Mythological Masti


Mythological Masti
Mythological Masti

Durga Puja Celebrations!! Joy Ma Durga! (Page 5)

.Vrish. Viewbie

Joined: 25 October 2008
Posts: 26250

Posted: 19 October 2011 at 12:14am | IP Logged

Thanks for all your observations.  Can you now post how Kali Puja happened to be celebrated alongside/in place of Diwali in Bengal?

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Debipriya Senior Member

Joined: 03 March 2010
Posts: 932

Posted: 19 October 2011 at 12:23am | IP Logged
 ^ Yes, will definitely try to find the answer about the 'history of Kaali Puja' here, in the future posts in next few days.

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Aradhana87 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 18 September 2007
Posts: 2708

Posted: 25 October 2011 at 7:12am | IP Logged
@Debipriya :)
Thank you very much for answering my question. Those links were really helpful and I found the same that most sites/people tell that Durga saptshloki has same effect as DurgaSaptshati.
Thank you for your efforts and am looking forward to more info regarding Durga/Devi pujas

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DharmaPriyaa IF-Dazzler

Joined: 11 December 2010
Posts: 2927

Posted: 26 October 2011 at 12:23am | IP Logged
Friends, today is Kali Puja in Bengal Smile & Debi didi is unavailable on IF right now, so I am posting this day's specialty on behalf of her.

Goddess Kalika: The Mother of universe

Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. "She who destroys". The name Kali comes from kala, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kala - the eternal time, Kali, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" (as in time has come). Hence, Kali is considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shakta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as
Bhavatarini (literally "redeemer of the universe"). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kali as a benevolent mother goddess. Kali is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Bhadrakali, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.


Kali is the feminine form of kala ("black, dark coloured"). Kala primarily means "black" but also means "time." Kali means "the black one" and also "time" or "beyond time." Kali is strongly associated with Shiva, and Shaivas derive her feminine name from the masculine Kala (an epithet of Shiva). A nineteenth-century Sanskrit dictionary, the Shabdakalpadrum, states: ???? ???? ? ???? ??????? - ???? ? kala? siva? ? tasya patniti kali - "Shiva is Kala, thus, his wife is Kali."

Other names include Kalaratri ("black night"), as described above, and Kalika ("relating to time"). Coburn notes that the name Kali can be used as a proper name, or as a description of color.

Kali's association with black stands in contrast to her consort, Shiva, whose body is covered by the white ashes of the cremation ground (Sanskrit: smasana) in which he meditates, and with which Kali is also associated, as smasana-kali.

Kali is frequently confused with the word kali, as in Kali Yuga or the demon Kali. However, the words Kali ("black, time") and kali ("weak, crude, inarticulate") are etymologically unrelated, and the goddess Kali is not associated with Kali Yuga.


Hugh Urban notes that although the word Kali appears as early as the Atharva Veda, the first use of it as a proper name is in the Kathaka Grhya Sutra (19.7). Kali is the name of one of the seven tongues of Agni, the [Rigvedic] God of Fire, in the Mundaka Upanishad (2:4), but it is unlikely that this refers to the goddess. The first appearance of Kali in her present form is in the Sauptika Parvan of the Mahabharata (10.8.64). She is called Kalaratri (literally, "black night") and appears to the Pandava soldiers in dreams, until finally she appears amidst the fighting during an attack by Drona's son Ashwatthama. She most famously appears in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam as one of the shaktis of Mahadevi, and defeats the demon Raktabija ("Bloodseed"). The tenth-century Kalika Purana venerates Kali as the ultimate reality or Brahman.

According to David Kinsley, Kali is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess around 600 CE, and these texts "usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield." She is often regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, and is closely associated with him in various Puranas. The Kalika Purana depicts her as the "Adi Shakti" (Fundamental Power) and "Para Prakriti" or beyond nature.

In Tantra

Kali Yantra

Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as are the male deities. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva's wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kali who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. In many sources Kali is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities. The Nirvana-tantra says the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva all arise from her like bubbles in the sea, ceaselessly arising and passing away, leaving their original source unchanged. The Niruttara-tantra and the Picchila-tantra declare all of Kali's mantras to be the greatest and the Yogini-tantra, Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra all proclaim Kali vidyas (manifestations of Mahadevi, or "divinity itself"). They declare her to be an essence of her own form (svarupa) of the Mahadevi.

In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kali is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one passage Shiva praises her:

At the dissolution of things, it is Kala [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahakala [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahakala Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kalika. Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [the Primordial One]. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.

