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Jai Maa Kali

Kali is regarded as the supreme goddess of the Saktas, who almost always associate her with Shiva. As the latter's consort or associate, she plays the role of inciting him to wild behaviour; as a goddess having an awful, frightening appearance, she is addressed as Siddhasenani (general of the Siddhas), Mandaravasini (dweller on the Mandara), Kali (black or dark), Kapali (wearer of skulls), Bhadrakali, Mahakali, Chandi (formidable), Karali (frightening), etc. To many of her devotees, she is also Kumari (virgin), Tarini (deliverer), Vijaya (victory), Jaya, `younger sister of the chief of cowherds', `delighting always in Mahisa's blood', Kausiki, Uma, `destroyer of Kaitabha', mother of Skanda, Svaha, Svadha, Sarasvati, Savitri, `mother of the Vedas', Mahadevi, Mohini, Maya, Hari, Sri, Sandhya, Vindhyavasini (an epithet of Durga), Chamunda, etc. Mahakali is very dark, usually naked, and has long, disheveled hair, a girdle of severed arms, a necklace of freshly cut heads, earrings of children's corpses, and bracelets of serpents. To add to her dreadful appearance, she has long, sharp fangs and claw like hands with long nails and blood smeared on her lips; she laughs loudly, dances madly. She is a goddess who, in the words of David Kinsley, "threatens stability and order. Although she may be said to serve order in her role as slayer of demons, more often than not she becomes so frenzied on that battle-field, usually becoming drunk on the blood of her victim, that she herself begins to destroy the world that she is supposed to protect. Thus even in the service of the gods, she is ultimately dangerous and tends to get out of control. In association with other goddesses, she appears to represent their embodied wrath and fury, a frightening, dangerous dimension of the divine feminine that is released when these goddesses become enraged or are summoned to take part in war and killing. In relation to Shiva, she appears to play the opposite role from that of Parvati. Parvati calms Shiva, counterbalancing his anti-social or destructive tendencies. It is she who brings Shiva within the sphere of domesticity and who, with her soft glances, urges him to moderate the destructive aspects of his tandava dance. Kali is Shiva’s "other" wife, as it were, provoking him and encouraging him in his mad, antisocial, often disruptive habits. It is never Kali who takes Shiva but Shiva who must becalm Kali. Her association with criminals reinforces her dangerous role vis-à-vis society. She is at home outside the moral order and seems to be unbounded by that order."