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|This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:|
- 1 Mythology and What it Means
- 2 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
- 3 Kāḷī
- 4 New film reference
- 5 Requested move
- 6 Kali - A Few more Observations
- 7 Latter section "In New Age and Neopaganism"
- 8 Where are the Thuggee?
- 9 Article split
- 10 Veneration
- 11 Should We Mention This in the Article?
- 12 Incomplete
- 13 Should this be worked into the Article somehow?
- 14 Cleanup
- 15 Kali Poem
- 16 Strong objection
- 17 English pronunciation
Mythology and What it Means
Kali is obviously a representation of tribal woman, and through time we see a metaphysical shaping of man to his society by the presented writings and symbols; what is ended is the outsider shown by the death wreath of skulls around the neck (in one statement 52 skulls), while what is loved is the mistress who brings the future as indicated in the writings about Kali. This is part of the cycle of life; birth, life and death that repeats, but here the emphesis is in death we see the demon skulls with the sword. The problem here is the people who follow this false god created a symbol idol, and what happens is in the manifestation of the false god into the human realm is we see society placing their contemporary values into it. Even in Hollywood of the movie industry we see Aphrodite recreated for the television series Valentine, and when the false gods are made manifest in any form it becomes realized the ideal dreams of current society into that symbol, and for entertainment they often add a pantheon of drama with a pageant of drama that also comes form contemporary society; and here in Kali we see the mother symbol with death to the demons that in mythology are the outsiders or death to the defined evil: the symbol means by death to the defined enemy we see eternal life as the mistress is also defined. Our sweetest name is our own, and it transcends our identity until in our self love we go blind to our own identity, including blind to the sins of our religious identity; but we are openly critical of outsiders. Hindu society is vicious to any outsider and even dangerous for Christians, because what was learned is the symbol; and like a hypnotic suggestion, in their blind self love, we see the society act it out for those who learned the symbol as part of their religion: death to the demons that is non-Hindu while loving it as the mother that transcends time (this makes Hindu society supreme in their religion). The mother role is seen in everyday society, and in the cycle of life we see the birth, life, and death; but always there is "mother"; but the skulls really means something as we see it defined to remove demons (outsiders and even the spirit of outsiders--as in remove outside ideas): the other interpretation should be birth defeats death, but we see no birth here, we see death being a trait of Kali with a wreath of skulls and a sword, with the sword that is the local symbol of enforcement of their belief including into death. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 09:02, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
- Are you kidding me? This posting in this discussion shows a complete lack of understanding of Hindu symbolism, of the history of Kali, and a complete lack of respect for any religion other than the person's own, not to mention blatant racism. Hindu society is NOT "vicious to any outsider" nor is it "dangerous for Christians." The sword is not a symbol of enforcement of belief, nor is death the emphasis of Kali's symbolism. Anyone who has spent any time studying the texts and the traditions of West Bengal - where Kali is a primary goddess - would know that. Shakta Scholar (talk) 18:48, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
This person obviously does not know about the history of European colonialism and inquisition: Slavery, diseases, exploitation & death to millions of non-christians by christians and the conquest & vandalism of many great civilazations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 16:30, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
Why is the second Indiana Jones movie not mentioned in the "Film References" section? Kali, or rather the thugee cult which worships Kali, are the antagonists in the film. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 04:30, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Just noting that the name should be "Kāḷī", where the "l" actually "ḷ" (equivalent to the Sanskrit letter: ळ instead of ল). Since Hindi does not have the sound "ळ", it has been written incorrectly in this article. Please amend the mistake, thankyou.Jaimaataa (talk) 08:26, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
- It is a ল, Sanskrit alphabet has no ळ. --Redtigerxyz Talk 12:37, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
- The ळ is from Vedic Sanskrit (not present in medieval Sanskrit, though it is present in Rg Veda). In any case, this suggestion to change the spelling is incorrect. Kālī's name is spelled as such in all the Tantras, the Puranas, etc. Shakta Scholar (talk) 18:51, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
