Kolkata Kali I

I have titled this post Kolkata Kali to pay tribute to the city that has done so much to promulgate the worship of the Goddess Kali. My father a devout worshipper of the Goddess often tells me, “to truly acquiring her blessings one has to visit Kolkata and once there one has to set foot on the sacred grounds of the Kali Temple in Dakshineswar”. It is something that I look forward to doing fairly soon. Much of what I have learnt of the Goddess Kali is from him and I hope to pass the knowledge on to my daughter.
It is only fitting that we start with the Kali Temple in Dakshineswar where the worship of the Goddess Kali is centered. It is located in the state of West Bengal where many of the saints and sages who have attained the highest form of realization by worshipping the Goddess Kali once lived.
The Dakshineswar Temple was built by Rani Rasmani (1793 - 1861) a lady of substance, who according to most sources was born in a lower caste family of little means. It is fair to say that her …

The Indian National Congress (INC) - Founding Members

The Indian National Congress Party or the INC is the oldest political party in India and it was founded by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji and Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. Allan Hume was an ornithologist, botanist, an author of some note and he was the administrator of the city of Etawah located along the banks of the Yamuna River in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
After witnessing the Indian Revolution of 1858 and its aftermath, the revolution was an attempt to wrest control of India away from the British East India Company which administered territories in the subcontinent on behalf of the crown and had a monopoly over trade and commerce, he came to the conclusion that the revolution was a result of mis-governance or poor governance and decided that the people should have some say in how they were being governed and how the wealth of the country was managed or distributed and he decided that India should have a political party of its own. He is regarded as a political reformist with l…

Pink Allamanda

Copyright © 2019 by Kathiresan Ramachanderam

Warfare-Excerpts from the Arthashastra

Warfare is the art of deception. Therefore, if able, appear unable, if active, appear not active, if near, appear far, if far, appear near. If they have the advantage, entice them; if they are confused, take them, if they are substantial, prepare for them, if they are strong, avoid them, if they are angry, disturb them, if they are humble, make them haughty, if they are relaxed, toil them, if they are united, separate them. Attack when they are not prepared, go out to where they do not expect. Generally, in warfare, keeping a nation intact is best, destroying a nation second best; keeping an army intact is best, destroying an army second best; keeping a battalion intact is best, destroying a battalion second best; keeping a company intact is best, destroying a company second best; keeping a squad intact is best, destroying a squad second best. Therefore, to gain a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the highest of excellence; to subjugate the enemy's army without doing b…

Summoning of the Guardian of the Eastern Tower

"Hail the Guardian of the Eastern Tower, the guardian of the earth and all things that grow on and beneath, she who fills the nostrils with the scent of lime and lemon.

Hail the Guardian of the Eastern Tower, she who wafts in with the chilly wind at the stroke of midnight.
Hail the Guardian of the Eastern Tower whose pallid touch breathes life into ashen corpses, she who freely frisks and frolics with the lingering and the dawdling dead.
I summon thee, keeper of spirits, stalwart of the lost, guide of the destitute and confidant of the forlorn. I summon thee queen of the night, she who is the pale night-blooming cereus, she who shines and sparkles like a luminous star.
I summon thee who is clothed in silken threads, she who flashes and flares along with the bats of the night; she who is trumpeted by the howl of the wolf and heralded by the warble of the saintly owl.
Come sister; come forth from thy castle beneath the fertile soil of the east. Come sister; come forth, to shower us with…

Summoning of the Guardian of the Southern Tower

Hail the Guardian of the Southern Tower, she who sets the sky alight with her fiery blaze, she who drifts in with the twilight breeze and fills the air with the scent of jasmine and lavender.
Hail the Guardian of the Southern Tower, she who fuels the flames of passion and ambition, she who sets the heart alight with lust that knows no inhibition. Hail to the Guardian who urges the temporal senses to shine bright like a burning light.

