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Kālī

Kālī or Kālikā (Skt. ‘black’). A ferocious form of the Goddess (Devī) in Hinduism, sharply contrasted with her benign aspects as Śrī and Lakṣmī. Kālī, the devourer of time (kāla), is depicted as having a terrifying appearance, naked or wearing a tiger skin, emaciated, with fang-like teeth and dishevelled hair, a lolling tongue, and eyes rolling with intoxication. She is garlanded with human heads, sometimes girdled with severed arms; laughing and howling, she dances, wild and frenzied, in the cremation grounds with a sword and noose or skull upon a staff.

Human sacrifices were made to her in the past (cf. Kālīkapurāṇa, ch. 71), but now goats have to suffice, and such sacrifices are made at the main temple of her cult, Kālīghāṭa (Calcutta). The Thugs were devotees of Kālī, to whom they offered worship before committing murderous theft. Many Hindus see Kālī as representing the realities of death and time; she stands for the frightening, painful side of life which all who desire to progress spiritually must face and overcome.

In Tantrism Kālī is depicted as dancing upon the ithyphallic corpse of Śiva, a form expressing the passive consciousness (puruṣa) and dynamic energy (prakṛti) which comprise the universe. Kālī is the central deity of the Kālīkula tradition in contrast to the Śrīkula whose followers worship the gentle Śri. The Kālīkula adept or ‘hero’ (vīra) will follow the ‘left-hand’ path (vāmācāra), worshipping Kālī in the cremation grounds.

In the 18th and 19th cents. Bengali poets such as Rāmprasād (1718–75) and Ramakrishna (1836–86) wrote devotional poems to her as the supreme deity.

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Kali

Kali (kä´lē) [Hindi,=the Black One], important goddess in popular Hinduism and Tantra. Known also as Durga [the Inaccessible] and as Chandi [the Fierce], Kali is associated with disease, death, and destruction. As Parvati she is the consort of Shiva. Although often represented as a terrifying figure, garlanded with skulls and bearing a bloody sword in one of her many arms, she is worshiped lovingly by many as the Divine Mother. Her cult, popular among many lower castes in India, especially in Bengal, frequently includes animal sacrifice. Kali was patroness of the Thugs.

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Kali

Kali in Hinduism, the most terrifying goddess, wife of Shiva, often identified with Durga, and in her benevolent aspect with Parvati. She is typically depicted as black, naked, old, and hideous, with a necklace of skulls, a belt of severed hands, and a protruding bloodstained tongue. The Thugs were her devotees.

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Kali

Kali Hindu goddess of destruction, consort of Shiva. Also known as Chandi, Durga, Parvati, Sakti, Uma, and Mata, Kali represents the all-devouring aspect of Devi, the mother-goddess of India, who in other forms is calm and peaceful.

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kali

kali prickly saltwort, Salsola kali XVI; †soda ash XVIII; (lemon k.) mixture of tartaric acid and bicarbonate of soda XIX. — Arab. kily; see ALKALI.

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Kali

KaliAli, alley, Allie, Ally, bally, dally, dilly-dally, farfalle, galley, Halley, mallee, Mexicali, pally, Raleigh, rally, reveille, sally, tally, valley •Chablis • brambly •badly, Bradley, Hadlee, madly, sadly •scraggly •dangly, gangly •crackly • Shankly • Bramley •Manley, manly, Osmanli, Stanley •slatternly •Langley, tangly •amply • Ashley •Attlee, fatly, patly •aptly • shilly-shally •Bali, barley, Cali, Carly, Charlie, Dali, Diwali, finale, gnarly, Gurkhali, Kali, Kigali, Mali, Marley, marly, Pali, parley, snarly, Somali, Svengali, tamale •Barclay, Berkeley, clerkly, sparkly •Darnley • ghastly • Hartley • Barnsley •blackguardly

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