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

Here in Colorado, Spring is at its peak. Plum blossoms and lilacs perfume the air, tulips and daffodils line the edges of gardens with color, dandelions and lush green grasses are spread across the foothills. Life is everywhere. When we really look, we might just catch a glimpse of the great source of it all...

It's Mother's Day this weekend. As you honor your mother, remember to also honor your Mother.


A few thoughts on the imagery of this poem:

In dense darkness, O Mother,
Thy formless beauty sparkles

I don't know about you, but something in those lines still 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.


...Of course, right now, looking out the window, I see glorious sunshine. I think I'll step outside and wiggle my bare toes in the long grasses.

Have a beautiful day -- and evening!

Recommended Books: Vivekananda

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar Great Swan: Meetings with Ramakrishna Living at the Source: Yoga Teachings of Vivekananda The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
More Books >>

In dense darkness