The Hindu Goddess associated with empowerment, Shakti ( power / cosmic energy). She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati / Shakti). The name Kali comes from Kaala which means black, or Kaal which means the time – the time of "Death" (for the demons / evils).
Kali is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger. The figure of K?li conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality.
Kali is portrayed mostly in two forms: the popular four-armed form and the ten-armed Mahakali form. In both of her forms, she is described as being black in color 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.
In her each hand, she is carrying variously a sword, a trishul (trident), a severed head and a bowl or skull-cup (kapala) catching the blood of the severed head. The other two hands (usually the right) are in the pose of abhaya (fearlessness) and varadan (blessing), 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.
She is often shown naked or just wearing a skirt made of human arms and a garland of 108 human heads along her neck. She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on a seemingly lying Shiva on ground, usually right foot forward.
In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali Ma is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And because of her terrible form, she is also often seen as a great protector. She is the protector of the good and destroyer of the Bad..!
There is a legend for the reason behind her standing on what appears to be Lord Shiva lying under her feet, which translates as follows:
Once Kali had destroyed all the demons in battle, she began a terrific dance due to her anger. The entire world began to tremble and sway under the impact of her dance. So, at the request of all the Gods, Shiva himself asked her to desist from this behavior. However, she was too angry and intoxicated to listen. Hence, Lord Shiva, lay like a corpse among the slain demons in order to absorb the shock of the dance into himself. When Kali eventually stepped upon Shiva, she realized she was trampling and hurting her husband and settled down slowly and forgets her anger.
Please note: This is just a very brief introduction about Hindu Gods, our guide would be happy to provide you with the details regarding the culture and the stories related to the different religions of India and their Gods, each day on your tour journey, as per your interest.
Click To Read > The Holy Cow - Why Do Hindu Worship The Cow?
Click To Read > Sacred and Holy River of India - The Ganga or Ganges