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Sri Ramakrishna on Goddess Kali

The Primordial Power is ever at play. She is creating, preserving, and destroying in play, as it were. This power is called Kali.

Kali is verily Brahman, and Brahman is verily Kali. It is one and the same Reality.

When we think of It as inactive, that is to say, not engaged in the act of creation, preservation, and destruction, then we call It Brahman. But when It engages in these activities, then we call It Kali or Shakti.

The Reality is one and the same; the difference is in name and form.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Source - The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – (page 134 – 5)

The statement ‘Kali is verily Brahman, and Brahman is verily Kali. It is one and the same Reality’ reflect an important concept from Hindu philosophy, specifically within certain traditions of Tantra. In these traditions, there is a belief in the identity or equivalence of various deities or aspects of the divine with the ultimate reality, often referred to as Brahman.

"Kali" typically refers to the Hindu goddess Kali, who is often depicted as a fierce and powerful deity associated with destruction and creation. She is sometimes seen as the feminine aspect of the divine, representing the dynamic and transformative nature of reality.

"Brahman," on the other hand, is a central concept in Hindu philosophy, particularly in Advaita Vedanta. It refers to the ultimate, transcendent reality that underlies all existence. Brahman is considered to be beyond all distinctions and attributes, yet also immanent within the universe.

The statement provided suggests that Kali and Brahman are ultimately one and the same reality, despite appearing as distinct concepts or deities. This idea is in line with the non-dualistic philosophy found in certain Hindu traditions, which teaches that all apparent distinctions are ultimately illusory and that there is only one ultimate reality.

It's important to note that interpretations of such concepts can vary widely among different schools of Hindu philosophy and among individual practitioners. Additionally, these ideas often carry deep symbolic and mystical meanings that may not be immediately apparent from a literal reading.