On Kali In The Vedas

We have often heard it claimed that there is no Kali in the Vedas – and that She is therefore some kind of ‘foreign’ or ‘novel’ figure in relation thereto. This is not true.

We take a brief look at several divine expressions of the Vedas that are clearly resemblant to Kali – not simply in terms of being “Wrathful” or “Terrific” of appearance, but fulfilling key points of resonance with a Kali typology.

Fundamentally, these include a ‘transformation’ – from one Goddess or Form thereof, to Another … with this being a baleful figure , engaged in the destruction of demons or other foes and especially those offending through violation against the saliency of Rta (Cosmic Order) – and often with particular ‘iconographic’ / ‘symbolic’ features which instantly recall to mind Her .

Particular exemplars we consider include Vak (in Lioness form in the Yajurveda & Shatapatha Brahmana); the variously hailed Goddess of AV-S XII 5, Who is as Death when offended against (and many other qualities besides); and Nirrti / Nrrti – not least because She is depicted as changing from Earth to this blackened, terrific and devouring form … and then to a Golden / Light form when properly propitiated (resonating with Kali becoming Gauri in later scripture, Demeter Erinys or Demeter Melaina in similar circumstances ‘reverting’ to a non-Furious form, etc.) … and several others besides.

It is not hard to see how these express the same divinity as the figure more prominent in later times and verses.

Jai Mata Di !

जय माँ काली ॥


2 thoughts on “On Kali In The Vedas

  1. Agreed. There is certainly some correlation in the Celtic sphere too, where the Goddess though often assuming a benevolent form, often also appears as a similarly baleful type either to cast down those who have offended her or to test the resolve of various kings and heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: On Kali In The Vedas – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

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