In Hinduism, there is a presentation of Divinity as a great multiplicity. Some would call it a system of polytheism, but this is not entirely accurate. When we look at the term polytheism, we see that poly means "many" and theism is related with Theos, which is God. So, many people interpret polytheism as meaning, "many Gods." But, really, a more accurate explanation of Hinduism would be to say it is Monistic Polytheism. Monistic comes from monas, meaning "unity." Hinduism views Divinity as one, but with many faces, many forms.
"There is no polytheism in the Hindu religion." - Swami Sivananda
This terminology is important because most people in the English speaking world come from a background that has been heavily influenced, for many centuries, by a particular dogmatic point of view, which has emphasized a very limited way of viewing Divinity. This has limited our point of view of the Divine. In the West, through many centuries we have inherited a view of God as being a bearded old man on a throne. In other words, we have projected an image of God, we have crafted an image in our minds. Rather than looking at the reality, and observing nature, we have created a projection in which we invest belief. This tendency contradicts the basic tenants of every religion, which is to not worship an idol, to not form an image of Divinity. That basic tenant of not forming an image is not merely a behaviour to be followed as a dogmatic principle, but is instead a guideline to open our eyes to reality. When we project an image, when we form in our mind a concept, we limit our vision to just that concept – we compare our experience, our perceptions with that concept. Instead of seeing what is there, we only see what we want to see. In other words, once we have formed an idea about something or someone, we only want to see that idea, and cannot bear anything that contradicts it. This has been the cause for religious wars, for conflict, for persecution, for all manner of suffering on this planet.
In, we emphasize the importance of revising our concepts of God. It is important for us to understand that both "monotheism" and "polytheism" are just concepts. To understand God, we need to understand the many faces or aspects of God, the many ways in which Divinity can be expressed. Viewed from that angle, religion and Divinity becomes much more magical, and much more real, much more accurate, much more truthful.
In the Gnostic tradition, we study all religions. We study every aspect of Divinity; its symbolism, its representations, whether in a tradition that represents God in a formless way, like Islam, or in a tradition like Hinduism that represents God in many visible forms, with many, many names. For example, there is a Hindu scripture called "Lalita Sahasranamam" which describes many aspects or presentations of Divinity. Unfortunately, in the West, we have not adopted this point of view as seeing God in everything. Instead, we only want to see the projection of our minds.
We begin with this preface to the lecture today because, in order for us to comprehend the topic, we need to understand that our projection, our mental idea of God, does not necessarily correspond to the reality. It is important that we revise the beliefs and concepts that we have inherited, in order to truly comprehend, truly experience Divinity.
In the former lecture, we described Krishna as presented in the ancient scripture The Bhagavad Gita. We discussed how, in that scripture, Krishna (which is a Sanskrit term meaning "black") describes the ubiquity of ; that is in everything, and everything arises because of . The name Krishna is used in Hinduism to relate with space, infinity, with that which is impossible for the mind to comprehend. It is black to our eyes, it is something we do not see. Krishna is , and in The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna displays his form to Arjuna, and Arjuna is overwhelmed with the incredible complexity and beauty of God – how Krishna displays the infinite variety of forms through which he manifests in the world. Arjuna is overcome with devotion and inspired with love and great vigor to do the work he must do. In that scripture, Krishna states,
"I  am the father and the mother of the world."
Many people limit this presentation of Krishna to being a man, a person. Many even reduce him down to being "baby Krishna." They limit their mind to the perception of what Krishna truly represents. Krishna states,
"I am the father and the mother of everything."
Such a being is not just a man or a baby, Krishna is the infinite, the everything. By saying "father and mother," Krishna is revealing the ultimate secret to all creation, which is also hidden in the Bible, especially in those first words of Genesis that we have covered so much in the lecture and books; that God is not masculine, but is, which means "Gods and Goddesses." It means a plurality that is a unity. It is a multiplicity that is united as one. This understanding is present in Judaism, in its roots, in the presentation of . It was once the root of Christianity, but it has been divorced from the modern tradition. God as polytheistic, as many, is Krishna, who displays those many forms.
We have talked about Krishna as, but today we will talk about Krishna as Ma. Ma is a universal syllable, used in every culture, in every city, country, continent; Ma is the mother. In every part of the world, this syllable Ma is used in some variation to represent Maam (mom), Mother, Amma, Uma, Mama – the mother. From our point of view as a child, when we first emerge into a body, who is God to us but the breast, the hand, the smile, the whisper, the caress, the hug, that protection that we receive in the hands of the mother? That is Ma. That is God to us as a child. As a child, our first experience of Divinity is our mother. It is the love and protection, the care and nourishment, the education we receive from our mother. Ma is the root name of the . We find this root in many of the names of the Goddesses; Mary, Maya, Uma, Mata. Matar means, "She who measures, who gives, who measures out what is needed in our to nourish the child, to care for the child."
In Indian culture, the mother is the central character in everything. In Asian culture in general, but especially in India culture, both modern and ancient, the central figure culturally is mother. In the West it is not like that, especially now. In the West, the central figure is the woman, but as an object for pleasure. In Asia, especially in ancient times, the central figure was the woman as the caretaker, as the protecter, as the nourisher. The central hub of the family was always the mother. The most respected and most venerated, and most honored person in the family was always the mother, especially when she became a grandmother, or great grandmother. No one in the family had more importance, more wisdom. The father thought he did, but he always listened to the mother and did what she would advise. Unfortunately, in the Western world, this tradition has been completely lost. Now, the woman has been reduced to a finely decked prostitute. In the West, we no longer venerate the mother; we venerate a whore. The entirety of Western culture is focused on propping up women as gratification for the senses – visual, tactile, etc. It is now very common to find ten year old children that dress the way prostitutes dress. The primary influence on fashion for women today is the way prostitutes were dressing yesterday. This does not represent anything to do with Divinity. Instead, it is a clear symbol of the degeneration of our culture, the loss of our moral fibre, the loss of the mother as our central focus, our centre of gravity as a culture.
Ma, Amma, Uma, is Krishna – there is no difference. God is androgynous.
When we talk about, we always talk about the first instant, before there is creation, there is just the absolute space, the emptiness, what in Sanskrit is called Shunyata. The Absolute has no differentiating characteristic other than pure potentiality. It is the pure potential for something to be, but as yet is not.
When the Absolute first emerges into something, it emerges as a light. In every religion, that light is represented as. It is Apollo, it is Krishna, it is the , which is Hebrew and means "the limitless light." That first nothingness before the light emerges is represented in Egyptians religion as the goddess Nut.
Nut is always depicted as a naked woman stretching her body over space, and her body is made of stars. She is space itself, she is the infinite.
