Deitie of the Week: Kali

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Forums -> Misc Topics -> Deitie of the Week: Kali

Deitie of the Week: Kali
Post # 1

I was reading on about the deity Kali and wanted to make a post about her and thought i would share it with people are reading on gods and deities.

Deity: Kali

Kali is one of the most well known and worshipped Hindu Goddesses. The name Kali is derived from the Hindu word that means "time", and that also means "black". Kali in Hinduism, is a manifestation of the Divine Mother, which represents the female principle. Frequently, those not comprehending her many roles in life call Kali the goddess of destruction. She destroys only to recreate, and what she destroys is sin, ignorance and decay. She is equated with the eternal night, is the transcendent power of time, and is the consort of the god Shiva. It is believed that its Shiva who destroys the world, and Kali is the power or energy with which Shiva acts. Therefore, Kali is Shiva's shakti, without which Shiva could not act. Kali receives her name because she devours kala (Time) and then resumes her own dark formlessness. This transformative effect can be metaphorically illustrated in the West as a black hole in space. Kali as such is pure and primary reality (the "enfolded order" in modern physics); formless void yet full of potential.

The Matsyapurana states that Kali began as a tribal Goddess of the high mountain region of Mount Kalanjara, which is in north-central India and east of the Indus Valley. However, because of the relatively recent origin of the Matsyapurana we cannot be certain when or where the worship of Kali actually began. We do know however, that she was mentioned in the Upanishads, which were written a thousand years before the Matsyapurana. In the Vedas the name is associated with fire god Agni, the god of fire, who had seven flickering tongues of flame, of which Kali was the black, horrible tongue.

Kali is usually depicted as naked, blood-thirsty, and wild-haired. Records of Kali's worship date back less than 2,000 years and it is widely assumed by scholars that she represents a survival of a Dravidian (pre-Aryan) goddess and is thought of as the great creatrix of the ancient Indian pantheon as she is well over 2000 years old. Kali is thought to be a pre-Aryan goddess, belonging to the civilization of the Indus Valley, because there is no evidence that Aryan people ever raised a female deity to the rank that she held in the Indus and currently maintains in Hinduism. Her dark skin evidences the fact that she predated the lighter-skinned Aryan invasion of the darker-skinned inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent. This conflict became the subject of many myths handed down about Kali's fierce passion in defending her people against the invaders. Kali's passion and fierceness are due both to her ties to the pre-Aryan Great Mother Goddess, as well as her place at Shiva's side as his consort, which gives her the power of the Shakti, or female energy. However the Aryan Invasion Theory of India's origins is currently in dispute amongst historians.

The Aryan invaders introduced into India's culture the patriarchal gods that they had brought with them, but various matriarchal tribes, such as the Shabara of Orissa , continues worshipping Kali. She was probably an aboriginal deity of vegetation and agriculture; but evidence that animal and human sacrifices were offered to her suggests that Kali became a fertility deity. Animal sacrifices are still made to her, notably in temples such as the one at Kalighat in Calcutta, where a goat is immolated in her honor every day. On her feast in the fall, goats and buffalos are the usual victims, along with certain types of vegetation. Although human sacrifices have been banned, there are occasional reports of alleged sacrifices to authorities from remote areas.

Kali was first manifested when the Goddess Parvati knitted her brows in fury when the demon, Daruka, threatened the Gods. It was then that the three-eyed Kali first sprang forth from Parvati, fully armed, and immediately putting an end to Daruka. It is for this reason that Kali is considered an aspect of Parvati.

Other stories tell of how Kali fought and killed two demons. It was then, celebrating Her victory, that She drained the blood from their bodies and, drunk from the slaughter, She began to dance. Kali became overjoyed with the feel of their dead flesh under Her feet, and She continued to keep dancing, more and more wildly, until She finally realized that Her husband, Shiva, was underneath Her, and that She was dancing him to death.

Realizing this, Kali's wildness did slow down, but only for a short while; it is believed that She will eventually continue Her dance and that when she does, it will bring an end to the world. Yet, her followers still believe that once faced and understood, Kali has the ability to free Her worshippers from all their fears. Once this occurs, then Kali metamorphasizes into another aspect, that of a loving and comforting Mother.

If you want to read more about her here is the link below for the source on Kali.


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Re: Deitie of the Week: Kali
Post # 2
Loved this post. I'm always interested in the controversial beliefs about Gods and Goddesses, especially when some see them as "bad" and some as "good". Very interesting. :)
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Re: Deitie of the Week: Kali
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 3
I've always loved the archetype of Kali Ma. She's fascinating. Nice topic! I would love for you to post Mari, a Basque goddess, in the coming weeks. She is hard to research though. She is another favorite of mine and one of the lesser known deities.
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Re: Deitie of the Week: Kali
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 4
This is fantastic. :)
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Re: Deitie of the Week: Kali
Post # 5

Your welcome i may just post that on next deiti. And thanks Personified.

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