Author Topic: The Goddess Kali  (Read 436 times)

NEMO 93

The Goddess Kali
« on: January 05, 2018, 03:20:31 am »
She's intrigued me lately. I'd like to know more about her from a left hand path perspective and I know we have some members who are into LHP hinduism on this board. I've googled it and did some mild research but I really trust and respect the members of this board's opinion moreso than google results.
"“I ate civilization. It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then," he added in a lower tone, "I ate my own wickedness.” -Aldous Huxley

crossfire

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 02:23:24 pm »
I'm Buddhist, so I'll speak about Black Tara. She's like a shamanic bridge between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. She's the wrathful aspect of peaceful Green Tara, and is great for breaking bad habits and overcoming other psychological obstacles--aka a demon slayer.
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

crossfire

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 10:55:59 pm »
One more thing about Black Tara:  she's so powerful because her means of accomplishment is by transforming hatred into compassion.
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

Olive

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 05:25:55 am »
@crossfire Interesting interpretation. I see her as the inevitable coming of death, which is beyond freedom/love/hope/existence. She has a gruesome visage, with the long tongue, blood, wearing of human body parts and a garland of skulls. And while her left hands hold a scimitar(all kinds of symbolism, but in magical purposes usually mind/idea/knowledge) and a severed head (representing violent/gruesome pain of death and loss of body and ego), her right two hands give the hand signs for "fear not" and "blessings".

I've studied the Nyāya-vaiśeṣika system of Hinduism, and one of the 9 fundamental realities they speak of is Kālá. Which we usually translate into english as 'Time', but it is understood as the force that whirls everything around in this existence - the beginningless motion of all things and the turning of the wheel of Saṃsāra.

Kali is heavily related to this concept, symbolizing both death and time (Which makes sense, the former is a consequence of the latter). She has a greater deva form known as Mahākālī, which means 'Great Time'. She is depicted with 10 heads, arms, and legs that each hold symbols of other gods - kind of implying how they are only possible through her, and all of their doings are included in the force of her movements.

Both of her forms contain quite disturbing imagery, and yet she offers relief, kindness, and surety. Her greater form is apparently known as one of the kindest and most loving of all deities. She's a complicated figure, but I think one who understands all the meaning behind her depictions is close to wisdom. Death has a terrible grin, but one of knowledge does not begrudge the chance to leave this existence forever. As they say, this world is in every way confused and perturbed. Do not then, most imminent of men, condemn the fortune which seeks you.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 03:25:31 pm by Olive »
"I look beyond;
Flowers are not,
Nor tinted leaves.
On the sea beach
A solitary cottage stands
In the waning light
Of an autumn eve."

-Sen no Rikyū

Kapalika

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 02:25:12 pm »
Did someone mention...

https://imgur.com/t2ZEsk3

Kali in one hand her yantra in the other and er her in the middle behind the tangle of satanic and hindu stuff :)

Sorry, just wanted to show off my bling xD legit what I was wearing this morning; not even at home atm

Okay seriously now for my actual post...[/i]

Kali is pretty complicated/complex in general. It's really going to vary based on who you ask. For me, as a follower of Trika, Kali is a very, very layered deity. She's the Universe, change, time, death, and the means through which one realizes their self as Shiva, and also the expression of their realization and the manifestation of their will and total-consciousness.

She is the active part of existence and the awareness of consciousness. She is mother and the birth of all of creation. This is seen in the 36 tattva system of more mainstream Shaivism whereas she is the Shakti-tattva, kind of the dark to Shiva's light. This is really true in Trika as she is often the Ishvara used in the Ishvara-tattva which is the accentuation of the objective universe/macrocosom.

There's a number of Shakta sects I am probably close to, considering that Kashmir Shaivism took a lot of influence from both Shakta and Vajrayana. Even the Aghori today are kind of like a mix of Shaivism and Shakta. In Trika, the actual name Trika comes from our 3 goddessess of ParaShakti, ParaParaShakti and AparSshakti. Shakti, Kali.. the same. The feminine inside (Kali) is a large part of the focus of Vasugupta's SpandaKarika text. Not so much as say a focus on Kunadalini sense as just overall as a meditative sense IIRC

I actually spoke with someone in a thread here on the topic under the same name.

To quote the relevant part:

Quote from: Kapalika
To quote Swami Lakshman Joo, who helped revive Trika:
"God and the individual are one, to realize this is the essence of Shaivism."

In Trika this is done by way of Shakti hence the focus in this text on the femininity. The Triad Shiva, Shakti and Tantric (Anu) is a reflection of this as Anu (individual, limited self) finds way to Shiva (transcendent) through Shakti. This is also reflected in our other triad, ParaShakti, ParaParaShakti and AparaShakti.

