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“The pure perception of being, both behind and in front, whose body is space, the form of a woman but merged in the Supreme. In vigour, speed and manly power, through a maiden she is supreme over all, may she who electrifies the entire universe, protect me.”
-- Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni

Ethereal Temptress of the Cosmic Night
2011, acrylic on canvas, 36' X 24' in.

A Lover’s Ode to Ma Kali

Dark and beautiful I have always loved you,
serpent lightening of the boundless sea.
Wild and wanton you have always entranced me,
ethereal temptress of the cosmic night.

Forsaking all things I have always sought you,
finding nothing worth seeking in this world of dreams.
Beyond all remembrance I have always known you,
unbounded primordial yearning
in the secret cavern of the heart.

Life and death
and life in death,
you poured out blood
in whose stream of transformation
we blindly come and go,
transfixed by the glitter of your dance.

Alone I have always felt you with me,
your face in stone that declares all time,
your body, which encompasses all space.

And the witness and the nothingness
of your elusive embrace beyond desire,
the secret fire of which we drink
to never thirst again.
In birth and death I have always returned to you
through a life that is the shadow of your light.

I know your birth and death
that is every moment and every breath,
and the all-consuming will that cannot be denied.

The all-perceiving point of a perfect love that has no form,
where beauty and terror become a single cry of freedom,
a laughter of imperious innocence
which carries us across all the worlds.

-- Vamadeva Shastri