Shmashana Tara stands on Bhairava while jackals pick at the human bones littered around them.
Hello! I do indeed worship both Krishna and Kali. I worship Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead (meaning, there are many incarnations of God, and many forms of divinity, but Krishna is the utmost), and my primary practice of this is through the daily chanting of the maha-mantra (you can read more about this here). I worship Kali, however, as a goddess particular to my pastimes within the material plane, and my practice includes nightly puja.
I worship Kali alongside Kalki for their martial connection; in Kalki Purana the two merge into one on the battlefield. I worship Kali and Krishna in tandem as siblings. In one aspect, Jagannath as Krishna and Subhadra as Shakti along with their brother Balaram are often worshipped together. Also, in Srimad Bhagavatam, when King Kamsa attempts to kill a child of the imprisoned Devaki who he fears will fulfill the prophecy that such a child will lead to his death (this child being Krishna), the infant manifests as Durga:
Having uprooted all relationships with his sister because of intense selfishness, Kaṁsa, who was sitting on his knees, grasped the newborn child by the legs and tried to dash her against the surface of a stone.
The child, Yoga-māyā-devī, the younger sister of Lord Viṣṇu, slipped upward from Kaṁsa’s hands and appeared in the sky as Devī, the goddess Durgā, with eight arms, completely equipped with weapons.
The goddess Durgā was decorated with flower garlands, smeared with sandalwood pulp and dressed with excellent garments and ornaments made of valuable jewels. Holding in her hands a bow, a trident, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conchshell, a disc and a club, and being praised by celestial beings like Apsarās, Kinnaras, Uragas, Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Gandharvas, who worshiped her with all kinds of presentations, she spoke as follows.
O Kaṁsa, you fool, what will be the use of killing me? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has been your enemy from the very beginning and who will certainly kill you, has already taken His birth somewhere else. Therefore, do not unnecessarily kill other children.
After speaking to Kaṁsa in this way, the goddess Durgā, Yoga-māyā, appeared in different places, such as Vārāṇasī, and became celebrated by different names, such as Annapūrṇā, Durgā, Kālī and Bhadrā.
Purport to the last verse:
The goddess Durgā is celebrated in Calcutta as Kālī, in Bombay as Mumbādevī, in Vārāṇasī as Annapūrṇā, in Cuttack as Bhadrakālī and in Ahmedabad as Bhadrā. Thus in different places she is known by different names. Her devotees are known as śāktas, or worshipers of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas worshipers of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself are called Vaiṣṇavas. Vaiṣṇavas are destined to return home, back to Godhead, in the spiritual world, whereas the śāktas are destined to live within this material world to enjoy different types of material happiness. In the material world, the living entity must accept different types of bodies. Bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā (Bg. 18.61). According to the living entity’s desire, Yoga-māyā, or Māyā, the goddess Durgā, gives him a particular type of body, which is mentioned as yantra, a machine. But the living entities who are promoted to the spiritual world do not return to the prison house of a material body (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna). The words janma na eti indicate that these living entities remain in their original, spiritual bodies to enjoy the company of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the transcendental abodes Vaikuṇṭha and Vṛndāvana.
If you have any further questions or anything you would like to discuss, please let me know! Hare Krishna!
India, late 19th century. See more
Skulls, by Kali Tara Deva
Bhadrakali, with fourteen arms, each holding an attribute
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
San Diego Museum of Art
Chhinnamasta Kali - Assam, India
Drawing in black ink of the Goddess Bagalmukhi killing a demon. Inscribed.
Bagalamukhi belongs to the Goddesses Dasamahavidya who are supposed to kill the enemies of the gods
Lustred in Kangra, 19th cent
Her left foot forward in battle, she holds her severed head and a knife. Naked, she drinks voluptuously the stream of the blood nectar flowing from her beheaded body. The jewel on her forehead is tied with a serpent. She has three eyes. Her breasts are adorned with lotuses. Inclined towards lust, she sits erect above the god of love, who shows signs of lustfulness. She looks like the red China rose. - Chinnamasta Tantra,
Dhumavati (Sanskrit: धूमावती, Dhūmāvatī, literally “the smoky one”) is one of the Mahavidyas, a group of ten Tantric goddesses. Dhumavati represents the fearsome aspect of Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother. She is often portrayed as an old, ugly widow, and is associated with things considered inauspicious and unattractive in Hinduism, such as the crow and the Chaturmas period. The goddess is often depicted on a horseless chariot or riding a crow, usually in a cremation ground.Dhumavati is said to manifest herself at the time of cosmic dissolution (pralaya) and is “the Void” that exists before creation and after dissolution. While Dhumavati is generally associated with only inauspicious qualities, her thousand-name hymn relates her positive aspects as well as her negative ones.
Lakshmi (via Dolls of India)
A Bagalamukhi Yantra, a geometrical depiction of the crane headed goddess.
Bagalamukhi means “The Crane-Headed One”. This bird is thought of as the essence of deceit. She rules magic for the suppression of an enemy’s gossip. These enemies also have an inner meaning, and the peg she puts through the tongue may be construed as a peg or paralysis of our own prattling talk. She rules deceit which is at the heart of most speech. She can in this sense be considered as a terrible or Bhairavi form of Matrika Devi, the mother of all speech.
"She is the goddess of black magic, of poisons. She rules over the subtle perception which make us feel at a distance the death or misery of those we know. She incites men to torture one another. She revels in suffering"
Mahavidya Kali stood on Shiva, holding a sword, severed head and showing mudras removing fear and granting boons ~ Painting by Kailash Raj