What happens when you worship Kali? To answer in one sentence, one can achieve the impossible things. In this world, any task that seems impossible can be done in a snap, with the grace of Ma Kali.
How does it happen? With the grace of Kali, the time movement speeds up. The karma matures faster. The bad karma gets smashed quickly. The experiences of karma from many births get experienced and drained in one birth. There is no energy in the world that can stand against Maha Kali. When She herself is happy with one’s worship, nothing is impossible for the seeker.
Saisha prasanna varada nRuNam bhavathi muktaye says Devi Sapta Sati. It means - when Devi is happy with the worship and ready to give boons, one can attain salvation. When salvation itself becomes easy, cannot the mundane desires be fulfilled? Cannot a person get pebbles, when he already owns the Kohinoor? There is no need. During the time when Vivekananda was still Narendra, he had a vision in meditation. He was around twenty years old. He saw Kali mantra glowing with sparkling light during his meditation. Usually, this state results in the awakening of Kundalini, the lower part of the spine experiencing electric shock-like vibrations. Also, it feels as if something rapidly crawling inside the spine. Swami Satyananda Saraswati when he experienced the first awakening of Kundalini, felt as if the earth under him is shattered and he experienced as if he was falling into the underworld.
Some people may have other experiences. Even more fortunate ones may have the real vision of Ma Kali. It depends on the maturity of karma and mental sanctity. It requires a lot of spiritual practice to bear the appearance of Ma Kali. It is not at all an easy matter.
Actually, what does it mean by ‘vision of God’? The energies of higher vibratory levels, not related to our world, take the form to descend to our mind level to make them visible to us. When this happens, the practitioner must have the power to bear these vibrations. What would happen, if one does not have it?
Let me explain with an example. What happens when one lakh volts current flows into a small bulb? It gets blasted. The same way, if the power to bear the vision of goddess is lacking, one’s brain circuits fail and he becomes mad. Or else, one gets a heart attack because of the shock. So, appearances of God, particularly, visions of Shakti such as Ma Kali cannot happen that quick. The reason is none other than the grace of God, not because they don’t want to appear. They know that the seeker cannot bear the vision as yet, so, only when the practitioner gets necessary maturity through penance, they appear.
In another instance, Vivekananda had a vision of a golden shiny gorgeous triangle in his meditation. As he reported this to Sri Ramakrishna, he was happy and said, “Today, you had the vision of universal source. I too had its vision during the days of my tantric practices, however, I saw many universes taking birth through it continuously.” This particular vision could not happen to Vivekananda because he was lesser in spiritual power to Sri Ramakrishna. It means Sri Ramakrishna saw the source of creative power that produces many galaxies continuously. Not only that, in the vision of Sri Ramakrishna, that power source has entered into him and merged into him, giving him the feeling that he himself, was that power source. Ma Kali is none other than the kundalini power. This is because, in every human, the same universal source stays in a dormant state. The lack of ability to feel the subtle levels of Being is the “dormant state”. The practitioners of Kali mantra can experience the awakening of Kundalini, automatically and easily. The mantra of Kali raises wonderful functional energy. The kundalini power that was in a dormant state is also awakened by the mantra easily.
Ma Kali wears cut-human arms covering her groin. As I wrote many times in the past, the pictures of our deities are symbols of spiritual truths. There are hidden meanings behind these pictures. I will explain the meaning of the idol of Kali, now. Humans work with hands. If there is no hand, humans cannot work. Meaning, human hand is the sign of functional power. Ma Kali is the hidden functional power that makes all the humans work using their hands. Another secret meaning is, to have the vision of Kali, human need to stop functioning completely, meaning, ‘resign your will to God’ is the meaning behind this sign. It means people like Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi, who were totally dependent on God, and stopped doing karma, can reach the lap of Universal Mother, Kali. Even Veda says the same.
NakarmaNaa naprajayaa DhanEna thyaagEnaikEnamRuthathwa maanasu - ‘Human can attain immortality not through Karma, nor children, nor money but only through giving up’. In this manner, the cut-arms indicate the sacrifice of karma. Only the sacrifice of karma can reach the lap of the mother. Would you say that this kind of sacrifice is not possible? Yes, that is why the vision of Ma Kali too is not possible to everyone. The Mother wears a garland of skulls around her neck. Let us understand the meaning behind this. According to the science of Tantra, these skulls are fifty. They are the fifty alphabets of Sanskrit language. This garland of skulls is called Varnamala. These skulls are nothing but the 16 vowels and 34 consonants forming 50 alphabets. The word Akshara has a wonderful meaning. Aksharas are those, which are beyond Kshara (destruction). Humans may die, the world may shatter, but Sound remains. These letters have the form of sound, so they do not have any extinction. This reminds me of the hymn vagartha viva samprktau. Kalidasa says that Siva and Shakti are like sound and its meaning. It means both of them are crafted into one another like sound and its meaning. Skulls indicate eternity. Why? Skulls exist for thousands of years even after the death of a human. Skull is a very important part of the human body. The thought-provoking brain is lying in the skull. Similarly, the eternal sounds too are pure like the skulls. Words like skulls, contain ‘the fate of all humans’ written in them. So, Ma Kali wears them around her neck. She is the personification of all letters (sounds) starting from A to Ha. Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon), after reading the book ‘Varnamala’ in Sanskrit, got inspired and wrote a wonderful book called ‘The Garland of Letters’ explaining the Tantric concepts. There is a hidden meaning to ‘garland of skulls’. These letters exist in fifty petals of chakras, or energy vortexes which are familiar to Kundalini Yogis. The petals of the flowers or the spokes of the wheels are as under; Flower of Muladhara = 4 petals.
Flower of Swadhistana = 6 petals.
Flower of Manipuraka = 10 petals
Flower of Anahata = 12 petals
Flower of Visuddha = 16 petals
Flower of Ajna = 2 petals
All together 50 petals contain the fifty letters in the form of sound vibrations. All the mantras are nothing but various combinations of these fifty letters. Therefore, Mother is the the embodiment of all mantras.
The practice of kundalini along with chants of root letters is called Rahoyaga. This is the internal sacrifice procedure in the worship of Sri Vidya. It is similar to outer fire ritual, but done internally. These practitioners are called secret Yogis/Yoginis. It means, their practice is not visible to the world. The same procedure is explained in Lalitha sahasranama, rahO yaga kramaradhya rahastarpaNa tarpita prays the mother “you are the one worshipped in the process of rahOyaga, salute to you who is soaked in libation called rahass. In Astro science, the worship of Kali is a very good solution to address the suffering caused by Saturn. The reason is, Saturn is representative of the lord of death, Yama, who is a symbol of time. Ma Kali can destroy even Time. So, worshipping Kali is the best solution to the problems posed by Saturn, as well as the seven years of difficult period caused by Saturn’s transit. However, this requires a principled and egoless life. Only then, Mother’s grace descends upon the seeker, if the rules are broken, the results will be disastrous.There are many secrets related to Kali. Let us discuss them at a later date.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Ranganath D, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on July 8, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.