In the ancient scriptures of India, it is stated from the mouth of the Goddess,
"Before the creation, I, only I, existed; nothing else was existent then." -Mahâpurânam S'rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam 7.31
She is That. She is Parabrahman, which means, "The Absolute aspect of Divinity," that which is beyond the beyond. This is something incomprehensible to our minds.
The Absolute is the level of existence in which there is not yet existence. Init is called, "Uncreated Light." It is that which will become, but is not yet.
In Sanskrit terms, there are many words that describe the level of nature. Aditi is a Sanskrit word that means, "The Infinite. " In the ancient Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in Hinduism, Aditi is described as the mother of the Gods. Her children are the Adityas, the Solar Gods. We know those Gods now as Apollo (the God of the Sun), Surya (the Sun God in Hinduism), Amun-Ra (the Sun God in Egypt); these are all merely symbols of , the light of the world.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." - John 8:12
Aditi is the mother of that light. Aditi is the space through which the Sun rises and illuminates everything. Before the light emerges, the space was there; that is Aditi.
Another name is Adi parashakti, which translates as, "Eternal Limitless Power" or, "Eternal Limitless Energy." That is space. That is the pure potential of becoming, which is a force or energy in nature.
Another name we often use for theis Mula Prakriti. In the previous lecture, we talked about Prakriti. This Sanskrit word is important. Prakriti means nature. Mula Prakriti means the origin, root, or seed of nature. Mula Prakriti is a name for the as the root or seed of everything.
I am explaining these words for you so that when you study scriptures, you can get to the deepest meaning. These words do not refer to human beings; theses terms are scientific, and refer to movements of energy in nature.
So, thehas this superior aspect that we have been describing thus far. Mula Prakriti, Adi parashakti or Aditi all describe one thing, and that is the ultimate level of space: the Absolute. That is the . That is her first, most important manifestation, her first level. In other words, everything that exists is because of her. Everything that is in potential to exist, or that is existing, is because of the .
TheSpace is the entirety of existence, within which the Gods create.
Let us state this another way: God is not somewhere else, God is everything. Everything that exists is in the body of God. This is why any anthropomorphic concept of God is so foolish, because it immediately puts us in a position of imagining that God is somewhere in Heaven and is disconnected from our activity. That is fundamentally not true. There is no distance between us and God. We are asleep to that fact, we have no cognizance of that. We are instead, asleep. If we were to awaken, we would then have cognizance of the ubiquity of God - the presence of God now - and we would know what God truly means, and what God truly is, because we would perceive it.
In the Hindu scriptures, Divinity is presented in many ways, and one of the most important is this aspect of God that I am describing, and it is often simplified with one term: Shakti. Anyone who has study yoga has heard this word Shakti. Even though yoga has been available in the West for many decades now, Shakti has been extremely badly taught and very poorly understood. People have expected that Shakti is like the energy in a light bulb, like it is something mechanical that you can turn on and off. They think it is something that you can manipulate by will, that you can play with and experiment with at will, without any consequence, without any cost. None of that is true. Shakti is theHerself, in everything.
The first aspect of thethat I explained is Adi parashakti, and that is the eternal limitless power that is in everything that exists. We are part of what exists – not only physically, but psychologically and spiritually. We have many levels inside, and every level of ourselves depends upon energy. That energy is Shakti. Everyone that is hearing this, is breathing and has a heart that is pumping; that is Shakti in the body; in the heart, in the lungs, in the brain, in all the veins and nerves. That is Shakti. That is the . That is Her, nourishing us; giving us life, giving us existence. Yet, we are ignorant to that; we ignore it. In fact, we abuse it. We take that energy in order to feed our desire, in order to abuse each other, to abuse ourselves. Instead of using that energy for the glory of that energy, for the glory of Divinity, we use it for the glory of our desire.
In the scriptures (in the Vedas especially), we learn that Shakti is indistinguishable, inseparable from Brahman, from God. In other words, God can only act because of Shakti. It makes sense, even if we think of God just as a person, with a human shape, in order for that God to act, there must be energy, and the energy that God uses to act is Shakti. That is the. The very power of creation is the . The very power or energy of anything is the Herself – She is what empowers existence, She is that energy.
"Devi or Maheswari or Parasakti is the Supreme Sakti or Power of the Supreme Being." - Sivananda
At the superior level She is Adiparashakti or Aditi – pure energy. Down here in the body, it is Shakti in our three nervous systems that activate the physical body. It is the energy that flows through the four ethers of the vital body. It is the energy that flows through the nadis of the astral and mental bodies. It is the energy that illuminates the causal body, and that vibrates in the buddhic body, and that enlightens the atmic body. All of those levels are able to exist, to interact with anything else, because of Shakti, because of energy, and that energy is the.
So, in order to illustrate this further, I want to read you a passage from the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda is one of the oldest and most important writings on the planet. It is very ancient. In the Rig Veda, there is a dialogue, a discussion, where theis speaking about herself. I invite you to open your mind, and allow your imagination to show you the meaning of these words. It sounds simple on the surface, but the true meaning of them is incredibly deep, and can change your life dramatically if you really comprehend this with your heart. So, listen closely, and imagine not my irritating voice, but the beautiful voice of the , speaking these words. She says,
"I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship. Thus Gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in. Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them,-each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken. They know it not, but yet they dwell beside me. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it. I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that Gods and men alike shall welcome. I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him a sage, a Rishi, and a Brahman. I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the hater of devotion. I rouse and order battle for the people, and I have penetrated Earth and Heaven. On the world's summit I bring forth the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean. Thence I extend o'er all existing creatures, and touch even yonder heaven with my forehead. I breathe a strong breath like the wind and tempest, while I hold together all existence. Beyond this wide earth and beyond the heavens I have become mighty in my grandeur." - Devi, from Rig Veda 10
As you can see, this very beautiful passage clearly represents the ubiquity and power of the. Of particular importance here is Her ubiquity of presence. The is not merely something to conceive of in the mind, or believe in with the heart; she is something to experience. As long as we are distracted by our mental projections, by the grasping and attachments of our heart, and by the sensations that flow through the body, we limit our perception of what is actually outside and inside of us. When we are distracted by sensation, by the relentless thinking of the mind, and the relentless surging emotions in the heart, we are asleep. We are not able to perceive the presence of Divinity, because we are only paying attention to our desires.
Shakti is the same as Prakriti. Prakriti is nature. Shakti is the energy of nature, and as we explained in a previous lecture, Prakriti (nature) has three modes of expression, three ways through which energy (Shakti) works. Those three are
These three creative parts of Divinity, or expressions of Prakriti, are called the three Gunas. Rajas, Sattva and Tamas are the three modes of expression of the Prakriti. What this means is that Divinity has laws, and is managed by functions in nature that we ignore.