The figure of Kali conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she is also a "forbidden thing", or even death itself. In the Pancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation. This is clear in the work of the Karpuradi-stotra, a short praise to Kali describing the Pancatattva ritual unto her, performed on cremation grounds. (Samahana-sadhana)

He, O Mahakali who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with dishevelled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. 0h Kali, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Shakti [his energy/female companion] in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.

The Karpuradi-stotra clearly indicates that Kali is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with Lord Shiva, who is said to be her spouse, she creates and destroys worlds. Her appearance also takes a different turn, befitting her role as ruler of the world and object of meditation. In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear. Here, Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death.

One of the most well respected author Dr. David Frawley, also known as Vamdeva Shastri, has explained the meaning of Beeja Mantra of Ma (Mother) Kali 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 Kali 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.

In Bengali tradition

Kali Puja festival

Kali is also a central figure in late medieval Bengali devotional literature, with such devotees as Ramprasad Sen (1718–75). With the exception of being associated with Parvati as Shiva's consort, Kali is rarely pictured in Hindu mythology and iconography as a motherly figure until Bengali devotions beginning in the early eighteenth century. Even in Bengali tradition her appearance and habits change little, if at all.

The Tantric approach to Kali is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance. In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kali's teachings adopting the attitude of a child, coming to love her unreservedly. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way that things are. These themes are well addressed in Ramprasad's work.

Ramprasad comments in many of his other songs that Kali is indifferent to his wellbeing, causes him to suffer, brings his worldly desires to nothing and his worldly goods to ruin. He also states that she does not behave like a mother should and that she ignores his pleas:

Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone? [a reference to Kali as the daughter of Himalaya]
Were she not merciless, would she kick the breast of her lord?
Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you, Mother.
You have cut off the heads of the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
It matters not how much I call you "Mother, Mother." You hear me, but you will not listen.

To be a child of Kali, Ramprasad asserts, is to be denied of earthly delights and pleasures. Kali is said to refrain from giving that which is expected. To the devotee, it is perhaps her very refusal to do so that enables her devotees to reflect on dimensions of themselves and of reality that go beyond the material world.

A significant portion of Bengali devotional music features Kali as its central theme and is known as Shyama Sangeet ("Music of the Night"). Mostly sung by male vocalists, today even women have taken to this form of music. One of the finest singers of Shyama Sangeet is Pannalal Bhattacharya.

In Bengal, Kali is venerated in the festival Kali Puja - the new moon day of Ashwin month which coincides with Diwali festival.

In a unique form of Kali worship, Shantipur worships Kali in the form of a hand painted image of the deity known as Poteshwari (meaning the deity drawn on a piece of cloth).

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DharmaPriyaa IF-Dazzler

Joined: 11 December 2010
Posts: 2927

Posted: 26 October 2011 at 12:35am | IP Logged


 Slayer of Raktabija

In Kali's most famous myth, Durga and her assistants, the Matrikas, wound the demon Raktabija, in various ways and with a variety of weapons in an attempt to destroy him. They soon find that they have worsened the situation for with every drop of blood that is spilt from Raktabija he reproduces a clone of himself. The battlefield becomes increasingly filled with his duplicates.[17] Durga, in need of help, summons Kali to combat the demons. It is said, in some versions, that Goddess Durga actually assumes the form of Goddess Kali at this time.

The Devi Mahatmyam describes:

Out of the surface of her (Durga's) forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose. Bearing the strange khatvanga (skull-topped staff ), decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger's skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep reddish eyes, filling the regions of the sky with her roars, falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hordes of the foes of the devas.

Kali destroys Raktabija by sucking the blood from his body and putting the many Raktabija duplicates in her gaping mouth. Pleased with her victory, Kali then dances on the field of battle, stepping on the corpses of the slain. Her consort Shiva lies among the dead beneath her feet, a representation of Kali commonly seen in her iconography as Daksinakali.

In the Devi Mahatmya version of this story, Kali is also described as a Matrika and as a Shakti or power of Devi. She is given the epithet Ca?u??a (Chamunda), i.e. the slayer of the demons Chanda and Munda. Chamunda is very often identified with Kali and is very much like her in appearance and habit.


Bhadrakali (A gentle form of Kali), circa 1675.
Painting; made in India, Himachal Pradesh, Basohli,
now placed in LACMA.

