If Mahesvari is vast in her vision and Mahasarasvati microscopic in perfection, Mahakali is intensity incarnate. In a moment she will accomplish what eons struggle to manifest. Her sword’s strike feared by demons and asuras is welcome to her lovers and adorers.

For with clear precise focus she will remove all that is undivine and unregenerate in us. And it is fitting that her worshippers are totally fearless, ready to lay down their lives for her in an instant with joy in their hearts and her song on their lips.

It is she who inspired the Bengal nationalists in 1905 to spearhead the struggle for Indian Independence. She who was invoked by the warriors in Maharana Pratab and Shivaji’s armies. She who protected this divine land despite all the depredations and plunder of centuries. Her Shakti flows through her soldiers and generals and makes them accomplish deeds that are far beyond their limited capacity. And she can turn the tide of war in a moment if her army is utterly surrendered to her active living presence in their hearts.

It is not without reason that the shakt was able to revel in her ‘festival of death’. And able to stand up and defend for the civilization that is Bharatvarsha.

It is true that Mahakali acts rarely but when invoked she is the most decisive and incisive. Sweetest is her bliss that transforms the yogi’s sadhana into a ‘Sunlit path’. Mighty and hard is her divine fury when she eliminates the dark forces lined up against her children.

To invoke her and prepare for her descent, rid yourself of all ego and fear, all lethargy and slovenliness of thought and feeling. For though she loves deeply, she is also the mother who brings her errant children back to her fold with one smite. For she hates imperfections, most of all any insincerity in one’s nature that hides the flaws she needs to eliminate. An utter openness to her without any attempt at concealment, even of one’s greatest deficiencies or weaknesses, prepares for her aagaman and establishes her presence firmly within oneself.

For she is the terrible, the vibhatsa, while being the most protective and motherly. And though she is depicted as the dark goddess, with tongue hanging out, and garlands of skulls about her neck, holding the head of the asura bleeding in one hand, in her higher status, she is golden, not vibhatsa, but most loving, indulgent and auspicious.

Ma Durga, Chamunda and Bhavani are but her emanations. And they fulfil what Maheshvari and Mahasarasvati, work out with punctilious detail over ages.

Among the emanations of the Divine Mother, she is the divine Lioness, who brooks no weakness or frailty. She is utmost proud of those of her children who stand for her with their heads held high, quick to fall for her even in death or apparent failure. For they know that even death in her arms is the highest and most glorious achievement of their lives. And even if they fall, they shall arise again at her chosen time and place, immortally as joyous beholders of her victory and sthapana.

For the Hindu has seen both aspects of the Divine. Not just the lamb, to use a Christological symbol, but also the tiger. Not just as the mild and gentle ascetic Shiva but also as the fierce and tejomaya rudra. And this is the hidden strength of Sanatana Dharma. To see with open eyes all the forms of the divine, even those that seems fearsome and dreadful. For in denying any aspect of the divine, one denies the truth of existence itself and is unable to accomplish his or her divine mission on earth.

And it is She whom we invoke today, to rid us of our impurities, to hasten and expedite the unfurling of kaal since she is indeed Mahakali. And to prepare the earth for her higher poise, the Divine Mother whom we desperately seek today in her fullest manifestation.

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