In dense darkness, O Mother

by Vivekananda




In dense darkness, O Mother,
Thy formless beauty sparkles;
Therefore the yogis meditate in a dark mountain cave.
In the lap of boundless dark,
on Mahanirvana's waves unborn,
Peace flows serene and inexhaustible.
Taking the form of the Void,
in the robe of darkness wrapped,
Who art Thou, Mother,
seated alone in the shrine of samadhi?
From the Lotus of Thy fear-scattering Feet
flash Thy love's lightnings;
Thy Spirit-Face shines forth
with laughter terrible and loud!

-- from Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar, by Elizabeth U. Harding

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/ Image by Tiagż Ribeiro /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

In dense darkness, O Mother,
Thy formless beauty sparkles


I don't know about you, but something in those lines gives me a shiver of delight when I read them.

Night is the great Mystery, the unknown. Darkness is the place of secrets. It is the time of sleep, rest, peace. We drop all of our activities and turn inward.

In many traditions, darkness is especially associated with the Goddess, the feminine aspect of the Divine. The black-skinned Hindu goddess Kali is one of the more striking embodiments of Night as a face of the Divine.

Darkness, like God, envelops everything in its embrace. It is in the darkness of night that all things become one, losing their individuality as they disappear into that mystery. Nighttime is the time of nondual awareness, when dichotomies and artificial notions of separation fade.

In the lap of boundless dark,
on Mahanirvana's waves unborn,
Peace flows serene and inexhaustible.



Recommended Books: Vivekananda

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar Great Swan: Meetings with Ramakrishna The Mystic in Love: A Treasury of Mystical Poetry Living at the Source: Yoga Teachings of Vivekananda
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In dense darkness