In her most famous pose as Daksinakali, it is said that Kali, becoming drunk on the blood of her victims on the battlefield, dances with destructive frenzy. In her fury she fails to see the body of her husband, Shiva, who lies among the corpses on the battlefield. Ultimately the cries of Shiva attract Kali's attention, calming her fury. As a sign of her shame at having disrespected her husband in such a fashion, Kali sticks out her tongue. However, some sources state that this interpretation is a later version of the symbolism of the tongue: in tantric contexts, the tongue is seen to denote the element (guna) of rajas (energy and action) controlled by sattva, spiritual and godly creatures who served as assassins.

If Kali steps with right foot and holds sword in left hand she is considered to be Dakshina Kali. Dakshina Kali Temple has important religious associations with Jagannath Temple and it is believed that Daksinakali is the guardian of the kitchen of the Lord Jagannath Temple. Puranic tradition says that in Puri, Lord Jagannath is regarded as Daksinakalika. Goddess Dakshinakali plays an important role in the 'Niti' of Saptapuri Amavasya.

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 a forest. With fierce companions she terrorizes the surrounding area. 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, and defeats her when she is unable to perform the energetic Tandava dance. Although in this case Kali is defeated, and is forced to control her disruptive habits, there are very few other images or other myths depicting her in such a manner.

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DharmaPriyaa IF-Dazzler

Joined: 11 December 2010
Posts: 2927

Posted: 26 October 2011 at 12:54am | IP Logged
About Kali Puja

The mythology of Kali Puja

Goddess Kali has always enjoyed a significant presence in our culture. She appears in various forms as an embodiment of Shakti, the eternal energy and cosmic power. She is also believed to be the eternal cosmic strength that destroys all existence. Her facial expressions depict the extent of her powers of destruction. The heads she holds in her hand instantly arouses mortal-fear in everybody and her protruding tongue symbolizes the mockery of human ignorance. She is also the Goddess of Tantrism or the Indian Black Magic.

According to Mathology Shiva and Kali are the originating couple of the universe but Kali even mocks Shiva, as if she herself is the unique source of everything. There are several other Avtars of Kali also. One such is a striking contrast is Kali represented as the Benevolent Mother where she is the personification of Eternal Night of Peace. From the canons of orthodox Hinduism Kali, Durga, Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati are all different forms of the Ultimate Power that are revered on different occasions.
It is said that Kali developed her thirst for blood after killing the demon Raktavera, who had acquired a boon of rebirth with his each drop of blood from Lord Brahma. The only way Kali could kill him was to hold him high, pierce him with a spear and drink all his blood as it gushed out. Kali is often portrayed with her tongue hanging out and her mouth dripping blood.

History of Kali Puja

Kali Puja is celebrated on the night of the new moon in Kartik. It is believed that Maharaja Krishan Chandra of Nawabdeep gave an order that everyone, in his domain should worshipp kali and punishment was given to the defaulters. So, 10,000 images of kali started to be worshipped in his domain.

Now, just like all other rituals, the religious sides of Kali Puja has become quite indirect and obscure. In Kolkata and the suburbs, Kali Puja is celebrated with equal pomp and grandeur. Always the images are not fiery looking ubiquitously. In many family Pujas, the sacred form of Goddess Kali is being worshipped as a practice. One cannot forget the extraordinary song penned by the famous poet hailing from Halishahar, Ramprasad Sen who developed a pure human relationship with his hymns. It is believed that Goddess Kali used to appear before him as his daughter. One remembers Rani Rashmoni had established the idol of Goddess Kali at Dakshineswar and had appointed Gadadhar alias Sri Sri Ramkrishna Paramahansa (known worldwide through Swami Vivekananda, his disciple's mission) as Her priest. It was this image of Goddess Kali of Dakshineswar which Swami Vivekananda found awakened and was transcended in another world after coming across the living deity.

Legend behind the Kali Pooja

In the past, the demons Shumbh and Nishumbh attacked all the gods in their heavenly abode. The demons even went as far as to attack Indra, the king of the gods. A large number of battles were fought but ultimately, the demons reigned supreme. They had grown so powerful that the gods were forced to abandon their heavenly abode and seek refuge in the Himalayas. This was the residence of Lord Shiv, and his wife Parvati.

While in the Himalayas, the gods beseeched the goddess Durga to help them. In answer to their prayers, a new goddess emerged from the forehead of goddess Durga. This was the goddess Kali or Kal Bhoi Nashini. She had two escorts, named as Dakini and Jogini. Accompanied by her escorts, the goddess set off to destroy the demons and rescue the heavens and the earth from their clutches.

