Sri Ruthrakali Amman

Origin of Kali

In a period of war between the Gods and the demons, the evil demon king Mahishasura took advantage of a brief respite to gather an army and declare himself the Lord of Heaven, Ruler of the Universe. This blasphemous title reached Vishnu, the head God, who shot a blinding light from his forehead in fury. Shiva was also angry and beamed a sharp ray of terrible light in the same direction. Brahma, Indra, and the other mighty Gods also shot forth-intense rays of light. At one point, all the Gods' rays joined, and the light culminated in the form of a woman: A face formed by Shiva's light, Yama gave her hair, and Vishnu her arms; the moon God Chandra's light formed two breasts, Indra's becoming her waist, and Varuna's her thighs; Earth's light gave her hips, and Brahma contributed feet; Agni, the fire God, fashioned her three eyes. Each God contributed their power to manifest the Devi, the great Mother Goddess.

As soon as the Goddess was created, the Gods prayed to her, worshipping her with praise; ornaments of jewels, earrings, bracelets, and a garland of eternal lotuses; and weapons, suchas a trident, a discus, and a thunderbolt. Shouting invocations to the Devi, the God's watched the demons charge towards them in battle.

The demons, armed with arrows, clubs, swords, and spears, went straight towards the enormous manifested Goddess' towering form, which was laughing with amusement. She easily smashed weapons, hurled demons and killed with her mighty sword and mace.

A demon the posed a threat to the Devi was the demon Raktabija, who possessed the magical power of creating new demons from his own blood. Everytime he was wounded, each spilled drop of blood generated another demon.Devi then produced from her THIRD EYE apure form of her fury to destroy the evil and that was Kali.
According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Brahma granted the boon to Raktavera that for every drop of his blood that fell on ground hundreds of demons like him would be produced. Thus the only way of slaying Raktavera was by not allowing even a drop of his blood to fall on the ground. Thereby Kali pierced him with a spear and drank all his blood as it gushed out. Kali once gave free rein to her blind lust for destruction. To stop the world from being destroyed Lord Shiva brought himself to the feet of Kali. On sensing her husband beneath her feet she stopped and thus the world was saved. She acquired her name Kali meaning 'conqueror of time' as she subdued her husband Lord Shiva by trampling over him. This way Devi the symbol of fertility conquered Shiva, the inexorable destroyer, who was equated with time.

Kali is the Goddess of destruction. The image of Kali usually shows her foot on Lord Shiva's chest, a severed head in one hand, her sword in the other, and wearing a garland of skulls. Kali is worshipped as the Mother Goddess who protects from evil. She also epitomises strength or 'Shakti' and the darker side of life. The actual puja takes place at midnight on the day of the new moon smeared with blood, the brow bearing a third eye, like Shiva's. She has four arms. She holds in one a weapon, in another the head of a giant, dripping blood; the other two are raised to bless the worshipers. Her terrible appearance is made all the more gruesome with her ornaments of necklace of snakes, skulls and heads of her sons and a belt from, which hangs demon's hands. If she is the destroyer of Mahisasura (as Durga), Shumbha, Nishumbha, Chanda, Munda, Raklavirya, she is also the compassionate Mother. The two mudras in her right ands, 'abhaya' (protection from fear) and 'vara' (granting of boons) and the raised blood-smeared sword in one of her left hands with the freshly severed head of a demon dangling from the other hand, with three eyes standing for the sun, the moon and fire (Agni) make her a most complex symbol of love, compassion and error.

Aspects of Kali are Chandi, the fierce and Bhairavi, the terrible in which she is the counterpart to Shiva's aspect of Bhairava, when he takes pleasure in destruction. Another name of this form is Chamunda. Kali Puja is performed on a new moon night. As Kali is associated with dark rites and devil worship, the rituals performed are austere and offered with great devotion. In the Hindu religious texts, different representations of Goddess Kali are available viz. Siddha Kali, Bhadra Kali, Raksha Kali, Shwashan Kali and Maha Kali.

