Loving Paradoxes: A Feminist Reclamation of the Goddes Kali

The feminist significance of the Goddess Kali lies in an indigenous worshipful attitude of "Kali-bhakti" rather than in the mere image of the Goddess. The peculiar mother-child motif at the core of the poet Ramprasad Sen's Kali-bhakti represents, I argue, not only a dramatic reconstruction of femininity but of selfhood in general. The spiritual goal of a devotee here involves a deconstruction of "master identity" necessary also for ethico-political struggles for justice.

Why Kali, Again?

The iconography of the Goddess Kali from India comes as a dramatic relief in our search for alternative constructions of femininity and motherhood. Witness the following hymn describing Kali:
Mother, incomparably arrayed, Hair flying, stripped down, You battle-dance on Shiva's heart, A garland of heads that bounce off Your heavy hips, chopped-off hands For a belt, the bodies of infants For earrings, and the lips, The teeth like jasmine, the face A lotus b

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