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Kali: She who is the dispeller of darkness


Bija Mantra


om hrim srim krim paramesvari kalike svaha

Om Maya, increase, dissolution, to the supreme female divinity, Kali, I am one with God!

Gayatri Mantra


Om mahakalyai ca vidmahe smasana vasinyai ca dhimahi I

Tanno kali pracodayat II


Om we meditate upon the Great Goddess who takes away darkness, contemplate she who resides in the cremation grounds (the ultimate form into which creation dissolves) May that Goddess grant us increase. See: http://www.shreemaa.org

Iconography: She is the terrible one who has a dreadful face. She should be meditated upon as having disheveled hair and a garland of freshly cut human heads. She has four arms. In her upper left hand she holds a sword that has just been bloodied by the severed head that she holds in her lower left hand. Her upper right hand makes the gesture of assurance and her lower right hand, the sign of granting favours. She has a bluish complexion and is lustrous like a dark cloud. She is completely naked, and her body gleams with the blood that is smeared all over it from the garland of bleeding severed heads around her neck. Her ear ornaments are the corpses of children. Her fangs are dreadful, and her face is fierce. Her breasts are large and round, and she wears a girdle made of severed human hands. Blood trickles from the corners of her mouth and makes her face gleam. She makes a terrible sound and lives in the cremation ground, where she is surrounded by howling jackals. She stands on the chest of Siva in the form of a corpse. She is eager to have sexual intercourse in reverse fashion with Mahakala. She wears a satisfied expression. She smiles. – Kali-tantra

Figure of Kali striding over recumbent Siva, probably Krishanagar, West Bengal, Clay and gold,© The Trustees of the British Museum 1894,0216.10



The post has been written by Rajeshwari Shah. Rajeshwari has a Masters in Art History and is interested deeply in Indian culture and religion with a special interest in Indian miniature paintings. She can be found on Instagram @rajeorchha

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