From the darkness there rises
A power of superior nature
That thinks not before destroying evil
That leaves only blood and ashes to spare
She is feared for her power
She is feared for her appearance
Yet she protects us from evil
In the dead of the darkest night
The gentleness in her eyes
Appears fiery in the night light
The blue sheen in her subtle glow
Appears mystical in the moonless night
The wrath to destroy
Is bright in her red eyes
She rises now to rule
Kalika Mata at Kalighat.
Its the best moment in time to test one's endurance, Kalighat has everything, the true display of corruption, the disgust on the priest's face, the sheer lack of devotion, the noisy mob of which I am a part, the absence of peace, the dirtiest shrine that has never been cleaned, and of course in the middle of it She stands in her silent fury - Kalika Mata. It is silent fury... that expression that stays locked on her face painting her so coy and yet so fiery and beautiful.
This temple appeared a lot different in the earlier days. The river flowed much closer giving Kalighat its name. Surrounded by forests, with a river flowing by and the burning of the dead near the shrine bring the mysticism of the moonless night to the fore. In the dark night one can listen closely to her presence, the sound of anklets as they walk around the floor, stamping it with a trishul. And then the rhythmic sound floods the air with resounding beats of a dancer so crisp in her movement.
And when we look up to her shrine, she sits there almost ready to charge forward, colored in vermilion, a bright orange that glows over her forehead. Its gleams in the light of the lamp, casting shadows of her form on the floor. She is so beautiful. She has this calm around her and yet there is wrath on her face. She is so gentle and coy and yet she yields sharp weapons. She stays static atop the body of Lord Shiva but she is shakti, the dynamic movement that destroys all life, all evil.
कालिकायै विद्महे श्मशानवासिन्यै धीमहि
तन्नो घोरा प्रचोदयात्।
She is the Mother of the moonless night. She is the jingling of anklets in the darkness. She is the flaming eyes of purity that vanquish all that is impure. Why do we fear her?
She took form to destroy the demons of the night, she took blood to destroy evil. Why then do we fear her now, why then do we offer blood of innocent animals when that of evil men should be at the altar?
She walks in nakedness into the blue hued sky. She knows no shame when she is so pure. Why then do we remain silent over her nature and yet not follow her footsteps to discard our vanity?
She walks wild with flowing hair, with an appearance of darkness that envelopes her. Why do we fear her when she sports her brilliance in her awakened third eye?
She is the light that is beyond life, she is the light that guides us to enlightenment. Why then do we fear death and not want to live near her home, the sacred place of the cremation ground?
She is the truth, she is that which burns in fury, she is the divine light that rules us. Why then do we hide in our ignorance and not want to take this path more seriously?
Are we scared of death, of unfamiliarity, of unpleasantness, of unlearning, of that path which we will tread alone, of silence, of the unknown?