12 Comments

  1. David Fields
    October 15, 2018 @ 7:24 pm

    A very timely theme for the celebration of Navaratri and gaining victory over Ignorance. Coincidently a few weeks back I began studying In Praise of the Goddess: The Devimahatmya and Its Meaning, by Devadatta Kali.
    Thank you for your contribution.

    Reply

    • Kavitha
      October 15, 2018 @ 7:31 pm

      Thank you David! Devadatta Kali’s book is the one I recommend the most. Happy Navarathri to you!

      Reply

  2. David Kuttruff
    October 15, 2018 @ 7:33 pm

    So wonderful to read your clear articulations about this. It has always bothered me when some women have misappropriated the beautiful Shakta teachings for their own purposes. I agree with those purposes, ends do not justify inappropriate means. I love how you get to the rich depths of the myths, much needed in this time! There are so many jewels in this article! Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Kavitha
      October 15, 2018 @ 7:38 pm

      Thank you, dear David, for your comments. Indeed the ends (of putting an end to misogyny) do not justify the means (of misappropriating the goddess). Appreciate you very much. Happy Navarathri!

      Reply

  3. Kathy Bolte
    October 16, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

    Much like yogāsana has been churned out into gyms and yoga studios that promote “yoga for weight loss”, “yoga for a better butt”, etc., I think the Goddess myths have given many westerners something else to misappropriate and misinterpret. There is so much in this piece to ruminate on. Thank you for your offering. I will, indeed, share it. Jai Śakti Mā

    Reply

    • Kavitha
      October 17, 2018 @ 1:49 pm

      Thank you, Kathy! And thank you for being the force for change with respect to misappropriation of yoga. It is so urgently needed. Jai Chandi!

      Reply

  4. Keleigh
    October 16, 2018 @ 8:11 pm

    Thank you for this beautifully articulated article. I feel much the same about the West’s recent portrayal of a vindictive Warrior Goddess (my name is Keleigh, after all). I have a Vedic teacher-friend who once asked, “So, when did Kali begin to be portrayed cutting off the heads of men?” He says it happened when priests needed the people to fear Kali’s wrath…and for a small fee, the priest will happily keep Her at bay with a puja. And so, fittingly, this *very* portrayal of Kali might be construed as one of our limited vision, again born out of self-appropriation. Kali is beyond head-chopping. She is simply Beyond. Jai Kali Ma!

    Reply

    • Kavitha
      October 17, 2018 @ 1:56 pm

      Oh dear, don’t even get me started about the priestly class that has contributed heavily to all kinds of misunderstandings about Hindu deities! I love how you say Kali is beyond head-chopping – at least literally. 🙂 Thank you for being such a fitting incarnate of her divine name. <3

      Reply

  5. Marici
    October 17, 2018 @ 1:28 pm

    thank you so much for bringing light on these myths! “she’s the giver of knowledge through self-knowledge.” “Any action we take from a stand of ignorance will be subject to her sword, regardless of which side we are on.” Your reading of myths is really clear and is taking me a step forward on my path to their discovery. Thank you for your contribution!!

    Reply

    • Kavitha
      October 17, 2018 @ 1:57 pm

      Thank you, Marici for reading, and for being here. <3

      Reply

  6. KB
    October 21, 2018 @ 2:05 pm

    Thank you for so elegantly explaining the deeper meaning in Shakti/Shiva. One result of this trend is that it may discourage men from participating in the Shakti or goddess traditions. So many classes or workshops for goddess practices seem to be for women. I am an “older” man and have long been drawn to Ramakrishna’s Kali, the ecstatic Tantric hymns of Ramprasad, the female deities of Tibetan Buddhism, but I feel that I would be an unwelcome or an oddly out of place participant in the contemporary goddess world, which may be too New Agey for me anyway. I keep my own proclivities a secret, but it is interesting to ponder what the effect on our culture would be if more men in the West were openly embracing the goddess traditions.

    Reply

    • Kavitha
      October 21, 2018 @ 5:36 pm

      Hi KB,
      How unfortunate it is that men are excluded from the goddess traditions! The interesting thing is that even the traditional Indian goddess paths are dominated by men – and women feel excluded from them. Few teachers initiate women in these paths, which is absurd as well. As you say, there is certainly a huge cultural influence that needs addressing. Men and women coming together in the worship of the goddess would be transformative for society, in my humble opinion. For then, we can collectively rise out of the delusion of our limited minds. Thank you for being here.

      Reply

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