The article title should be Kali, as Wikipedia naming conventions are clear that we use the most common English form of names. I don't know who put it at this awful name and why the page is locked from being moved, but this needs to be fixed. DreamGuy (talk) 21:04, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
New film reference
Kali is mentioned and displayed in statue form in the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Captain Nemo is shown worshipping her, just before he closes the door to his room. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 06:24, 15 April 2009 (UTC)ComicMovieWatcher
Just wanted to let you guys know how excellent this article on Kali is. Even comments are included, and the different, local traditions are explained. This is essential to the understanding of Hinduism. Gods and Goddesses relate very much to their localities and their temples as this is often done in Christianity, particularly in catholicism. Good work! ML — Preceding unsigned comment added by Osterluzei (talk • contribs) 16:18, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Kali - A Few more Observations
The word Kali probably stems from the word 'Kal' meaning 'Time'. 'Kali' is probably the feminine rendition of the masculine word 'Kal'. Assuming this is the case, then the Goddess, who is also known as Mahakali, is one who represents the notion of 'being beyond Time', which may also account for the colour in which she is generally depicted. Associated with this is the word "Shyama', which refers to a darkish-blue colour. It is interesting to note that aside from the Goddess Kali, Krishna and Shiva are also depicted in the same colour. One interpretation of the 'dark' rendition of the Goddess is probably related to her being beyond Time, or as one who cuts the 'bounds of Time'.
It would be incorrect to attribute Death to Kali, though a strong case for her representing 'destruction' may be made. Care should be taken to note that this 'destruction' is the destruction of Time, which is also why her most commonly known consort is Shiva. In this sense Kali repesents the potential for 'birth', rather than an affirmation of 'Death'.
- This comment shows a bit of lack of understanding of the Sanskrit. Kali comes from Kala which primarily means "black" or "dark." However, Kala also means time. Shiva is not depicted as black - he is depicted as white, covered in ash, with a blue throat (from drinking poison which was separated from amrita in the churning of the ocean of milk). Shakta Scholar (talk) 18:54, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
@Shakta Scholar I really don't know if you have spent enough time in India and if you are aware of the fact that the Andhra Kings once had tremendous influence in Bengal,it was during this period the color of the goddesses changed from darkish blue to black.Down south (esp equatorial regions)including Andhra all the Hindu gods right from Lord Krishna to Lord Shiva are painted in black and worshiped by a vast majority the tradition still continues. In fact in THE place where i stay even Lord Hanuman in the Hanuman temple is completely black.So if we go the southern way all the gods will be denoted by black color. I totally agree with Quadruped that Shyama refers to darkish blue color.
- I have lived in India, in various locations. There are certainly regional variations from North to South, East to West, and a variety of forms of Shiva which depict him in various colours; in general, though, the generalized form of Shiva - particularly when paired with Kali - is depicted as white, because he is covered in ash. Of course Bhairava is typically depicted as black, and Maha Kaleshwar is often depicted as black, etc. There is a variety of iconography accompanying different forms of Shiva. However, this belongs in the article on Shiva and is less relevant to a discussion on Kali. Shakta Scholar (talk) 16:21, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Latter section "In New Age and Neopaganism"
The quotation is a gratuitous swipe at feminists, neopagans and the new age movement. That it is a quote does not change the fact that it is opinion not substantiated by any fact listed here. Also, the heavy ellipses point to it being taken out of context. Recommend ending the section at "accusations of cultural misappropriation" and leaving the cite. Also, the heading should be changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hearthmoon (talk • contribs) 21:04, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
- It is a swipe, but not a gratuitous one. Rachel Fell Mcdermott is a contemporary religious scholar who has written a book on contemporary Kali worship. She is thus a good source. If you would like to change the article, I suggest that you find an equally appropriate source to cite. — goethean ॐ 23:03, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
