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Maha Kali - The Goddess of Yogic Transformation and Might

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Maha Kali - The Goddess of Yogic Transformation and Might
Brahmanda Guruji Shri Narendra Babu Sharmaji spoke on Dasa Maha Vidya - Meditation on The Ten Great Cosmic Powers.

  • As the chosen Deity worshipped by Paramahansa Ramakrishna, one of the most well known modern teachers within the Hindu tradition, Kali is one of the most commonly known of Hindu Goddesses, but still not well understood. Yet much of what we admire in Ramakrishna – his love, bliss, and universal spirit – is Kali’s gift to us through him. Through him Kali has already delivered us her message for the modern age.

  • Time is life. Life is our movement in time. Through our own life-force or Prana we experience time. Kali as time is Prana or the life-force. Kali or the Divine Mother is our life. She is the secret power behind the working of our bodily systems and vital energy. Only through her do we live, and it is her intelligence that gives such a marvellous order to the body.

  • Kali is the love that exists at the heart of life, which is the immortal life that endures through both life and death. Maintaining the awareness of the eternal nature of life through the cycles of birth and death is another one of her meditational approaches. The truth is that our soul, our aspiration towards the Divine, which is our eternal love, never has died and never will die. To be conscious of that enduring aspiration is to die to the things of the mind and the senses, and come to know the cosmic life and Divine grace.

  • Kali grants us this eternal life. Yet the eternal life has a price. Only that which is immortal can be immortal, as nothing can change its own nature. The mortal and the transient must pass away. To gain the eternity that is Kali, our mortal nature must be sacrificed. Hence Kali appears frightening and destructive to the ordinary vision.

  • Kali as the power of death and negation is Nirvana, the state of the dissolution of desire. She functions to extinguish all of our wants and cravings and merge us into the Nirvanic field, the realm of the unborn, uncreate, and unmanifest. Kali develops forms only to take us beyond form. When her force awakens within us she works to break down all limitations and attachments, so that we might transcend the entire field of the known.

  • Kali is the power of action or transformation (Kriya-shakti). Through time and breath all things are accomplished. Yet what she accomplishes is not a mere outer action. She accomplishes the spiritual labour of our rebirth into pure consciousness. For this she creates the energy and does the work if we surrender to her force.

  • Kali means beauty. The root kal, from which the name comes, means “to count,” “to measure,” or “to set in motion,” hence “time.” It also refers to what is well-formed or measured out, hence beauty. Time itself has a movement, a rhythm, a dance which is the basis of all beauty. This is also the rhythm of the life force which allows for movement.

  • Kali is dark blue in colour and wears a garland of skulls. She has her long tongue sticking out and is laughing. Sometimes instead of a tongue she has two fangs. Kali has four arms and four hands and holds a head chopper with one hand and a severed head dripping blood with the other. With her other two hands she makes the mudras of bestowing boons and dispelling fear. She wears a skirt made of human arms. Kali is portrayed as dancing in a cremation ground and striding on a corpse (who is the form of Lord Shiva himself).


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