KALI

1.    Brahman is the grounding of all existence and Sakti is the energy that powers that existence.

a.    The relationship between Brahman and Sakti is like fire and its power to burn.

2.    There are two sides to Sakti- the potential for creation and the potential for destruction.

3.    Kali embodies the destructive side of Sakti.

a.    She is fearsome and grotesque; she wears corpses and drinks blood, she is emaciated with sagging, shriveled breasts and charred blackened skin.

b.    Embodies DurgaŐs fury in the battle between the gods and Canda and MundaŐs army

c.    Devours Raktabija the blood demon, in her drunken state, almost kills Siva.

                                              i.     Is consort to Siva, drives him to wild behavior

d.    Depiction as Goddess of the Ocean of Blood- drinks the blood of infants

4.    However, Kali also embodies the creative side of Sakti.

a.    She is the devourer of Kala (time) and therefore is the origin of all things, she is a creator.

b.    She is also a mother to her devotees

                                              i.     RamprasadŐs poems

c.    To be her child is to suffer but this suffering is important to liberation

5.    Kali forces us to look death and suffering in the face

a.    You cannot separate the pure and the impure and doing your dharma is just an illusory means of maintaining order.

b.    Death and suffering are not predictable and cannot be ignored or hidden away- they are as much a part of the divine as the pure aspects of existence

c.    Kali combines pure and impure and embodies creation and destruction to remind us of the balance of life and that all aspects of life- no matter how dirty or shameful- are divine.