Kali Mantra: Goddess of Time & Death
Kali is a Hindu deity symbolizing mastery over time and death. Kali battles the forces of evil on behalf of her children. She is an intimidating figure, brandishing multiple weapons with her four arms. Kali wears a skirt of severed arms and a gruesome garland of heads. These grisly body parts are symbolic of the demonic forces that she slays to protect her devotees.
Kali goes by many names including Mahakali (the Great Mother), Dipta (the One who is illuminated or brilliant), and Uma (lady of the mountains). Kali and Durga are sometimes seen as interchangeable. However, Kali is believed to love battle while Durga slay demons only when absolutely necessary, remaining placide and peaceful at all times.
Meaning of the Kali Mantra
The words to this Kali Mantra are “Om Hrim Hum Hrim Kali Shakti Namaha.” Most of this mantra is composed of powerful single syllables known as bija or seed syllables. Brief definitions for the words in this mantra are given below. More extensive explanations of the bija syllables are given in One Word Mantras: Powerful Bija Seed Syllables.
OM: OM is the sound of the universe, the sound from which all other sounds are formed. OM represents past, present and future. OM is a seed or building block of creation. OM is often included at the beginning of a mantra or chant to clear the mind for meditation. OM is said to draw the energy from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head. The energy of OM is one of expansion and ascension.
KRIM: KRIM (kreem) is a mantra of divine manifestation, specifically the divine electricity that exists behind all things. The Sanskrit letter “k” or ka is an initial thrust of energy or prana. The letter “r” or ra adds fire and the “i” (ee) adds focus. KRIM is the power of action that operates on all levels.
HUM: HUM (huhm) is a fire mantra that can help to kindle the consciousness. This is an etheric fire connected to lightning, pranic fire, and the breath. This lightning can also be used for protection. HUM is sometimes referred to as the “seed syllable of wrath” or righteous anger.
HRIM: HRIM (hreem) is a mantra for the heart: the spiritual heart, the emotional heart and the physical heart. HRIM is a combination of “ha” for prana and “ra” for fire and light with “ee” for focus and motivation. The sound HRIM may help us to connect with the deity of our choice at the level of the heart. In Vedic astrology, HRIM relates to the sun, which is the planet of the heart.
SHAKTI: The divine feminine manifest throughout creation. This is a name given to any and all goddesses. Shakti is the unformed energy that coalesces in the physical when contained by the masculine energy.
NAMAHA: I give honor or I bow.
Author Kathleen Karlsen
Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.
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Kali Mantra Article Summary
Kali is a Hindu deity symbolizing mastery over time and death. Kali battles the forces of evil on behalf of her children. This article includes a powerful Kali mantra and a word by word explanation of the mantra meaning.
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