She is mad, her lover is mad, and I am mad for loving her!
This world is bewitched by the lovely Goddess.
No one can describe how lovely she is, how glorious,
how perfect her gestures, how sudden her moods.
Her lover, poisoned with love for her, calls out her name
endlessly, singing Kali’s name over and over and over.
Life has its currents, cycles, tides which ebb and flow.
She looks upon them all with equanimity.
Nothing is opposite in her mind: not life, not death;
not love, not hate; not the self, not the void.
Your raft, the poet said, floats upon the sea of life.
It drifts up with the tide, and down with the ebb.
But the goddess is there. The Goddess is always there.
~Indian Poet Ramakrishna
On this day, when light and darkness are briefly equal, before the light grows and swells and carries the world into summer, it is good to meditate upon the ultimate falsity of all divisions. Kali, the fierce Hindu goddess, reminds us of that truth: that existence is not bound by our false dualities. There is no light, no darkness in Kali’s world. What she offers us is not a gray mixture of black and white, but a paradoxical world in which both exists in all moments, at all points, in all ways. Life is both pain and pleasure, love and hate. Kali is beyond both, but includes both.
Meditating upon Kali is one of the great traditions of Hindu India. The paradoxes and mysteries she expresses are almost beyond words, though great poets like Ramakrishna have spent lifetimes trying. As the sun dances briefly in her perfect balance, let us join the poet in marveling at the power of the goddess.
By Patricia Monaghan