Kali

Came across this stunning 10th-century bronze of Kali in a museum in Chennai the other day. Kali is one of many traditional personifications of Shakti, the Energy that constitutes the entire universe.

Kali reverse

She holds the head of a stylised “trishul” trident. This represents the union of all seemingly opposing forces, all genders, all time, all possibilities – a reminder that our limited perception of difference and separation is an illusion.

She also holds an “ankus” elephant goad. This represents mastery of the mind and passions – a reminder that self-mastery comes through self-knowledge, in which lies the Wisdom to live mindfully, without harm to ourselves or others.

Despite her benign appearance, the tips of two fangs protrude from the edges of her mouth. These signify that at heart Kali is “fierce”, reminding us to challenge our ordinary mind, our “little” thinking, all our limiting self-interest.

This “fierceness” is reiterated in Kali’s third hand, which is held up in “abhaya mudra”, reminding us to live fearlesslly. And in her fourth, a skull cap, traditional symbol of the rejection of all patriarchies, priesthoods, orthodoxies and dogmas – a reminder to live freely, fully and joyfully.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s