Syama Kali is yet another of Her manifestations. She is four handed, holding khadga and severed human head in upper right and lower hand respectively. The upper right and left are in varasa and varada mounting on a dead body respectively. Syama can be said to be just another name for Dakshinakali. She is worshipped in Dakshina Kali mantra and confirms to dhyana of the first Mahavidya Kali. Syama’s tongue protrudes, the red color symbolising activity. The tongue is held by her white teeth symbolising sattva or spirituality. Looking at Syama’s right we see good, and the left, bad. Her nudity implies a that she is garbed in space or sky clad. In her absolute, primordial nakedness, she is free from all covering of illusion. She is nature or Prakrithi stripped of ‘clothes’. Thus she is beyond name and form, completely beyond the illusory effects of Maya.
Shyama Kali has a somewhat tender aspect of Kali. She is thus worshiped in the Hindu households. She is the dispenser of boons and the Protectress, in times of epidemic, famine, eartquake, drought, and flood. Smashana Kali is the embodiment of the power of destruction. She resides in the cremation ground, surrounded by corpses, jackals and terrible remale spirits. From he mouth flows a stream of blood, from her neck hangs a garland of human heads, and around her waist is a girdle made of human arms.
How do we comprehend the Divine paradox of Mother? Fierce, black in color, large, shimmering eyes, destructive, triumphantly smiling amidst the slaughter of billions of demons, wearing kecklace of skulls and Trident that flashes like lightning and a knife etched with sacred mantras and infused with Divine Shakti, Kali stands peaceful and content, suffused with the fragrances of jasmine, rose and sandlewood.
Syama Puja is a festival dedicated to Mother Kali. It is celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month, Ashwin and coincides with the pan-Indian Lakshmi Puja. Worshippers honor Mother in their homes in the form of clay idols andpandals. Tantric rites and mantras are uttered with revereance in the night session of the prayers.
Shyama Sangeet, the devotional songs attributed to Mother Kali are sung in both folk and classical tunes to highlight motherly bonds of affection between the universal female principle, Mother and Her children. Syama sangeet sings the glory of Mother in a practical human life background. For example “You are a poor farmer, mind of Mine! You have let the precious field of human life sit for too long. If only you had planted right a golden crop would be yours by now!” ..... “The Guru planted the seeds, but the rains of your devotion must irrigate the fields....” etc
During celebrations, Pandals also houses other forms of the Tantric Goddess, Mahavidyas. Hibiscus flowers, sweets, rice and lentils are offered to mother. Animal blood is offered in a skull. While meditation goes in throughout the night, Mother is offered animal-sacrifice abundantly.
Mother is Jnana Shakti, the energy of Wisdom, the intuitive illumination within, as compared with the intellectual contemplation of the external. Knowledge is conceived, wisdom is intuited. When Mother takes away the darkness of the Dark Luminosity of the outside world. Mother grants ullumination of the Dark Luminosity of the inner word. Thus is the greatness and Grace of Mother. Jai Maa Kali. Adi Kali, Maha Kali, Maya-Kali, Jai Maa Kali.
by Yogi Ananda Saraswati