The Methodist Prayer

“God our Father and our Mother,

we give you thanks and praise

for all that you have made,

for the stars in their splendour

and the world in its wonder

and for the glorious gift of human life.

With the saints and angels in heaven

we praise your holy name.”

om…………

This is revolutionary, as this means Methodists are the first Christians to acknowledge the female aspect of the Absolute…

Hopefully through self-inquiry, all the worlds religions will begin to see past relative truth of these spiritual hallucinations caused by the minds inability to percieve and comprehend God correctly, in these visions God is percieved as male, or female, or both.

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Kali, Mother Nature

 

I personally love the form of Kali whom I know as mother nature as she is the material that dances on top of awareness (shiva) yet are both God. her visible form is used to symbolize & invoke prakriti(Matter) or Brahman(Ajah)

Kali is the goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means “the black one”. Since Shiva is called Kāla—the eternal time—Kālī, his consort, also means “Time” or “Death” (as in time has come). Hence, Kāli is considered to be the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. Kali is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Bhadrakali, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.

Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as are the male deities. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva’s wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kāli who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals.In many sources Kāli is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities. The Nirvana-tantra says the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva all arise from her like bubbles in the sea, ceaselessly arising and passing away, leaving their original source unchanged. The Niruttara-tantra and the Picchila-tantra declare all of Kāli’s mantras to be the greatest and the Yogini-tantra, Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra all proclaim Kāli vidyas (manifestations of Mahadevi, or “divinity itself”). They declare her to be an essence of her own form (svarupa) of the Mahadevi.

In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kāli is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one passage Shiva praises her:
At the dissolution of things, it is Kāla [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahākāla [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahākāla Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kālika. Because Thou devourest Kāla, Thou art Kāli, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [the Primordial One]. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.
The figure of Kāli conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she is also a “forbidden thing”, or even death itself. In the Pancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation. This is clear in the work of the Karpuradi-stotra, a short praise Kāli describing the Pancatattva ritual unto her, performed on cremation grounds. (Samahana-sadhana)
He, O Mahākāli who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with dishevelled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. 0h Kāli, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Shakti [his energy/female companion] in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.
The Karpuradi-stotra clearly indicates that Kāli is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with Lord Shiva, who is said to be her spouse, she creates and destroys worlds. Her appearance also takes a different turn, befitting her role as ruler of the world and object of meditation. In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear. Here, Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death.

Kali is prakriti, she is the active, intelligent, creative Divine power underlying the cosmos. Prakriti is contrasted with Purusha , the infinite Para Brahman expressed through Prakriti. Prakriti is the feminine active creative Shakti of the changeless and eternal Para Brahman. In each cycle of creation, Para Brahman enters into Prakriti and this union unfolds as the cosmos. In the pralaya or dissolution at the end of the cosmic cycle or kalpa all creation withdraws into the now formless Prakriti. Prakriti expresses Herself through the three gunas, the threads or qualities of all creation. Prakriti can be understood in western scholastic terms as the prima materia, the fundamental substance which is pure potential, that becomes manifest as form in creation through the activity of purusha or essence.

The Shakti tradition, which worships Devi or Dea in Her manifest form, is neither monist (advaitavâda) nor dualist (dvaitavâda). Unlike dualism, the Shakti tradition does not see the material world as unconscious (achit) and distinct from the Absolute or Brahman. Unlike monism, in the Shakti tradition Prakriti is seen as the conscious principle of becoming that is itself real (vastu). Nonetheless, Prakriti, manifest as creation or not, is always in perfect and eternal union with Purusha, represented in the image of the Divine androgyne, the Ardhanarishvara. In the pure Shakti tradition, Dea is worshiped both as Adi Shakti, Deity manifest, and as Para Brahman Deity beyond manifestation. Shakti is the creative activity of Para Brahman. Para Brahman is inactive Shakti. One of the titles of Sri Lalitha is Shiva shakthaikya roopini, She whose nature is the union of Shiva and Shakti. The manifestion of Dea through the union with Her Shakti is also known as Maya or illusion.

In Indian ritual devotion, the offering of flowers and other gifts to the image of Deva or Devi is called puja. ‘Pu’ stands for pushpam or flowers and ‘ja’ for japa or the chanting of the divine names. ‘Ja’ also stands for jalam or water, which is sipped during worship. Flowers themselves are an image of Prakriti, so in puja can be seen as an offering a gift of the fruits of nature to the Deity, it is also symbolizing the clothing of Deity in the beauty of Her creation. Additionally, since Prakriti is the mother of the gunas, puja is a prayer to Her that She bless us by granting us the Sattwa guna.

Classic depictions of Kali share several features, as follows:
Kali’s most common four armed iconographic image shows each hand carrying variously a sword, a trishul (trident), a severed head and a bowl or skull-cup (kapala) catching the blood of the severed head.
Two of these hands (usually the left) are holding a sword and a severed head. The Sword signifies Divine Knowledge and the Human Head signifies human Ego which must be slain by Divine Knowledge in order to attain Moksha. The other two hands (usually the right) are in the abhaya (fearlessness) and varada (blessing) mudras, which means her initiated devotees (or anyone worshiping her with a true heart) will be saved as she will guide them here and in the hereafter.
She has a garland consisting of human heads, variously enumerated at 108 (an auspicious number in Hinduism and the number of countable beads on a Japa Mala or rosary for repetition of Mantras) or 51, which represents Varnamala or the Garland of letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, Devanagari. Hindus believe Sanskrit is a language of dynamism, and each of these letters represents a form of energy, or a form of Kali. Therefore she is generally seen as the mother of language, and all mantras.
She is often depicted naked which symbolizes her being beyond the covering of Maya since she is pure (nirguna) being-consciousness-bliss and far above prakriti. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities — she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her — she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adi-shakti.