Maa Kali Mantra
The Vedic language has an earlier more primordial language of seed (bija) mantras. These are single syllable sounds or roots like OM that have multiple meanings and indications depending upon their intonation and the intention with which they are used. Out of the bija or root language arises the language of the Vedic texts, which is already differentiated, though not fully, into nouns and verbs. Here we will introduce a few important bija mantras:
HRIM (pronounced Hreem) is the prime mantra of the Goddess and ruler of worlds and holds all her creative and healing powers. HRIM governs over the cosmic energy and the power of the soul and causal body. It awakens us at a soul or heart level, connecting us to Divine forces of love. HRIM is the mantra of the Divine Maya that destroys the worldly maya. It has a solar quality to it but more of a dawn-like effect. It is charming and alluring, yet purifying. Through it we can control the illusion power of our own minds. It increases our aspiration and receptivity to divine light, wisdom and truth. It opens the lotus of the heart to the inner Sun of consciousness. It is a mantra of the consciousness space in which all the worlds exist.
KRIM (pronounced Kreem) is the great mantra of Kali, the Goddess of energy and transformation. It governs over prana as lightning or electrical energy. KRIM grants all spiritual faculties and powers — from the arousing of kundalini to opening the third eye. It has a special power relative to the lower chakras, which it can both stimulate and transform. It helps awaken and purify the subtle body. As a mantra of work and transformation KRIM is the mantra of Kriya Yoga, the Yoga of practice. KRIM is the thunderbolt or vajra that destroys the serpent of the ignorance and releases the light of absolute truth.
SHRIM (pronounced Shreem) is a mantra of love, devotion and beauty, relating to Lakshmi, the Goddess of Beauty and divine grace. Yet SHRIM works at a deeper level than merely to give us the good things of life, including health. It takes us to the heart and gives faith and steadiness to our emotional nature. SHRIM allows us to surrender to, take refuge in, or be immersed in whatever we offer the mantra to. It is the mantra of beauty and delight and has a pleasing lunar quality. It also relates to the head and can be used to flood the senses with divine beauty and delight. It promotes health and aids in fertility and rejuvenation.
NRIM (pronounced Nreem) is the mantra of Lord Narsimha. Narasiṁha demonstrates God’s willingness and ability to come to the aid of His devotees, no matter how difficult or impossible the circumstances may appear to be. Prahlāda demonstrates greatest devotion to God who endured much, without losing faith. Lord Narasiṁha also appears as one of Hanuman’s 5 faces, who is a significant character in the Rāmāyaṇa as Lord Rāma’s devotee. NRIM stands for quick victory over enemies, elimination of ills, attainment of fortune and all round success.
Now, searching for a befitting mantra of divine mother, let us study the symbolism of Mother’s Pratima as found in the Dakshineswar Kali Temple.
Kali’s paradoxical combination of maternal tenderness and destructive terror appears polarized on right and left.
Her lower right hand is held in the varada mudra, extended to offer a boon. One of her greatest boons is fearlessness, indicated by her upper right hand, held in the abhaya mudra.
Her upper left hand brandishes a bloodied curving sword, calling for righteous action. And her lower left hand dangles a freshly severed head asking for surrender in action.
Now the four hands of Mother Kali symbolizes the four sentences of the following two Bhagawata Gita slokas, referred by Swami Vivekananda as the gist of the holy book.
क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते । (upper right hand)
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ॥ (upper left hand)
—”Yield not to unmanliness, O son of Prithâ! Ill cloth it befit thee. Cast off this mean faint-heartedness and arise. O scorcher of thine enemies.”
तस्मात्त्वमुत्तिष्ठ यशो लभस्व जित्वा शत्रून् भुङ्क्ष्व राज्यं समृद्धम् । (lower right hand)
मयैवैते निहताः पूर्वमेव निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन् ॥ (lower left hand)
—”Therefore do thou arise and acquire fame. After conquering thy enemies, enjoy unrivalled dominion; verily, by myself have they been already slain; be thou merely the instrument, O Savyasâchin.”
Therefore, the four hands of Mother Kali can be referred by the following mantras:
Upper right hand by Hrim, upper left hand by Krim, lower right hand by Srim and lower left hand by Nrim. And mother’s feet by Kalikayai Namo Namah.
So the complete mantra becomes: