Download video: Kali Mantra 108
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Goddess Kali, the utmost compassionate among all the forms of "Devi". As the Goddess of Liberation, she and her counterpart God "Shiva" bestow moksha or liberation to their devotees by removing the illusion of the ego.
The ego trembles with fear at the fearsome form of Goddess Kali, while a mature soul who engages in spiritual practices to remove the illusion of ego will see the compassionate form of Mother Kali who overflowing with incomprehensible love for her children.
Mother Kali is also one of the most misunderstood goddesses of all. By not understanding the story behind Mother Kali it is easy to misinterpret Her iconography. In the same way one could say that Christianity is a religion of death, destruction and cannibalism in which the practitioners drink the blood of Jesus and eat his flesh. Of course, we know this is not the proper understanding of the communion ritual.
Mother Kali wears a garland of skulls and a skirt of dismembered arms owing to the fact that the ego arises out of identification with the body. In truth we are beings of spirit and not flesh. Therefore liberation can only arise when our attachment to the body detaches. Hence the garland and skirt are trophies worn by Her, to symbolize having liberated Her children from attachment to the limited body.
Kali holds a sword and a freshly severed head dripping blood. As the story goes, this represents a great battle in which she destroyed the demon Raktabija. Her black skin represents the womb of the quantum un-manifest from which all of creation arises and into which all of creation will eventually dissolve.
Kali is depicted as standing on Shiva who lays beneath Her with white skin (in contrast to Her black or sometimes dark blue skin). With a blissful detached look, Shiva represents pure formless awareness of sat-chit-ananda (being-consciousness-bliss) while Kali represents "form" eternally supported by the substratum of pure awareness.