Monday, October 18, 2010
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First they shout out not to take pictures of the hijra possessed on Juhu beach but than one of the Hijras recognized me she had attended Simran dancers birthday part at Madh Island a few years back , she hugged me and all the Gurus got over my presence and the ubiquitous camera round my twisted neck.
Hijras are deeply connected to Durga being Ard Nari Naershwar a form of Shiva and every hijra around me was in a euphoric state of spirtual madness.
So now you know why I am blessed with the Hijra Vardan, I dont search for Hijras they find me and drag me to their angst automatically.
And I kept on shooting them non stop as the only hijras I have shot recently are the beggar hijras of Turner Road Bandra.
And every one among the hijras wanted a picture with me and there was no qualified photographer around I gave my camera to a bystander who shot the hijras with me.
The Hijras had bought the Durga for Immersion and were from Andheri, along with the hijras were their toy boys in drop down crotchy jeans all studs of various size and heights.
Mostly young kids that the hijras keep to satisfy themselves on a rainy day which is everyday.
As I may only post all these pictures at Flickr just see it on my photo stream.
This was the most interesting photo opportunity I got by sheer karmic luck and accident.
Imagine I was going to Dadar to shoot the Durga Visarjan but because of a political rally made a hasty decision to come to Juhu beach instead.
I am a bit edgy with crowds being the way I am dressed I am a cynosure of gulal and bad remarks ...
When I posted this poem earlier I did not have the image to pay tribute to a dear friend Sudip Da this is for his father and his family in humility and sincerity.. sometimes a poet too has to wait for the decisive moment that is nothing but parting as sweet sorrow..a dawn searching for a better tomorrow..
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the core essence
of their dignity
on good things
they lavish praise
from their minds
to be in
during durga puja
they bring kolkatta
by gods grace
for ma durga
in their hearts
to the beats
the dholak plays
to sudip da
my flickr friend
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This was a good omen Durga leading me to Juhu I was in richsha and shot her intrusively, thus paid homage to her as a message of hope and humanity.
I was barefeet and I decided I would shoot Juhu Durga Visarjan instead of Dadar Chowpatty..
I did not shoot for too long but I did shoot the North Bombay Durga of the Mukerjees extensively and bonded with my old friends Subir and Samrat Mukerjee.
This is my new set at Flickr..
Durga Visarjan at Juhu beach 2010.
150,417 items / 1,155,418 views
Maha Kali is the fiercest form of Shakti or Durga, in the Hindu religion. Goddess Kali is the destroyer of evil. But Kali is also a compassionate mother who loves her sincere children. Kali is usually worshipped by tantriks to achieve "siddhis". Kali is the slayer of ego as well. Maha Kali Mantra forms part of the prayers offered to the goddess. Goddess Kali Mantra or Mantras for Maa Kali are given below:
"Atha Kalimantraye Sadyovaksiddhiprapyivan
Aravitairyah Sarvestam Prapnuvanti Jana Bhuvih"
Evam Sanchintayetkalim Shamasanalayavsinim"
"Kreem Kreem Kreem Hreem Hreem Hoom Hoom Dakshine Kalike
Kreem Kreem Kreem Hreem Hreem Hoom Hoom Swaha"
150,416 items / 1,155,398 views
Kālī (Sanskrit: काली, IPA: [kɑːliː]; Bengali: কালী), also known as Kalika (Bengali: কালিকা, Kālikā), is the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "the Time" or "Death" (as in time has come). Hence, Kali is considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shakta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatarini (literally "redeemer of the universe"). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kali as a benevolent mother goddess.
Kali is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Bhadrakali, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.
Kālī is the feminine of kāla ("black, dark coloured"). Kāla primarily means "black," but also means "time." Kālī means "the black one" and also "time" or "beyond time." Kali is strongly associated with Shiva, and Shaivas derive her feminine name from the masculine Kāla (an epithet of Shiva). The early Sanskrit dictionary, the Shabdakalpadrum, states: कालः शिवः । तस्य पत्नीति - काली । kālaḥ śivaḥ । tasya patnīti kālī - "Shiva is Kala, thus his wife is Kali."
Other names include Kālarātri ("black night"), as described above, and Kālikā ("relating to time"). Coburn notes that the name Kālī can be used as a proper name, or as a description of color.
Kali's association with blackness stands in contrast to her consort, Shiva, whose body is covered by the white ashes of the cremation ground (Sanskrit: śmaśāna) in which he meditates, and with which Kali is also associated, as śmaśāna-kālī.
Kālī is frequently confused with the word kali, as in Kali Yuga or the demon Kali. However, the words Kālī ("black, time") and kali ("weak, crude, inarticulate") are etymologically unrelated, and the goddess Kālī is not associated with Kali Yuga in Hinduism.
