Sunday, February 12, 2017


I am of devotee to Kali.  I have written about her before in my blog.

Kali, Tara, Mantagi and Saraswati are the most importance goddesses to me.  But lately I have been
moving more and more towards Kali.

I think of the 18th century Bengali poet Sadhak Rāmprasād Sen and his devotion to the Kali.
He writes:

Meditate on Kali! Why be anxious?
The night of delusion is over; it's almost dawn.
The sun is rising, dispelling
thick nets of darkness, and lotuses are blooming thanks to Siva
at the top of your head.
The Vedas throw dust in your eyes; blind too
the six philosophies. If even the planets
can't fathom Her
who will break up these fun and games?
There are no lessons between teacher and student
in a market of bliss.
Since She owns the actors, the stage, and the play itself
who can grasp the truth of the drama?
A valiant devotee who knows the essence -- he
enters that city.
Ramprasad says, My delusion is broken;
who can bundle up fire?
[Translated by Rachel Fell McDermott]

I will be in Kolkata next week amazing.  I will be in Bengal taking a teacher training at the Ghosh College with the grand daughter of Bishnu Ghosh,  The most important thing to me is to make sure I spend time in at Kali's temple.

I am working with her.  I am listening to her.  I am learning what I can. I have so many books.  I have taken whatever class I can find. I took a 4 week class this fall on her Yantra and how to do Kali Puja down at the Yogini Ashram in Norwalk.  It was a long long drive. It was inconvenient and difficult to get there.  But if the goddess calls you, you must go!

I ask her for guidance and I journal about her Nityas.  I am developing my own personal Kali Sadhana.

I teach a class called Lunar Hatha and Guided Imagery on Monday nights at The Yogi Tree  in Los Angeles.  This class focuses on the Lunar Nityas.  The Moon is always moving between Lalitha and Kali.  Lalitha and her many Nitya forms rules from the new moon to the full moon (Waxing Moon) and Kali and her nityas takes over from the day after the full moon to the day before the new moon (Waning Moon).  I find Lalitha energy to be softer and more beautiful also it is the energy of setting intentions.  Kali is stronger and fiercer. I see her energy as of that of transformation and manifestation.

In my monday night lass I start with chanting, mudra meditation, then move to  joint freeing series, core stabilization and on to satyananda moon salutations with mantras and then to cooling down poses, cooling pranayamas and guided imagery of the nitya of the evening.

I am happiest and most energized with the moon is in Kali

I haven't been using any affirmations with Kali mudra because I use it with the bija mantra Kreem but Joseph and Lilian Le Page have these two affirmations

"Through purification at all dimensions of being, My true nature is revealed naturally."
"Through spiritual purification, I clearly perceive the freedom of my essential being."

Joseph and Lilian Le Page in their mudra book are attracted to the purification of Kali where I have been using it and teaching it as a mudra for personal transformation and manifestation.

According to Vedic Scholar David Frawley

"Ma Kali is the most misunderstood of all Hindu Goddesses, though she is often regarded as the most powerful. Kali’s dark and fierce form is certainly intimidating and hard to fathom, unless one is willing to look with discernment behind the veil of sensational images about her.. . .
This was at a time in which the world was dominated by colonial powers and the idea of a Universal Mother was not accepted – much less a World Mother who was dark in colour and fierce in demeanour from a backward country like India!

Ma Kali is kala shakti or the power of time. She indicates the impermanence of all things, which is why she wears a garland of skulls. Yet she is also the ultimate transforming power of time, which is to take us from death to immortality. Along with endless time, Kali is boundless space, the limitless void, indicated by her dark blue colour. Her magical dance of transformation is all existence.

. . .  All the goddesses and the entire universe manifests from her indomitable force. 

.  . . Kali is not the goddess of death and destruction as some see her but, on the contrary, represents the complete victory of the Divine over all death and destruction. Her warrior goddess form removes all the illusions of the mind and reveals the undying presence of our inmost Self that is one with all.

During the Kali cycle of the moon I have been chanting "Kreem" instead of AUM at the beginning and the end when class and sometimes in specific postures.  Kali’s seed mantra is “kreem,” is the "kriya shakti" or power of transformation behind the vast movement of life.

