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From Thelemapedia

Generally, Kali is viewed as the Hindu Goddess of destruction. The worship of Kali in India is very popular, with special reverance paid to her in the Bengal region. To many of her followers, she is seen as the supreme Goddess, (i.e. Kali, the Mother of the World and Time). As such, she is considered to have the power to save humanity from the evil, sins, & disasters that befall the human race within the Kali Yuga or "Age of Calamity". It is believed she protects her followers from all occurrences that can kill or make them ill and grants them both temporal and transcendental abilities. Kali is primarily associated with Durga, a Hindu warrior goddess, who later became a mother goddess.

Historic Background

Kali is regarded as one of the famous deities in India. The earliest reference of Kali can be found in the Mundak Upanishad. Also in the Oriya Ramayana written by Balaram Das in 15 A.D. we can see a vivid description of Kali and in Shyamasaparyavidhi written by Kasinath in the year 1699 A.D. a reference of Kali worship.

Hindu Vedic literature associates Kali with the goddess Nirtti since both of them are dark complexioned, but in post-vedic period Nirtti had lost popularity and Kali raise in importance and deities . Some believe Kali is the later form of Nirtti.

The actual forms of Kali worship are based in three texts: Kali Tantra, Tantrasara and Shyamarahasya.

The Forms of Kali (Kali Murti)

The goddess Kali comes in many forms depending on the importance accorded to her, the literary timeframe in which the goddess appears, and aesthetic details that may vary from region to region. Below is a list of the symbols found in the standard murti, or "form" of the goddess most commonly found in India today.

See also

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