Shiva is the transcendent above all, Shakti is that expression... so Shiva and Shakti are, as you say, conceptions of the nature of god yes, but also in this system the way by which one realizes that inherent nature.

Actually, Kali to me could be seen as the ShuddhaShudda Tattvas and as ParaParaShakti since that's where her domain time resides. Time is essentially the same as death and change here, since both are a product of it. Other tattvas there fit as well like Kalā (power, not to be mistaken with Kālā which is time), Vidya (knowledge), and Raga (desire). Since She is again the focus of the object to the subject-object (and she's an object as she is the idol and the worshipped, the focused on, to accent our subject-self as contrast) the spatial aspect for duality is needed, Niyati tattva.

So she is to me and within Trika SFAIK the expression of both duality and the reaffirmation of oneness. We realize our inner Shakti and Shiva as both being there, and being one in the same. Kali is again that focus because she is the agent and the mover, the creation and the manifestation of Shiva's, our, eternal truth. We are Kali, we are Shiva. It's by Kali that in Trika one's mind is not simply erased when they realize this non-separation of divinity and mind, but the way that the mind is remanifested into the universal consciousness as a facet of reality. In a sense, it is as if we are each a face on a infinitely sided diamond. Fully individuated and yet one at the same time. In Hinduism and to an extend other religions, literal human like faces are used to represent personalities so this is a bit of a pun :)

Just to clarify a little more, Shakti is the same as Kali here. The Kapalikas, and everyone branching from them often use the form of Kali for Shakti as she is the fierce form. Most tantric art and depictions of Shiva and Shakti are in fierce forms and it's just a focus of how we see the manifestations of them. Not that any others are less valid, but they are our Ishvaras, our divine inspiration and the focus of our meditation and rituals. The fierce forms go perfectly hand in hand with the LHP nature of much of our beliefs and practices. The more RHP variations will use less focus on Kali and Bhairava and it's actually one way to tell what kind you are dealing with but ultimately they are one in the same. Funny enough actually one of the central texts of Trika is the Vinjana Bhairava Tantra from the Bhairava Agama. So the fierce forms are at the root of Trika, which makes sense since Trika's roots were in the Kapalika ascetics.

If anyone needs any clarification or any questions feel free. I know sometimes I really get into just talking about these kinds of subjects.

@crossfire Interesting interpretation. I see her as the inevitable coming of death, which is beyond freedom/love/hope/existence.

It's worth mentioning too that death is also a symbol of rebirth. Her domains are on side dark but also light, which is why there is a lot of focus on her aspect of motherly love within Hinduism. There is the Samsara and reincarnation that's more literal and then the more metaphorical one of our own self evolution throughout this life.

I've studied the Nyāya-vaiśeṣika system of Hinduism,

It's good to see some of the orthodoxy represented here! Being Tantric myself I'm not as familiar with the Vedic sects si it's refreshing to see it from another perspective.

and a severed head (representing violent/gruesome pain of death and loss of body and ego),

The demon head she holds can also represent our own flaws. This goes to her early roots as a demon killer.

Her greater form is apparently known as one of the kindest and most loving of all deities.

And terrifying.

I'm Buddhist, so I'll speak about Black Tara. She's like a shamanic bridge between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. She's the wrathful aspect of peaceful Green Tara, and is great for breaking bad habits and overcoming other psychological obstacles--aka a demon slayer.

Interesting the commonality of being a demon slayer, but I'm not too familiar her. Some googling indicated she's both in Mahayana and Vajrayana but from some goolging and wikipedia seems her origins are debated. I know it's common of Tantric Buddhism particularly in Nepal to take fierce deities like Bhairava and Kali and incorporate them into Buddhism. And since Shakta and Buddhism share her it's not unlikely, but the evidence points to her being more tied to Durga than Kali if the couple of results i found on google are to be trusted so I'm not sure.

Could you expand on the link of Kali and Tara or anything else I just mentioned?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 02:29:31 pm by Kapalika »
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Trika via Vāmācāra

"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

crossfire

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 04:36:39 pm »


I'm Buddhist, so I'll speak about Black Tara. She's like a shamanic bridge between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. She's the wrathful aspect of peaceful Green Tara, and is great for breaking bad habits and overcoming other psychological obstacles--aka a demon slayer.

Interesting the commonality of being a demon slayer, but I'm not too familiar her. Some googling indicated she's both in Mahayana and Vajrayana but from some goolging and wikipedia seems her origins are debated. I know it's common of Tantric Buddhism particularly in Nepal to take fierce deities like Bhairava and Kali and incorporate them into Buddhism. And since Shakta and Buddhism share her it's not unlikely, but the evidence points to her being more tied to Durga than Kali if the couple of results i found on google are to be trusted so I'm not sure.