- I agree it could be more balanced, considering there are quite a few Westerners drawn to genuine Kali worship who aren't divorcing her form her Hindu contexts and are very conscious of all the problems involved. The quote makes it seem like all Westerners are doing it wrong, period. McDermott states in Kali's New Frontiers (one of the essays in Encountering Kali) that from the Nineties onwards, she finds that in various Internet circles, there's a trend towards thinking that "cross-cultural borrowing is appropriate and a natural by-product of religious globalization--although such borrowing ought to be done responsibly and self-consciously. If some Kali enthusiasts, therefore, careen ahead, reveling in a goddess of power and sex, many others, particularily since the early 1990s, have decided to reconsider their theological trajectories. These, whether of South Asian descent or not, are endeavoring to rein in what they perceive as excesses of feminist and New Age interpretations of the Goddess by choosing to be informed by, moved by, an Indian view of her character." Would this quote help at all in balancing out the various viewpoints on the matter?--Snowgrouse (talk) 13:38, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
"Unbalanced" is far too bland a description. I find this section to be wholly unbalanced (it could have been written by any Evangelical) and, being based on a single "scholarly" opinion, to be utterly too thin in citation to warrant being included here. Mcdermott's opinion also appears to reveal a great deal of "politically correct" grandstanding, in which Western use of Eastern material is equated to cultural colonialism or cultural imperialism, but historical Eastern use of materials from other Eastern or Western cultures is utterly unquestioned, indeed, untouchable. (As an example, I would refer here to such things as the fact that Indian Buddhism, and its concept and portrayal of the Buddha, was adopted and adapted into different, local interpretations throughout the East [China, Japan, et al.]—yet no charges of "cultural misappropriation" are ever raised about this: nor, because of political correctness, can they be.) Mcdermott seems to be in the forefront of the "politically correct" imposition of those horribly overextended, farcical "intellectual property" concepts and precepts that have come to define the cultural and legal enervation and enfeeblement of current Western enterprise.
This section deserves no more than a footnote that connects to the WP entry for alleged "cultural misappropriation". Its full inclusion in the article means that the article cannot, and must not be listed as a "good article" because it fails item "2." (being obviously non-neutral) under "Quickfails" for that designation.Polemyx (talk) 21:35, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Where are the Thuggee?
- The Thagi are largely fictionalized Victorian fantasy. In any case, any Thagi worship of Kali is irrelevant to the goddess in terms of her iconography, historical development, etc. Should we mention in Jesus's article that he is worshipped by the Ku Klux Klan? In Kali's cultural context in India, Thagi worship isn't even a blip on the radar. Shakta Scholar (talk) 19:00, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
- Now I'm going to have to dig through my books and find some references, Tuggee's were/are more integral to Kali than you seem to realize. While a romanticism did take place, it does not make the facts less real or less important. The Klan are just a bunch of intolerant Christians, the Tuggees worship/ed Kali in a very specific manner, which is separate from common folk traditions. Shakta Devotee —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 07:27, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
- They were, though, at least to the development of the Western concept of Kali. As unfortunate as it is. Many, many 19th and 20th century sources portray her as the goddess of the Thuggee cult, because that's how she was mostly known to the English--through horror stories about the Thuggee and their bloodthirsty goddess. Whether the stories were exaggerated doesn't, sadly, matter--that's how she shows up in a lot of Western literature and cinema until fairly recent times. Those were my first contact with her when growing up in the Eighties, and I suspect they were that to many Westerners until recently. The best thing to do would be to mention the Thuggee connection while also remaining sober about the Victorian horror fantasies and mentioning how exaggerated they were. And how, well, they were just one example of Kali worshippers even if the Victorians painted this as the only image of Kali worship. --Snowgrouse (talk) 15:47, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Fine, but developments in "the Western concept of Kali" don't necessarily bear mentioning here. This isn't a biography of a living person but an article on a diety within Hinduism. I just don't see why other cultures' view of that diety, particularly views that emerged solely from the context of other religious traditions, should be included automatically. It's one thing if a figure appears within multiple religious traditions such as how Jesus appears within Islamic teachings or Buddha appears within