The three Gunas relate to how things are created, sustained, and destroyed, and these three are represented in aspects of Diviniy as well – the faces or presentations of God that are given in different religions.
In Hinduism, we often hear about Brahma, God the Father. Brahma is only one face of God. Divinity in India, in Hinduism, is commonly described as a trinity, just like in Christianity – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. So, here we see two trinities: the three Gunas, and a trinity of Divinity. It would be easy to assume that these two trinities immediately corresponded to each other, that Brahma represents one, and Vishnu represents one, and Shiva represents one... and they do to some degree, but the reality is that God is not that simple. The Absolute, and its mode of expression, when it manifests into creation, is not as simple as kindergarten math. It would be lovely if creation were that simple, but it is not. The truth is that while each can represent a guna, each also uses all three gunas. They are a three in one.
Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva represent very subtle manifestations of Divinity at a very high level of existence. Those three are three in one, like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit of Christiniaty. They are the three in one like the Trikaya in Buddhism; Dharmakaya, Sambogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. Those are the bodies of a Buddha. If you have studied Buddhism, then you understand that the Trikaya are the central, most important aspect of esoteric Buddhism. They are also the most difficult to understand because they are so subtle.
In Buddhism, you study that Samantabhadra, who is the Primordial Buddha, is the ultimate aspect of the awakened. Samantabhadra (awakened ) is the same as Adiparashakti, the ultimate limitless energy. This is why Samantabhadra, who is also called Adibuddha, is represented in sexual union with his female counterpart. These two aspects of Divinity are one.
In Hinduism they are called Adibuddha and Adishakti; in Buddhism, it is Samantabhadra, one, united. When that expresses, when it creates, light emerges; that light isat a high, high level. It is energy. It is Shakti. And, that light emerges out of the nothingness, to become something, and that first something is the Trikaya of Buddhism; it is Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. It is a Trinity that is one. It is three but one. It is a polytheistic monism. Three aspects of one thing. Unfortunately, many millions of people in the world mistakenly assume that those three are human forms like us. They are not. They are divine forces. They are intelligence, they are , they are a level of cognizance or wisdom that is incomprehensible to us. That is why the other name for this level of Divinity, related to the , is Turiya Chaitanya.
Turiya Chaitanya is a name in Sanskrit is hard to translate easily, but the term basically refers to, "The Ultimate Level of Awakened Mandukya Upanishad:. " Turya means "fourth," and it refers to four stages of that are described in the
"Samadhi is the Turiya or the Fourth State which is Pureor the Supreme Absolute where even a tinge of dual does not exist." - Swami Sivananda
Chaitanya refers to fully awakened, totally awake. So, Turiya Chaitanya refers to the highest possible degree of awakened . In other words, these levels of symbology – Brahma, Vishu and Shiva – refer to the highest potential for any human being to reach. This is a type of that has a power of ubiquity, that has a power to perceive everything that exists. Not just the dank, fetid interior of our brain, but to perceive everything.
This is why I was saying that Yoga and the term Shakti have been poorly taught in the West, because within us, our energy (Shakti) is the doorway to Turiya. The energy in ourselves, if used wisely, can open the doors to perceiving the highest levels of existence.
called a person who reached the highest level of awakened Turiya. Sadly, there are many people in the world who claim to be "Turiyas," who go around boasting that they have reached that level of attainment. Their very boasts reveal their idiocy. God does not boast of being God. Someone who has the level of of a Turiya is a God, incarnated. It is the presence, directly, of the the , awakened in the body of a person. It is the presence, directly, of , awakened in the body of a person. So, the persons who claim to be at the level of Turiya, are claiming to be at the level of Jesus. How proud is that! How boastful! How arrogant! How foolish!
Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas are the three modes of Prakriti. Rajas is the creative aspect. Sattva is the sustaining aspect. Tamas is the destroying aspect. Anything that exists is subject to these Gunas.
The most important place to apply this is to our body, because right now we do not comprehend this in relation with our body. We inherently, ignorantly feel that we are not subject to the laws of nature; for example, our behaviors demonstrate that we believe that we will not die, or that when we die, somehow, magically, our karma will be solved and we will immediately zoom off to Heaven, no matter what we did during life. No scripture in the world agrees with that belief.
Our body is subject to being created, sustained, and destroyed, and who does all three of these? Who is responsible for the creation of our body? Well, we say it is our parents; in some degree it is true, because our parents were the vehicle through which our body was created, and we were given "a house" to inhabit. Do you remember the scripture in Rig Veda said,
"Thus Gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in."
Those houses that She dwells in are our bodies. Do you remember Jesus in the Gospel stated,
"In my Father's house, there are many mansions."
Those mansions are bodies that are fully developed; Jesus is talking about people who are awakened.
The one who creates the body is the, because she is nature. The bodies of our parents belong to nature. The sexual process that creates that fetus, is a process of nature; it is the science of creation that is the domain of the , who gives birth to everything, and everything that is born is part of Her body.
The body is sustained because of Her, because of Sattva. She is the one who sustains us. She provides us food. Remember in the Rig Veda, She says,
"Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them..."
Every time you eat, youris feeding you. She is Gaia, the Earth, who nourishes us. She is Diana, Hera, the Goddess of Nature, of the bounty. She is Matar, "she who measures out," who feeds.
Because of Her, we are sustained in life.
But, what people do not realize, is that She is also the taker of life. She is also Tamas, the destroyer. All nature is a cycle.
Another foolish concept we have in the West is the belief that the "line of time" that we imagine also implies that things are always getting better and going up and up and up and up. That is a concept. It is just a philosophy that has absolutely no evidence anywhere in nature. Nothing in nature continually ascends. Nothing! Everything in nature goes in cycles of birth and death: our breath, our heartbeat, our digestion, the movement of blood in the body, the rise and fall of night and day, the lunar cycle every month, the rotation of the Earth, the season, the rising, sustaining and dying of every creature, civilization, planet, and star that exists. Those are all cycles of nature, mechanical, that just "happen." Nowhere in nature can you find a continually ascending, elevating line of development that never stops. Such a thing does not exist, except in our putrid imagination. There is no scientific evidence anywhere for that.
Furthermore, time is not a continual line moving in one direction. Time is not what we think it is. We are deeply mistaken about pretty much everything about nature, time, space, and energy. Physicists and mathematicians know this now (that time is not linear), but in general the public is several hundred years behind what is known by modern science, and both are several eons behind spiritual science – thousands and thousands of years behind. The world's scriptures are filled with information about the nature of time, space, and energy, but science and the public refuse to study them.
The reality is that our body is managed by the three gunas. It is created, sustained briefly, and destroyed.
