Sunday, March 20, 2011

Perhaps I need to become a devotee of Kali as well

After a 12-year stint, the design firm with which I was employed shut its doors. This is obviously a shock. But ever since I received the news, I tried to not let my faith waiver. I also tried to make it a point to not deviate from my primary goal of drawing closer to God. I specifically did not want to make the selfish request of finding a job my new primary goal.

But, as the week drew to a close, and I still do not have a job, it should be of no surprise that I am concerned. And I have been praying to Hanuman, Ganesh, Lakshmi, and anyone else who will listen, that I find employment soon.

Well, tonight I did what I have been doing the past few months. Retire to my office, light the candles and incense, and spend some time with God, whether it be through prayer, japa, meditation, or some other spiritual activity.

Well, tonight I chose to listen to another lecture by one of my favorite Ramakrishna swamis, Swami Mahayogananda at the Vedanta Center in Washington DC. The lecture was about Swami Vivekenanda's devotion to the Divine Mother Kali. I thought the lecture was quite beautiful.

And in one part of the lecture, he recalled the time that Swami Vivekananda asked Sri Ramakrishna to ask Kali to solve his family's financial problems. But the Master sent his young disciple to the Kali temple to ask her himself. But as soon as he got to the temple, he could not ask for such a selfish request, and asked for the higher goals of knowledge, love, etc. This happened repeatedly. But eventually, Sri Ramakrishna helped Swami Vivekananda and prayed to Kali for the young man's sake.

Because of have been a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna for years, I could not help have some attraction to Kali. And this lecture, I know, both brought me closer, as well as made it clear to me that I must pay attention to and call on her more. When I was Catholic, I did have a strong devotion to Mary. And when I converted to Reform Judaism, I learned about the Shekhinah, i.e. the feminine aspect and presence of God. And when I learned about Neopaganism and Wicca, I called upon the Great Mother. Now I feel that all these, including Kali, are one and the same.

And I also feel that it would be right to ask Kali to take care of my family's challenging financial situation. And I do plan to do so.

Incidently, the lecture also contained a poem Swami Vivekenanda wrote about the destructive side of Kali. And the verses eerily reminded me of the disaster in Japan. But that is a deeper subject for a later post.

(Also, the light-hearted interpretation of Kali in this post is from a book called "The Little Book of Hindu Deities" by Sanjay Patel, an animator for Pixar Studios.)

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