Hindu teachings, but when we are only talking about another culture or religion's attack or dubious characterizations of a figure that is very much not a figure within that cultural or religious tradition I don't think it should be included. It's not as though Kali is a figure within Christianity, and it's not as though Western distoritions of Kali are significant to the overall study of Kali or Hinduism. And just like there isn't a portion of Islam's article about Al Qaeda or a portion of Christianity's article about Torquemada, there shouldn't be a portion of this article about the Thagi or how they are perceived by other cultures. I could see sub articles about the Thagi or Western treatments of other dieties within articles on colonialism, but this article should be focussed on Hindu scriptures, teachings, and beliefs concerning Kali. Western views of the Thagi or Kali really are not significant within that context.Jdlund (talk) 02:14, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
- I agree that the iconography sections could be moved to a new article. Doing so would encourage additions to the history (development) section of to this already long article. Accordingly, I have place a template on that section. — goethean ॐ 12:20, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
- Currently, the article is just 26 KB (readable prose). Not too long, well below the 32 KB ideal (WP:SIZE). Iconography is a very important aspect of a Hindu deity and needs a detailed section, especially for a complex deity like Kali, where symbolism is a big part of Iconography. Also note FA Ganesha also has a long Iconography section. Additions to Development and the Iconography section are mutually exclusive. --Redtigerxyz Talk 15:20, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
- I don't think the article really needs to be split. It's not that long, and is certainly readable as-is. It would have to have a whole lot more information in order to be split up. I am, however, going to be working on strengthening the article over the next few months, because there are a lot of weak points with inadequate references, too much opinion, not enough detail, etc. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 05:35, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I have to say this is a pretty poor article. The iconography section is incredibly long, but there is no information at all about how and where Kali is particularly venerated, and the evolution of her worship over time. One would have thought that a religion as uncentralised as hinduism would mean that there was a wealth of useful pertinent information on this topic.
- The article has an "edit button", so there is nothing stopping you from adding information about her veneration. I look forward to what you come up with. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 16:14, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Should We Mention This in the Article?
Killing For "Mother" Kali from Time Magazine:
Human sacrifice has always been an anomaly in India. Even 200 years ago, when a boy was killed every day at a Kali temple in Calcutta, blood cults were at odds with a benign Hindu spiritualism that celebrates abstinence and vegetarianism. But Kali is different. A ferocious slayer of evil in Hindu mythology, the goddess is said to have an insatiable appetite for blood. With the law on killing people more strictly enforced today, ersatz substitutes now stand in for humans when sacrifice is required. Most Kali temples have settled on large pumpkins to represent a human body; other followers slit the throats of two-meter-tall human effigies made of flour, or of animals such as goats.
Of course we should mention it, any article on Kali that does not include sacrifice is woefully inadequate. Both the actual, literal sacrifices to her (hello, Dakshinkali is a major Kali temple in Nepal, and you literally stand in blood, so many are the chickens and goats whose blood goes to honour Mata Kali) and the more metaphorical, devotional aspects of sacrifice to her (many, though not all of them, more modern). That said, good luck adding it in - it will be removed soon after you put it there. Just look at the argument about the Thuggee. They venerated (among others) Kali, but we can't mention them here, because to mention them would be to somehow advocate (???) the British racist use of the Thuggee (or that's what we're told on this page). So no, we can't have any mention of blood on Kali's page. Remember the motto of Wikipedia: "never offend anyone, unless everyone agrees that we should offend them" (why a Kali devotee would be offended that Kali desires blood is beyond me, of course, I suspect it's squeamish Westerners who are really the one's worried about this) 188.8.131.52 (talk) 21:12, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't necessarily think its a hokey distortion to want to downplay the blood sacrifice role. Generally speaking blood sacrifices arent't that common, HOWEVER articles like the on above and many, many, many others have simply sensationalized certain aspects of Hinduism and foisted