Expansions Of Rhada And Krishna Essay, Research Paper
Expansions of Rhada and Krishna. In India the Goddess is known by such names as Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, among many others. She is the goddess of the material world, her jurisdiction given to her by Lord Krishna. She is the ruler of the fourth level of existence, known as the Devidharma, where the mother of the Universe, the Goddess, controls the living entities who choose to enjoy life separately from Krishna. Durga is the goddess who was expanded for the sole purpose of taking care of the Illusionary Energy (a.k.a. Material World); she is known as the Divine Mother. Kali is the wife of Siva; she is the goddess of destruction. Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu and is the goddess of prosperity, purity, chastity and generosity. The roles of these three goddesses are starkly different in their backgrounds, their purposes, and the way in which they are appreciated, though they come from the same powerful energy.
The Sanatandharma (Hindus) believe that Brahman expands his all pervading energy throughout the universe. Since Brahman is believed to be infinite, divinity is also infinite and found in every portion of the universe, observable in many different forms. Although the Sanatandharma have many gods, the gods have a oneness in Brahman; they are all the same divinity. In the Bhagavad-Gita, the Lord Krishna says, Whatever god a man worships, it is I who answer the prayer. (Patel, C Ch 14:27) Most Sanatan families favor for worship of either Vishnu or Siva. However some respect a Shakti, the female companion of a god, as the supreme manifestation of Brahman.
In most religions people refer to the higher being in many terms. Some say God, others say Allah, and some even refer to him as The Father. In India this higher being is known as Lord Krishna. Before time Lord Krishna roamed unaccompanied in the universe. Lord Krishna is the supreme personality of the godhead, and he is absolute Brahman (Patel, C Bhagavad-Gita Ch 14:27). Since he was divine he decided to expand himself in order to see himself in different moods. Just as you and I need self-satisfaction by glancing at our reflection in the mirror, a deity must expand. His first expansion was Rhada, also known as the Divine Mother. Rhada then expanded into twelve thousand forms, which were to service lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna then decided to expand into three more modes: Brahm (baby Krishna), Shiva (purity and perfection), and Vishnu (the exemplar of divine love). Then Rhada expanded into Yogamaya Devi, who expanded into Mahamaya Devi, who then expanded into Kalmaya Devi. Lord Krishna appointed Shiva to create the Material World, but Shiva refused due to his purity (the Material World is not pure) so Shiva expanded himself as Maya Devi (the consort of Shiva) whose sole purpose was to create the Material World (a.k.a. Brahmandakash).
From the Illusionary Energy (Material World) a goddess appeared, known as Durga (tough, indestructible). She was expanded by Lord Krishna to take care of the Illusionary world. Durga then expanded into three forms MahaLakshmi- matter energy or the goddess of wealth. MahaKali- motion energy of universe, keeps everything moving in space MahaSaraswati- is knowledge energy or Mother Nature. These three goddesses are important because they created the three gunas (mode of nature, way of life): Rajas Guna being active (created by MahaLakshmi), Tamas Guna brings anger, ignorance and sleep [Sleep is not good, according to the Sanatandharma (a.k.a. Hindu belief)], and Sattva Guna (created by MahaKali) leading to realization of god (created by MahaSaraswati).
The Shaktis are female divinities, generally the consorts of the gods Vishnu and Siva. The Shaktas represent the active forces or illusionary energy of their husbands and the personified power of Brahman. Most often worshiped is Siva-Shakti, the consort of Siva. She appears in many forms. As Parvati, Uma, or Annapurna she is a beautiful woman. But she is also a fierce and terrible goddess in the forms of Durga, or Kali. Durga, a stern-faced warrior, sits astride a lion and holds a number of fatal weapons in ten hands. She destroys the demon of ignorance, nourishes the poor and confers blessings of love, and knowledge upon all those who strive for God-realization (Huthison 599). In the honor of Durga there is an annual festival held in Bengal, which lasts at least for five days. The festival opens with the invocation to call Durga from the heavenly realm. On the final day of the festival an image of Durga is lowered into a river or a sea.
Kali, on the other hand, is known as the consort of Shiva and his Shakti, who is also known as the Divine Mother. She is often referred to as the the black one (Hutchison 601). In the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, Kali is the black, horrible tongue associated with Agni, the god of fire. Kali wears a garland of human heads around her neck and carries a bloodstained sword. Kali is the protector of righteous people. Kali was a fierce warrior, known as the anger energy of Durga. She was an expansion of Durga when the demons were getting out of hand. After Kali kills the Mahisasur demon by cutting off his head, his blood begins to drip on the ground. If this blood hits the ground more demons appear in the Material World. Kali brings out a bowl and pours all the demon s blood in it and swallows it to keep it from touching the ground. She then gets angry after killing so many demons, so she is not able to tell the demons from the demigods apart. She begins pushing everybody into the ground with her foot. Shiva sees this and gets in front of Kali, so she is not able to push him under. She then asks him who he is and he says Shiva. If sees her picture, Kali looks angry yet startled because she has run into Lord Shiva, her eyes bulge out and she sticks her tongue out as displayed on all her pictures. Once the tongue is out the blood is visible and that is how she has become a fierce warrior. Her worshipers know her as a protector of righteous people and of Dharma. She is worshiped, often with animal sacrifices, as Mata, the Divine Mother. She is worshiped particularly in Bengal. Her best-known temples are in Kalighat and Dakshineshvara. She is worshiped particularly in Bengal. Her best-known temples are in Kalighat and Dakshineshvara. However some Shakta cults have carried their worship to an extreme The Tantras include, in their initiation rites the breaking of orthodox taboos, such as eating meat, drinking alcohol, and engaging in illicit sex. The Tantrists prefer magical rituals and the recitation of mystical utterances (mantras) to karma-marga, bhakti-marga, the means to salvation.
Lakshmi was expanded by MahaLakshmi to give Lord Vishnu a wife. Lakshmi s four hands represent four spiritual virtues. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of divine truth. Her personal charm is considered par excellence. An aura of divine happiness, mental and spiritual satisfaction, and prosperity always exist around her. Her palm is always extended to bless people. No temples are dedicated to her but she is constantly worshiped as the goddess of prosperity, purity, chastity and generosity. Her four hands represent four spiritual virtues. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of divine truth. Her personal charm is considered par excellence. A mental and spiritual satisfaction, along with happiness and prosperity always exist around her. Her palm is always extended to bless people. Legend says Shiva and Lakshmi were
both monks therefore they could not take part in sexual activities. Lakshmi always wanted to have children but Lord Shiva once told her since they can t have children, she shall consider all the people in the material world as her children, since Lord Shiva was responsible for the humans beings. She is loved and worshipped by many married women. Ever since I was a young girl my mother always told me of Lakshmi and her story of prosperity, I was taught to look up to her, especially after marriage (Patel s wife)
Lord Krishna, the father, is the only supreme godhead (Patel, C). Everything else is expanded from his energy. Brahm, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahmaji and the rest of the gods are all expansions of Lord Krishna at different levels of the universe at different play moods. These expansions included the three goddesses: Durga, Kali, and Lakshmi. These three goddesses are worshipped and appreciated by different types of people and represent different kinds of personal attitudes. Kali is a much more violent deity than a deity such as Lakshmi. Despite these differences, all the gods come essentially from the same supreme god. However if one wants to seek salvation from Maya Devi must worship Lord Krishna.