The divine Mother Kali, manifested in order to destroy the demon Raktabija whom when killed had the power to multiply himself through the drops of his spilt blood on the battle field. Hence the divine mother spread her extensive tongue and drank away the demons blood. Thus preventing more demons coming into existence. ( This is but one story of the fight between maa and the demon there are a few).
the name Kali is derived from KALA, meaning time. She is the power, the controller the benefactor of time which is all destroying and devouring. (as they say time and tide awaits no man) Maa Kali destroys the demons, the evil and the dark from within us, as well as around her children.
Maa Kali's image may appear to be fearful, which has many explanations but remember a queen never fights it is always her rigid form. so maa has taken on this attribute like a demon her persona personified to held captive these demons. kali holds the head of Raktabija in her left upper hand showing the destruction of the evil thinking mind that is only quelled in the face of death. The lower left she holds her bowl to collect the demons blood from spilling onto the fields. but once over fulled she had no choice but to consume it taking the battle now inwards and into spiritually. The right upper hand she holds her sword (kadgha) the might and swiftness as the speed as light that can dipatch all evil from this world in the blink of an eye and the lower right hand the trishul given to her by her consort Lord Shiva to assist her in the battle field. Kali maa wears a garland of skulls(heads) Munda mala which represents the state of destruction and number fifty the number of letters in the hindu alpha bet. but they also the heads of rishis who were bounded to this earth and with only the blessings of the mother could have attained moksh. the blessing was to die by her hands. Her long black untamed uncontrolled hair that absorbs all signifies her freedom from this world. The several hands that makes her apron represents the capacity for work, the kinetic and potential energies hence she is always pleased with the offerings of the work of her devotees.
Maa Kali tongue stuck out is represented as the shame of a companion as she stepped on shiva whilst in her intoxicated state.
Love KALI MAA who is the embodiment of LOVE and the destroyer of all Evil.
The Ten Mahavidyas or ten forms of Kali
• Kali, also called Shyama, is three-eyed, dark-complexioned, fierce, and irascible. She sports a garland of decapitated human heads and a girdle of severed hands, and holds a decapitated head and a bloodied cleaver in two of her hands, while the other two arms gesture bestowal of boons and fearlessness. She s given many other epithets according to the predominance of certain attributes: Smashana-Kali dwells in cremation grounds, Raksha-Kali guards against famine and epidemics, Bhadra-kali is her benign form that can be worshipped in homes, Guhya-Kali and Siddha-Kali are objects of adoration for advanced practitioners of Tantric disciplines and Maha-Kali is the cosmic form of the deity.
• Tara, as described in the context of the Mahavidyas, is much like Kali. She is dark, short, and large-bellied, wears a tiger skin and a necklace of severed heads, sports her hair in a single braid and stands upon a burning pyre. Her worship was especially popular in Kashmir. She is also revered as an important deity---in such forms as Sita-tara, Shyama-tara, Pita-tara, Nila-tara and Khadiravani-tara---in Mahayana Buddhism.
•Shodashi is the benign form of the Devi---a beautiful girl of sixteen with a ruddy complexion, worshipped from Kashmir to Kerala. In her the divine power reached its fullness. Her name signifies this fullness of beauty and grandeur much like the full moon displaying all its sixteen parts. Because of her beauty and grandeur she is also known as Tripurasundari and Rajarajeshwari. Nearly fifty forms are attributed to her which shows her wide popularity.
• Bhuvaneshwari is another benign form of the Devi. Her sattvic nature is reflected in her bright complexion. Her control of the elements is represented by the noose and goad that she holds, and her grace by the fruit in her hand.
• Bhairavi has a red complexion, sports a garland of severed heads, and holds a rosary and a book in two of her four hands, the other two bestowing boons and fearlessness. Siddha-bhairavi, Tripura-bhairavi, and Bhuvaneshwara-bhairavi are some of the other names of this deity. She is associated with Batuk-bhairava as her consort.
• Chhinnamasta stands naked in the cremation ground with a blood-stained scimitar in one hand and her own severed head---drinking the warm blood gushing from her headless trunk—in the other.
• Dhumavati is visualized as a pale, tall elderly, edentulous, querulous widow, with disheveled hair and dirty clothes. Afflicted with hunger, she holds a winnowing basket in her hand and is seen astride a crow.
•Bagala is golden hued with the head of a crane. Seated on a lotus she has a noose and a thunderbolt in two of her hands. She holds an enemy by the tongue while chastising him with a club. According to the Sammohana Tantra she manifested herself near the Haridra Lake in Saurashtra, in response to Vishnu’s penance to help quell a storm that threatened to destroy the worlds.
• Matangi or Sumukhi, manifested on earth when the Devi was propitiated by Rishi Matanga, according to the Brahma Yamala. Dark colored, she is seen seated on an ornamented throne has the crescent moon on her forehead and wields a noose a goad, a sword, and a shield in each of her four arms.