Kreem grants all spiritual faculties and powers — from the arousing of kundalini to opening the third eye. It has a special power relative to the lower chakras, which it can both stimulate and transform. It helps awaken and purify the subtle body. As a mantra of work and transformation Kreem is the mantra of Kriya Yoga, the Yoga of practice. It is the main mantra of the Yoga Shakti. Because  it is a strong mantra it should be used with care.

We chant kreem with an idea about what we would like to transform in our lives. I find Kreem very powerful and I chant it with Kali Mudra.

I have been also using Kali Mudra quite a lot lately in my

Kali Mudra looks like this.  Fingers interlaced. Index fingers extended. Right thumb over left.

I have used it mainly with the mantra kreem but also with bija mantras of the chakras, especially, Aum, Hum, Yam,  Nng and So Hum.

I have used this mudra in meditation at the heart, throat chakra, eyebrow center and at the top of the head depending on what I was interested in transforming.

Joseph and Lilian Le page suggest that the mudra point towards the throat with the hands held at the level of the sternum.

According to Joseph and Lillian Le Page the mudra is especially helpful more
- Balancing the fifth chakra through the process of spiritual purification
- Releasing tension from the neck, shoulders, throat and vocal cords
- Enhancing inuition, allowing us to receive spiritual guidance for our journey

The mudra is contra-indicated for hyperthyroid conditions.

I also use the mudra with specific yoga poses and especially when the moon is in Kali.

Here are some asanas that I have learned with Kali Mudra. They come out of the Ghosh Lineage

Half Moon

Balancing Stick

I also use Kali Mudra with Moon Salutations (Satyananda Lineage). I find that Kali Mudra can be used in easily with these poses:
- Pranamasana
- Hasta Utthaanasana
- Ardha Chandrasana (equestrian with arms over head and one knee down)

People in class respond very well to Kali Mudra and the mantra Kreem.  I use these to access the transformative power of Kali to transform our lives into what we would like them to be.  I liken liken the mudra to a sword cutting through anything that is holding us back from becoming who we want to be.

To conclude with Frawley

"Kali is the inner power of yoga or yoga shakti. Yoga in the true sense is a practice of mergence and return to the Divine source of existence. Yoga rests upon nirodha, the full concentration of the mind and dissolution of the ego. Kali is the nirodha shakti, the power of negation, neti-neti, not this, not that, of the Upanishads.

Kundalini shakti, the secret yogic power of transformation within us, works through Kali’s grace and motivation. Kundalini ascends and dissolves all the chakras, or energy centres within us, back into the state of pure unity consciousness that is Ma Kali’s ultimate abode.

Kali is the Shakti inherent in Shiva as Mahakala, the great lord of eternity. She dances on Shiva in a prone form, showing the Divine life and joy that manifests out of absolute stillness and transcendence."

I think being a black woman and a yogini is why Kali has become so important to me.  I will continuing looking for her, learning about her, chanting her name, and asking her for guidance.

Here is another poem by Ramprasad Sen.

Why is Mother Kali so radiantly black?
Because she is so powerful,
that even mentioning her name destroys delusion.
Because she is so beautiful,
Lord Shiva, Conquerer of death,
lies blissfully vanquished,
beneath the red soled feet.
There are subtle hues of blackness,
But her bright complexion
is the mystery that is utterly black,
overwhelmingly black, wonderfully black.
When she awakens in the lotus shrine
within the heart’s secret cave,
her blackness becomes the mystic illumination
that causes the twelve petal blossom there
to glow more intensely than golden embers.
Her lovely form is the incomparable
Kali- black blacker than the King of Death.
Whoever gazes upon this radiant blackness falls eternally in love
and feels no attraction to any other,
discovering everywhere only her.
This poet sighs deeply,
“Where is this brilliant lady, this black light beyond luminosity?
Though I have never seen her, simply hearing her name,
the mind becomes absorbed completely in her astonishing reality.

—from From Mother of the Universe by Lex Hixon


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