Kali is often depicted as the Black Goddess, the essence of all perishable things. Her blackness symbolizes her comprehensive nature. The Sanskrit word "Kali" means "time". She is the personification of time, so why should it be so surprising that she has such a terrible image? Kali's four arms represent the complete circle of creation and destruction. Her left hands which hold a sword and a demon head represent her destructive side. Her right hands represent her creative aspect.
It is very important to realize that Kali is not evil. She does not represent destruction as a negative force but as a positive grace of change. She is the Divine Mother of Protection. She takes on the personality of terror to induce fear and terrorize demons and evil, and when She takes away the darkness of the outside world, She grants illumination of the inner world. Hence, she is said to kill the ego, our attachment to pettiness. With her love we cease to react emotionally to the circumstances of life and to plan our actions out fully before acting.
Kali taches us that pain, sorrow, death, and destruction are not overcome by denying or trying to explain them away. These are inevitable parts of life that each of us must face if we hope to realize the fullness of our being and to realize our potential...we must accept these parts of our existence. Kali is our Mother because it is She who reveals to us our mortality and releases us to act fully and freely. This is the path that Kali shows.
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