MatriYoga is the worship of Mother God as understood by Hindus and Yogis. One of the best sources for information on the teachings of the east comes from a publisher and distributor called Vedanta Press (1946 Vedanta Place, Hollywood CA 90068). They have a great little book called, "Kali The Mother" by Sister Nivedita who happened to be an English woman. We will quote some terrific passages from her book.
THE GREAT YOGA SAINT
If you search the catalog of Vedanta Press, you will find many books on Ramakrishna and his teachings. I recommend "Ramakrishna and His Disciples" by Christopher Isherwood. They have more than 20 books concerning him. Ramakrishna was a kind of savant. He was backward in daily living, but light years ahead in spirituality. He was given to falling into deep trances at any moment of the day. The most remarkable thing about him (that we know of) is that he practiced at different times separate religions and became a proficient in each one. Example: He worshipped God without images, and was in a trance for three months without awakening in this practice. He also became a perfect Muslim. He became a perfect Christian. He worshipped the baby Krishna, and became better than the lady who taught him. There were other disciplines as well. But what was the love that he always returned to? It was God as a Mother, in particular as Mother Kali. He said, try as he might, he could never find a way or worshipping God greater than that of worshipping God as Mother.
KALI THE MOTHER
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK BY: SISTER NIVEDITA
Short of perfect realization, we must see the Eternal Light through a mask imposed by our own thought. To no two of us, probably, is the mask quite in the same place, and some reach, by their own growth, diverging points so distant from the common center that they mark the extreme limits hitherto achieved of those great areas known as the Christian, or the Buddhist, or the this-that-or-the-other consciousness.
But down with all masks!
The Uncreated Flame itself we long for, without symbol or veil or barrier. If we cannot see God and live,--let us then die—what is there to fear? Consume us in primal fire, dissolve us into living ocean, but interpose nothing, no, nor the shadow of anything, between the soul and the divine draught for which it thirsts!
Profound depths stir within us, in presence of the intensely Christian conception of God—a child in His mother’s arms. This ideal of the heart of a woman—pierced by its seven sorrows, on fire with love, mother beside the cradle, worshipper beneath the cross, and glorified in great humility,--has been one of the richest gifts of the Catholic Church to humanity.
The soul that worships becomes always a little child: the soul that becomes a child finds God most often as mother. In a meditation before the Blessed Sacrament, some pen has written the exquisite assurance: “My child, you need not know much in order to please Me. Only love Me dearly. Speak to me, as you would take to your mother, if she had taken you in her arms.”
But it is in India that this thought of the mother has been realized in its completeness. In that country where the image of Kali is one of the most popular symbols of deity, it is quite customary to speak of God, as “She” and the direct address then offered is simply “Mother.”
But under what strange guise! In the West, art and poetry have been exhausted to associate all that is tender and precious with this thought of woman-worship. The mother plays with the little One, or caresses or nurses Him. Sometimes she even makes her arm a throne, whereon He sits to bless the world.
In the East, the accepted symbol is of a woman nude, with flowing hair, so dark a blue that the seems in color to be black, four-handed-two hands in the act of blessing, and two holding a knife and bleeding head respectively,--garlanded with skulls, and dancing, with protruding tongue, on prostrate figure of a man al white with ashes.
A terrible, an extraordinary figure! Those who call it horrible may well be forgiven. They pass only through the outer court of the temple. They are not arrived where the Mother’s voice can reach them. This, in it’s own way, is well.
Yet, this image, so fearful to the Western mind, is perhaps dearer than any other to the heart of India. It is not, indeed, the only form in which the divine Energy presents Herself to Her worshippers. To the Sikh, She is absorbed, embodied in his sword; all women. Especially as children are Her incarnations; glorious Sita carries the great reality to many.
comes closer to us than these. Others we admire; others we love; to Her we belong.
Whether we know it or not, we are Her children, playing round Her knees. Life
is but a game of hide-and-seek with Her, and if, in it’s course we chance
to touch Her feet, who can measure the shock of the divine energy that enters
into us? Who can utter the rapture of our cry of “Mother?”
as Mother Goddess