Tantra Magazine

In the Tantric pantheon, Kali is mentioned as the first of the ten Great Cosmic Wisdoms, because in a certain way she is the one who “spins the wheel of universal time”.

On the other hand, at the end of the manifested world, time (in Sanskrit Kala) devoured all the universes of the three planes of creation: the physical, astral and causal universes.

Then, the Great Cosmic Wisdom Kali finally devours time itself, which is Kala, and this is the very reason for which Kali is viewed as the primordial cause of creation and destruction of the universe.

The famous Tantric writing Nirvanatantra associates Kali with Brahman, the Supreme, representing both the being (the existence) and the infinite consciousness in manifestation.

This association has allowed the worship of Kali both from a metaphysical abstract perspective, as well as from a more concrete perspective, which implies certain attributes (functions, characteristics, qualities).

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According to Tantric tradition, the whole manifested world springs from the Infinite Consciousness of the beatific union between Shiva and Shakti.

The function of creation comes to the divine energy bearing the name Brahmani Shakti. The universe thus created, has to be maintained in manifestation and this function is performed by Shakti Vaishnavi.

Nonetheless, both the creation and preserving aspects imply a molecular “death” or “destruction” of each form of universe, this function is performed by Rudrani Shakti.

In fact, Brahmani, Vaishnavi and Rudrani are the consorts of the three Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (also named Rudra).

The simultaneous existence of these three processes within creation clearly expresses the statements included in all Tantric writings; that the creation of the universe did not occur once, in the past, nor will the universe be destroyed once in the future, but rather in every instant these aspects manifest as flashings which create the illusion of continuity and reality.

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Although the human body and mind are permanently assailed by innumerable sensorial perceptions, the state of divine ecstasy (samadhi) implies the disappearance of all mental functions and physical awareness of entering into the supreme consciousness of Paramashiva, the one that is beyond all duality.

The description of the Great Cosmic Wisdom Kali, describes her as being dark as the night and dancing over Shiva’s inert, white body. This representation reveals the significance of two fundamental aspects of Reality: on one hand there is the dynamic, immanent aspect of God (Kali’s dance) and on the other the static, transcendent aspect of consciousness (identified by Shiva).

Shiva is white because he signifies infinite divine light (prakasha), inert because the absence of movement and action reveals pure, homogenous and compact consciousness.

On the other hand, Kali’s dance signifies a dynamic, active aspect of the Divine and the dark color of her skin indicates that the creation processes are dissolved in Kali.

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From a different perspective, Kali is also the creator of the universes, as they come to life from the ashes of the Divine Consciousness’ purifying fire. Consequently, Kali’s action is deeply evolutionary, as she propels the human beings towards evolution, sometimes in a painful manner.

Nonetheless, Kali performs her actions in divine light and harmony, knowing that this is the best thing to do. Those who manage to pass all tests and go through all obstacles are in truth spiritual heroes and they will be rewarded with Kali’s spiritual grace.

However, if it is not God’s will to manifest the creative impulse, the divine infinite energy (Shakti) remains potential but un-manifested, as she is inseparably united with Shiva, in his purely transcendent aspect.

The spiritual Tantric writings denote this state as SATCHITANANDA (PURE EXISTENCE-PURE CONSCIOUSNESS-INFINITE BLISS).