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Excersus XXII: Glory Days


Sorry for the late posting - last night had rather more Cowboy Bebop and cheap merlot than I had quite intended.

Kali is an interesting one amongst the Hindu pantheon. Here is a description of her from the Mahabharata:

He saw Kali standing black and terrible before him, the Goddess dressed in slit tongued serpents hanging from her waist dripping poison, and wearing a necklace of human heads running blood over her breasts. In ten arms she held weapons and fire and disease and fear; her eyes and hair were wild, and she danced to the sound of screams.

And YET, in keeping with the tendency of Hindu mythology to never write off anybody as lost, even this terrifying creature has a sense of justice. She is the servant of eternity which is destructive and pitiless, but which has within it still a capacity for compassion. She is not the Big Bad of Hinduism as Satan is in Christianity - she represents a principle and facet of existence that is complicated and difficult to look at, but that is necessary. To get rid of Kali would be to get rid of the flavor of the human experience, would be to lie. There is a tempting simplicity in lying about our condition as a species in the face of the vastness of everything that is Not Us, and many religions give in to that temptation, but the great texts of Hinduism are much more tolerant of instructive messiness, and that is pretty cool.

- Count Dolby von Luckner