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Of  all the forms of the Hindu gods and goddess  the form of Kali is perhaps  the most puzzling to the modern mind. She is in the form of a dark nude woman wearing an apron of human hands , a garland of human heads adorning her neck and chest. In one hand she is holding a freshly severed human head { with dripping blood } and in the other she  is holding a chopper as if ready to strike. Through out  history mankind has been baffled by this form .

The word Kali comes from the word” Kala” which means time. She is the power of time. She is both the destroyer  as well a the devourer. A power which has the ability to destroy time should be depicted with awe inspiring terror.

Kali as we find is in a cremation ground or a burial ground. It is as if a massacre has taken place around her. She is standing in a challenging position ready to strike anyone who dares to stop her. However she has a leg on   the body of her spouse {Siva} who is lying on the  ground as if dead. Siva is pure white and she is deep blue or black in colour. Her garland of 50 heads hang loosely around her neck and her long hair is completely dishevelled.. She has 3 eyes and 4 hands. In her two upper hands she is holding a human head  with dripping blood and in the other hand she has  the chopper with which she has carried out the massacre .Her two lower hands are in Abhaya  and Varada Mudras. Her red long protruding tongue adds fear to her already horror  stricken image. The background and her image compliment each other.

It is believed that god who created this universe entered it so that it becomes a cloak for divinity. So when the universe is destroyed Kali has only the limitless  space as her only covering, hence her nude form. She is also called the (Digambara). She presents a state where time and space  have disappeared without any trace. Hence she is black in colour. Her  hands are spread out  showing that she is very happy with the work she has just finished or about to finish. Therefore she is wearing the fruit of her success-the garland made out of severed  hum an heads.The human hands which is  in the form of an apron and which she is wearing  stand as a form of energy. Her hair or Muktakesh speaks of freedom that one seeks for.The garland of 50 heads stand for the 50 letters or shabd that menifest the state of sound.

She is the supreme energy fully responsible for destroying the created universe. However she is also the mother  and so with her hand (Abhaya Mudra) reassures her children  not to be afraid. The other hand (Varada Mudra) exhibits her desire to grant boons.

According to mythology Kali once after destroying all the demons started a dance in sheer joy. All the world began to tremble. At the request of all the gods Siva asked her to stop. She was too intoxicated to stop. Siva finding no other way lay down amongst the corpses trying to absorb all the shocks onto himself so as to save the world.In her intoxicated state she stepped on Siva himself and on realizing her mistake juts out her tongue in shame.

From all this one must not jump to the conclusion that Kali is only the destructive aspect of god. She is  beyond the range of “time” .It is she who goads Mahadeva into the next cycle of creation.



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