them upon an unintelligent/uneducated society who have generally gobbled it up as the word of God and therefore distorted what Sanatan Dharma is to the practitioners. Human sacrifices have never occurred at Kalighat. Maybe in the cremation grounds or abandoned temples around the area, but its not recorded in the temple history. If cultural distortion had only been recent in practice, there would be room for dialogue between groups about perspectives on each others cultures, but (and yes I already see you rolling your eyes) the British codified the use of native literature and materials to subjugate the population, make them lose faith in their culture and ultimately adopt a "Western/Civilized" way of life. I completely agree with the above commentors that Thagis should not be included in the article with Kali, it plays no role in the development of the goddess and her worship in mainstream Hinduism (within the 10 philosophical schools). Aside from British sources there is no other real reliable evidence for the existence of an organized cult like the Thagis or for Thug Behram. The more than likely possibility is a sensationalist British media pieced together a dogs mess of folk stories, xenophobia and the countless unsolved highway murders by bandits and dacoits.184.108.40.206 (talk) 18:03, 21 February 2013 (UTC)Rajimus123
I consider this article incomplete without a discussion of the literature on Kali's historic/prehistoric origins, rather than her mythological origins. What do scholars say her origin was? Was she a deity worshiped widely between various indigenous peoples in the subcontinent, and later incorporated into a full fledged Hinduism? How much evidence do we have on the subject, archaeologically and culturally speaking? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 02:31, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Should this be worked into the Article somehow?
"Hearing of these feats, the Raja of the country sent for him and took him into his service; but here also he caused trouble. He insisted on being treated with deference. Going up to the highest officials he would tell them not to twist their moustaches at him, and knock them down. On the throne in the palace when the Raja was absent a pair of the Raja's shoes was placed and every one who passed by had to salaam to these. This our hero flatly refused to do. In fact he became such a nuisance that he was promised that he would be given his pay regularly if he would only stay away from the palace. After this he spent his days in idleness and by night he used to go to the shore and disport himself in the sea.
One night the goddess Kali came to the Raja's palace and knocked at the gate: but no one would come to open it. Just then the prince came back from bathing in the sea. Seeing him, Kali Ma, said that she was so hungry that she must eat him, though she had intended to eat the people in the palace. She, however, promised him that though eaten he should be born again. The boy agreed to form a meal for the goddess on these terms and was accordingly eaten. Afterwards gaining admission to the palace Kali Ma ate up everyone in it except the Raja's daughter. Then our hero was born again and marrying the Raja's daughter succeeded to the kingdom, and lived happily ever after."
I mean, here is a fairly important Santal Pargana tale in which she plays a key role in the ending. So, perhaps the Article on her could somehow refer to this.
There are many mythical stories about Kali in Bengal. Mangala Kavyas contain many stories. Hundreds of them. We can not possible incorporate all these into this article.Sankarrukku (talk) 16:43, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
- There may be countless hundreds of mythical tales, but only 185 of them, most of which do not mention Kali (or at least most don't mention her name), were notable enough to be included in Folklore of the Santal Parganas by Cecil Henry Bompas. In fact, the ending I copied above belongs to 1 of only 2 tales in that entire compilation that actually mention her name, and the other mentions her only very briefly when a character is swearing an oath by her.
- So, doesn't it yield notability that this tale both includes Kali as a key character and is included in such a famous compilation, even without one aspect or the other being notable alone? The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 01:05, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Yesterday was Vipad Tharini Kali Puja celebrated through out Bengal. There is a legend associated with it. But it has not drawn the attention of any western writer. Does it mean that this is not important? No. It is important to understand how Kali is viewed by the general population of Bengal and how she is associated with many aspects of the life of an average Bengali. I can quote other Pujas like Palaharini Kali Puja. These show how Kali is viewed as the Universal mother and a bestower of riches and prosperity in general. But this aspect does not come through in this article.
Than that is the difference between theory and practice. This puzzles many western visitors.
