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Her most well known appearance on the battlefield is in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam. The deity of the first chapter of Devi Mahatmyam is Mahakali, who appears from the body of sleeping Vishnu as goddess Yoga Nidra to wake him up in order to protect Bramha and the World from two demons Madhu and Kaitabha.
When Vishnu woke up he started a war against the two demons. After a long battle with lord Vishnu when the two demons were undefeated Mahakali took the form of Mahamaya to enchant the two asuras. When Madhu and Kaitabha were enchanted by Mahakali, Vishnu killed them.
In the later chapters the story of two demons can be found who were destroyed by Kali. Chanda and Munda attack the goddess Durga. Durga responds with such anger that her face turns dark and Kali appears out of her forehead. She immediately defeats the two demons. Later in the same battle, the demon Raktabija is undefeated because of his ability to reproduce himself from every drop of his blood that reaches the ground. Countless Raktabija clones appear on the battlefield.
Kali eventually defeats him by sucking his blood before it can reach the ground, and eating the numerous clones. Parvati is typically portrayed as a benign and friendly goddess.
The Linga Purana describes Shiva asking Parvati to defeat the demon Daruka, who received a boon that would only allow a female to kill him.
Her bloodlust gets out of control, only calming when Shiva intervenes. When Shiva addresses Parvati as Kali, "the black one," she is greatly offended.
Mahakali (1988) - Quotes - IMDb
Parvati performs austerities to lose her dark complexion and becomes Gauri, the golden one. Her dark sheath becomes Kausiki, who while enraged, creates Kali. In relation to Siva, she [Kali] appears to play the opposite role from that of Parvati.
Parvati calms Siva, counterbalancing his antisocial or destructive tendencies; she brings him within the sphere of domesticity and with her soft glances urges him to moderate the destructive aspects of his tandava dance. It is never Kali who tames Siva, but Siva who must calm Kali.
Another story involving Kali is her escapade with a band of thieves. The thieves wanted to make a human sacrifice to Kali, and unwisely chose a saintly Brahmin monk as their victim.
Mahakali | Indian Movie (Film): Year 1988
The radiance of the young monk was so much that it burned the image of Kali, who took living form and killed the entire band of thieves, decapitating them and drinking their blood. They soon find that they have worsened the situation for with every drop of blood that is dripped from Raktabija he reproduces a clone of himself.
The battlefield becomes increasingly filled with his duplicates. The Devi Mahatmyam describes: In both of her forms, she is described as being black in colour but is most often depicted as blue in popular Indian art. Her eyes are described as red with intoxication, and in absolute rage, her hair is shown disheveled, small fangs sometimes protrude out of her mouth, and her tongue is lolling. She is often shown naked or just wearing a skirt made of human arms and a garland of human heads.
She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on the calm and prostrate Shiva, usually right foot forward to symbolize the more popular Dakshinamarga or right-handed path, as opposed to the more infamous and transgressive Vamamarga or left-handed path.
She has ten faces, ten feet, and three eyes for each head. She has ornaments decked on all her limbs. There is no association with Shiva. And because of her terrible form, she is also often seen as a great protector.
Kali - Wikipedia
When the Bengali saint Ramakrishna once asked a devotee why one would prefer to worship Mother over him, this devotee rhetorically replied, "Maharaj, when they are in trouble your devotees come running to you. But, where do you run when you are in trouble? Two of these hands usually the left are holding a sword and a severed head.
The sword signifies divine knowledge and the human head signifies human ego which must be slain by divine knowledge in order to attain moksha. The other two hands usually the right are in the abhaya fearlessness and varada blessing mudras , which means her initiated devotees or anyone worshipping her with a true heart will be saved as she will guide them here and in the hereafter.
Hindus believe Sanskrit is a language of dynamism , and each of these letters represents a form of energy, or a form of Kali. Therefore, she is generally seen as the mother of language, and all mantras. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities—she will continue to exist even when the universe ends.
It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her  Main article: Mahakali, in Sanskrit , is etymologically the feminized variant of Mahakala or Great Time which is interpreted also as Death , an epithet of the God Shiva in Hinduism. Mahakali is the presiding Goddess of the first episode of the Devi Mahatmya. Here she is depicted as Devi in her universal form as Shakti.
Here Devi serves as the agent who allows the cosmic order to be restored. Kali is depicted in the Mahakali form as having ten heads, ten arms, and ten legs. Each of her ten hands is carrying a various implement which vary in different accounts, but each of these represent the power of one of the Devas or Hindu Gods and are often the identifying weapon or ritual item of a given Deva.
The implication is that Mahakali subsumes and is responsible for the powers that these deities possess and this is in line with the interpretation that Mahakali is identical with Brahman. While not displaying ten heads, an "ekamukhi" or one headed image may be displayed with ten arms, signifying the same concept: Daksinakali[ edit ] Dakshina Kali, with Siva devotedly at her feet Daksinakali, also spelled Dakshinakali, is the most popular form of Kali in Bengal.
There are various versions for the origin of the name Dakshinakali. Such gifts are traditionally given with the right hand. One version of the origin of her name comes from the story of Yama , lord of death, who lives in the south daksina.
The pose shows the conclusion of an episode in which Kali was rampaging out of control after destroying many demons. Shiva, fearing that Kali would not stop until she destroyed the world, could only think of one way to pacify her.
He lay down on the battlefield so that she would have to step on him.
Seeing her consort under her foot, Kali realized that she had gone too far, and calmed down. Most have to do with battle imagery and tantric metaphysics.
The most popular however is a devotional view. In fact, Siva is said to have become so enchanted by Kali that he performed austerities to win her, and having received the treasure of her feet, held them against his heart in reverence. He was a noted Bengali leader of the 17th century, author of a Tantra encyclopedia called Tantrasara. According to hearsay - Kali appeared to him in a dream and told him to popularize her in a particular form that would appear to him the following day.
The next morning he observed a young woman making cow dung patties. While placing a patty on a wall, she stood in the alidha pose, with her right foot forward. When she saw Krishnananda watching her, she was embarrassed and put her tongue between her teeth. Krishnananada took his previous worship of Kali out of the cremation grounds and into a more domestic setting.
The 24 foot high idol is worshipped and revered by the masses. The most common shows her with four arms and hands, showing aspects of creation and destruction. The two right hands are often held out in blessing, one in a mudra saying "fear not" abhayamudra , the other conferring boons.
Her left hands hold a severed head and blood-covered sword. The sword severs the bondage of ignorance and ego, represented by the severed head. Her blackness represents that she is nirguna , beyond all qualities of nature, and transcendent.
This represents an episode where Kali was out of control on the battlefield, such that she was about to destroy the entire universe. Shiva pacified her by laying down under her foot, both to receive her blessing, but also to pacify and calm her.
Shiva is sometimes shown with a blissful smile on his face. This can symbolize the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and therefore as the primordial sound of Aum from which all creation proceeds.