“Myths reflect the essence of history and philosophy. Myths show man at his best and man at his worst. Myths project man as God, and man as the devil.”
“The main reason why mythology has lasted for centuries is that though the characters are shown to be larger than life, they actually represent real human beings with real feelings and impulses.”
Such liberty is easily taken when the mythology in question belongs to a religion which isn’t still in practice. However, when it comes to Hindu Mythology, it is a bit harder to have the same kind of creative freedom because of the strong belief of a large population in the holiness of these Gods, their Avatars and other beings mentioned in the holy books.
The Hindu Goddess Kali Ma, is religiously worshipped all over India. In a country where goddesses are portrayed as benevolent and loving, Kali Ma is definitely an exception. Since my childhood, I always wondered about Kali Ma’s appearance. Eventually, my curious mind sought out many fascinating stories related to the Goddess Kali. I have selected a few stories from the Pandora’s box of fables to reflect upon the personality of a violent goddess with a tender heart.
Jupiter is a character that displays silent strength. We often think of strength as bravado and toughness. Yet, I believe real strength does not thump its chest to intimidate others. It is born out of compassion for all living beings. Believe me – it is far harder to exercise compassion than it is to gain power through intimidation.
As an astrologer myself, I was curious about the development of Rahu’s character in the book. I waited impatiently for him to appear. I was not disappointed. He enters with a flourish, making his appearance as a magnificent Red Dragon. He wears the disdain of the rest of the planets as lightly as an ornament on his costume.
Kali Ma is a true icon for the fourth wave of feminism that seizes the world today. A woman who stands true to herself – her identity, her sexuality – and doesn’t let the world tell her that she is not supposed to be the way she is. She is the embodiment of nature that cannot be controlled by man and later consumes him.
The princess of Panchal has a very unique story of birth. King Draupad wanted a son to defeat Dronacharya and hence was trying, by all means, to get one. No one knew that along with a son, a daughter will also be born. As Draupadi emerged from the sacrificial fire, a heavenly voice announced that this girl will change the course of Bharat (modern-day India) in the future.
As an ardent reader, I have always wondered how a myth from one culture connects with one from a totally different one. Perhaps, it may be because each myth and legend has passed down mouth to mouth for several generations, making them universal. Mythologies trump authorship. They are not limited to a particular culture or era. Myths encapsulate the unspoken truth of society and culture.