Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Kali

Kali is the consort of the god Shiva and her name means “The Black One”. Easily recognizable with her tongue sticking out, long black hair and wearing a necklaces of human heads. Kali has black or dark blue skin and four arms. The sword she often is depicted holding is what has chopped off the head Kali also holds, the head Kali holds is the ego.

 Kali herself is seen as a mother goddess, many whom go to Kali herself for comfort, and is the goddess of time and change.
Kali is also the goddess of death, but not the death of beings, the death of the ego rather.

There is a story on how Kali came to manifest, it starts off with the gods being unable to defeat a demon called Raktabija, who had blood that whenever it touched the ground turned into another Raktabija making this demon utterly difficult to defeat.

The god Shiva was turned to and he was unable to be reached so it was the consort of Shiva, Parvati that got asked for help. Parvati agreed to help and this is where she took the form of Kali. During the battle with the demon Raktabija, Kali rode a lion and ordered the gods to attack Raktabija. Covering the battlefield with her tongue, Kali made it impossible for Raktabija's blood to spill over the ground. This allowed the gods to be victorious against Raktabija.

Kali is said to have once become drunk on the blood of her victims on a battlefield and danced with frenzy. In this case, Kali didn’t see Shiva’s body lying amongst all the corpses, causing Shiva to cry. The cries of Shiva attract Kali’s attention, calming the goddess who stuck out her tongue in shame.

In the Devi Mahatmya, Kali makes an appearance where early in battle the two demons Canda and Munda approach the goddess Durga prepared to attack. Durga became infuriated and her face turns black, where Kali suddenly springs from Durga’s forehead. Kali roaring, she tears demons apart with her bere hands and decapitates the demons Danda and Munda with her sword.

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