What does the myth say?
According to the Puranas, at the beginning of creation, Lord Vishnu was engrossed in yoga sleep. At that time, Prajapati Brahma was born from Vishnu’s navel. At this time two giants were born from Vishnu’s Karnakamal. The names of these two giants were Madhu and Kaitava. These two demons named Madhu and Kaitava set out to attack Brahma. Then Brahma started chanting Mahakali. At the call of the devotee, Adya Shakti appeared as Mahamaya Kali. Again according to the Markandeya Purana, Sri Sri Chandi says that the deities who were afraid of the tyranny of two demons named Shumbha and Nishumbha started worshiping Adhyashakti to protect themselves and save creation. Then Goddess Ambika emerged from the body cells of Adya Shakti. His other name is Kali as he is dark in color.
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What is in the Ramayana?
Again in the Treta period Ravana’s son was satisfied with the pursuit of his female sister and was worshiped as Bhadrakali. This Goddess is the Most Merciful, She has no partiality, the Goddess will appear to save the one who calls her with longing. Mahamaya will respond to the call of any deity, demon or human who takes refuge in her. There are many folk tales around Maa Kali.
Different forms of Maa Kali
Somewhere she is Bhadrakali, somewhere she is Rakshakali, somewhere again Shamshankali, somewhere else she is Shakuntala Kali. Besides, sometimes she appears and is worshiped as Khapa Kali, sometimes Nishi Kali, sometimes Dakat Kali, sometimes Siddheshwari Kali, sometimes Karunamayi Kali at the call of the devotees. She is worshiped as Dakshina Kali in different countries of India and all over the world including Bhavatarini of Dakshineshwar, Mother Kali of Kalighat. If the Dakshin Pada of Kalimurti is first in Mahadev’s chest, then he is Dakshina Kali. Again, if the left foot of Kalimurti is first on Mahadev’s chest, then he is worshiped as Bamakali. In Vedanta’s Mundaka Upanishad, Maa Kali is identified as Karali Maa Kali as the seven tongues of fire.
The famous 16th century pandit and Tantra monk Krishnananda Agambageesh first popularized the worship of Dakshina Kali in the form of an idol. Before that, the worship of Kali was done in tantra or bhava. Devotees believe that Karalabdana Kali removes the danger, sorrow, and pain of the people. That is why the people of the world do Kali Puja for happiness, peace and prosperity. Bhakti is the cornerstone of Kali Puja. One has to float in the ocean of devotion and surrender oneself completely at the feet of the mother. For this reason, Ramprasad’s song says ‘Aar kaj ki my Kashi, Gaya Ganga Varanasi is lying at the feet of my mother.’