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Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess, Foreword

Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess, Foreword

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Published by: Moonlightshadow on May 02, 2008
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Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess, Foreword
Contributed by Dr. David Frawley
From book Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess: Lightning Dance of the Supreme Shakti, by Shambhavi Chopra,(http://www.wisdomtreeindia.com, note that the book can also be purchased through the American Institute of VedicStudies at $25.00, which includes shipping)The Goddess or Divine Mother holds the key to the spiritual regeneration of humanity in this ecological age. Withoutreconnecting to the deeper feminine energy of the universe, we are unlikely to solve our current global crisis that is basedto a great extent upon ignoring the Divine presence of the Goddess in nature and in ourselves. Of the various aspects of the Goddess, it is her dark forms that carry the key to her secrets and her power, herconnections to the Earth, the night, fertility, mystery, magic and transformation. It has been our inability to understand herdark forms and integrate them in our religious and social orders, which has caused us to ignore the Goddess and even tobecome afraid of her saving grace that is the real power of inner growth and the enlightenment of awareness. There are many dark forms of the Goddess in various spiritual and religious traditions, viewed with both reverence andawe. Of these great Goddesses of the world, perhaps none is as mysterious and enigmatic as the Hindu Goddess Kali,who represents the Dark Goddess in all her primeval glory and all-conquering power. To really uncover the meaning ofthe Dark Goddess, one must encounter and come to understand the inner reality of Kali. Kali is probably the most misunderstood and wrongly portrayed Goddess in the Hindu tradition, if not in the spiritualtraditions of the entire world. She is a subject of extensive sensation, drama and distortion. The refined, beautiful,aesthetic or philosophical side of her nature is seldom recognized, if ever clearly portrayed. Much mystery enshrouds thisdark form of the Goddess who holds all the energies of life and death - and the great journey back to the Absolutebeyond time and space. Even the origins of Kali worship are a subject of much confusion. There is little understanding of her Vedic roots as thedeep blue flame of the Fire Goddess or as the dark blue light of the Sun that is reflected in the dark pupil of the eye andits ability to see. The greater connections of the Dark Goddess to the forces of nature, particularly the electrical energiesof life and perception, are seldom noted. Kali's cosmic role as the Goddess of Infinite Space and Eternal Time is ignoredfor her more creaturely dimensions. Her preeminent place as the Yoga Shakti or inner power of Yoga to return us back toour Divine source is not addressed in any meaningful way. Scholars, lacking inner experience, approach Kali with their own psychological, sociological and cultural preconceptionsthat fail to recognize her spiritual energy, beauty and majesty. They stop short at the fierce image of her outer forms anddo not see the transcendent light reflected through them. They dwell on her dark power and project onto that thenegative aspects of their own assessment of human nature. They see superstition or suppressed emotion in what is infact the supreme power of the Goddess to take us beyond all ignorance and sorrow. They usually do the same thing withthe other forms of the Dark Goddess in the world, looking at them not as an expression of spiritual mystery but, rather,
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primitive impulses. It is best to set such accounts aside and learn to approach Kali with our inner heart and inner eye, as the spiritual Motherwho can take us beyond the limitations of the world. It is best is to approach Kali directly within our own deeperawareness, but for this we need some keys, tools and much inspiration. This is what Shambhavi Chopra offers in herbook on the great Dark Goddess. She approaches Kali through an inner intuitive vision and yogic sadhana, letting theGoddess unfold in and through her, providing us a new and unique approach to her reality. India has maintained a continuous tradition of Goddess worship throughout the centuries. Its spiritual teachings havenever rejected the role of the Goddess in either creation or spiritual development. At the same time, India has maintaineda continuous tradition of women gurus, saints, teachers and yoginis. It is from that ancient Goddess tradition of India,carrying its stream of wisdom and grace, that Shambhavi speaks to us today, affording India's Goddess tradition a newvoice and a practical teaching that everyone can understand. In Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess: Lightning Dance of the Supreme Shakti, Shambhavi provides us with a directexperience of Kali, the Mother, as she is in her inner reality, circumventing all the confusion and distortion about her. Shebrings us into a direct and living contact with the reality of the Dark Goddess both in the external universe and in our owndeeper nature. Shambhavi reveals to us the gentle face of Kali and her beautiful forms which come to us once we havelet go of the darkness and limitations inside ourselves and in our world. Shambhavi shows us how Kali actually manifests to her sincere and dedicated devotees in the ongoing experience of lifeand in the continuous spiral of deep sadhana. Kali is not some mere folk deity, some ancient Goddess, or a strangeobject for intellectual curiosity or cultural image. She is the Supreme Power of the magical, awesome, cataclysmicuniverse in which we live, of