Goddess Kali has always enjoyed a significant presence in our culture. She appears in various forms as an embodiment of Shakti, the eternal energy and cosmic power. She is also believed to be the eternal cosmic strength that destroys all existence. Her facial expressions depict the extent of her powers of destruction. The heads she holds in her hand instantly arouses mortal-fear in everybody and her protruding tongue symbolizes the mockery of human ignorance. She is also the Goddess of Tantrism or the Indian Black Magic. Beneath Goddess Kali's feet one can figure Shiva. Mythology says that Shiva and Kali are the originating couple of the universe but Kali even mocks Shiva, as if she herself is the unique source of everything. There are several other Avtars of Kali also. One such is a striking contrast is Kali represented as the Benevolent Mother where she is the personification of Eternal Night of Peace. From the canons of orthodox Hinduism Kali, Durga, Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati are all different forms of the Ultimate Power that are revered on different occasions. Kali represents the crude powers to fight the evil, the core strengths required to battle your enemies. According to the Hindu tradition, we are living in the Kali Age; the time of a resurgence of the divine feminine spirit. Using the powerful imagery of paintings, sculptures, and writings, the celebration of Kali Puja explores and illumines the rich meanings of feminine divinity.

  • Sri Kali
  • Sri Kala Rathiri
  • Sri Chamundi
  • Sarva Maya Mundi
  • Badrakali
  • Sri Maha Kali
  • Sara Sandigai
  • Bairavi

Dakshina Kali and Kughiza Kali are 2 important forms in all the three lokhas and worshipping them brings peace and prosperity.


Sri Kali

Sri Kali containing of time within her she is called Kaali or Kaliga . She appears with 8 hands carrying weapons and an Asura is under her feet.


Sri Kala Rathiri

During death she comes as Payangiri, surrounded by 12 powers residing in the heart chakra of the mankind. She appears with 8 hands and has fire on her head.


Shri Chamundi

During the destruction of Chanda Munda Asuras, Kali cuts the head of Chanda and the body of Munda and hence she is called Chamundi or Chamundeshwari . She appears fierce with 8 hands and an asura under her feet.


Sarva Maya Mundi

The name denotes that she is omnipotent and everything in the universe including time. She appears with 8 hands and a glowering fire on her head.


Badra Kali

She is the one who bestows prosperity to her devotees. She appears with a fierce temper. She has 10 hands carrying weapons to destroy the evil and protect the Good. She appears seated with one leg hanging and with fire on her head.


Shri Mahakali

Saptha Sathi powers Saraswathi , Lakshmi and Durgai together are called Mahakali. She appears with 14 hands carrying weapons. With fire burning on her head she is fierce and appears seated.


Kughizha Kali

Of all the kali Avatars, Dakshina Kali and Kughizya Kali are the important ones. Kughizha Kali has very fascinating appearance. She indicates that the world worshipped Kali from its beginning as Ram and Bharathan in Ramayanam worshipped her. She has 10 faces, 1000 hands and 27 eyes. She is seated on 5 dead bodies in the navel of Vishnu. There is only one statue of this Kali in Delhi museum. Ramar worshipped this kali with a mantra containing 17 letters and got what he wanted.


Dakshina Kali

She is Bava tharini in Calcutta and Sri Ramakrishna Parama Hamsar worshipped her. Her tales of glory is told in 14 volumes. She appears with one face and four hands. Dakshina Kali Chakra is enough to pray to all the other forms of Kali.


Physical forms of Kali

With 8 forms and countless number of avatars to destroy the evil asuras, Kali is worshipped in numerous forms, figures and ways. Her physical attributes gives her yet another classification .

