A poem about Kali, describing Her origin and symbolism
O Mother of time, space, form, and relativity,
Thou hast taken a finite form – the Kali-Divine,
Colossal, symbol-idol of all-sheltering Nature.
The Spirit was invisible and took the shape of a visible
Mother Divine –
In whom throbs the heart of all-protecting, mothering kindness.
O Mother Divine! Thy beauty-mark of the moon is set between
Thy two dark eyebrows of twilight and night.
Clouds of Eternity veil Thy Face.
Gusts of prophetic lives often have fitfully dared to blow
Thy veil of mystery away,
Momentarily revealing Thy Face hiding behind the stares of
O Mother Divine, in the dawn of Creation we beheld Thee on the
track of time,
Roaming in the rustic attire of primitive culture,
Crowned with wild nature,
And wearing the garland of unpolished minds and opaque, finite
In the noon-day of Creation, I beheld Thee,
Wearing a garment of sunny mentalities, scorching Souls with
the heat of their own material fire.
Thy Body of Activity sweated with restlessness.
All Thy children felt the heat of want,
And implored Thee to send the cooling breeze of peace.
In Thy noon-hour of fulfillment, Thou didst equally attend
the forsaken slums of misery,
The halls of festive prosperity, and the shrines of peaceful wisdom.
In Thy attire of mid-day mentalities,
Thou didst travel through the fiestas of centuries:
Beholding the dream of human life and death,
Of the evolution and dissolution of plants,
Of the birth and death of civilization,
Of the drama of nebulae-molding worlds –
The dream of new-born planets and earthquakes and partial dissolutions.
Then the dark night approached,
And Thou didst wear the grim, dark veil of mourning,
To put Creation through the terrible but purifying ordeal
of destruction’s fire.
The sun burst and belched fire;
The Cosmic earthquake broke the vase of the sky, dropping
embers of stars;
And all Creation was a furnace of flames.
Creation came from fire: beneath the ashes of matter, the
embers of Creation slept;
And, rocked by the hands of Mother Divine, Creation awoke
With its body of pure flames.
Thy one hand holds the lightning-sword of destruction:
Another clutches the severed head of ignorance:
Thy third hand of power wakes Unseen Creative Force,
To take finite, fairy forms:
The wand of Thy fourth hand stops the storms of Cosmic discord,
Ushering in the soothing rays of Peace.
O Kali, Thou wild Mother of creative activity, wearing a
garland of human minds:
The rhythm of Thy wild dance of Creation ceases when Thy
footsteps touch the transcendental breast
Of Thy Invisible Husband of Infinity – Shiva,
In whom all Creation rests.
O Mother-Progress, the dance of Thy life we hear in the
tinkling bells of little laughing harmonious lives.
On the floor of my tender thoughts,
Thy inspirations softly dance in tune with the music of
In the Hall of Creation, everywhere, O Kali, I hear the
rhythm of Thy footsteps,
Dancing wildly in the booming thunder, and softly in the
song of atoms.
O Mother Divine, in Thy changing robes are woven the dreams
of Creation, preservation, and destruction,
Mother Divine, on the beauteous veil of Thy Mind a million
cinemas of Cosmic dramas play.
Mother Divine, draw aside Thy glittering veil of Cosmic
And show me Thy delusion-driving Face of Mercy.
by Paramhansa Yogananda