The battle was long and hard. Finally, the goddess managed to destroy all the demons. She fashioned a garland out of the slain demon's heads and placed it around her neck. However, even after the demons were killed, goddess Kali was lost in the bloodlust. In her fury she began to go on a rampage and kill every living being she came across.

The gods were now in a quandary. Although Kali had destroyed their enemies, they themselves could not return to their homes. They were terrified that she would attack them as well. To counter the bloodlust within his consort, Lord Shiv devised a plan. He lay down before her. When she unknowingly stepped on him in the heat of the moment, she came to her senses and repented for her transgression. It is to celebrate this occasion that the Kali pooja is performed.

Edited by Urmila11 - 26 October 2011 at 1:05am

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DharmaPriyaa IF-Dazzler

Joined: 11 December 2010
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Posted: 26 October 2011 at 1:00am | IP Logged


Kali puja (like Durga Puja) worshipers honor goddess Kali in their homes in the form of clay idols and in pandals (temporary shrines or open pavilions). She is worshipped at night with Tantric rites and mantras. She is prescribed offerings of red hibiscus flowers, animal blood in a skull, sweets, rice and lentils, fish and meat. It is prescribed that a worshipper should meditate throughout the night until dawn. Homes may also practice rites in the Brahmanical (mainstream Hindu-style, non-Tantric) tradition with ritual dressing of Kali in her form as Adya Shakti Kali. Animals are ritually sacrificed on Kali Puja day and offered to the goddess. A celebration of Kali Puja in Kolkata is also held in a large cremation ground where she is believed to dwell.

Replica of the Kalighat Temple central image in a Kali Puja pandal.

The pandals also house images of god Shiva - the consort of Kali, Ramakrishna and Bamakhepa- two famous Bengali Kali devotees along with scenes from mythology of Kali and her various forms along with Mahavidyas, sometimes considered as the "ten Kalis". The Mahavidyas is a group of ten Tantric goddesses headed by Kali. People visit these pandals throughout the night. Kali Puja is also the time for magic shows and theatre, fireworks. Recent custom involves drinking wine.

In the Kalighat Temple in Kolkata, Kali is worshipped as Lakshmi on this day so as to reflect an essence of Vaishnava Haldars on Kali worship. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees who offer animal sacrifices to the goddess. Another famous temple dedicated to Kali in Kolkata is Dakshineswar Kali Temple. The famous Kali devotee Ramakrishna was a priest at this temple. The celebrations have changed little from his time.


The most popular event during Kali Puja is the burning of crackers. Previously, Kali Puja was synonymous with mind-blowing, often earth-shattering sound. It is a welcome relief that such torture has come to an end. The West Bengal Pollution Control Board has clamped down on noisy firecracker manufacturers and has imposed a total ban on it. Ignoring the directive of the Pollution Control Board would invite stiff penalties. Already, policemen have fanned out in various parts of nungi, the largest fireworks manufacturing base in West Bengal to see whether noisy firecrackers are being manufactured illegally. The Government is bent on putting an end to Diwali celebrations as well. Most non-Bengali families somehow procure noisy crackers and burst them with impunity. The police have issued stern warning to those violating the orders of the authorities.

Kali Pooja Celebrations

The Kali pooja is one of the biggest celebrations in West Bengal. Since the goddess plays the role of the destroyer, she is asked to destroy the evil that resides within an individual as well as the evil outside which he is exposed to. She is asked to provide protection from disasters like war, flood, and drought. Praying to her is also believed to bring a devotee good health, wealth, peace and happiness.

Preparations for the Kali pooja are similar to those for the Lakshmi pooja of Diwali. Houses are decorated lavishly. A rangoli is drawn at the entrance of the house, in order to welcome the goddess. Before the pooja begins, earthen lamps are lit in her honour. Pictures or idols of the goddess always depict her with her tongue hanging out. This is to show her astonishment and repentance when she stepped on Lord Shiv.

The Kali pooja is said to be one of the symbols of great power. This pooja is always performed in the evening. Due to its perception as being a source of power, many sadhus (holy men) perform this pooja just before midnight. This is to ask the goddess for supernatural powers so that they might be able to help humanity.

May Maa Kali bless you all! Jai Maa Kali!

Edited by Urmila11 - 26 October 2011 at 1:08am

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NandiniRaizadaa IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 23 October 2010
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Posted: 26 October 2011 at 1:07am | IP Logged
Thanks for sharing Urmila !!!

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