A Mantra

She is praying for peace and an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The hummingbird hears her chanting and it hovers near by after sucking sustenance from the flowers.  She starts singing, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.  The sixteen-word mantra is repeated to deliver peace and to free her mind.  The word Hare refers to the divine feminine potency of God.  Krishna means the all-attractive one, and Rama is the reservoir of all pleasure.  Chanting these sixteen names is supposed to be counteract the evil effects of the demon Kali.

At the dawn of civilization, when the human race was still under the spell of the powers and mysteries of nature, most human rituals were centered around pleasing the five basic natural forces.  Those being fire, water, sky, wind and earth.  Hearken to that which all Shrutis (the Vedas) keep secret and hidden, through which one may cross the Saṃsāra (mundane existence) of Kali.  One can shake off the evil effects of Kali through the mere uttering of the name of Lord Narayana, who is the primeval Purusha.  Kali is dark in color, she drinks blood, and is portrayed as evil.  Kali is a mysterious goddess of death and destruction with a very complex story.

The name Kālī first appears in the Atharva Veda, a collection of hymns and mantras published between 1200 BCE and 1000 BCE, however she is not a goddess but rather a fierce black tongue, one of seven belonging to Agni, the god of fire.  It is another 400 years before Kali is described as an individual in her own right, when she appears as a battlefield goddess personifying the wrath of Durga.  At this point, she has become a terrible skeletal and frightening crone, wearing animal skins and carrying the skull-topped staff associated with tribal shamans.

In Swami Vivekananda’s 1898 poem, Kali the Mother, he evokes the Night of Kali as a time of pitch darkness that blots out the stars, trouble comes from the souls of a million lunatics let loose from the prison, while on every side a thousand shades of Death blacken the sky perpetuating plagues and bringing sorrow which becomes a mad dance of terror and death.  In the poet’s vision, destruction follows her every foot step, for she is the relentless power, the All-Destroyer of Time, locked in a Dance of Destruction.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? Picture prompt Image credit- Stefan Keller – Pixabay.

20 thoughts on “A Mantra

  1. Good educational post, Jim. When I took the dream class at the library awhile back, the first 6 weeks were all about world symbology, and the Indian symbology was featured on at least a couple of those weeks. It’s rich with symbols. Also, I have heard the album this came off of. The voices united gives a soothing vibration.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to go there to swim in the Ganges probably upstream where it isn’t so dirty and I would like to ride an elephant. I would also like to see the Taj Mahal. What would you recommend doing Christine?

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    1. I have no idea, but maybe you could ask George Harrison. I guess that you are looking for a way to relax. Mantra literally means “a tool for the mind,” and it was designed to help practitioners access a higher power and their true natures. Mantra is a sound vibration through which we mindfully focus our thoughts, our feelings, and our highest intention.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I could ask George right now…I wouldn’t need a mantra anymore…it would be too late.

        I’ve read your guru gives you one and you just keep repeating it and it does just what you said. I have always wanted to try it…meditation that is.

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