Hugh Urban notes that although the word Kālī appears as early as the Atharva Veda, the first use of it as a proper name is in the Kathaka Grhya Sutra (19.7). Kali is the name of one of the seven tongues of Agni, the Rigvedic God of Fire, in the Mundaka Upanishad (2:4), but it is unlikely that this refers to the goddess. The first appearance of Kali in her present form is in the Sauptika Parvan of the Mahabharata (10.8.64). She is called Kālarātri (literally, "black night") and appears to the Pandava soldiers in dreams, until finally she appears amidst the fighting during an attack by Drona's son Ashwatthama. She most famously appears in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam as one of the shaktis of Mahadevi, and defeats the demon Raktabija. The tenth century Kalika Purana venerates Kali as the ultimate reality or Brahman.
According to David Kinsley, Kali is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess around 600 CE, and these texts "usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield." She is often regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, and is closely associated with him in various Puranas. The Kalika Purana depicts her as the "Adi Shakti" (Fundamental Power) and "Para Prakriti" or beyond nature.
Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as are the male deities. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva's wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kali who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. In many sources Kali is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities. The Nirvana-tantra says the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva all arise from her like bubbles in the sea, ceaselessly arising and passing away, leaving their original source unchanged. The Niruttara-tantra and the Picchila-tantra declare all of Kali's mantras to be the greatest and the Yogini-tantra, Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra all proclaim Kali vidyas (manifestations of Mahadevi, or "divinity itself"). They declare her to be an essence of her own form (svarupa) of the Mahadevi.
In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kali is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one passage Shiva praises her:
At the dissolution of things, it is Kala [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahakala [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahakala Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kalika. Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [primordial Kali]. Resuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.
The figure of Kali conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she is also a "forbidden thing", or even death itself. In the Pancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation. This is clear in the work of the Karpuradi-stotra, a short praise to Kali describing the Pancatattva ritual unto her, performed on cremation grounds. (Samahana-sadhana)
He, O Mahakali who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with dishevelled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. 0 Kali, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Sakti [his female companion] in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.
The Karpuradi-stotra clearly indicates that Kali is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with Lord Shiva, who is said to be her spouse, she creates and destroys worlds. Her appearance also takes a different turn, befitting her role as ruler of the world and object of meditation. In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear. Here, Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death.[
Kali is also a central figure in late medieval Bengali devotional literature, with such devotees as Ramprasad Sen (1718–75). With the exception of being associated with Parvati as Shiva's consort, Kali is rarely pictured in Hindu mythology and iconography as a motherly figure until Bengali devotions beginning in the early eighteenth century. Even in Bengali tradition her appearance and habits change little, if at all.
The Tantric approach to Kali is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance. In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kali's teachings, adopting the attitude of a child. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way that things are. These themes are well addressed in Ramprasad's work.
Ramprasad comments in many of his other songs that Kali is indifferent to his wellbeing, causes him to suffer, brings his worldly desires to nothing and his worldly goods to ruin. He also states that she does not behave like a mother should and that she ignores his pleas:
Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone? [a reference to Kali as the daughter of Himalaya]
Were she not merciless, would she kick the breast of her lord?
Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you, Mother.
You have cut off the heads of the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
It matters not how much I call you "Mother, Mother." You hear me, but you will not listen.
To be a child of Kali, Ramprasad asserts, is to be denied of earthly delights and pleasures. Kali is said to not give what is expected. To the devotee, it is perhaps her very refusal to do so that enables her devotees to reflect on dimensions of themselves and of reality that go beyond the material world.
A significant portion of Bengali devotional music features Kali as its central theme and is known as Shyama Sangeet. Mostly sung by male vocalists, today even women have taken to this form of music. One of the finest singers of Shyama Sangeet is Pannalal Bhattacharya.
In Bengal, Kali is venerated in the festival Kali Puja - the new moon day of Ashwin month which coincides with Diwali festival.
Slayer of Raktabija
In Kali's most famous myth, Durga and her assistants, Matrikas, wound the demon Raktabija, in various ways and with a variety of weapons, in an attempt to destroy him. They soon find that they have worsened the situation, as for every drop of blood that is spilt from Raktabija, the demon reproduces a clone of himself. The battlefield becomes increasingly filled with his duplicates. Durga, in dire need of help, summons Kali to combat the demons. It is also said that Goddess Durga takes the form of Goddess Kali at this time.
The Devi Mahatmyam describes:
Out of the surface of her (Durga's) forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose. Bearing the strange khatvanga (skull-topped staff ), decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger's skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep reddish eyes, filling the regions of the sky with her roars, falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hordes of the foes of the devas.
Kali destroys Raktabija by sucking the blood from his body and putting the many Raktabija duplicates in her gaping mouth. Pleased with her victory, Kali then dances on the field of battle, stepping on the corpses of the slain. Her consort Shiva lies among the dead beneath her feet, a representation of Kali commonly seen in her iconography as Daksinakali.
In the Devi Mahatmya version of this story, Kali is also described as a Matrika and as a Shakti or power of Devi. She is given the epithet Cāṃuṇḍā (Chamunda), i.e. the slayer of the demons Chanda and Munda. Chamunda is very often identified with Kali and is very much like her in appearance and habit.
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