which were are all but brief expressions, and to which we must all bow down in reverence inthe end. Kali holds our life and our death within her embrace that is kind to the soul but can be painful to the ego whichdelays or restricts the soul's unfoldment. Purification, which implies the destruction of negativity, must precede any great creation or transformation. Kali providesthat purification but brings about the new creation and transformation as well. Her destructive force is only for thedestruction of negativity, limitation and sorrow - an invitation for us to look beyond the boundaries of death, suffering andthe ego, to an inner reality not touched by these shadows. Kali is the beginning and the end of all the things. She has the first and the last word, as she is the Divine Word in itsprimal essence before and beyond any particular expressions. Kali stands before and after, below and above any merehuman teacher, saint, prophet, guru or even avatar. Even Lord Krishna could only take birth after her descent! Kali holdsall time, all beings and all dharma in her power. All the religions of the world are but reflections of her lightning force thatlinks all beings into a unity that is everywhere dynamic, transformative and overflowing. This great Goddess pervades and underlies all the formulations of God through Monotheism and Monism both. She isthe deepest flame of the burning bush that spoke to Moses and the Vedic Fire through which the great Himalayan rishiswere born. All the Goddesses and all great women gurus are aspects of her force. She is the supreme space ofawareness, the Dark Mother of which the pure or white forms of the Goddess are but one aspect of a light that has noboundaries and gives its grace to all. 
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Kali provides us the energy to do our spiritual practices whatever that may be. She is the Divine breath, word, thoughtand perception. She is the blood of light through which body, life and mind project their play through all creatures and allworlds. We may give her another name or not recognize her by name and form at all, but we cannot deny the presenceand the power of the Dark Goddess who embraces us on every side. We must learn to worship Kali both in all images and in the formless space beyond every representation, through bothmeaningful outer rituals and by the deepest inner meditation. While every form reveals her beauty, she is beyond allmanifestation. She encompasses every approach that we may have to expand our horizons to the unbounded energybehind our world. Inner worship of Kali is the direct path to yogic realization. Those on whom Kali showers her grace areprovided a clear horizon beyond this world of Samsara. They can hold all time and space, all history and evolution, in thelotus of their own hearts as a single flash of lightning from the smile of the Goddess. Kali comes to us at all the important transitional or transformational movements of life, of which death is the mostnotable. Yet she is there with the movement of every breath, every heart beat, and every cry, whether of joy or sorrow.She gives our life meaning, depth, feeling and sensitivity. She gathers our life-experience to its crescendo at death sothat we can return to the Divine Flame that gave us birth. She is hidden between every moment and action of our lives asthe space and energy that allows us to function. It was the power of Kali that enabled Ramakrishna to first project India's great spiritual traditions into the global arenathrough his disciple Swami Vivekananda at the turn of the twentieth century. As the power of transformation throughtime, Kali holds the keys to the planetary changes that we need today to move beyond our current global crisis. That KaliShakti remains active and will take any and all forms that it needs in order to lead us through and beyond all time. Thereis much more that Kali has to say to us. Unless we face and surrender to the transforming power of the Mother, in thedepths of her mystic darkness, our world cannot move beyond its present division, suffering and pain. Only the unifyingpower of the Mother can bring about the healing of humanity, not any more war Gods or exclusive ideologies or divisivebeliefs. Shambhavi allows Kali to speak through her, work through her and guide the movement of her life. She shows us how todo the same. Shambhavi serves as a conduit for the grace of Kali to enter into our lives and take residence within ourhearts. She shows us how to approach Kali and awaken her power within us at the core of our being. This innerresurgence of the Goddess is not a matter of strictly following some mere ritual or even faithfully doing a particular yogapractice, however helpful these may be. It rests first of all upon an attitude of the heart, an impulse to go directly to theMother as the source of one's being, as one's closest companion, rather than relying on any intermediary, whether aperson, a form, an idea or a technique. Shambhavi presents the great Mother to us in her pure essence, apart from all distortions, secondary interpretations andindirect views from the distance only. Through her voice, Kali comes alive and begins to stir within us, bringing aboutchanges and setting into motion inner energies that we might not have thought possible for us. Her entire book is ameans of bringing the energy of Kali into our world and into our psychology, to restore the magic of what is beyond thehuman to vitalize our deeper feelings and perceptions. Shambhavi's first book Yogini - which unfolds the life of inner yogic experience from many angles and facets - naturallyleads us to Kali who is the Great Yogini or ‘Mahayogini', the supreme Yogini of which all the Yoginis are butmanifestations. In the inner Yoga, one must honor Kali if one wants to quickly cross the barriers of death, darkness and
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