cuts the head of Chanda and the body of Munda and hence she is called Chamundi or Chamundeshwari . She appears fierce with 8 hands and an asura under her feet.

Sarva Maya Mundi:

The name denotes that she is omnipotent and everything in the universe including time. She appears with 8 hands and a glowering fire on her head.

Badra Kali:

She is the one who bestows prosperity to her devotees. She appears with a fierce temper. She has 10 hands carrying weapons to destroy the evil and protect the Good. She appears seated with one leg hanging and with fire on her head.

Shri Mahakali:

Saptha Sakthis powers within and Saraswathi , Lakshmi and Durgai together are called Mahakali.She appears with 14 hands carrying weapons. With fire burning on her head she is fierce and appears seated.

Kughizha Kali:

Kughizha Kali has very fascinating appearance.She indicates that the world worshipped Kali from its beginning as Ram and Bharathan in Ramayanam worshipped her.She has 10 faces, 1000 hands and 27 eyes.She is seated on 5 dead bodies in the navel of Vishnu.There is only one statue of this Kali in Delhi museum in India. Ramar worshipped this kali with a mantra containing 17 letters and got his wish granted.

Dakshina Kali:

She is Bava tharini in culcutta,

and Sri Ramakrishna Parama Hamsar worshipped her.Her tales of glory is told in 14 volumes. She appears with one face and four hands.Dakshina Kali Chakra is enough to pray to all the other forms of Kali.

With 8 forms and countless number of avatars to destroy the evil asuras Kali is worshipped in numerous forms, figures and ways.Her physical attributes gives her yet another classification .Kali with 2 hands carrying weapons to kill the evil and protect the good.Kalli with four hands is dark in colour and appears fierce. She bestows all boons to those who worship her. Kali with six hands is red in colour and is fierce in her temper. She appears with weapons to destroy the evil asuras and protect the good.Kali with eight hands has one-face three eyes and is dark in colour. With fire in her hair she is the source of Kundalini Yoga.Kali appear with 10 hands, 10 faces and 10 legs. Maha Kali appears in blue colour and she is the one created to destroy the Madhu Kaidabar.Kali appears with sixteen hands and is in different colours. With several weapons she appears fierce.Kali appears with 18 hands seated on a lion. With a very fierce appearance and using the spirits as her transport she is gross in her nature. With weapons she destroys the evil and protects the good.

There are many temples in India dedicated to kali. DAKSHINESWARAM and UJJAIN in the north and THILLAI PURAM, THIRUVAKKARAI and MEL MALAYANOOR are mainly revered in the south. In Singapore three quarter of devi temples are dedicated to Kali,such as VADAPATHIRA KALIAMMAN,RUTHRA KALIAMMAN,VAIRAVIMADA KALIAMMAN AND VEERAMA KALIAMMAN..here she is worshiped in a form more motherly and less fierce.. There are many famous temples in

Generally Kali appears thus with variations in several aspects with different worshippers. She appears as a dark cloud with a rare glow. She is omnipotent and is spread everywhere. So she also takes the blue colour of the sky. She is yellow as Parvathi and also appears as a dark night in a storm. She adorns a garland made of cut heads to indicate that birth and death starts and ends with her. Severed hands cover her body to indicate that all actions stem from her. With one head, a knife in another and one indicating protection and another depicting a charm she appears. Whenever man crosses the limits she appears to destroy the ego.

Devotees of Kali should be brave as she is goddess of destruction. Her hanging tongue indicates this. She lives in burial grounds as this indicates that she will live in your heart if you destroy all the evil thoughts and win your senses and make your conscious as clean as a burial ground.Kali is Shakti, the great goddess, creating the three gunas: sattvas, rajas and tamas. The three gunas in their various permutation create all the fabric of the universe, including the five elements, skin, blood, etc.. These principles are the substance of she whose play (lila) is their modification. Kali is the first and foremost of the ten aspects of the goddess. She is pure sattvas, pure spirit.

A sadhaka (male) or a sadhvika (female) can worship the goddess — the Devi — in any of ten forms for the fruition of desires. Her ten major forms are

Kali,Tara, Shodasi, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagala, Matangi and Kamala. These aspects are known as the ten mahavidyas. To a sadhaka, to know these is to know the universe, as she is both space and time and beyond these categories. Each form has its own dhyana (meditation), yantra (diagram), mantra (sound form) and sadhana (actions).

Devi gives her own description in the Kulachudamani: "I am Great Nature, consciousness, bliss, the quintessence, devotedly praised. Where I am, there are no Brahma, Hara, Shambhu or other devas, nor is there creation, maintenance or dissolution. Where I am, there is no attachment, happiness, sadness, liberation, goodness, faith, atheism, guru or disciple.

"Ya Devi Sarvabhuthesu Shakthi-Rupena samsthithaa

Namasthasmai Namasthasmai Nanasthasmai Namo Namaha "

Since Kali in the 1st manifestation of sri aadhi para shakthi,she is also called Athya (the one who appeared first). Kali puranas and the glory of kali can be read from Maha kala Samhiyhai, Maha Niruvana Tanthram, Yogini Tanthram, and Kamadhenu Tanthram, Kandhava thanthram, Sri Kalikagamam and the most superior vedic text of all in hounor of devi,DEVI MAHATMIYAM.

When the world becomes evil, goodness destroys and godliness disappears,she appears to give us salvation.she is the one shakthi who give the power to the mumoorthys to do the three main duties, creation, protection and destruction. Without Sakthi. Even Siva the supreme being is powerless.When she dances in ecstacy, a new world of goodness springs from her.Thus maha Kali in all her glory protects us from evil and creates goodness.

May we all seek her blessings.

JAIYANTHI MANGALAA KALI JEYA JEYA!

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