Kali and Gauri are the untamed and domestic forms of the Goddess. One is naked, the other fully dressed.One’s hair is unbound. The other’s is tied with a string of flowers. The form that is Durga stands in between, reconciling the two extreme forms.

Goddess Kali
Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel – Goddess Kali (Streets of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Indi)

In Durga sex and violence are disciplined enough to become protective and nourishing but not totally domesticated.

Goddess Durga
Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel – Goddess Durga (Streets of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India)

Hence, like Kali, unlike Gauri, Durga’s hair is unbound. But like Gauri, and unlike Kali, Durga is fully dressed.

Goddess Parvathi/Gauri
Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel – Goddess Parvathi/Gauri (Triprayar Temple in Kerala, India)
THE METAPHORICAL USE OF HAIR – Type of Hair & Meaning

Unbound hair – Untamed senses
Tied hair Tamed senses
Matted hair – Absolutely controlled senses
Plaited hair – Young virgin
Parted hair – Deflowered woman
Unshaved head – Householder
Partially shaved head – Part-hermit, Part-householder
Fully shaved head – Hermit

Inspired by Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik – A Decoding of Hindu Mythology

Photo:  Zuzana Zwiebel


ART OF TRAVEL: www.shaktitrails.com

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