Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why is Kali Maa standing on poor Shiva?

'Ai, tell me no. Why is Kali Maa standing on Shiva?' asks my eight year old, again and again.

'I don't know, kiddo.'

'Search on Google.' he tells me.

'Ok. This is what they say on Google. Kali Maa was on a war with the demons, and she wouldn't listen to anyone, she was so angry, so Shiva lay on the ground just in front of her and she stepped on him and suddenly went, oh my God, and put her tongue out and stopped.'

'Oh. I see.' he said. 'But why did Shiva want her to stop fighting?'

'He is her husband, no? He has to look after her.'

'No, Shiva is Parvati's husband.' he corrects me.

'Same thing, kiddo. Parvati is Kali when she is angry, when she needs to be in the action. Two names, two avatars, same person.'

'I see,' he said.

But I wasn't too happy with this interpretation, and so I talked to a devotee from the Nithyananda ashram. And I got a lovely interpretation, presumably that of Swamiji himself.

'When a person gets enlightened, he is as good as dead. For all practical purposes, there is no ego left in him, no 'life' as we understand it. So Shiva's body here is a 'dead' enlightened person. And Kali Maa standing on him is the Goddess or Prakritti that functions 'through' him. '

I was thrilled with this thought until I tried telling the brat about it.

'When a person gets enlightened, ' I began...

'What is enlightened?' he asked.

'When a person becomes, no meets God, he kind of dies.'

'You mean a person dies and then meets God, no?'

'No, I don't mean that death, this is a different kind of death. I mean death of the ego.'

'Oh. What is the ego?'

'Umm. . . Well. . . Forget it, will you? '

Anyone out there knows how to answer these questions when an eight year old asks them?

4 comments:

DK said...

Actually i think kids are a great medium of testing our knowledge of things, big and small isnt it. u probably know that better as a mother. Irony is, even though they are born out of us, and are inexperienced and innocent etc they hold this lethal power of helping us understand ourselves in ways we couldnt have otherwise.

Grasshopper said...

Dear Dk,
I really don't think we have any knowledge at all.
At most, we play with words.

And children, they play hide and seek.

We would play it too, had we more energy and less heaviness in the head.

But yes, that was a nice comment, thank you DK.

Anonymous said...

:) grt incurious kid...but xclnt querries :)

Anonymous said...

shiva here represents patience,knowledge and politeness.

kali here is symbol of anger,violence.

so when anger and violence,stand over patience,she realise her mistake and became cool and patient and through up anger.
so it shows the victory of peace and patience.

at certain stage in hinduism many things became symbolic,for example the god vishu is represent as siting on a snake that is also symbolic.so do you think there is any godesses like kali which had tounge no,it is a power,that all is symbolic.