- She's supposed to be a Universal Mother, yes, but what of Kali as an eater? Apart from the concept of her bestowing riches, there is also the notion that the rest of us are food for our Mother. She ate the prince in the story I quoted, and although he was reborn, she also ate the people in the palace who were not to be reborn. Does that occur in most of the other stories as well? I've also read different degrees of that, some where she simply eats some other beings, some where she eventually eats everyone else after a temporary afterlife, and yet another concept of her as "great female, eater of males." The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 19:08, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I removed this mess:
One of the most well respected author Dr. David Frawley, also known as Vāmdeva Shāstri, has explained the meaning of Beeja Mantra of Mā (Mother) Kāli in a lucid manner. The mantra is
"AUM AIM HREEM KLEEM CHAMUNDAYE VICHCHE SWAHA |" Usually this mantra is sung during Bali or animal slaughter. But it has a dominating knowledge aspect to it, which is now very well understood in various world literatures.
Aum — Prayer; Aim — Symbolic of knowledge by Goddess Saraswati; Hreem — Symbolism of transformation; Kleem — Symbolism of confidence or strength; Chamundaye Vichche — Decapitation (Considered as fall of EGO) and Swaha — Sacrifice or Yajna prayer.
This interpretation states that Goddess Kāli through knowledge brings transformation in a devotee by excising the Ego, and then blesses the devotee with enormous strength and confidence.So by this interpretation, animal slaughter is not required for prayering Goddess Kali as Dravya Yajna (material sacrifice). Prayers can be offered to Goddess Kali through Pure Knowledge or Gyan Yajna that is EGO sacrifice.
What do you think of adding the text of the Vivekananda Poem "Kali the Mother"? [In Search of God and other Poems, ISBN 81-85301-274] DaleSteinhauser (talk) 01:35, 13 January 2013 (UTC) DaleSteinhauser
The article, as read today, i.e. 13-08-2013 version says:
One South Indian tradition tells of a dance contest between Shiva and Kali. After defeating the two demons Sumbha and Nisumbha, Kali takes up residence in the forest of Thiruvalankadu or Thiruvalangadu. She terrorizes the surrounding area with her fierce disruptive nature. One of Shiva's devotees becomes distracted while performing austerities, and asks Shiva to rid the forest of the destructive goddess. When Shiva arrives, Kali threatens him, claiming the territory as her own. Shiva challenges Kali to a dance contest; both of them dance and Kali matches Shiva in every step that he takes until Shiva takes the "Urdhalinga" step in which the genitals are exposed. Kali refuses to perform this step as she is a woman and reduces her disruptive acts in the forest. Interestingly enough, this legend in reality doesn't match with the contemporary image of Kali, who dances naked on her husband's chest.
Here the reference 31 says some wrong story about the Goddess Kali, that is too shameless to talk about the Kali & the Shiva. The reference quoted doesn't at all tells anything about this. Request earliest removal of the lines or else cite the proper & true reference. --आशीष भटनागर (talk) 10:56, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
- The first transcription respells the English word, the second one respells the Sanskrit word. Both are correct. They are also similar to each other, but nevertheless both are needed. --Omnipaedista (talk) 13:44, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
- Are you sure that the English pronunciation is different from the Sanskrit one? --Redtigerxyz Talk 13:54, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
- Due to 'happy-tensing' the pronunciation of the last vowel may differ from variety to variety; the Collins English Dictionary gives /ˈkɑːlɪ/, while the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary gives /ˈkɑːli/. Wikipedia by convention usually features the "tense [i]" variety only (note that /i/ means "either ɪ or iː"). In any case, the question of whether they are pronounced the same is irrelevant. Even if they were pronounced exactly the same (which is not the case), we should still include both of them; this is common Wikipedia practice. See also this discussion. --Omnipaedista (talk) 14:19, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
- Each transcription leads to a different IPA help-page which helps the reader identify the language and familiarize themselves with the language-specific conventions. --Omnipaedista (talk) 14:23, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
- Are you sure that the English pronunciation is different from the Sanskrit one? --Redtigerxyz Talk 13:54, 31 July 2014 (UTC)