The inhabitant of the body is the. It also is subject to these three Gunas, but on a greater scale. Each body that we get is sustained for a while, then it dies. Yet, the does not die. Anyone who has studied Einstein knows what he stated, that energy cannot be destroyed. Energy can be modified, it can transform, but it cannot be destroyed. is energy. is Shakti; it is part of the – it is merely modified, changed. When the body dies, the moves into the next scenario, according to the cause and effect that is modifying it; the Karma. So, these three modes are what manage all of that.
The great teacher Sivananda said about the, referring to that ultimate aspect of Adiparashakti,
"She is without any change, immutable, unattainable but by yoga; She is the refuge of the universe and Her nature is Turiya Chaitanya.
"Maha Lakshmi is Her Sattvik Shakti; Sarasvati is Her Rajasik Shakti, and Maha Kali is Her Tamasik Shakti..." - Sivananda
Here we see Prakriti and the three Gunas, in relation with the, and how she works through those energies. They have names, representations, and symbols.
These are three faces of the Goddess at the superior level.
When you study Hinduism, you find the presentation of many Goddesses, many Gods, and as I explained, these are symbolic. They represent forces or actions in nature.
Saraswati represents the creative aspect (Rajas). Symbolically, she is represented in Hinduism as the river Saraswati. She is often represented rising out of the waters on a lotus; one of her names is Padme, which means "lotus." You may have heard about the Indian Buddhist Master Padmasambhava, whose name means "lotus born." The Egyptian Isis is also related to the lily, the lotus flower, and the waters, and is related to the river Nile. Why is that? What else in life is creative but water? Life comes from water. If we did not have water, we would die. So, the superior meaning there is that water that comes from Heaven, the waters that create life and sustain life.
"In the beginningcreated the heaven and the earth." - Genesis 1:1
The first lines of the Bible explains how thecreated "the heaven and the earth." Yet in Hebrew, it does not say exactly that. A literal translation would say that
"...the Gods and Goddesses created the fiery waters..."
The Hebrew word Schamayim literally means "fiery water," but was translated as "heaven."
The "earth" is our body, which is created through the sexual waters.
The fiery waters (Schamayim) are the forces of Shakti that give us life. The fiery waters are that energy that flows from the Divine into us, to give us the capacity to breathe, to perceive, to feel. That is Shakti, it is fiery water, creative power. This is why Saraswati is shown on a lotus, and she is called, "The Shakti [Power-Energy] of Brahma." Brahma means, "The Ultimate Aspect of God." Related to Christianity, we would say that Brahma is the Father, the creator. In, we call this . So, if you look at the Tree of Life, Brahma-Saraswati is the male-female, androgynous presence of God that first emanates from the Absolute. It is the "creator" or flow of energy-intelligence that creates. It is the Dharmakaya in Buddhism. It is that presence of God that first emerges as the Ancient of Days. Saraswati is the energy-power, the Shakti that allows Brahma to create.
The next aspect of the Goddess is related with Vishnu, and is called Laksmi. Laksmi is the giver of prosperity. In Hindu images of Laksmi, she is a beautiful Goddess, usually with gold coins flowing out of her hands, and jewels, gems, gold, food, water, incense, all kinds of prosperity. Of course, being the creatures that we are, we have made that image or symbol of the Divine into something that we pray for when we want to get rich. So, if you go to India or visit anyone in the Indian community, you will often find images of Laksmi that they are praying to so that they will get money. This is fine, but that is not really what Laksmi represents. Laksmi represents the prosperity that is given to the, the nourishment and sustenance that is given to the one that is truly seeking to have yoga with the Divine.
Laksmi sustains the body, gives us life. When we are living our lives, whether we go through periods of abundance or lack, that is the action of Laksmi. She is Mata, the "one who measures." She measures out to us according to what we deserve. We are given according to our deeds, which every scripture in the world explains;
"...whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
"For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." - Galatians 6
Laksmi measures according to karma.
The third aspect of the Goddess is related with Shiva, She is called Kali or Durga.
Kali is usually represented as a very ferocious Goddess, dark skinned (black or blue), with her tongue out, grasping a severed head, with a bloodied knife or sword, sometimes surrounded by flames. Usually the pictures of Kali are terrifying and disturbing, and when they first reached the West, the Westerners were scandalized, and thought this was Devil worship, and accused the Hindus of being involved in black magic. What the Westerners failed to grasp was that Kali represents that destructive aspect of the Mother, of nature. Nature, as well as creating, also destroys.
Kali is the power of Shiva. Shiva is the third, what in Christianity is called the Holy Spirit, what in is called . Literally translated, the Hebrew word means "intelligence," and when you comprehend that, you understand that intelligence in nature is that management or the balance of all things.
Westerners, especially, have a very strong aversion to facing the reality of death, and yet (as I explained in a recent lecture) without death, no one here would be alive, because, in order for you to live, you must kill. Many Westerners are shocked and offended when I say that, but the truth is, every meal you eat, you are killing life. Even if you are a vegan and you only eat grains and plants, you are killing. You take living organisms, whether they are plants, animals, or minerals, into your mouth and you destroy them. Through that destruction, there is life; we live because of death. That is the intelligence of nature; that is the cycle of nature that sustains life. Do you see the three Gunas there? Through killing, through our mouth, we create life and we sustain it; thus, there are the three Gunas.
It is true in our breath also; with every breath you inhale, you take in subtle elements from the atmosphere, and in your lungs, in your heart, in your bloodstream, those elements are destroyed, transformed. The matter is destroyed and the energy is released, and placed into other matter. So, there is a great transformation that happens in the bloodstream, in the lungs; all three Gunas are working there. The destruction of that matter, the release of that energy, life emerges, we take another breath and life is sustained. All of that reflects the modes (gunas) of action of Prakriti in the body. All of that is the Shakti of the, and yet, we ignore Her. We take it for granted.
These representations of Divinity have great importance. These images or symbols of God are not just for us to project in our mind and respect, and say, "That image is God, so I need to respect God." It is good to have a respectful attitude, but really, we need to comprehend how Divinity is real and affects us now. I give you simple examples like eating and breathing, but these forces are in everything, without exception. And, it is most especially true if you have any spiritual aspiration at all.
What is spirituality? It is the urgency to know God, to know the Divine, to experience where we come from and why we live. How will you reach that, unless you see it and experience it for yourself? You can have whatever beliefs you want, whatever theories you want, that is fine, but people have been nourishing beliefs and theories for thousands of years, and yet have died ignorant. Very few have perceived the facts, and awakened to the Divinity and seen it, tasted it, talked to it. But, it can be done. It is done by working with these energies in the body, in the mind, in the heart.