I summon thee, Guardian of the fire-spirits that dance to the sparkles of tinder. Like tiny fireflies they float and flounder in the pale moonlight, under a canopy of radiant stars, setting spying eyes that watch bewilder, as they reduce all that stands in their way to cinder.
I summon thee, Guardian of the Southern Tower, who fans the flames of the funeral pyre, she whose eyes burn bright like pulsating amber. I summon thee, the star of the evening sky that blooms bright like a scarlet geranium, in the twilight hour.
Come sister, come forth from thy castle t…

Summoning of the Guardian of the Western Tower

Hail the Guardian of the Western Tower, she who flows with the rivers and the springs, the keeper of nymphs and the mistress of maidens who die afore time.
Hail the Guardian of the West, who with her magical touch heals the scarred and blemished skin and turns it an untainted white.
Hail the Guardian of the West who heals the crackled pores and turns it to lurid and lucid ice.
Hail the Guardian of the West who presides over all spirits that haunt the waterways and lurk beneath watery expanses.
I invoke thee, she who blesses the farms and the fields with water, she who brings rains to stifle the smoldering and sweltering heat of the relentless sun.
I invoke thee, the guardian of lakes, rivers and streams, she who drifts in with the midday breeze, scattering and dispersing to all corners of the world, she whose arrival fills the nostrils with the scent of rosemary and thyme.
Come sister, come forth from thy castle in the watery graves of the West, to bless this coven. Come sister, come forth,…

Summoning of the Guardian of the Northern Tower

Hail the Spirit of the Wind, the Guardian of the North, she who solemnly gazes upon all things that flitter and flutter. I greet thee my sister who is vested with the powers of the earth, whose breezy touch cherishes and nourishes, whose kiss wheedles and caresses, the flowers, the oaks and the cedar.
I greet thee, the Guardian of the North, Spirit of the Wind, keeper of trees and forests, she who ambles in with the morning breeze, whose whisper fleetingly disperses watchful eyes and spying ears. I summon her who is as mild as the fleeting wind or she who rages like a storm.
I summon her whose voice is as sweet as a lark or as harsh as frost, she who is the essence of rose and the essence of magnolia. I summon thee the Guardian of the North in thy most placid form.
Come sister, come forth from thy castle in the farthest reaches of the brazen ice-fields to bless this coven. Come sister, come forth, to shower us with thy love and to cover us with thy glory.
Copyright © 2019 by Sueanne Wells…

Hymn to Ratri (Goddess of Twilight)

Praise to the Goddess who bids farewell to the sun and ushers in the moon. Praise to the Goddess who sets the sky alight with a billion effulgent stars. Praise to the daughter of Aditi the Goddess Divine of all heavenly beings and celestial deities.
Praise to her who is adorned with amour as black as ebony, she who sweeps the land with her spell of might, she who rides the fleeting winds in the dark of the night. Praise to her whose touch feels as cold as ice.
Praise to the Goddess who is heralded by the nocturnal howls of the nightly beast, whose gaze is pallid and ghastly. She who is at home beneath the covers of the mystic skies.

In the dark of her night, spirits drift, to haunt, and to stalk, to seek both sustenance and companions to follow them to their lonesome and loathsome world.
Witches set cauldrons alight and fill the bellies of their pots with snake eyes and lizard tongues, chanting spells to make their potions come alive.
Shamans arise to the hour of sacrifice and from the hid…

Hymn to Aditi

Laud Aditi, the primordial creatrix, the mother of the gods, the daevas, the mitras, the asuras and all beings mortal and celestial. Praise Aditi the goddess of the five nations; she who is the past, the present and the future. May the queen of equity, justice and fairness, great mother of all that is good and noble, guide us lest we should falter and be led astray.
May the beneficent goddess spread her wings far and wide, engulfing our company thereby bringing us under her protection and dispelling any evil that may befall us.
May we ascend without sin the vessel of righteousness and row it with strong and steady arms. May the boat that never leaks, despite any turbulence, despite the unsteady winds of change, sail smoothly on the endless ocean of creation. May the custodian of the heavens and the guardian of the earth in whose lap the spacious air resides afford us the protection of the three layers. We sing in praise of Aditi’s sons, the loftiest of gods, and seek their guidance and …