O Kali

O Kali! I am going to devour You this time

Therefore, I ask You, O Kali…

O ever blissful Kali, the enchantress of the heart of almighty Mahakala.

You dance alone. And You sing alone, clapping Your hands.

O Mother, You are the first Cause,
the Eternal One, in the form of the Void
and wearing the moon on Your forehead.

When the universe did not exist,
where did You find Your string of severed human heads?

You alone are the Mover in everybody;
we are but instruments in Your hands.

We move as You make us move;
we speak as You make us speak.

But the restless Kamalakanta gently chides You, saying,

‘Mother, the Destroyer of all, holding Your sword,
now You have devoured both my virtue and vice!’

If I die uttering, ‘Victory to Kali, victory to Kali!’

I shall assuredly attain Shivahood.
Then what is the use of going to Benares?

Infinite are my Mother Kali’s forms.
Who can find the end of Kali?

Knowing a little of Her greatness,
Shiva lies prostrate at Her red-hued feet.

-        Kamalakanta

From: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Reproduced with permission: Ramakrishna – Vivekananda Centre of New York

(Kamalakanta)    (Poems of Kamalakanta)    (Hindu Poets)