The Mystery of the Golden Blossom." In that book he explained that the has five fundamental aspects that we need to understand, if we want to understand anything about spirituality, and understand anything about God. So, in case you have not read that, I will explain those five, in relation with the three aspects that I have talked about so far.explained the in a variety of ways, but in my estimation, the most important way that he explained Her is in his book, "
The first aspect that he explained was the unmanifested, who is the Prakriti, the absolute aspect of space. We call it the Absolute: the , , . That is nature in its ultimate level.
The second aspect that he explained was represented in religions as Diana, Isis, Tonantzin, Maria or Ramio. Those aspects are the next notch down in nature, which is Shakti, the three-in-one or Tridevi. The three-in-one, which is the manifested aspect of Prakriti, are Saraswati, Laksmi and Kali as mother. As father, they are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are all the same - different modalities, or functions of the same one, which we explained as how the Gunas function.
So, at the very top level we have Adiparashakti, that unmanifested aspect of the Absolute. When that manifests, and nature emerges, that is the first level of the Tree of Life, symbolized as the Trinity, the Solar; that is Shakti. Together, those first two aspects are called Superior Prakriti, mentioned in the Gita by Krishna.
The third aspect thattaught is where things get really interesting. As I explained, the Trinity, or Tridevi (Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Kali) are especially represented in the upper part of the Tree of Life, but the whole Tree of Life, every dimension that exists, exists because of their activity, their creative power. All the dimensions that condense all the way down to the physical world are the body of nature. But, unfortunately, because humanity has reached such depravity and poor character, we have necessitated the establishment of a special aspect of the , which is one of these three, but more pronounced, more expressed in this era.
In Hinduism, this era is called Kali Yuga, which means, "Era of Kali." I explained to you before that the name Krishna means black; so does Kali, it means, "The Black One." The name Kali is also the name of a river the flows out of the Himalaya and down into India, through Nepal – the Kali gandaki. Kali, the Black One, is the destroyer, the active energy (Shakti) of Shiva. Shiva is the Holy Spirit.
If you have studied the Christian or Jewish traditions, then you understand that the Holy Spirit is that active power of God that creates and destroys. It is the dynamic energy of God, active in nature, in miracles. Kali is that. Kali is the destroyer, the consumer. Kali represents is the aspect of Divinity that "breaks down."
Now, understand this very clearly: we tend to think of death and destruction as something negative, but it is not, it is just part of nature. To have nature, you must have death. There is nothing unnatural about death, there is nothing wrong with death. It is required by nature. Everything dies, and that is normal. Our reaction to death is abnormal, it shows ignorance and a lack of understanding. Death is normal, and we need it.
Kali provides a function in nature that is necessary, especially for us, if we have spiritual aspiration. Especially for us: why? Because Kali is the manifestation of the Guna Tamas. Why do we need Tamas? Because, over the many lifetimes that we have been living, we have engaged in many wrong actions, we have made many mistakes; that is why we are suffering. Our suffering is how we are reaping what we have sowed.
We are suffering a very deep ignorance about nature, God, ourselves, and we constantly are acting out of selfishness, ignorantly harming ourselves, our loved ones, and our environment. We are destroying the planet, our civilization, due to our ignorance. Blindly led by our impulses and our desires, we have no cognizance.
Sure, we have all heard that we are making pollution, so we are trying to change our light bulbs, and we try to recycle a few bits of garbage here and there, but really, proportionally, those efforts are miniscule. They are like taking a tea-spoon out of the ocean, because the problems that we have set in motion have been in motion for centuries, and are exponentially expanding. That is why the rate of dramatic change is so incredible now, and increasing every year. We all think that all this change is good; some of it is, but most of it is not.
Examine any social system in our modern civilization and you will find that it is broken. It is broken because of hypocrisy, corruption, lies, greed – and that is in every social system; education, politics, the penal system, the health care system - anywhere we look we find grave problems: the military, family life, marriage. Can you find one area of life that is truly beautiful and functions for the benefit of everyone involved? If you find it, please tell me, because I have not found it, and I have been looking. If you analyze the aspects of our society one by one, and then look at the whole picture, it is surprising that our society is standing at all. This is why we need Kali.
Everything in the world outside of us is a reflection of what we are inside. We created this mess, not God. Our personal lives, with all of their mistakes, problems, dissatisfaction, unhappiness, stress, and anxiety, are a reflection of our psyche inside. Our family life, with its fractures, misunderstandings, periods of disagreement and fighting, are a reflection of the psychology of the family. The state of our cities, with the problems, conflicts, and corruption, are the state of the psychology of the people of that city. Likewise, each country. So, the state of the planet as a whole is as it is, because of our psychology as a race, as a humanity. This planet is in this state not because of "the other guy," but because of "me." We are the originators of our situation. When we look into our own mind, when we analyze our own psychology, we see a huge complication of struggling desires; we wish "this" and we wish "that," we want this and we want that, we regret this thing and regret the other thing. We are filled with many surging desires, anxieties, memories, longings, and have no contentment: we are suffering, in varying degrees.
In other words, in Gnostic psychology, we explain we are not an individual; instead, we are a multiplicity of competing desires. A true individual is united with one will, and that is the will of the Divine acting through us. We do not even know that God exists. We doubt that God exists, even when we think we are spiritual people. We might think that God exists, and we might want to believe it, but when we do not get what we want, we get mad – that proves that we do not know God. If we knew God, we would be perfectly content with whatever God gives us; whether it is suffering or bounty, because we would have the contentment of a heart fed by God. Look at the Saints, the Apostles, look at Arjuna, Rama, Job. As much as they suffered, they knew God, spoke with God, talked with God, and were able to say, "Well, you know, I work hard, I built all this; my family, my farm, my lands, my servants – God took everything, took my health, took everything from me and left me naked in the street. But I am still happy. What do I need all that for?"
When we are connected with God, truly, not just as a belief or as a theory, but through experience, nothing material matters. We are able to face anything without fear, without anxiety, without longing, without resentment towards God, towards others.
We need Kali, because Tamas is that energy that converts a multiplicity into unity. As an energy of God, Tamas breaks down multiplicity and unites it. What happens when you eat the flesh of an animal? You chew it, you mash it up. It goes into your stomach, and the acids of the body attack it, and take that complex structure and reduce it down; to break it up into all its separate parts, and to extract the most essential elements. That is Kali, that is her intelligence. She is the one who does that. We need that, spiritually, psychologically. We need to analyze our pride and digest it. We need to chew it, we need to break it down, we need to destroy the trash and extract what is important out of it. What is important out of it is comprehension, knowledge, understanding. Who is that? Laksmi. We need to engage in the process of the three Gunas, spiritually. In the same way we digest food, or convert air into life, we need to convert our psychology into spiritual life. The one who does that is the, especially through Kali.