• Kamala is the goddess of prosperity---and is thus a manifestation of Lakshmi. She is golden-hued and exquisitely beautiful and is described as seated on a red lotus, holding lotuses in her hands, and attended by elephants pouring out pitcherfuls of water over her.
101 NAMES OF SHAKTI KALI
1 hrim kali : She who is All of Maya, she who takes away darkness
2 srim karali : she who gives Increase of perfect respect, who is formidable
3 krim kalyani: she who is the cause of dissolution of the subtle body into the
casual body, Welfare
4 kalavati : she who manifests all qualities
5 kamala : she who is the lotus one
6 kalidarpaghni : she who destroys the pride of the age of darkness
7 karpardisakrpanvita : she who gives grace to the one of matted hair
8 kalika : she who is the cause of taking away the darkness
9 kalamata she who is the mother of time
10 kalanalasamadyutih : she who is radiant as the fire of times
11 kapardini : she who wears matted hair
12 karalasya : She who has a gaping mouth
13 karunamrtasagara : She who is the ocean of the nectar of compassion
14 krpamayi : she who is the manifestation of grace
15 krpadhara : She who is the supporter of grace
16 krpapara : She who is beyond grace
17 krpagama : She who moves in grace
18 krsanuh : She who is beyond all grace
19 kapila : She who is the giver of nourishment
20 krsna : She who is black, doer of all
21 krsnanandavivarddhini : She who is the distributor of bliss of the doer of all
22 kalaratrih : She who is the dark night of overcoming Egotism
23 kamarupa “ She who is the form of Desire
24 kamapasavimocani : She who cuts the bondage of desire
25 kadambini : She who is like a dark cloud
26 kaladhara : she who supports all qualities
27 kalilalmasanasini : She who destroys the evils of the age of darkness
28 kumaripujanaprita : She who loves the worship of the ever pure one
29 kumaripujakalaya : She who is the Time of worship of the ever pure one
30 kumaribhojanananda : She who is the Bliss of feeding the ever pure one
31 kumarirupadharini : She who wears the form of the ever pure one
32 kadambavanasancara : she who roams in the forest of the kadamba trees
33 kadambavanavasini : She who dwells in the forest of the Kadamba trees
34 kadambapuspasantosa : She who is satisfied with the flowers of kadamba trees
35 kadambapuspamalini : She who wears a garland of flowers of kadamba trees
36 kisori : she who is young
37 kalakantha : she who se throat is dark
38 kalanadaninadini : She who is the disseminator of the subtle vibrations of
39 kadambaripanarata : She who drinks the nectar of the kadamba fruit
40 kadambaripriya : She who enjoys the nectar of the kadamba fruit
41 kapalapatranirata : She who holds a bowl made of skull
42 kankalamalyadharini : She who wears a garland of skulls
43 kamalasanasantusta : She who is pleased to sit on the lotus flower
44 kamalasanavasini : She who sits on the seat of the lotus flower
45 kamalalayamadhyastha : She who is established in the middle space of the
46 kamalamodamodini : she who is intoxicated from the intoxication of the lotus
47 kalahamsagatih : She who moves with the gait of a black swan
48 klaibyanasini : She who is the destroyer of iniquity
49 kamarupini : She who is the intrinsic nature of desire
50 kamarupakrtavasa : She whose desire is the form of desires
51 kamapithavilasini : She who resposes in the center of worship of desire
52 kamaniya : She who is desired
53 kalpalata : She who is all desires
54 kamaniyavibhusana : she who is the manifestation of that which is desired
55 kamaniyagunaradhya : She who is pleased with the quality of tenderness
56 komalangi : She who has tender limbs
57 krsodari : She who has slender waist
58 karanamrtasantosa : She who is the cause of the nectar Satisfaction
59 karananandasiddhida : She who is the cause of giving the perfect attainment
60 karananandajapesta : She who is the cause of bliss recitation
61 karanarcanaharsita : She who is the cause of the delight from offering
62 karanarnavasammagna : She who is the cause of moving in waves or cycles
63 karanavratapalini : She who is the cause of protecting vows
64 kasturisaurabhamoda : She who gives the intoxicating scent of musk to deers
65 kasturitilakojjvala : She who is the shining tilak of musk
66 kasturipujanarata : She who rejoices in the worship with musk
67 kasturipujakapriya : She who is the beloved of the worship with musk
68 kasturidahajanani : She who is the mother of the radiance of musk
69 kasturimrgatosini : She who delights deer with musk
70 kasturibhojanaprita : She loves food cooked with musk
71 kaarpuramodamodita : She who becomes extremely pleased from the offering
72 karpuramalabharana : She who displays a garland covered by camphor
73 karpuracandanoksita : she who enjoys sandalwood mixed with camphor
74 karpurakaranahlada : She who gives the cause of joy with camphor
75 karpuramrtapayini : She who drinks the nectar with camphor
76 karpurasagarasnata : She who bayhes in the ocean of camphor
77 karpurasagaralaya : She who dissolves in the ocean of camphor
78 kurcabijajapaprita : She who loves recitation of the kurca bija mantra hum
79 kurcajapaparayana : She who always recites the kurca Bija Mantra Hum
80 kulina : She who is of excellent family
81 kaulikaradhya : She who is adored by practitioners of kulacara
82 kaulikapriyakarini : She who is the cause of love to the practioners of
kulacara, the behaviour of excellence
83 kulacara : She who is the behaviour of excellence
84 kautukini : She who is the joyous one
85 kulamargapradarsini : She who illuminates the path to excellence
86 kasisvari : She who is the joyous one
87 kastahartri : She who takes away all difficulties
88 kasisavaradayini : She who gives blessings to Siva, the lord of Kasi
89 kasisvarakrtamoda : She who causes the male lord to be intoxicated
90 kasisvaramanorama : She who is the beauty of the lord of Kasi
91 kalamanjiracarana : She who moves swiftly to remove darkness
92 kvanatkancivibhusana : She who has tinkling bells at her girdle
93 kancanadrikrtagara : She who dwells in the mountain of gold
94 kancanacalakaumudi : She who displays radiant wealth on the top of her cloth
95 kamabijajapananda : She who is the bliss of the recitation of bija mantra of
96 kamabijasvarupini : She who is the intrinsic nature of the bija mantra Krim
98 kulakamini : She who is the entire family of desires
99 krim : She who dissolves the subtle body into the casual body
100 hrim : She who is all of maya, what can be perceived through the senses,
conceived in the mind, or known through intuition and beyond
101 srim : She who is the ultimate respect, the perfect perception of peace in the
mind and peace in the heart.