  • Kali with 2 hands carrying weapons to kill the evil and protect the good.
  • Kalli with four hands is dark in colour and appears fierce. She bestows all boons to those who worship her.
  • Kali with six hands is red in colour and is fierce in her temper. She appears with weapons to destroy the evil asuras and protect the good.
  • Kali with eight hands has one-face three eyes and is dark in colour. With fire in her hair she is the source of Kundalini Yoga.
  • Kali appear with 10 hands, 10 faces and 10 legs. Maha Kali appears in blue colour and she is the one created to destroy the Madhu Kaidabar.
  • Kali appears with sixteen hands and is in different colours. With several weapons she appears fierce.
  • Kali appears with 18 hands seated on a lion. With a very fierce appearance and using the spirits as her transport she is gross in her nature. With weapons she destroys the evil and protects the good.



Generally Kali appears thus with variations in several aspects with different worshippers. She appears as a dark cloud with a rare glow and she is Maha Kali. She is omnipotent and is spread everywhere. So she also takes the blue colour of the sky. She is yellow as Parvathi and also appears as a dark night in a storm. She adorns a garland made of cut heads to indicate that birth and death starts and wnds with her. Severed hands cover her body to indicate that all actions stem from her. With one head, a knife in another and one indicating protection and another depicting a charm she appears. Whenever man crosses the limits she appears to destroy the ego.

Devotees of Kali should be brave and she is goddess of destruction. Her hanging tongue indicates this. She lives in burial grounds as this indicates that she will live in your heart if you destroy all the evil thoughts and win your senses and make your conscious as clean as a burial ground.

Kali is Shakti, the great goddess, creating the three gunas: sattvas, rajas and tamas. The three gunas in their various permutation create all the fabric of the universe, including the five elements, skin, blood, etc.. These principles are the substance of she whose play (lila) is their modification. Kali is the first and foremost of the ten aspects of the goddess. She is pure sattvas, pure spirit.

A sadhaka (male) or a sadhvika (female) can worship the goddess -- the Devi -- in any of ten forms for the fruition of desires. Her ten major forms are Kali, Tara, Shodasi, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagala, Matangi and Kamala. These aspects are known as the ten mahavidyas.

To a sadhaka, to know these is to know the universe, as she is both space and time and beyond these categories. Each form has its own dhyana (meditation), yantra (diagram), mantra (sound form) and sadhana (actions).


Who, then, is Kali?

Devi gives her own description in the Kulachudamani: "I am Great Nature, consciousness, bliss, the quintessence, devotedly praised. Where I am, there are no Brahma, Hara, Shambhu or other devas, nor is there creation, maintenance or dissolution. Where I am, there is no attachment, happiness, sadness, liberation, goodness, faith, atheism, guru or disciple.

"Ya Devi Sarvabhuthesu Shakthi-Rupena samsthithaa

Namasthasmai Namasthasmai Nanasthasmai Namo Namaha "


In early days Adi Parasakthi to protect the good and destroy the evil manifested in ten different forms. They are Kali, Tara Sundri, Buvaneshvari, Bairavi, ChenaMasta, Bagala Dhooma, Madhangai, and Lakshmi. Since Kali in the 1st manifestation she is also called Athya (the one who appeared first). Kali puranas and the glory of kali can be read from Maha kala Samhiyhai Maha Niruvana Tanthoram, Yogini Thothram, and Kamadhenu Tantram, Kandhava thantram, Sri Kalikagamam.

Of all the Manifestations of Kali in destroying the evil to protect the good "RuthraKali" is the most revered. Its said that once upon a time the world became evil, goodness destroyed and godliness disappeared.

The three main duties, creation, protection and destruction did not take place. It was because without Sakthi. Ruthra or Siva was powerless. This dangerous trend converted and all other celestial being rushed to the Supreme Being and prayed for relief.

At that time Ruthrakali appeared and gave sakthi .Ten the evil world was destroyed. It was peace everywhere and Ruthra kali was dancing. Slowly the anger subsided and a new world of goodness sprung from her.Thus Ruthra Kali in all her glory protects us from evil and creates goodness.

My we all seek her blessings.

Sri Kaleeswarar
Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Sri Mangalambigai
Sri Subramanyar Sri Dhakshinamoorthy
Sri Muneeswaran Sri Sandigeswarar
Navagrahas Sri Nandeeswarar