Kali Ma, Durga, in Hinduism, is most commonly represented slaying a demon on a lion. She rides a lion, has many arms, and a great spear with which she kills a demon. Who is the demon? Satan, the devil; it is our own mind. The demon is not a force outside of us, it is ourselves, it is the demon we have made through our mistaken actions, mistaken thinking, mistaken feelings, and mistaken uses of the body. That is Satan, it is our own mind, and the one who slays that is Kali Ma, Durga. That is what we need. That is why we need the, but especially Kali. So, this is why pointed this out as a special aspect of Divinity.
Kali is the Queen of the Infernos; in the Greek mysteries she is represented as Hekate, Proserpine, Persephone. She is the goddess who once wandered through the gardens of Divinity, but became entranced by a flower (sensation) and thus was captured by Hades and brought into the underworld, and was forced to live there as part of a cycle of nature. That Greek myth represents how our own Inner, because of the hypnotism of sensation, psychologically and physically, became trapped in Hell, in our Hell; the Hell of our karma, cause and effect. We need to liberate Persephone, we need to liberate Kali.
The fourth aspect of theis the Nature in our bodies, the creator of our body, and the creator of what we are; that aspect of the is a personal reflection of the superior . Just as there is a for all of nature, we have our own nature; we are a microcosm, a reflection of the universe. That is why the Greeks said,
"Man, know yourself, and you will know the universe and its Gods."
The universalis reflected in us as an individual . That means we have our own individual , who has been our individual for eternity. She always has been, and always will be. She is a particle of the universal , but she is our . She is our original creator. She is our sustainer, and she is our destroyer.
Moreover, she not only is in that level in our Heavens, as our own individual, but she reflects herself once more as the fifth aspect of the that pointed out, which is the Shakti in the body and in the mind. She is the energy that gives us every impulse and flow of energy, in every level. Right now, that Shakti is what is allowing us to listen; it is what is allowing us to either be daydreaming, fantasizing and distracted, or to be comprehending the importance of this type of teaching. Whether we are feeding our , and building more asleep tendencies, or if we are struggling to awaken – it is the energy of the that facilitates it, modified by our will.
Now that we have talked about those five aspects, I want to point out something very specific about these three Gunas, in relation with our spiritual development. It was explained in the scripture that theis the capacity for any creature to experience anything; that every man who eats, who breathes, who hears a word, is in her presence, because she is the Shakti of nature. In Hinduism, that is symbolized by Shiva lying on the ground and Kali standing on him. The prone figure of Shiva is motionless and still, and standing on him is Kali, active. That symbol is very common in Hinduism, especially in Hindu , ibut very rarely is it fully explained and understood. If it is explained, it is usually talked about in philosophical terms. These symbols are not merely given for debate or philosophy, they were given for us to use practically. So, let us understand what this means practically.
Shiva is the Third, . When Shiva is symbolized in repose, or inactive, it represents two things; first is that God is powerless without the Goddess. In order for God to act there must be energy, and that energy is Shakti. Shiva creates and destroys, but without Kali, he cannot do anything. Another name for Shiva is Kala, and his spouse is Kali. So, Shiva-Shakti and Kala-Kali are the same thing. The difference is that Kala and Kali have an important connotation. Here, Kala represents the Guna Tamas, a ferocious aspect of Divinity that destroys.
The name Kala literally means "time." Truly, time is a destroyer. With every tick of the clock, we are one second closer to death. Every motion, every movement is an expiration of what we have available to us.
In this image of Mahakala, which means "Great Time," he is surrounded by flame. That flame is Kali, his spouse, his consort, without which he can do nothing. The only way that Kala can act, is with that force in activity.
"The Supreme Lord is represented as Siva, and His power is represented as His wife—Sakti, Durga, or Kali. Mother Durga is the energy aspect of the Lord. Without Durga, Siva has no expression; and, without Siva, Durga has no existence. Siva is theof Durga. Durga is identical with Siva. Lord Siva is only the Silent Witness. He is motionless, absolutely changeless. He is not affected by the cosmic play. Durga does everything. Siva is omnipotent, impersonal, inactive. He is pure . Sakti is dynamic. The power, or active aspect, of the immanent God is Sakti. Sakti is the embodiment of power." - Swami Sivananda
If you look at this image closely, you see that Mahakala tramples on an elephant. In Asian psychology, the elephant is the equivalent of the Western symbol of the donkey, a stubborn animal that is difficult to tame. Who is that in us? Our mind. So, the one who is able to conquer the mind is Kala-Kali, the destroyer.
The reason this is important is the fire around him. I explained to you that theis the energy in everything. The is the very force of existence. We are alive because of Shakti. But, it is important to understand a very, very critical distinction: Shakti is not one energy, it has an infinite variety of modifications, and all those modifications are everything you see that exists, and everything that you do not see that exists. Our body is being sustained and is living because of these three Gunas in us, which are the Shakti of the . We are alive because of her in us. More specifically, if we want spiritual life, we need to comprehend this symbol of Kali standing on Shiva. What this symbol represents on a deeper level is that Shiva in us is inactive, and it is true. Does anyone here know Shiva? Talk to Shiva? When you woke up from bed, did you say, "Hi Shiva, good morning"? Or better said, did Shiva say good morning to you? Shiva in us is inactive. Shiva is , intelligence, cognizance of nature, prajna, the most superior level of knowledge that exists; that level is not active in us, it is static.
In science, we talk about two modes of energy: static and kinetic. Theis Shakti, the energy of nature. In us, that energy is static; the potential is there, but it is not active. In order for us to activate that energy, we have to work with Kali, with the . In other words, we have to learn to transform energy, to extract it from its trapped state, that latent state in which it is not moving. Through the process of Kali, Tamas, we have to break the multiplicity, converting it into a unity, and thereby cause the energy to awaken. That energy, whether it is static or kinetic, has a special name in Hinduism and probably every one has heard it: . It comes from the Sanskrit word kunda, which means "coiled." The is an energy that is coiled up in us. In other words, it is static, it is inactive.
There are many people, groups, yoga schools, and spiritual movements that talk about awakening, and they teach many different types of techniques and practices; they talk about Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga, and they talk about different kinds of and and all kinds of practices that you can do to awaken your . None of them work if you ignore the . That is why so many people have gone into these groups full of faith, full of hope, full of enthusiasm and tried and tried and tried, and leave disappointed, because they never work with the inside of themselves. They are attempting to force the to do something that she will not do unless we deserve it. In other words, to convert her power in us, which is now static, into kinetic energy, we have to earn that. You can repeat a 100,000,000,000 times, and you will not awaken that energy if she does not want it awakened in you, because that energy IS Her, it is the universal Mother particularized into our individual , latent and waiting in us. You cannot outsmart God, and everyone thinks they can. People believe if you pay $500 to a certain school, and they teach you these secret techniques, and you do this and that, they will promise you that will awaken your in two weeks or six months. They are lying, because they only want your money, or power over you, or they want to be famous, or whatever it is they want.
