Welcome dear readers to this months spiritual focus. We’re warming up and finding ways to cool down at Forage Bontanicals. This brought to mind a relationship of a certain Hindu Goddess and God. Kali and Shiva.
There's an image depicting the Goddess in the most terrifying form standing on top of Shiva who looks pretty blissed out. Kali is known and worshipped as a demon slaying warrior Goddess called upon at times of trouble and difficult obstacles.
In the image where she is depicted standing on top of shiva she looks hardcore and primal. Her wild hair and expression just says it all! Donning a garland made of demon heads. Amongst her arms holding various weapons for battle there is one holding a head. Just underneath is another arm holding a bowl capturing the blood - nice.
She is said to be drunk from the blood of the demon she set out to destroy. However, amidst the fury and rage she has become uncontrollable, unpredictable and erratic.
Here is where Shiva comes along. He is known as the destroyer and forms part of a trilogy with Kail and Durga. We’ll be focusing on what he’s representing in this particular aspect. In order to connect to her unapproachable state he lays himself down on her path. In a corpse-like state. It is the opposite to Kali’s state. Reflecting to her a state of being prior to birth and death. The meditative, contemplative state. (Here’s a man that knows what to do at the right time!) This brings the ordeal to an end.
Life is unpredictable. There are moments that are chaotic. There are periods where we face death and transformation and we can’t always make sense of it. Culturally this isn’t explored often or openly or accepted in a healthy wholesome way. It is sad and painful to think about and just as sad and painful to experience. It is something we have all had a taste of in some form or another within our lives. We have no control over this.
Kali is a scary force to unawareness and Shiva is awareness and acceptance of the nature of this force.
He represents the ability of the stilled mind. Mirroring a state not natural to humans. Something that is practiced and eventually mastered.
It is said that no Buddha would’ve been born had there been no suffering and pain within experience. There would not have been this seeking for a deeper meaning, understanding and experience of freedom.
The relationship between Shiva and Kali here can also be reflective of masculine and feminine balance within ourselves. The rationality of the masculine mind must surrender and bow down to the primal, instinctual, wild and unstructured feminine nature - In order to create a balance. Not to rationalise or control it as we do now. The only true and sustainable meeting point is within the mediative stillness of the mind.
Now of course this requires some inner seeking and exploration that will come to you at different times in life and the techniques that you choose to explore this more deeply are varied.
One that I’d like to recommend is called Yoga Nidra. This a very relaxing type of meditation that requires you to lay down - appealing huh!
The posture is own as the corpse pose ( just like our Shiva lay before Kali) You are guided to bring your awareness to parts of your body, relaxing them each in turn. The aim is to stay awake (but who doesn’t fall asleep in the first session!)
The benefits of this become deeper over time and practice. You can access this technique by going to classes, getting aYoga Nidra app, books, audios, youtube etc.
Wishing you all a blessed and beautiful exploration and contemplation of your inner Kali and Shiva.