Observing the week with Shiva and Kali

I’ve been writing a lot more frequently about Traditional Witchcraft stuff, but what’s been happening with my Hindu practices, you might be wondering? I haven’t forgotten or forsaken it. I’ve returned to a practice that I gained much from during my Hindu quarter at the start of this blog: I devote one day a week each to Shiva and Kali.

Bangalore Shiva, wikimedia commons.

Bangalore Shiva, wikimedia commons. I find this statue incredibly beautiful.

Mondays are traditionally devoted to Shiva. Tuesdays are Kali’s day. On these days I refrain from eating beef. While many Hindus are vegetarian, not all are, and my family definitely is not. However, almost all Hindus abstain from eating beef, as they view the cow as sacred. After being a lactating mother I can see how the cow might be viewed as holy and life-giving. I also refrain from drinking any alcohol on Mondays. I listen to Hindu chants throughout the days. On Mondays it’s mostly variations of Om Namah Shivaya, on Tuesdays it’s mostly variations of chants to Kali or Durga. I use mantras when washing the dishes and sitting in meditation.

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I feel that Shiva does not need extensive puja. Sitting in quiet meditation in honor of him and thinking on him while doing my morning yoga (which I’ve recommitted to doing) is puja enough. However, Kali is quite a bit more demanding and I am increasing my puja skills, endurance and knowledge for her Tuesday morning devotions.

On these two days I read something Hindu related. I have started a book about Lord Ganesha, as he is always honored in my home. Ganesh and Ma are always honored, bowed before, and blessed with incense first before any work I do, whether explicitly Hindu or not.

The rest of the week I focus on the work that I am doing with my Craft teachers and/or how I feel so moved.

In the past I have found that even one day a week focus on these gods has deepened my connections with them at a surprisingly quick pace. I find that Shiva brings a clarity and peacefulness, while Kali engenders a different kind of cunning focus, a fierceness, and a passionate devotion in me.

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About Niki Whiting
  • Niklas Gander

    I love the Shiva murthi! Where did you find the image?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      I looked on wikimedia. But I’ve seen it around. It’s a huge statue in India. When I think of Shiva, this is what I think of!

  • Vishwam

    One stunning fact, This idol is present in the middle(probably downtown) of bangalore city adjacent to a mall. The location is called kempfort.

    • Vishwam

      its fascinating how you are focussing on shiva on mondays and kali on tuesdays , I believe you definitely use the “AUM” chant in meditation , Lord Shiva and the aum syllable resemble stillness , destination and stopping everything else , it is said that the whole world will submerge or converge into AUM. Kali or maa durga or the female form of god on the other hand is symbolic of movement , any micro,nano or major movement in this world , including the tap of your eyes , is a result of her blessing , so worshipping the female form , kali or maa durga , or chanting Shree will help you gain enormous amounts f energy and potential to live a life full of energy +ve growth and huge potential.

      In the 21st century , where most hindus r moving towards the west , materialisation and away from god , people like you are a great source f relief and prove that the Lord still dwells in even the most luxurious and earthly places :-)Hope you continue your journey towards nirvana.

      Beyond the rituals , i urge you to try and findout why each of those small things r done in hinduism , everythng has a meaning and a logical explanation , that will make your journey more satisfying nd deeper.

      and the cow is revered to be sacred by hindus because f a billion reasons , and even ox is the vehicle of lord siva and hence very sacred ,in ancient india , oxen were used for ploughing fields , and the results would be rice , wheat and food , which is a form of god and wealth , a strong ox in a place is a symbol of existence of fairness , justice and wellbeing of all in the entire region , in places whr oxen r killed , its an indication that fairness justice and happiness are being crushed by evil forces. Cow for example eats useless grassgrass (which is useless for any1) and gives milk ghee , curd etc which are life lines for villages and evry1. i can go on like this with a lot f explanations … but jus felt like sharing my amazement and happiness aftr seeing your blog, may the lord bless you your family and cute kids with lots f happiness. :-)

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

        Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! I am more knowledgeable of the rituals and chants than I let on. Well, as well as a Western scholar can be. Much of my knowledge is book learning only. The only way for me to internalize it is to practice. However, my practice is very, very simple, for several reasons. Firstly, I’ll admit to being rather overwhelmed with the intensity and detail of pujas, chants, etc. As a mother and homemaker I have limited time for study and practice, so I’ve chosen simple steps and only a few mantras or chants. As I gain ease and internalize the wisdom I will expand. What I find beautiful about Hinduism is that is can be incredibly simple or extremely complex and yet it is still authentic Hinduism. There is a wealth of joy in this tradition.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      I might go to the mall more if that was nearby….


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