Therewards her true disciples. You do not have to belong to any group, any school, follow any Master, but your own Master, who is inside of you [study the next lecture].
She awakens the one who deserves it, and she awakens us through her energy made kinetic in us; that energy rises up the spinal column and awakens us. That energy starts at the base of the spine in the. just means wheel, it is a place where energy is transformed.
, the active energy of the , can only be awakened by a very precise application of knowledge. It cannot awakened accidentally. There are other kinds of energy that can awaken accidentally, because there are many energies in the body. There are many tools and devices in the body that scientists and doctors have no clue about. Those can be activated, just through cause and effect. But, is the intelligence of the . The does not make mistakes. The is the very power and energy of God, which only acts through the will of God, never through an accident, never by being tricked, never because of money, but only because of Karma: cause and effect.
There is a quote from an important scripture from Hinduism that I want to read to you, in order to emphasis the meaning of this. It is also spoken from the point of view of the. She says this,
"I am of the nature pervading every moment, so whatever actions are performed at any moment are all equal to taking My vows and festivals." - Mahâpurânam S'rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam
That is a very cryptic statement from the. What She is stating is that every single action we engage in determines our relationship with Her. What it means is, it is possible to come to know Her, to be guided by Her, to have experience of Her, even if you do not know all the , mudras and different prayers and rituals of Hinduism or Buddhism – you do not need to know all that stuff to experience your . What you need is cognizance of Her.
If one has moment to moment cognizance, awareness, a remembrance of thehere and now, She immediately responds to that, always. This is easy to understand. Anyone who has been a parent, especially a mother, will know this; you feel your child, you sense the needs of the child. A mother can sense the needs of the newborn, can feel what the child feels. Well, if you imagine in that feeling also exists in your , who is an awakened power of nature, that feeling must be greatly enhanced. Our senses and feels absolutely everything that we feel and do, without exception. So, how do we live? This is the answer to our spiritual riddle. How are we living from moment to moment? Do we remember Her? Do we perform our actions in remembrance of the presence of our ? Do we measure our thinking and feeling and impulses to act in proportion to the remembrance of Her in each moment? We do not. That is why we suffer. That is why we do not know who she is. That is why we do not have the awakened.
In his book, "The Mystery of the Golden Blossom" explains that the is a very exacting guide. One can be a perfect Gnostic, Hindu, Buddhist, or Christian, following every single guideline perfectly, but She will not awaken in that person if they forget Her. She cannot. She will not awaken in a person if they are treasonous towards God, towards others. In other words, she will not awaken in Her positive aspect.
Kali has a very special importance, which I explained; Kali as the enactor of the Tamasic Shakti. Kali is the destroyer. Someone who learns this science, about awakeningand transforming energy, learns how to work with energy in a very potent and direct way. The critical aspect here is psychological, it is to be changing our behaviors, not just externally, but internally; changing our relationships with ourselves and others, and especially with God, from moment to moment. Nonetheless, this science is extremely exacting, because it is the intelligence of the that guides it. So, even if someone is performing all the external factors perfectly – they go to their group regularly, they help other people, they donate, they do all the practices they are supposed to do, they are an upright citizen, they are good householder, they are kind and respectful to others – but, She will not awaken positively in them if they fornicate, physically or internally, or if they commit treason; by treason we mean something spiritual, which has many levels of application. If you commit treason against your Master, teacher, guide, if you commit treason against your or your , you can be externally the perfect-looking spiritual person, but internally it is a different story, and you many not even know it. What happens is that, a person can awaken this energy of Kali in different ways, because all energy in nature is a polarity.
When the static energy is activated through the different techniques in every religion, and made kinetic, the energy must move. That is the nature of kinetic energy, it moves. But where and how is determined by the conditions. So, if our psychological and spiritual conditions are negative, then that energy will move in a negative way; it will be conditioned by that negativity. Externally, we may give the appearance of a very spiritual person, but if in our mind we continue with our bad habits, being very arrogant, proud, lustful, envious, then that energy that is moving in us will be conditioned by that psychology.
If our psychological environment is very positive and we are exercising a great deal of effort to modify and manage our psychological to be positive, to be remembering the presence of God, to not act onand pride and envy, that energy will rise up the spine. We will awaken properly, little by little, step by step, slowly, in accordance with how we face ourselves, and overcome our mistakes and our defects and our limitations and our egos, and our , pride and envy.
is not awakened in one shot. It awakens gradually, in slow stages, through being tested by the , and She tests us relentlessly, giving us many tests to see how we will respond and behave. She is the one who does it. She stands on Shiva and tests us in the mind, the heart and in our physical lives. She gives us situations in which, by habit, we would respond with pride and be arrogant and be boastful, and if we do that, we modify that energy negatively. She will present us with scenes that tempt our , and if we respond out of habit, and we indulge in , we modify that energy negatively. If we conquer it, we can raise that energy. If we do not conquer it, and we indulge in it, that energy descends and it becomes destructive of the .
The energy rises through passing psychological tests. Let us say we are given a test related to, whether that is physical or internal; a person comes to us, seductive, trying to engage in some type of lustful activity, even mere lechery, just looking at a person lustfully; if we do it, the three Gunas are in action, but what happens? If we indulge in the , that Shakti destroys. It traps the in karma. So, what is created is the karma, what is sustained is the suffering, the . So, those three Gunas act in a negative form. That is Kali utilizing all three gunas, directed by our willpower.
If we conquer, if we conquer pride, if we reject acting on envy or resentment or anger, and instead choose to act in a virtuous way, in a beneficial way, to humble ourselves and to remember the presence of Divinity, the three Gunas also act. The negative habit is destroyed, the virtue is created, and the energy of the Spirit, the energy of the , the energy of is sustained.
Therefore, our willpower from moment to moment determines how Shakti is directed: upwards, towards the light, or downwards, towards the darkness. The mathematical accumulation of actions results in the Shakti being activated, whether positively, rising up the spinal column as, or negatively, descending downwards from the spine as Kundabuffer, the "tail of Satan."
Do not think that theis something separate from you. This is the huge mistake that everybody makes, just thinking God is separate. God is never separate from us, and the reason that I emphasis the so much, is that she is more accessible to us. When we see the image of Shiva in repose, this is because the father, the masculine aspect of that Divinity, is more distant, more magnificent in some way, you could say. But when we need something, the is right there, always, and will give us what we deserve. So, we have to earn it. We have to work hard, in order to earn real spiritual development. It does not come easily. It comes through conquering oneself, purifying oneself, and the one who does the purification is Kali, according to our actions.
