|Title||Goddess of Time and Change|
|Mantra||Oṃ jayantī mangala kālī bhadrakālī kapālinī . Durgā kṣamā śivā dhātrī svāhā svadhā namō'stutē|
A Goddess of Divine Love EditKali is the Hindu Goddess of time, of change. She is the power of action, of the breath and of transformation (kriya-shakti). Kali’s essence is Divine Love. Through time, breath and Divine Love all things are accomplished. If we surrender to Her essence, She creates the energy and all is possible. When we internalize this energy and surrender to its sweet transformative power of love, we begin our inward journey toward healing and spiritual growth.
The Great Mother Edit
Saints Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Vamakhyapa, and Ramprasad are some of the legendary devotees of Kali. One thing was common to these saints — all of them loved the goddess as intimately as they loved their own mother. "My child, you need not know much in order to please Me. Only Love Me dearly. Speak to me, as you would talk to your mother if she had taken you in her arms."
Kali takes away our darkness – our kala. She takes away the darkness from everyone who strives for perfection by performing the spiritual disciplines of purifying austerities.
“Kala” also means time, and Kali means the One Who is Beyond Time.
In the form of Prakriti, Mother Nature, Kali dances on the field of consciousness – depicted as the broad chest of Lord Shiva. She dances with wild and unselfconscious abandon. She is Mukti, the primal energy of spiritual freedom.
Kali Mata is the Energy of Wisdom (jnana shakti), and by Her Grace all knowledge is conceived, and all wisdom is intuited. With Her wisdom, Kali takes away the darkness of the external world. Then She bestows the True Light of the inner world. Her love and her grace are beyond what words can describe.
Kali is our Mother, and the Mother of all the universes. With Her love we become unattached, and free from action and reaction – we become a silent witness resting in universal delight.
Prayer and Worship Edit
When one can reside within, without identification or attachment to the ever-changing external influences, then the Supreme Truth can be realized. This is the path that Mother Kali shows us.
By spreading Her darkness over worldly desire, Kali makes seekers totally oblivious to the transient external elements. They then become totally contained the Self.
To worship Mother Kali, we perform Her puja, sing Her names, recite Her mantras, and remember Her in both times of ease and in times of difficulties.
Appearance and Symbolism EditKali's fierce form is strewed with awesome symbols. Her black complexion symbolizes her all-embracing and transcendental nature. Says the Mahanirvana Tantra : "Just as all colors disappear in black, so all names and forms disappear in her". Her nudity is primeval, fundamental, and transparent like Nature — the earth, sea, and sky. Kali is free from the illusory covering, for she is beyond the all maya or "false consciousness." Kali's garland of fifty heads that stands for the fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes infinite knowledge.
Her girdle of severed hands signifies work and liberation from the cycle of karma. Her white teeth show her inner purity, and her red lolling tongue indicates her omnivorous nature — "her indiscriminate enjoyment of all the world's 'flavors'." Her sword is the destroyer of false consciousness and the eight bonds that bind us.
Her three eyes represent past, present, and future, — the three modes of time — an attribute that lies in the very name Kali ('Kala' in Sanskrit means time).
Kali's proximity to cremation grounds where the five elements or "Pancha Mahabhuta" come together, and all worldly attachments are absolved, again point to the cycle of birth and death. The reclined Shiva lying prostrate under the feet of Kali suggests that without the power of Kali (Shakti), Shiva is inert.