Raghu and his Guru pal Duncan Trussell, get together for an illuminating conversation around the Divine Mother with Trevor Hall at the most recent Ram Dass retreat on Maui.
Duncan’s infectious curiosity anchors this podcast as Trevor describes the many layers of symbolism found in the image of the fierce goddess, and Divine Mother, Kali. Most people don’t see the significance behind the many layers of this Goddess, usually getting distracted by the gore depicted and not seeing the undertones of motherly unconditional love represented.
Trevor shares his amazing transformation through discovering the guru, Neem Karoli Baba, by meeting Raghu’s younger brother at the age of 17, and eventually winding up living in a Kali temple in Laguna Beach, CA.
Trevor draws from his years living at the Kali temple to explain the iconography and the unconditional love behind the Divine Mother Goddess Kali. Duncan’s questions serve as a guide as Trevor elaborates on all facets of the portrayals of Kali: from the reason Kali is seen biting her tongue, to the implications of her holding the sword of discernment in one hand, and a severed head in the other. In the case of Kali’s bloody garland of 50 skulls, Trevor helps to break down the symbolism:
“the 50 heads represent the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, which includes all sound. All sounds come from the mother, everything we hear: good, bad, the sound of the ocean, this language, everything is filled with the mother’s presence. So what happens if we have that mindset, everything I hear is just ma, ma, ma…”
Or as Duncan summarizes it: “So everything I hear is a severed head on the neck of Kali.”
Raghu recounts his experiences with different embodiments of the Divine Mother: with reading the “Gospel of Ramakrishna”; a meeting with Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual partner, “Mother” in Pondicherry; and his interactions with his Indian mother, the saint, Siddhi Ma. Together, they continue to explore their own personal experiences with Divine Mother, their mothers, and the spectrum of both positive and negative attachments Western culture has with the word “Mother.” To wrap up, Trevor chants a prayer to the Divine Mother, or Ma.
For all things Duncan Trussell, including his podcast, check out his site here.
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna