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Kali (The Benevolent Goddess)
Tourism in Nepal
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The learned author has missed many aspects of Nepalese culture. The so called Virupakshya is described by him as a nobel man. If the author had studied more carefully he would not have missed the third eye indicating that the figure is one of the manifestations of Shiva and not a nobel man.
Tourism in Nepal
Nepal is a tourist's paradise with an infinite variety of interesting things to see and do. Nepal has many things to offer the visitor the flourishing of art and architecture a demonstrated by the temples of Kathmandu Valley, the natural beauties of the soaring peaks of Himalayas including Mountain Everest and others.
Tourism in Nepal The Primordial Energy of Kali
Through the Bays of Bagmati  Nepalese Tourism
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The Pujari Matha  


The Primordial Energy of Kali

Kali, the Hindu Goddess of creation, preservation, and destruction is the animating force of Shiva, the destroyer (Lord of the Dance). She symbolizes dissolution and destruction. She destroys ignorance, maintains and blesses and frees those who strive for knowledge of God. According to the Vedas, Agni, the fire God, had seven flickering tongues of flames, and Kali the black horrible tongue symbolizing devastation.

Tantric literature describes her image as most fearful. She laughs, showing her dreadful teeth, stands upon the prostate corpse of her consort, Shiva, and has four arms. She holds up a bloody sword in her upper left hand, while her lower left hand displays the severed head of a demon. Her upper right hand is held up in a gesture of fearlessness even as her lower right hand confers benefits and benediction. She wears a garland of severed human heads around her neck and a belt of dismembered arms. She is naked, clad only in the vast emptiness of space. Her blackness serves to remind us that in the power of time, all color dissolves into darkness. Her disheveled hair indicates that she is beyond bondage. She is usually portrayed dancing or in a sexual position with Shiva.

According to Hindu mythology, Daksha Prajapati did not invite his daughter Sati and her husband Shiva to a yagya. Sati, though humiliated, decided to attend and tried to coax her husband into accompanying her. Shiva refused and also forbade Sati from attending the religious ceremony. Sati, enraged at this denial, appeared as the Dasha Mahabidhya (the goddess representing the ten transcendental manifestations of knowledge), and when Shiva asked her to explain her mysteries, Sati promised to but on the condition that she be allowed to attend the yagya. Shiva consented and asked Nandi, his vehicle to take Sati to her father’s residence. Upon her arrival Sati rushed towards her father to greet him, but she was roughly pushed away, and her father proceeded to slander Shiva. Shocked and betrayed, she stepped into the ritual fire and died. When Shiva learnt of his wife’s death, he destroyed his father-in-law’s palace, and carrying his wife’s corpse on his shoulders, began his terrifying dance of destruction. The dance shook the world, causing earthquakes and tidal waves. For the sake of mankind, Vishnu, the protector, hurled his discus at Sati’s corpse till her body fell to the earth in pieces. When Shiva felt her weight gone, he returned to Mount Kailash and confined himself in solitary meditation. One of the forms Sati appeared in as was Kali, with her fearsome, baleful eyes, blood-red tongue, and four arms.

Kali is worshipped in various forms in Hinduism. Tantrics worship her in cremation grounds, where the air is smoky, laden with specks of ash from burning funeral pyres and where, the white, sun-dried bones and fragments of flesh, gnawed and pecked at by carrion birds and beast are strewn. It is a frightening place for all but the true ‘heroic’ mother worshipper, this is where all worldly desires are burnt away, and her devotees seek union with her. Kali, who fears nothing and knows no aversion..

But Kali is multi dimensional. She is venerated in less threatening places, temples, where reality is a symbol rather than the truth. She is worshipped more as a benign protector rather than a destroyer in Nepal. She is neither hideous nor absurd. She is portrayed as a universal power, beyond good and evil. She creates and nourishes, as well as kills and destroys. Worshippers flock to her temples to ask for the boon of a child, to be cured of diseases and to pledge their devotion, in the hope that she will liberate them from a troubled existence.

Icons and idols representing Kali have been discovered in Nepal in various places, like Kirtipur and Patan, the date back to the Lichchhavi era. Kathmandu Valley is surrounded by a protective loop of Goddesses, known as the ‘eight mothers’. The chronicles credit King Gunakamadeva with placing the eight mother Goddesses in the four directions.

Around the middle of the 14th century, Taleju (Kali) became the tutelary deity of the Nepali royal family and has been worshipped ever since by it in her many forms. Many medieval statues and manuscripts of Kali have been found in Nepal, attest to her popularity. She has been traditionally worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists with equal zeal, and veneration. Kali is the universal mother, the supreme energy without which nothing on earth can survive. She provides energy to Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva for creation, protection and destruction, and is associated with them as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali.

Volumes can be written about Kali, but to understand her, one has to be a part of her. It is from her that all begins and ends. She is the embodiment of time. She is the primordial energy. Kali is beyond the scope of words, worlds, and time.


-Diwas Dhakal
(Shangri-La, April-June 2003)




  Untitled Document

Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism
By: Diwas Dhakal

This book is a collection
of essays devoted to the
Nepalese Culture,Society and Tourism. A special
stress on Natural and
cultural Heritage of Nepal has been very carefully emphasised.
Diwas Dhakal, 2000 ISBN 99933-570-0-6,
First Edition 2000
Published by:
Mukta Dhakl
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