Friday, January 04, 2008

Shankara's Ma

From a discussion at
there's the [Kali] that Jody talks about in terms of everything being a part of Her, and then there's the view of Kali being a fairly specific, anthropomorphised deity with correspondences, stories, a particular style of worship, and so on.
They are actually already completely compatible. Bhakti works because we construct an image of deity and then fall in love with it. After that, the fireworks begin.

You employ the mythology and iconography however you wish. You can go full tradit like Kali Mandir, or make it all up however you see it.

The thing that gets me is the idea that Kali is one of many deities, usually which you call for different things. Not that such wouldn't be completely effective for the practitioner, only that it has nothing to do with shaktism. Shankara saw that no matter how much he remained absorbed in samadhi, the world continued to exist, despite the truth he saw. So, he realized that ultimately, it's all Ma. Shankara's shaktism is essentially a nondual shaktism. So is Ramakrishna's, although due to the intensity of his spiritual life he spoke of having frequent visions of Kali in the form of various women he encountered, especially his somewhat long-suffering wife, Sarada Devi, as well as having your standard See God Standing Right In Front Of You-type vision.

He may have been a little "off," as they say...