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Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar

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Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar

Kali, The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar (ISBN 0-89254-025-7) by Elizabeth U. Harding, provides a wealth of information about the worship of the Goddess Kali. This book gives an intimate and detailed description of Kolkata's famous Dakshineswar temple and Ma Bhavatarini, the form of Kali worshiped there. Learn about the temple's festivals & daily rituals, and discover inspiring accounts of some of this traditions ecstatic saints. A great introduction to Kali worship. Paperback, original photographs. 318 page.

Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar
IllustratorOriginal photos by Elizabeth U. Harding
Subjects1. Kali (Hindu deity), 2. Dakshineswar Kali Temple, 3. Sri Ramakrishna, 4. Religious life and customs
PublisherNicolas-Hays (USA), Motilal Banarsidass (India)
ISBN0-89254-025-7 Search this book on .

The Author[edit]

The author sitting among Kali priest on the back steps leading to the Kali temple at Dakshineswar. Kolkata, 1987

Born in Vienna, Austria, Elizabeth Usha Harding lived most of her adult life in Laguna Beach, California. In her professional career, she worked as an actor and then as a journalist covering the computer software industry. She wrote Kali, the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar and was instrumental in founding Kali Mandir in in 1993. Since she retired from working as a journalist, she has dedicated her life full-time to work for the Divine Mother Kali.[1]

The Book[edit]

Most major religions do not acknowledge the feminine power of God. Nevertheless, this passionate and mysterious feminine power strikes a personal chord in most people's hearts. The concept of the Mother Goddess in the West — the meek, ever loving, patiently suffering female — is very different than the image of Kali in the Hindu pantheon. The Dakshineswar Temple in India is devoted to the worship of Ma Kali, and this book tells you all about the temple and how Kali is worshiped there--her festivals, here daily daily rituals. You get an insight into mystics who attained god by worshipping Kali, and read about the Godman Sri Ramakrishna, who lived and worshiped the living image of Kali at the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. This is a living story, and one of inspiration.[2]

This book contains authentic information verified by Indian scholars, Swamis, and priest

  • INTRODUCTION (God the Mother; The Evolution of Mother Worship in India)
  • CHAPTER 1: The Dakshineswar Kali Temple (Approaching the Dakshineswar Kali Temple; Approaching the Mother: Bhavatarini Kali)
  • CHAPTER 2: Kali, the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar (Worship of the Terrible Mother; Kali's Symbols; Kali, the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar; Kali, the Black Goddess of Yore; Kali the Goddess of Tantra; Kali's Mantra and Yantra; Kali Within the Human Body; Kali's Boon)
  • CHAPTER 3: Worship of Kali (The Nature of Worship; Daily Worship at the Dakshineswar Kali Temple; Service to the Deity; The Conclusion of the Worship; Special Worship; Durga Puja; Kali Puja)
  • CHAPTER 4: Dakshineswar Kali Temple History and Surroundings (The Temple; God, the Father; Rani Rasmani; Mathur Nath Biswas; Sri Ramakrishna's Room; The Kuthi and the Nahabat; Bakultla Ghat; The Panchavati; Sri Ramakrishna's Tantric Sadhana; Storage Rooms, Kitchens and Staff Rooms)
  • CHAPTER 5: Ma Kali's God-Intoxicated Mystics (The Quest for Bliss; Ramprashad, the Mistrel of Kali; Kamalakanta; Raja Ramakrishna; Sri Ramakrishna; Bamakhepa; Sri Sarada Devi; Swami Vivekananda)

"This book will help clear the misunderstanding about the Hindu Goddess Kali. The author;s rational and devotional approach makes her work authentic and inspiring." - Swami Chetanananda (Vedanta Society of St. Louis)

"A fascinating pilgrimage to one of the world's most active temples of the great Goddess. Required reading for all those interested in Goddess traditions." - Barbara Walker (author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets)

"Never in print have I seen Her brought to life with such passion and truth. I sincerely thank Elizabeth Harding for honoring the Black Goddess in Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar." - Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, spiritual teacher, author of The River)

Connection to Kali Mandir[edit]

The image of Ma Dakshineswari Kali at Kali Mandir. Laguna Beach, C2022

In a way, publication of the first edition of this book in 1993 stared public Kali worship in the United States. When the book sparked interest in worship, Harding brought Sri Haradhan Chakraborti (seated right of the author in the included photograph) the main priest of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Kolkata, to Laguna Beach in California to install an image of Goddess Kali. He gave Her the name Ma Dakshineswari Kali (The Kali from Dakshineswar). This led to the formation of Kali Mandir, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) religious organization that facilitates worship of the Divine Mother Kali following the purity and Sri Ramakrishna's teachings and the tradition of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. The principle office of Kali Mandir is known as Kali Mandir Ramakrishna Ashram, located in Laguna Beach, California, in the sacred Laguna Canyon, two miles from the Pacific Ocean, and surrounded by the natural and protected beauty of the Laguna Cove Wilderness Park. The spiritual heart of the ashram is the temple of the Divine Mother Sri Ma Dakshineswari Kali, and also includes meditation gardens, a small book & gift shop, a Hindu seminary, and a residential monastery. Elizabeth Usha Harding serves as President of Board of Directors. (See External Links below for more information.)

External Links[edit]

Search the book online:[edit]
  1. From Resident Staff page on the Kali Mandir site.
  2. From the back cover of the book.