Kali is often spoken of as the goddess of destruction, or of time, and there is truth to these descriptions, mythologically and linguistically speaking. While these simplified terms can be helpful when trying to apply the mythological stories and lessons of Kali psychologically to whatever we might be facing in life, ultimately these are just very simple ways of speaking and thinking about her, and don’t even begin to scratch the surface.
So I want to urge you for a moment to stop thinking about Kali as the sword-wielding, black-skinned goddess wearing a skirt of severed arms and a garland of heads. Just for a moment, let’s think about her differently.
Bagala (or Bagalamukhi) is a powerful esoteric goddess who has become ever more popular due to her reputed powers of captivation and control. As a personality she is invoked to control the thoughts and speech of one’s enemies, and is often called upon to aid in winning court cases.
“In the earlier age, during the period of Svayambhuva, in the beginning of Krtayuga, the goddess who is known as Mahamaya, Yoganidra, Jagaddhatri, and Jaganmayi, assuming a mighty figure with sixteen arms, renowned by the name Bhadrakali (appeared) on the northern shore of the Milk Ocean with a view to destroy Mahishasura and with a desire to do good to the world. Continue reading »
In her powerful and insightful book Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power, Shakta devotee, scholar, and yogini Laura Amazzone writes that a pilgrimage begins the moment you decide to undertake it. For those who embark on their journey with conscious intention, yatra (pilgrimage) has a profound effect on consciousness and has the power to transform your life.
I am a Shakta, and for me, MAA (an informal word a child uses for its Mother, like “Mama”) is the representation of Infinite Being, of pure existence from which all things emerge.
Essentially, we are all MAA, we are all just in different phases/states/stages of realized awareness about the nature of Her existence. The best of gurus teach their disciples to listen to their own Atman (and how to listen, through sadhana) as the supreme guide, because Atman is not separate from Brahman/MAA/Infinite Being (these words are interchangeable), rather than relying on them totally. They may give us guidance and advice, but ultimately they will encourage us to first begin to hear, and then begin to listen to MAA directly. We must each come to our own realization, do our own sadhana, make our own mistakes, and release our own “I” in order to emerge from the darkness of non-awareness.