To give you a great aid in this effort, we can talk about the Bija and then we will end the lecture. In a previous lecture called, ", , Mind Protection" we explained the nature of sacred words, sacred sounds, and every sacred sound or phrase has different aspects that are important, and one of those is called Bija, which means seed or root in Sanskrit. Every has a seed or root, likewise every Divinity has that. So, everyone of these symbols of Divinity has a Bija, or a seed , a root related to that aspect of Divinity.
In this era, at these moments, at this time in our development as a race, there is a singularthat can transform our state of existence, and help us rise out of it, and it is a that can be used all the time. It is the seed of Kali, it is the sound, the vibration that is most directly connected to her Shakti. That is, of course, the Tamasic Shakti. That is very simple: Krim. It is usually spelt K-R-I-M, but that I, in English, has an EE sound, Krrrriiiiimmmm. That is the Mantric vibration of Kali.
Use it constantly in your heart and mind; carry it with you. When you face ordeals, when you eat, when you have sex, use thatin order to remember the presence of Kali, and to take advantage of every moment as an act of worship and remembrance of the Divine, and as a way to help you restrain your animal impulses, the harmful impulses. You can say it mentally, and you do not have to roll the R.
The main thing is the remembrance of God. That is the most important aspect, that is what energizes the. It is that remembrance of the presence of God, to feel it, not just to think it, but to reach out with all of your senses and try to sense the presence of God. It takes a great deal of effort, and it feels tiring, because we are not used to it. But the more you do that, always relaxing and trying to feel the presence of the Divine everywhere, and remembering God is everywhere, God is in me, in everything. God is in that person that I am mad with, why should I be mad at them? God is there. God is here, why should I feel despair? Or anxiety, or fear or worry about my situation? God is here. My is here, has always loved me and will always love me.
We need to stop making mistakes, and come back to Her. If we do not feel the, it is because we abandoned Her. Not the other way around. The never abandons us.
A little bit deeper about Kali: humanity is on the precipice because of the karma that we have been accruing for many, many centuries. We are on the precipice of a great tip-over into another phase, in which the force of Kali will begin to purify this planet very intensely, because the karma is so heavy. As individuals, we are on that precipice as well. Those people who refuse to improve spiritually and psychologically become such a generator of suffering for themselves and others, that nature, the, out of compassion, takes them out of the scenario and puts them into a recycling plant, which we call Hell. Kali breaks their multiplicity down into a unity. That process of purification is symbolized by the fire of Hell. Over whatever period of time it takes to break down those mistakes and all that karma and all that psychological condensation, the multiplicity, she will break it down out of love. It is not a pleasant process, it is very painful, but it is not eternal, it lasts as long as it takes to clean that , so that can begin again. The three Gunas are active there; that destruction creates a new scenario within which that can try again. Kali does this for Her children because She loves them.
Audience: What shape does thetake within our dreams?
Instructor: Thehas no form. The has no religion, but all religions. She has no single form, but has every form. She is formless, she is the energy of nature, the energy of all existence. But, She can take form in order to help us, and She does that all the time, in many ways, not only psychologically, but even physically. If you have study the Greek myths, then you have seen how the Gods take form and appear to the heroes, but often the human beings do not recognize the Gods, and we are the same way. Our own can take physical forms in order to aid us, but we never recognize them. In dreams, the can also take forms, but she will take different forms according to the message She is trying to convey. I myself, in my experience, have seen the appear in the forms of many different pantheons or types of Gods, and other types of forms that she uses in order to teach me, so that I will understand different meanings and symbols, and things in relation with my life. She does not take a single form. She can appear as a man or a woman, or other forms that are not directly related to human things. So, it depends on your own idiosyncrasy and your own level of understanding, the types of forms that she will take.
Audience: Why do you describe Kali as, right now, the stronger power, rather than Rajas and Sattva and Tamas having equal power in a cycle of constant creation and sustaining, as well as destroying?
Instructor: That is a great question. The process of existence is very complex, if you imagine a great clock, you see wheels within wheels. Many different cycles that are all working together. So, we have our own individual cycle of our life, which moves through stages, and that fits into communal and global size cycles, and also planetary and cosmic cycles. This cosmic scenario that we are in is a great era that lasts tens of thousands of years, called Kali Yuga. It is a very long process, through which the whole cycle, in this given scenario, is undergoing a transformation that is specifically related with Kali. That happens with the other aspects of the Gunas as well. In addition, our planet is going through a process related with Kali. Our planet is about to undergo a great transformation. We also see great transformations that are underway now. Great processes of destruction are emerging more and more rapidly every year, and that is under the auspices of Kali. But, the main reason is spiritual. Because our psychological level is reaching a phase in that cycle of creation, sustenance and destruction in which we are approaching a new era. We are in an era in which we have to pass through destruction in order to reach a new stage of creation. Before a new life can emerge, there must be death.
As a humanity, and as individuals, we are in a Kali phase, in which her energy is dominant. Spiritually speaking, especially. Kali is not just a Hindu concept, it is universal. We can all it whatever we want. If we wanted to use a Greek term, we would say this is an era of Hekate. Hekate is also a triple-faced Goddess. So, the aspect related with destruction and the underworld is Persephone, or Proserpine, which is Kali.
It is uncomfortable, because it is process of destruction, but it is also how nature functions, and that is what we are going through now. Everybody is wondering, why are there so many problems? Why are there so many natural disasters? Why is there so much suffering? Why are people in so much ignorance and so much pain? Because of the karma, and because it is the Kali Yuga; it is a black age. But, like anything in nature, it will end. The ultimate question is, how will we pass through it? We will we be chewed up by the machine, or will we pass through it consciously, in order to emerge out the other side, and be propelled by those Gunas into a higher level of being?
There are many people who believe that humanity is about to move into a "golden age," and humanity will pass through a great change just fine, and that we will all reach a new level of evolution together. That is a beautiful idea, but it is a lie. Nothing in nature functions that way. Only the fittest survive, and it is also true spiritually. A great tree will release millions of seeds, but how many become trees? The vast majority are lost. The same is true of humanity. Humanity is a great seed bed, with millions of seeds, but very few have the force of Shakti to transform themselves psychologically, like John the Baptist showed through his decapitation; to die so that Elias can be reborn, so that the prophet can emerge. That is the process that Jesus represented on the cross, that John the Baptist represented, that all the prophets and saints represent through their process of death. Death must happen if there is to be resurrection. The same is true for our race. In order for there to be an elevation of humanity, there has to be a great death where the impure is destroyed. We cannot take our impurity to Heaven. If we have our impurity within us, there can be no Golden Era for us. What prevents this from being a Golden Era is our impurity. So, if we want to reach a new stage, a higher level of development, all of our impurity has to be destroyed. We can either do it ourselves, today, through psychological work in, or Kali will do it for us in Hell. It is up to us.
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