Who is this,
dressed like a crazy woman,
robed with the sky?
Whom does She belong to?
She has let down Her hair,
Thrown off Her clothes,
strung human hands around Her waist,
and taken a sword in Her hand.
Her face sparkles
from the reflection of Her teeth,
and Her tongue lolls out.
The smile on the moon-face drips
heaps and heaps of nectar.
are you going to rescue us
in this outfit?
---------------------------Kamalakanta Bhattacharya (ca. 1769-1821)
The above devotee poet pays a befitting homage to Kali, a spectacular manifestation of the Indian Mother Goddess. Kali differs in her physical appearance from other goddesses. In comparison to their 'conventional' beauty, Kali's personality comes forth as gruesome and wrathful. Poised in an energetic posture of vigorous dynamism, her right leg rests on the mutilated head of a demon. This is but the demon of ignorance which prevents us from seeing the True Reality behind the external veneer of the Great Mother. The sword of wisdom which achieved this objective is brandished threateningly by Kali. One left hand holds a similarly severed head as a trophy, while the other left arm supports a bowl in which she collects the blood of her victims. The lower right significantly makes the gesture of reassurance. This last would seem a contradiction to those unfamiliar with the true nature of this affectionate goddess. For the believers this is but the essence of their beloved Kali. By making this gesture the goddess inspires in the heart of her devotees the true realization that her violence is but in harmony with the rhythms of nature, in which we all must find our own resonance.
Of Related Interest:
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Mother Goddess as Kali - The Feminine Force in Indian Art (Article)
Kali in the Birth-Giving Posture (Miniature Painting)
The Goddess Kali (Batik Painting On Cotton)
Kali the Terrible (Madhubani Painting On Handmade Paper)
The Triumph of Kali (Brass Statue)
Kali with Her Yantra (Tantra Painting)
Kali The Mother (Book)
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