We should understand that Vedic “Gods” and “Goddesses” are, essentially, ideas and concepts. Human mind is feeble and just cannot grasp the ultimate abstractness of satyam. We need some corporeal representations with which we can operate. In a way, each Vedic “god” is an expression of some fundamental concept in a form understandable to humans. Because of its vastness and complexity we cannot grasp it entirely so we describe it by various names which express one of its sides. Therefore, one of the ways to understand the essence of a name is to go to the original meaning of the word used in the description.
Kali is a fusion of two words. The principal one is the dhātu (root) kala which has several meanings 1) to count; 2) to push on, drive forward, to impel , incite; 3) to carry off. If you sum up these meanings you will see that the combined meaning represents the entire cycle of life: impelling, inciting (birth), time (kalā - time (as leading to events, the causes of which are imperceptible to the mind of man), destiny, fate and also time (as destroying all things), death and carrying away. Because time has always been imagined as an eternal wheel (kolo is, actually,”wheel” in Russian) birth and death are inseparable.
The other word related to Kali is kalā meaning “black, of a dark colour, dark-blue”. This explains the way she is usually presented. But kalā was also one of the seven tongues of Agni and also one of the names of Shiva's wife Durgā which are separate interesting stories. Now, kalā “black, dark blue” is inseparable from Kṛṣṇa “black, dark blue” which is another complex concept. Kṛṣṇa is also perceived as the other side of Viṣṇu. Again we see the unity of creation and destruction. Kali is also intricately connected with another fundamental concept of Shiva and Shiva is inseparable from Rudra…. You see, how vast and complex it all becomes! You cannot understand the nature of any Hindu God or Goddess separately. सुबमस्तु
Last edited by Dhira Simha; 13 June 2012 at 10:23 AM.
ऊँ क्रीं कालिकाये नम
I have always thought of Goddess Kali as the militant/wrathful aspect of the Goddess Gauri/Parvati.
She is also the feminine aspect of MahaKala - known in both Hinduism and Buddhism as the Lord of Time, so yes Kali is 'Lady Time'.
MahaKala means - The Great Black (Masculine) and MahaKali means The Great Black (Feminine).
The 'blackness' of colour represents that empty, formless space all around us, the total depth of consciousness, the potential for enlightenment, the unfathomable Shiva - the infinite abyss.
Mother Kali is Lord Shiva's destructive Shakti. The Goddess is the whole Force behind Shiva and behind everything. Without Bhairavi, Bhairava would not have had the energy to move and go perform His duties.
As for Tara? I haven't really dug all that deep there. I like to take the literal approach with this one - Tara = Star, so Tara = Goddess of the Heavens. She is also black in colour, like the night sky and yes, She is also a Buddhist Deity.
I also liken Tara to another Buddhist female Deity - Dakini.
Dakini is the form of the Goddess I personally worship. Yes, Dakini is Buddhist but according to Hindu Tantra and in particularly Kundalini Yoga, Goddess Dakini is the Shakti of the Muladhara Chakra (base Chakra).
- Sat-Cakra-Nirupana TantraWithin it reigns dominant Para, the Sri-Paramesvari, the Awakener of eternal knowledge. She is the Omnipotent Kala who is wonderfully skilful to create, and is subtler than the subtlest. She is the receptacle of that continuous stream of ambrosia which flows from the Eternal Bliss. By Her radiance it is that the whole of this Universe and this Cauldron is illumined.
When it all concludes, Goddess Kali, Tara, Dakini are essentially all names for the same same force stated above, just appearing in different ways.
Aum Namah Shivaya
Tara, the consort queen of Bali and Tara, the wife of Brihaspati are Jivas. On the other hand, Tara, the second Mahavidya is Neelasarasvati, one among Adi Parashakti's many Avatars.
kamakhya kamasampanna kameshvari harapriye l
kamana dehi me nityam kameshvari namastu te ll
kamakhye varade devi nila parvata vasini l
tvam jagadmata rupena yonimudre namastu te ll
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