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Divine figures have always played a crucial role in a life of any nation. Every people has its own gods and worship figures. Hindu world is full of various divine creatures that are both scary and gracious. One of the most interesting and controversial characters in Hindu religion is the goddess Kali who is considered to be fierce and sometimes cruel. She is a goddess of death, time, and change. She is usually depicted in black color and is sometimes called “the black one”. Even this succinct description of Kali vividly represents the views people had (and probably continue to have) about this goddess. Although scary and unyielding, goddess Kali plays an important role in Hindu world and is worshipped by many people.
Despite all seemingly negative features of Kali she is appreciated by her worshipers. Being the goddess of death and things that change it is natural that she is feared and at the same times revered. People are always scared of the unknown and one of the ways to explain it is to realize that there is a master of those things and that he/she should be worshiped. Kali has for her domain death and lives in cremation grounds. To worship Kali means to come to terms with what is to come and learn obedience and understanding of death. I think this is quite an interesting approach to death. Hindu religion has given people a chance to accept death and become less afraid to die. There will always be controversial feelings about Kali. On one hand she is the one taking away the loved ones into the unknown and unexplored world. Moreover, she is the goddess of destruction. On the other hand, she is also the one upholding the existing order of the world and she liberates those who want to come to God and get to know him.
Kali is quite an empowering figure for women. In a traditional point of view a woman didn’t mean much in an ancient world. However, when one of the ten fierce goddesses in Tantra is a woman, people subconsciously change their perspective towards a woman. Nowadays a goddess like Kali should give a lot of courage and feeling of self-worth to women all over the world. It is very important and reassuring to see such a role model as a goddess. Therefore, an average woman can stop being afraid of being strong, independent, and sometimes fierce. Moreover, women can relate very well an image of Kali as a mother. This gives them a chance to see that being a mother doesn’t deprive them from being an attractive woman.
Men can also find Kali empowering. However, they have to study her more carefully in order to understand that she can be helpful for both sexes. They can gain a lot by understanding that Kali has a consort Shiva and that she is connected to him and is dependent on his support is a sense. Therefore, a man can learn that being a support for a woman he helps her to prosper as a personality and live up to the best person she can be. This is a very valuable observation and it can be learnt from worshipping Kali and understanding her ways.
Divine figure usually have a lot of influence on our personalities and on our sense of a self. They project their characters on people and in this way influence people’s actions and thinking process. In the same way, people project their own beliefs, fears, thoughts on the divine creatures and in this way a god or a goddess can acquire new characteristics over considerable amount of time. Therefore, this is a process where each side is influenced by the other. To be sure, the gods and goddesses influence our sense of a self to a higher extent. Studying the deeds of a certain god we can learn how to act righteously in a given situation. We can also learn the positive and pious qualities that we can try to strengthen within us.
Having divine figures of both sexes can be a controversial and a subjective question. For instance, Christian people may argue that distinguishing the gender of the gods is an automatic exclusion of certain people from worshipping that god. However, there is another side to the argument. People can definitely relate better to gods and goddesses of their gender. This is not because of some negative perception but rather because of the subconscious desire to bond with the representative of one’s own gender. Women can be more open with other women while men are understood better by other men. That is why male and female divine creatures can become a real friend and consort in times of sorrow or tough decisions. However, a world with male and female divine creatures should not necessarily exclude people from worshipping any gods or goddesses. This can be viewed as a kind of freedom of choice – to worship a certain god or to worship every god and goddess equally. Moreover, in this way a person learns to respect both genders and take the most important aspects form worshipping divine creatures of both sexes.
To summarize, divine creatures play an essential role in humans’ lives. They help people through difficult times; teach them how to be good persons, set an example of good personal qualities, and help face and deal with the scary and unknown phenomena like death. Goddess kali is one of the major characters in Hindu religion; and she has a valuable role of overseeing world order and destroying things that are not righteous. She is a goddess of destruction, but destruction is also a change. Change is scary and unpredictable, but it is also a chance to begin thins anew and reevaluate some past actions in order to live a better life in future.