^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ SYMBOLS OF TWELVE MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^




October 27, 1882 
Different manifestations of Kāli:
Mother Kali
KESHAB (with a smile): "Describe to us, sir, in how many ways Kāli, the Divine Mother, sports in this world."

MASTER (with a smile): "Oh, She plays in different ways.  It is She alone who is known as Maha-Kāli, Nitya-Kāli, Smasana-Kāli, Raksha-Kāli, and Syama-Kāli.  Maha-Kāli and Nitya-Kāli are mentioned in the Tantra philosophy.  When there were neither the creation, nor the sun, the moon, the planets, and the earth  and when darkness was enveloped in darkness, then the Mother, the Formless One, Maha-Kāli, the Great Power, was one with Maha-Kala, the Absolute. 

"Syama-Kāli has a somewhat tender aspect and is worshipped in the Hindu  households.  She is the Dispenser of boons and the Dispeller of fear.  People worship Raksha-Kāli, the Protectress, in times of epidemic, famine, earthquake, drought, and flood.  Smasana-Kāli is the embodiment of the power of destruction.  She resides in the cremation ground, surrounded by corpses, jackals, and terrible female spirits.  From Her mouth flows a stream of blood, from Her neck hangs a garland of human heads, and around Her waist is a girdle made of human hands. 

Beginning of a cycle:
"After the destruction of the universe, at the end of a great cycle, the Divine Mother garners the seeds for the next creation.  She is like the elderly mistress of the house, who has a hotchpotch-pot in which she keeps different articles for household use.  (All laugh.)

"Oh, yes! Housewives have pots like that, where they keep 'sea-foam', blue pills, small bundles of seeds of cucumber, pumpkin, and gourd, and so on.  They  take them out when they want them.  In the same way, after the destruction of the universe, my Divine Mother, the Embodiment of Brahman, gathers together the seeds for the next creation.  After the creation the Primal Power dwells in the universe itself.  She brings forth this phenomenal world and then pervades it.  In the Vedas creation is likened to the spider and its web.  The spider brings the web out of itself and then remains in it.  God is the container of the universe and also what is contained in it. 

"Is Kāli, my Divine Mother, of a black complexion? She appears black because She is viewed from a distance; but when intimately known She is no longer so.  The sky appears blue at a distance; but look at it close by and you will find that it has no colour.  The water of the ocean looks blue at a distance, but when you go near and take it in your hand, you find that it is colourless."

The Master became intoxicated with divine love and sang:
Is Kāli, my Mother, really black? 
The Naked One, of blackest hue, 
Lights the Lotus of the Heart.  .  .  . 

The Master continued: "Bondage and liberation are both of Her making.  By Her Maya worldly people become entangled in 'woman and gold', and again, through Her grace they attain their liberation.  She is called Saviour, and the remover of the bondage that binds one to the world."

Divine Mother's sport:
Then the Master sang the following song in his melodious voice:
In the world's busy market-place, O Syama, Thou art flying kites;
High up they soar on the wind of hope, held fast by maya's string.
Their frames are human skeletons, their sails of the three gunas made;
But all their curious workmanship is merely for ornament.
Upon the kite-strings Thou hast rubbed the manja-paste of worldliness,
So as to make each straining strand all the more sharp and strong.
Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two break free;
And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them!
On favouring winds, says Ramprasad, the kites set loose will speedily
Be borne away to the Infinite, across the sea of the world.

The Master said: "The Divine Mother is always playful and sportive.  This universe is Her play.  She is self-willed and must always have Her own way.  She is full of bliss.  She gives freedom to one out of a hundred thousand."

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "But, sir, if She likes, She can give freedom to all.  Why, then, has She kept us bound to the world?"

MASTER: "That is Her will.  She wants to continue playing with Her created beings.  In a game of hide-and-seek the running about soon stops if in the beginning all the players touch the 'granny'.  If all touch her, then how can the game go on? That displeases her.  Her pleasure is in continuing the game.

Therefore the poet said:
Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two break free; 
And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them!

Reassurance to householders:
"It is as if the Divine Mother said to the human mind in confidence, with a sign from Her eye, 'Go and enjoy the world.' How can one blame the mind? The mind can disentangle itself from worldliness if, through Her grace, She makes it turn toward Herself.  Only then does it become devoted to the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother."

Whereupon Sri Ramakrishna, taking upon himself, as it were, the agonies of all householders, sang a song complaining to the Divine Mother:
Mother, this is the grief that sorely grieves my heart, 
That even with Thee for Mother, and though I am wide awake,
There should be robbery in my house.  
Many and many a time I vow to call on Thee, 
Yet when the time for prayer comes round, I have forgotten.
Now I see it is all Thy trick.

As Thou hast never given, so Thou receivest naught; 
Am I to blame for this, O Mother? Hadst Thou but given, 
Surely then Thou hadst received; 
Out of Thine own gifts I should have given to Thee.  
Glory and shame, bitter and sweet, are Thine alone; 
This world is nothing but Thy play.  
Then why, O Blissful One, dost Thou cause a rift in it?

Says Ramprasad: Thou hast bestowed on me this mind, 
And with a knowing wink of Thine eye 
Bidden it, at the same time, to go and enjoy the world.  
And so I wander here forlorn through Thy creation, 
Blasted, as it were, by someone's evil glance, 
Taking the bitter for the sweet, 
Taking the unreal for the Real.

The  Master continued: "Men are deluded through Her maya and have become attached to the world. 
Says Ramprasad: Thou hast bestowed on me this mind, 
And with a knowing wink of Thine eye 
Bidden it, at the same time, to go and enjoy the world."

SOURCE: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishan

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