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I took this shot today at a Kali Puja pandal.. You can see the Maa Kali Idol..
About Maa Kali:-
Kālī (Sanskrit: काळी, IPA: [kɑːliː]), also known as Kālikā (Sanskrit: काळिका), is the Proto-Indo-European goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Since Shiva is called Kāla—the eternal time—Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" (as in time has come). Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time and Change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilator of evil forces still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally "redeemer of the universe"). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess.
Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati).
Kālī is the feminine form of kālam ("black, dark coloured").[3] Kāla primarily means "time" but also means "black" in honor of being the first creation before light itself. Kālī means "the black one" and refers to her being the entity of "time" or "beyond time." Kāli is strongly associated with Shiva, and Shaivas derive the masculine Kāla (an epithet of Shiva) to come from her feminine name. A nineteenth-century Sanskrit dictionary, the Shabdakalpadrum, states: कालः शिवः । तस्य पत्नीति - काली । kālaḥ śivaḥ । tasya patnīti kālī - "Shiva is Kāla, thus, his consort is Kāli" referring to Devi Parvathi being a manifestation of Devi MahaKali.
Other names include Kālarātri ("black night"), as described above, and Kālikā ("relating to time"). Coburn notes that the name Kālī can be used as a proper name, or as a description of color.[4]
Kāli's association with darkness stands in contrast to her consort, Shiva, who manifested after her in creation, and who symbolises the rest of creation after Time is created. In his supreme awareness of Maya, his body is covered by the white ashes of the cremation ground (Sanskrit: śmaśāna) where he meditates, and with which Kāli is also associated, as śmaśāna-kālī. It is said that aspirants who wish to offer Bhakthi should approach under the proper guidance of a Siddha or equivalent. Chanting her mantras from anywhere would cause unknown effects.
Hugh Urban notes that although the word Kālī appears as early as the Atharva Veda, the first use of it as a proper name is in the Kathaka Grhya Sutra (19.7).[5] Kali is the name of one of the seven tongues of Agni, the [Rigvedic] God of Fire, in the Mundaka Upanishad (2:4), but it is unlikely that this refers to the goddess. The first appearance of Kāli in her present form is in the Sauptika Parvan of the Mahabharata (10.8.64). She is called Kālarātri (literally, "black night") and appears to the Pandava soldiers in dreams, until finally she appears amidst the fighting during an attack by Drona's son Ashwatthama. She most famously appears in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam as one of the shaktis of Mahadevi, and defeats the demon Raktabija ("Bloodseed"). The tenth-century Kalika Purana venerates Kāli as the ultimate reality.
According to David Kinsley, Kāli is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess around 600 CE, and these texts "usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield."[6] She is often regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, and is closely associated with him in various Puranas. The Kalika Purana depicts her as the "Adi Shakti" (Fundamental Power) and "Para Prakriti" or beyond nature.

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Additional Photos by Indrasish Guha (Indrasish) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 260 W: 4 N: 687] (2833)
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