Summary: The story of a Kali temple
Comment: This book is about the temple of Kali and its history. For information on Kali Herself, there are better sources. The sections on the Goddess' myths and attributes are okay, but I do not care for the lengthy excerpts quoted from Barbara Walker's The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets - I mean, first of all if I wanted this I would read Walker's work; secondly they are rife with misinformed conjecture presented as fact.
Excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, on the other hand, serve to inform the book's most charming elements and what are in essence its central subjects: the lives of Kali's famous devotees, especially Ramakrishna; the history of the Dakshineswar temple; and the temple's daily routine and festival observances, as witnessed and experienced first-hand by the author herself. These aspects of the work really took me to the temple and allowed me to envision and even commune with these saintly and lively children of Ma Kali.
If Ms. Harding had focused on and refined these aspects of her work, I would have rated this a five-star book.
Summary: Jai Ma Kali! Victory to the Ma Kali
The Black Goddess Of Dakshineswar
by Elizabeth U. Harding
Although this book is a bit on the patriarcal side a
bit. Even when India was very constrictive to women, many Hindu sects considdered the Goddess to be supreme and men who were devoted to the Goddess would want to dress as
a woman and become feminine and even have a pyschosematic period without the actual
blood. (even though they were not gay)
This book goes deep into the Goddess Kali in her many aspects of Kali names such as Shyama Kali, Maha Kali, Raksha Kali and more. This book tells of her benign side (Dakashin) and her terrible aspect (Smashan or Vama)
It describes the daily worship and the special puja of Kali. It explains her symbols the reason why she is seen with 50 human
severed heads and a girldle of arms. This book is truly for those who are devoted to the Mother Kali.
The auther describes how life is in India and how the devotees act toward the Mother Kali.
The book has many devotional prayers and writtings that were made to the Great Devi Kali.
She has wrote about Kalis Goddess intoxicated saints Rama Krishna, Sarada Devi, Ramprasad, and many of the lives of the devotes of Ma Kali.
This book will dispell any of the myths of what you heard of Kali, as Kali is greatly misunderstood by so many people. Kali is beyond good and
evil she is pure love and will but make no mistake she is also she who creates and she who destroys. The auther has added some of the writtings from the Gospel of Sri RamaKrishna and some of his visions of the Mother is there as well.
She also adds some information on Shiva and Tara as well. Ramprshad made no dstiction between Kali and Tara. Tara is so much like Kali in her Hindu wratful aspect. Tara is the next Mahavidya right after Kali. She also describes the life of Bamakhepa Taras goddess intoxicated saint.She also writes about the left hand tantricts (this is not an evil path of tantra) Left hand tantra defies what is considdered morally right and is useful in free the enslaved mind from human made restrictions.Devotes and saints would sit on top of a corpse in a crematorium and go
into deep traces and do other societies"unacceptable things" NO im not talking of human sacrifices. Also Elizabeth Harding writes about the Rani (Queen) who had the Dakashineswar temple built and what
goes on there.There are many wonderful pictures in this book and rare ones as well. Rare because pictures are forbidden to be taken of the
inside of templesonly the temple officials can take them. The Christians and the English
rule could not pull the whole country away from the Hindu religion no matter how bad the tyranny became. This book is inspirational and one of
pure beauty, it is a book of hope against struggle. The book delves into the mysteries of Kalima. In this book Kali is brought to life and dances
with her laughter, you can feel the soirit of the Great Devi in this book. This book has been praised by many Hindu and Goddess
devotees. It is a living story and one full of inspiration for all of us who love and revere the Goddess......Jai Ma, Kali Jaya!
I give this book 5 stars.
Summary: A JOURNEY I WON'T FORGET
Comment: Reading this book felt like an adventure. The author took me with her on her trip to India and was able to transmit her devotion, her love and her experiences in remarkable detail. It showed me how to experience Kali and to love her as much as I'm sure the author does.
Summary: caveat emptor
Comment: While this book clearly shows that Ms. Harding has much love for Ma, it also clearly shows that Ms. Harding still has a long way to go in her studies. This book is a rambling cacaphony of the author's personal experiences, intermingled with lots of quotes from other books. Indeed, it is a good thing Ms. Harding included the quotes from other books, as her personal commentary is quite deluded and in some cases, downright racist towards Vedic people. If you are interested in knowing more of Ma, you would do better to purchase books by Sri Ramakrishna or Dr. Robert Svoboda. Except for the quotes included herein from other books, I found this book for the most part useless. However, it does show, if nothing else, that Ms. Harding has a great deal of love for Ma - definitely though more study is in order for Ms. Harding. I would have rated this book NO STARS but that option is apparently not available.
Summary: Very well written
Comment: This book is extremely well written. Her descriptions are excellent. I wish I had read the book before going to the temple. This is not an easily read book. It's more like an academic course, only one penned by a professor that can really write. By the time you finish this book you feel like you have really learned something- not just about Kali but about India and about mythology and religion as well. Because of the subject matter and stark cover photo, this is the kind of book that will have strangers come up to you and ask what you're reading. Because of it's well written and well researched content- you are actualyy going to be able to tell them. Take it Starbuck's and you'll meet someone gauranteed.