Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kali: Divine Mother Liberates Karma Cycles

Kali in her beautiful form [this murti of Kali resides on the altar of a Croatian disciple of Swami Vishwananda
Kali's Fierce Form

Kali'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 human heads that stands for the fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes infinite knowledge.

Kali's girdle of severed human 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.

Kali's 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. The eminent translator ot Tantric texts, Sir John Woodroffe in Garland of Letters, writes, "Kali is so called because She devours Kala (Time) and then resumes Her own dark formlessness."

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.

Utpalavati: Divine Mother Kali contains all aspects of Divine Mother within her. Among the Divine Mother aspects Kali embodies is the gentle, pure, beautiful, sweetness of Divine Mother Mary for her son: The Messiah, The Prince of Peace, The Holy Christ Jesus. Kali displayed this gentle and beautiful aspect-form of herself one night in Kolkata, India. In 2007, Swami Vishwananda devotees created a free medical camp in Kolkata, India at a Rama Krishna Ashram. Lines of people numbering 800 to 1,000 lined up each day in the sweltering, hot December sun. All ages of Kolkata’s poor with a plethora of illnesses came for help.

After their long wait in line, I remember the way the people smiled as they came away from their treasured time with a doctor clutching their medicines close. And the older people who received eye glasses had some of the broadest smiles as they proudly showed their new eyeglasses and their restored ability to see clearly to their friends or family. Swami Vishwananda, who was not physically there, nevertheless was present every moment. Many times as we felt hopeless in making a difference with such numbers and our limited time, facilities and the limited number of doctors, Swami would come in various ways, in spirit. Invariably, we would find ourselves uplifted to a higher plane of selfless service through Gurudev’s tangible, Divine Love.

One night after a very long day when we worked from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., a small group of us decided to sing bhagans to Mother Kali in the Kali temple at the Rama Krishna Ashram where we were holding the medical camp. A small group of about nine orphan boys ranging in age from 6 to 14, who lived at the ashram, joined us. At one point in the chanting, I opened my eyes as I felt from within that Kali was standing in front of the altar looking at the orphan boys singing their hearts out to her, Divine Mother Kali.

To my amazement, there stood Mother Kali in a beautiful form with no blood, human body parts, or tongue hanging out of mouth. There she stood radiantly alive, smiling like Maha Lakshmi and with the gentle, sweet presence of Mother Mary. A soft, gentle Mother’s face looked at the happy, luminescent faces of the innocent children obviously singing with great love and devotion to her. Kali then looked over at me as I gazed at her beauty and her love for the children, as she ever so gently and lovingly said: “You all sang so sweetly.” Then she disappeared as my eyes were drawn to the Kali murti on the altar, the radiant, innocent, devoted faces of the young orphan boys and the sound of the Kali bhajan drawing to a close.

1 comment:

Tarun said...

Dear Utpalavati,

sometimes i think it´s better to forget about Babaji, Guriji, etc.
I feel a little bit alone. Then i

- look into the blog,
- read your words and
- the sun is shining again.

Love to Shree Peetha Nilaya

"Listen, listen to the whisper of my soul, i will nerver forget..."