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Sri Ramakrishna on Symbolism of Goddess Kali Standing on Shiva

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa explains the symbolism of Goddess Kali Standing On Shiva.

Whatever you perceive in the universe is the outcome of the union of Purusha and Prakriti. Take the image of Shiva and Kali.

Kali stands on the bosom of Shiva; Shiva lies under Her feet like a corpse; Kali looks at Shiva. All this denotes the union of Purusha and Prakriti.

Purusha is inactive; therefore Shiva lies on the ground like a corpse.

Prakriti performs all Her activities in conjunction with Purusha. Thus She creates, preserves, and destroys.

Source - The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – (page 271 – 2)

More on the concept Of Purusha and Prakriti in Hinduism

The concept of Purusha and Prakriti originates from Hindu philosophy and is fundamental to understanding the nature of existence. Purusha represents the eternal, unchanging consciousness or spirit, while Prakriti symbolizes the material world, including nature, energy, and matter. The union of Purusha and Prakriti is said to be the source of all creation and manifestation in the universe.

In Hindu mythology and iconography, Shiva and Kali are often depicted together to represent this union. Shiva is the masculine aspect, embodying the pure consciousness of Purusha, while Kali represents the feminine aspect, symbolizing the dynamic and creative energy of Prakriti.

Shiva, often portrayed as the supreme deity in Shaivism, is depicted as the destroyer of ignorance and the transcendent aspect of divinity. He is typically depicted in a meditative pose, representing his unchanging and eternal nature as Purusha.

Kali, on the other hand, is a fierce and powerful goddess associated with destruction, time, and transformation. She is often depicted with a garland of skulls and a skirt made of dismembered arms, symbolizing the impermanence of the material world and the cyclical nature of time.

The imagery of Shiva and Kali together symbolizes the inseparable union of consciousness and energy, of transcendence and immanence. It represents the idea that everything in the universe, from the most subtle to the most gross, emerges from the interplay of these two primal forces.

Thus, the statement "Whatever you perceive in the universe is the outcome of the union of Purusha and Prakriti" underscores the idea that all phenomena, whether physical or metaphysical, are manifestations of this divine union, reflecting the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things in the cosmos