Kali- The Enigma of Time

I do not see my self as a very religious person. I am not a fan of rituals or the dogmatic religious teachings and I seldom pay attention to them. Nevertheless, I believe in the energies that exist around us and one such energy that I have been thinking and reading about is Kaali or Kali.

Kali or the first of the ten Mahavidyas is often pictured in what most people would call a fearsome avatar. She has a garland of skulls around her neck, a freshly severed head in one of her hands and a skirt which is made of severed hands. With her red tongue and fearsome black appearance, in the first glance she appears to be a goddess of savages. She stands over Shiva, one of the most beloved Gods in the Hindu mythology. Shiva is said to be a giver, a bhola bhandari (a giver of boons). But people don’t have that impression about Kali.

Most people pay their respects to Kali not out of love but out of fear. But then, that age-old proverb- ‘appearances are deceptive’ applies to Kali too. And perhaps, this fearsome, unconventional appearance makes a seeker look beyond what meets the eye. Kali, as some believe is the personification of time- endless, relentless, forever dancing on Shiva, the God that personifies the consciousness of the universe. Time as we know is the great leveller which creates and destroys the ego. Today, you may be some one known, revered and loved; tomorrow you may end up as a nobody. We think of ourselves as doers and creators of our own destiny.

The truth is that who ever we are and what ever we may become, is a function of time. We are brought into this world as an expression of the universal consciousness by time. As the desires of self expression rise in us, time dances around us and creates the circumstances for that expression. Destiny is nothing but the expression of that universal desire through us. When we are in alignment with that urge of expression, our hands mirror the dance of Kali and we create and manifest the universal expression.

Many people believe the garland of heads or skulls and the freshly severed head worn by kali symbolises the destruction of the ego. Yes, Kali destroys the ego like time does, but the garland of heads symbolises the universal intelligence which is required for the universal expression. However, when the doer starts mistaking himself as the source of this intelligence and creation, Kali ruthlessly severs the ego.

We have all heard the story from Mahabharat where Arjun, who was considered the world’s best archer could not save the ladies of Dwarka from the Bhils that attacked them. He, who was known for his accurate and quick reflexes could not even lift his own bow and watched helplessly as the Bhils carried the women away.

Tulsi, time is bigger than anyone else. The Bhil took the gopis away and the same old Arjun could not do anything (defend them) with his weapons

Kali has created and destroyed powerful civilizations, kings, men and women who thought they were invincible. She has also catapulted ordinary people to greatness.

We, our words, our thoughts, our actions, our creations are all a manifestation of time. We just have to flow with time and let those be created through us. Ego has no place in this creation. We cannot afford to be arrogant or stuck up or insensitive to others in this process for we need to remember that we are mere functions of time. As long as we remember that, the energy of Kali will provide us with all that is required to manifest a beautiful life.


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