Devi dialogues in Delhi

Devi dialogues in Delhi

A brilliant talk of the divine feminine happened at the India Habitat Centre’s Gulmohar Hall on March 28. ‘The Dance of Kali’ by ‘Shubhi Publications’ was presented in a dialogue between author Sohini Roychowdhury, an international, multi-award-winning danseuse and Dr Alka Pande, a renowned art historian, curator and author. ‘The Divine Feminine’ was decoded by the two in ways that one could relate to in the contemporary scenario. It was a bright, erudite and sparkling discussion, as the two speakers were perfectly aligned with an excellent, engaging audience.

Sohini, with her erudition, intense knowledge and sharp wit, decoded Kali and her philosophy, underscoring the importance of empathy and compassion that the non-conformist goddess stands for. Speaking of the phenomenon of Indian exotica and cultural racism in the West, Dr Pande lucidly explained the concepts of the ‘Ardhanariswara’ and the yin and yang and the Shiva Shakti philosophy to a mesmerised audience.

Dr Pande’s questions were erudite yet lucid and exciting as Roychowdhury spoke of Kali’s soul sisters, Anahita of Persia, Istaar of Mesopotamia, Sara La Kali of Europe, Tara of the far East, Vajradakini of Tibet, Athena and Minerva of Greece and Rome as goddesses of love and war, with long, unbound hair, weapons in hand and helmets.

Roychowdhury mentioned that ‘The Dance of Kali’ is all about the existential freedom of women that is limitless and needs no validation, as all women can be what they want to be without patriarchal norms and boundaries. Dr Pande spoke beautifully about the worship of Kali in Kerala and Bengal and their different distinctive features, celebrating and venerating authentic feminism.

The book session was attended by luminaries like the Ambassador of Brazil to India, H.E. Keneth H Da Nobrega, Sunil Lal, ex-ambassador of India to Spain and Brazil, Sangeeta Bahadur, ex-ambassador of India to Malta and eminent author and Manjari Sinha, an eminent music and dance critic.

The discussion moved on to Shiva, the greatest of the feminists, as Sohini mentioned that Shiva represents the quintessential divine masculine - a symbol of consciousness, strength and stillness. In the realm of ‘chakras’ and spiritual practices, Shiva’s energy is often invoked to bring about transformation and awakening.

Shiva is the ultimate empath, as his third eye symbolises empathy. He is infinite and not bound by social norms. He is the epitome of non-judgemental acceptance of all. ‘We are all one’ is the philosophy of Shiva that fosters global harmony and humanism at its core.

Today, when a third of the world is at war, there are 13 unresolved conflicts globally. Shiva’s philosophy is all about bringing humanity together in compassion, harmony and world peace.

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