These are known as the hundred names of the foremost goddess, she who takes away darkness that begins with the letter Ka. By means of these mantras the fear of time is destroyed and one attains union with the intrinsic nature of the form She who takes away the darkness, the most excellent manifested cause.
[Mari, Mariyamma and Marikamba, all denote a grama devata (village goddess) who is very popular in most of the villages of South India. While most of the people believe that she is the goddess Kali (created by goddess Parvathy to kill Raktha Bheeja) or the form of Renuka Devi who was the mother of Parasurama, some people believe that she is Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas and yet others believe that she is Vasugi, the wife of Thiruvalluvar. Mostly her form in the temple is ferocious. She is considered as a goddess who would punish, if not propitiated properly. Invariably the priest in her temples does not belong to the Brahmin caste and the agamas for her worship are very much different from the normal Hindu temples. Most of her temples do not have buildings and in some cases she is represented simply by a granite stone in a village field. In some cases she is represented only by the statue of her head with local villagers believing that the entire village is her body. One of her most famous temple for her is in Samayapuram near the town of Trichy in Tamil Nadu. This temple is built of stone and is architecturally wonderful. There is also a very famous temple for her in the city of Singapore. In many temples, there is a ritual walk on burning embers by her devotees. These embers are never called fire but Flowers. In some other temples the women devotees carry a mud pot containing burning embers kept over Margosa leaves in their bare hand during festivals to please her. In some cases, after bath in the nearby river, women go to her temple dressed in a saree like clothing made of Margosa leaves. Animal sacrifices are often carried out, the preferred animals being goat and buffalo. After the sacrifice the meat of these animals is carried round her temples in a bamboo basket. This was also called Karagam and is the forerunner of Karagattam of the present day, which is a dance balancing a pot on the head. Another form of worship is for the devotees to hang on a crane (Chedil) with a hook pierced in their body or tied to the pole by cloth. She is considered to be responsible for the pox epidemics which used to wipe away entire villages in the bye gone era. People believed that she did not tolerate any clinical treatment for such diseases except worshipping her and caressing the eruptions of the pox (called Muthu - pearls) with margosa leaves. People believed that in a pox affected person, she has come in person and would not go away unless she is propitiated. One such form of propitiation is the singing of Mariamman Thalattu (Lullaby to mariamman) accompanied by fast playing of a small drum. The song written in a folk music style does not obey any rules of Lullabies except that it is aimed at soothing the Mariamman rather than the baby, The language used is not literal Tamil but spoken Tamil. It is believed to be ancient but references to instruments like Clarinet (a western musical instrument), reference to the invasion of Marathas etc., indicate that additions to the lullaby took place as per the local times and the imaginative approach of the singer. The Lullaby starts with a prayer to Ganesa and then prayer to Goddess Saraswathi. A request is made to her for help in singing the story of Mari. This is followed by the Lullaby. Though not written in the Stotra style, the lullaby sings praise of Goddess Mari, mentions her various forms, mentions her companions, mentions the acts of devotees for getting her favour, contains in various places of her worship, prayer to her to remove the small pox eruptions from the body etc. More than being poetic, it clearly brings out the utter devotion and the colossal fear in the mind of her devotees. Several references to Puranic gods are made She in some places is referred to as the sister of Lord Krishna (the girl who was born to Yasoda, at the same time when lord Krishna was born to Devaki), there is reference to the yantras in the body, to Sri Chakra worship, to several village gods of Tamil Nadu and so on. There is also mention of her interaction with several Gods of the Vedas and Puranas.]