Science and Significance of Time – Why Worship Goddess Kali

Time, Space and Matter – the 3 elements that make up this universe, which individually seem so real, yet together converge into a Virtuality (no real presence) we call Existence or Life. In the Hindu system which is deeply rooted science and the study of how humans and the rest of the Universe is interlinked, Time becomes the most revered Force. Our earliest God form is Kali, which is the feminine word for Kala, which means ‘time’. My astonishment with time began rather late in life. What was a tragedy when I was twenty reveals to be a blessing when I am forty. What was a blessing during teens turns out, in my thirties, to be a bane. What appeared beautiful at one ‘time’ now seems so ugly not because the form has changed, but the meaning has. An act of trustworthiness at one time changes in its significance and outcomes that it now seems like an act of betrayal. Actions, like things, earn new meanings and significance with the passage of ‘time’. Truth essentially is an equation of time. ‘Time’ is therefore all powerful and all consuming. If we remove the element of time from this Universe, all events will collapse to a single moment, and the virtuality we are all in will come to an end. We need time to start at some point and end somewhere else, so that a journey can be made. If everything happens in this one moment, all good and bad will be revealed, and this mysterious journey we are in will cease to be. The concept of ‘time’ will become apparent to us as we grow older, as our deeds and misdeeds earn their rightful dues which then reveals the significance of our thoughts and actions, and the nature of the soul that is behind it. The science of time, like matter, is of course a subject that continues to fascinate scientists world over. When did time start? How long does it go? When will it stop? Because whatever that happens before time begins and whatever that happens afterwards also happens at a point in time. As for the man in the street like the most of us, time starts when we arrive in this virtuality and ceases to be when we exit it. I don’t know if time is an equation of the soul and the energy that drives it, which means that each of us are in our own time zones, and as our time zones criss-cross each other, we merge into a common Universe and meet people that we do, and live the lives that we live. Anyway, philosophy and mathematics and physics aside, I know that our ancestors have handed to us some key concepts to remember and pass along to the future generations. Reverence to time, and hence reverence to Goddess Kali is one of them. In her feminine form, Goddess Kali is always presented as fearsome, ferocious and unstoppable, and one who slays ‘Ego’ in mankind. But in essence, these are the qualities that we wish we have, when faced with adversaries and challenges, when we realise that there is no one else that can change our destiny and that we have to do what we have to do to get to where we have to be while hoping that Time with show us the way. In doing that, I find that praying to Kali and visiting her abode a great source of comfort and love. And as a Goddess, she exudes the energy that modern women need in a world that is becoming increasingly complex yet full of opportunities, so being in her presence hopefully rubs off some of her fieriness onto her devotees. In Malaysia, there are many Kali temples – one of which is the Kali temple in Ayer Itam, Penang Island, featured in the post image. Notice the spelling of Kali has been adjusted to one single-syllable-word-based names Kah Lee – which can be the influence of the local Chinese community and culture – just guessing. The temple is so well kept, and according to sources, dates 130 years back. There’s a huge tree that used to be the spot where early worship was conducted. The tree is now incorporated into the temple structure, adding a touch of ‘time’ and ‘nature’ to its surroundings. Another special thing about the temple is that there are two Kali Goddesses in the main chamber (mulastanam) of the temple, something I find very rare. I asked the priest and he said that’s how it has evolved. Some places have miracles and energies of their own, and this is definitely one of them. Definitely a place to visit and a place to have Kali bestow us with some of that love and energy much needed for our our journey in ‘time’.

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