Could you expand on the link of Kali and Tara or anything else I just mentioned?
I would say that Black Tara and Kali probably both arose from a common earlier goddess representing the power of transforming hatred into compassion--a demon slayer.  Black Tara has many different forms according to the culture--even out to Burma.  Some bear a strong resemblance to Kali, others--not so much. 

Within Buddhism wrathful deities/actions are plugged into in order to get around or destroy obstacles,  and in Black Tara's case, the obstacle is hatred.  I thought that it might be interesting to find the common ground between Black Tara and Kali, and try to get to the common root.
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

Kapalika

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 05:21:12 pm »
I just remembered there is a LHP Shakta/Satanist I know on IRC I could probably get on here, he might share his own view as well to give us yet another perspective.


I would say that Black Tara and Kali probably both arose from a common earlier goddess representing the power of transforming hatred into compassion--a demon slayer.  Black Tara has many different forms according to the culture--even out to Burma.  Some bear a strong resemblance to Kali, others--not so much. 

Within Buddhism wrathful deities/actions are plugged into in order to get around or destroy obstacles,  and in Black Tara's case, the obstacle is hatred.  I thought that it might be interesting to find the common ground between Black Tara and Kali, and try to get to the common root.


With that in mind, what would you make of the story where she was so swept in blood lust, that she threatened to kill everyone even her own? Shiva eventually laid below her so she would step on him and come out of it. This is the popular depiction of her with Shiva under her.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 05:22:57 pm by Kapalika »
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Trika via Vāmācāra

"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

crossfire

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 07:09:07 am »
I just remembered there is a LHP Shakta/Satanist I know on IRC I could probably get on here, he might share his own view as well to give us yet another perspective.


I would say that Black Tara and Kali probably both arose from a common earlier goddess representing the power of transforming hatred into compassion--a demon slayer.  Black Tara has many different forms according to the culture--even out to Burma.  Some bear a strong resemblance to Kali, others--not so much. 

Within Buddhism wrathful deities/actions are plugged into in order to get around or destroy obstacles,  and in Black Tara's case, the obstacle is hatred.  I thought that it might be interesting to find the common ground between Black Tara and Kali, and try to get to the common root.


With that in mind, what would you make of the story where she was so swept in blood lust, that she threatened to kill everyone even her own? Shiva eventually laid below her so she would step on him and come out of it. This is the popular depiction of her with Shiva under her.
I don't know what to think about it.
"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
~Carl Jung

Liu

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 08:21:52 am »
Regarding Tārā, in "Kālī Kaula" by Jan Fries there is a chapter on her, focusing mainly on her possible Chinese origins and stressing that the Buddhist and Hindu forms are utterly different from each other (p.141-154).

Would need to re-read that to give a more detailed account.

Troll

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 06:55:08 am »
Hello King Mob, Olive, Kapalika

Om dear devotees

In reading this thread to which a friend pointed me, i'd like to echo what i found meaningful and add some beyond it i did not notice. She teaches me about the Left-Hand Path, but has shown me that there is a hefty orthodoxy surrounding Her. I will watch for what constitutes LHP Hinduism and try to understand it. I am not connected with Hindu cultus at all and have not been encouraged to join them in my zealous dedication.
---
Kali is to me the very image and voice of inevitable, final, extinguishment. Precious few the moments of our orientation, cascade, before our disintegration. For the weak, She offers forth succour and reassurance as the powerful, glorious warrior on the battlefield so constituted as to nurture us while She lays waste. For the strong She shows us the very tools our demise, hiding nothing and urging us on to greater insight of the horrors.
---
Mahakali inspires my worship to the greatest pitch. I have no use for any Siva and find Saivites irritating yet bear them calmly. A maelstrom, a storm of destruction, leaving a terrible wake of shattered lives, bodies, pieces strewn about on the ground where dogs eat them, Hers is the never-ending, unstoppable, crushing entropic temporal wave of disintegration wholly outside of our ken and influence. This is Her ordinary action, movement, and process. Few to none understand Her, or are able to face Her. Some of the mad or insightful are driven to ecstasy at the very thought of Her, or in the implementation of Her worship. The tornado is a symbol of Her, the black hole, the crushing, boiling demolition of outer space.
---
Where i am from, time is the ultimate and unapproachable principle of the cosmos whose change we dream about in self-adornment, ignoring of mortality, and flights of science fiction fantasy subversion. Yet we never shall achieve this. It is as futile to dream it up as to dream up our souls. Not only is our hope that we will live on unrealistic, but we die every moment, the only rebirth is in our mind. I am instructed that this stark and supposedly bleak view is the poignancy of the temporary cosmos, Maya Ma, the Dance of Destruction!
---
This dreaming expands beyond our mistake that Her dance (lila) is without seams, that it has solely unification as its ultimate aim, or hopeful aspiration, and we misunderstand our part in it. For those like me the devotion is EVER-dualistic, always adoring as part of the whole whose role suits me as Her lover rather than as conqueror, or imagining that She is not everything, that She is not the very statue to whom we pay obeisance, that She is connected with any other goddess or god whatever (folly!). For those such as i, comparisons, equations, and equivocations are a distraction from Her outrageous beauty.
---
For me She is the Demon Queen, not so much a slayer of asuras or demons as the slayer of all, the consequent termination of all form, and to whom *all* demons turn in their wild fury when faced with those who oppose them (i would compare Siva's sheltering of ghosts and ghouls).
---
And this is how i connect Her with the LHP: the uncooperative dessicator and entropic eradicator of all pattern and order, radically opposed to the imposition of authority outside of Her, of the self, and of localized devotion. In part this is why She advises me to avoid other devotees -- to inhibit the encroachment of orthodoxy; solitaries are immune, those insulated from the vaste oceans of Kali worship pure and without spot. It is enough that we are eshewed and feared. If we can come to dwell in Her heart as one of Her Beloved, then we will be blessed with ultimate bliss.

