Overview Of The Hindu Goddess Kali

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Reaction to Kali The goddess Kali is an influential figure in the Hindu religion, her name originating from the Sanskirt root Kal which means One of the most famous stories of Kali was how she helped Durga stop the demon Raktabija, whose blood produced duplicates of itself. Kali stopped Raktabija by drinking its blood and eating its duplicates. According to David Kinsley, writer of theTantric Visions of the Divine Feminine: The Ten Mahavidyas , Kali is first mentioned in Hinduism as an actual goddess around 600 CE, in which theses texts "usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield.” Today Kali serves as a goddess to many people, regardless of caste, as they gather together at shrines and temples to honor and offer sacrifices to Kali. She is often thought of as a goddess of destruction and death, but many believe that she is only perceived in such a negative way because she is misunderstood. Therefore, many worshipers see Kali as the “eternal light” who only destroys ignorance, sin, and decay. Kali also has very unique, symbolic characteristics. Some prime examples of these characteristics are her nudity, girdle of severed human hands, white teeth, and three eyes. Her nudity is directly related to her closeness with nature and primeval tendencies whereas her severed human hand girdle signifies work and liberation from the cycle of karma. In addition, her bright white teeth are supposed to highlight her inner purity just as her three eyes indicate the three modes of time: the past, present and future. In addition to her many symbolic qualities, Kali also has many temples as well as various names such as Shyama, Adya Ma, Tara Ma, Dakshina Kalika, and Chamundi. The best known temples that worship Kali can be found in Eastern India and Kolkata, also known as Calcutta which has been named in her honor. Because Kali is such a widely

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