Om dear devotees

Olive

Re: The Goddess Kali
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 01:42:38 am »

Kali is to me the very image and voice of inevitable, final, extinguishment. Precious few the moments of our orientation, cascade, before our disintegration.....For the strong She shows us the very tools of our demise, hiding nothing and urging us on to greater insight of the horrors.
---
Mahakali inspires my worship to the greatest pitch. I have no use for any Siva and find Saivites irritating yet bear them calmly. A maelstrom, a storm of destruction, leaving a terrible wake of shattered lives, bodies, pieces strewn about on the ground where dogs eat them, Hers is the never-ending, unstoppable, crushing entropic temporal wave of disintegration wholly outside of our ken and influence. This is Her ordinary action, movement, and process. Few to none understand Her, or are able to face Her. Some of the mad or insightful are driven to ecstasy at the very thought of Her, or in the implementation of Her worship. The tornado is a symbol of Her, the black hole, the crushing, boiling demolition of outer space.


Where i am from, time is the ultimate and unapproachable principle of the cosmos whose change we dream about in self-adornment, ignoring of mortality, and flights of science fiction fantasy subversion. Yet we never shall achieve this. It is as futile to dream it up as to dream up our souls. Not only is our hope that we will live on unrealistic, but we die every moment, the only rebirth is in our mind. I am instructed that this stark and supposedly bleak view is the poignancy of the temporary cosmos, Maya Ma, the Dance of Destruction!
--
This dreaming expands beyond our mistake that Her dance (lila) is without seams, that it has solely unification as its ultimate aim, or hopeful aspiration, and we misunderstand our part in it..... For those such as i, comparisons, equations, and equivocations are a distraction from Her outrageous beauty.
---
For me She is the Demon Queen, not so much a slayer of asuras or demons as the slayer of all, the consequent termination of all form, and to whom *all* demons turn in their wild fury when faced with those who oppose them...


[Emphasis Mine]

Beautifully stated, Troll. I agree entirely with what is quoted and most of the rest, too. In my estimation your devotion has led you close to truth, and you have tasted the wisdom normally reserved for sages and the mad. The blessing and reassurance that Kali offers with her coming is not the reminder of another life to come (I do not subscribe to such a thing), but relief and emancipation from the insane world of matter and energy.

I have not come to praise and align myself with death as you have, but I do not fear the end of this existence. In some of my paradigms I view it as a return to zero (from a negative state). In others it is a neutral culmination of this temporal form.

I choose to walk the path of the perfected soul. I transmute subtle energies and find satisfying existence in subtle realms. I do not devote my energies to death and Kali because I know she does not need it; in time she will come and no amount of praise to her or others will change that. I do not have the nerve to enter her final embrace at this point, and yet in other ways I have died many times and continue to do so.

 
In part this is why She advises me to avoid other devotees -- to inhibit the encroachment of orthodoxy; solitaries are immune, those insulated from the vaste oceans of Kali worship pure and without spot.

Yes of course. It is said that the natural coven size is One. I can't say I disagree, as I too pursue my work alone. No other practices as I do. But the risk of total isolation is of course stultification and unchecked self-delusion. Remember this, and come back to speak with us again if you find the time or desire to do so.

Thank you for your post.
"I look beyond;
Flowers are not,
Nor tinted leaves.
On the sea beach
A solitary cottage stands
In the waning light
Of an autumn eve."

-Sen no Rikyū