I know lord shiva had two wives(actually one). One is Sati and then Parvati(incarnation of Sati). Now in hinduism lots of places we find that Kali is also a wife of lord shiva. However I don't find any good reference about it.There are many confusing articles online.My three questions to you,

  1. What is the exact relationship between shiva and kali?(reference please)
  2. Is Kali was a wife or just unmarried consort?
  3. If wife,when they got married? After Parvati or along with Parvati?
  4. If unmarried consort,how come this possible when Parvati was with him?

Thank You,

  • 3
    Mahakali is a form of Parvati or alternatively Parvati is form of Mahakali. Just as Shiva has many forms like Nataraja (Dancing), Dakshinamurty (silence teaching), Raudra (Destroying), SadaShiva (gracing), etc... Similarly Uma (wife of Shiva) also has many forms like Mahakali, Chhinamasta, Bhairavi, Baglamukhi, Katyayani, Narayani, Annapurna etc...
    – Tezz
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 13:45
  • Kali is also the birth name of Parvati. This is referenced in the Shiva Purana (Verse 11): indianscriptures.com/Content/Articles/PDFs/24065/… and Vamana Purana (Verse 37):indianscriptures.com/Content/Articles/PDFs/18364/…
    – Arya
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 16:10

3 Answers 3


Before coming to your question, a little background understanding is important. Here it is..

Before the creation of world Shiva use to be in Ardhanareshwara (Half body is of woman and half is of man) form. Brahma starts creation of world but at one point Lord Brahma got lack in energy/power to complete the work of srijan (creation). Then he went to Shiva and ask for help. Then Shiva gave his half form (woman form) in form of energy to Lord Brahma. That woman form of Shiva is knows as AAdi Shakti.

Then Brahma used that energy to complete the creation work of world. He created all living and non living things which includes plants, animals, humans, Gods and stones sand and so on. Means everything is created by Lord Brahma with the help of power of Aadi Shakti. That means Aadi Shakti is present in Planets, stars, in every living thing and in everything that one can and can't feel.

When Creation works got complete and life started in world then Aadi Shakti need to get back to Lord Shiva (It has saperate long story but I will not gonna describe here). But the problem was that She can't come to Shiva directly and become part of Shiva like before (Ardhnareshwar form) Because Aadi Shakti is being used to create world. Nature (plants and other living things) on earth is the result of Aadi Shakti. Means Aadi shakti is Nature herself. If she went back to Lord Shiva then Nature will get End. Here is why...

Why Adi Sakti Can't go back to Lord Shiva?

The whole galaxy will suffer a lot if Aadi shakti leave all her duties and goes back to Shiva here is how...


Association with Navagraha or nine planets

Adi Shakti is regarded as the one who can control all the nine planets. She divides herself to Material Shakti i.e. Durga who splits herself to operate nine planets to maintain cosmic order, Vidya Shakti i.e. Kali as source for 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Maya Shakti, to delude the beings to illusion and also promotes the beings to Ultimate God. As Durga Shakti She is the one who splits herself to NavaDurga provides direction and energy to all planets.

By this contrast Goddess Adi Shakti controls Nava Graha. Worshipping the nine goddess in Navaratri or Nine nights of mataji, saves you from dangerous effects of planets.


This just a very little explanation of role of Aadi Shakti in continuity of flow of life in whole galaxy. But she does many more than that. So you can imagine if she left all her duty and goes back to Shiva then what will happened to the Galxy.

So the only option to get back to Shiva was through the nature itself. Means Aadi Shakti can be with Shiva in the same way as all other life. Means She has to follow nature to get back to Shiva in which She had to take birth as human Child and then she can get Shiva.

For that purpose she first took birth as Sati. But father of Sati used to hate Shiva (It has also a long story that why he hate Shiva, If I will explain all then I might be getting out of topic). SO She couldn't stay with Shiva forever as Sati. Then She again took birth as Parvati to get her Shiva. Then She got married with Shiva again and stays with him till now.

NOTE: This background Story was important to clear your doubt, Now let's come to you real question.

Exact relation between lord shiva and goddess Kali?


Adi Shakti has divided herself to Material Shakti (Durga or Parvati), Kali (Vidya Shakti) and Yog Maya (as Mayashakti). As Vidya Shakti she splits herself to 10 kinds of eternal knowledge also known as 10 Mahavidya. The ten goddesses are known as wisdom goddesses.


So now you can understand that Kali and Parvati both are forms of Aadi Shakti. So there is not difference between kali and Parvati. So the exact relationship between Shiva and Kali will be relationship of husband and wife Because Shiva did marry parvati and like that he got married with all 10 Mahavidya (all forms of Aadi shakti which includes Kali also).

Here are some more important points on Aadi Shakti (just for little extra knowledge) by which you will come to know the importance of Aadi shakti.


All 10 forms of Aadi shakti are original source of ten incarnation (अवतार) of Lord Vishnu.

  1. From Dhumavati, Lord Matsya was incarnated
  2. From Bagalamukhi, Lord Kurma was incarnated
  3. From Bhairavi, Lord Varaha was incarnated
  4. From Chinnamasta, Lord Narasimha was incarnated
  5. From Tripurasundari, Lord Vaamana was incarnated
  6. From Matangi, Lord Parashurama was incarnated
  7. From Tara, Lord Rama was incarnated
  8. From Kali, Lord Krishna was incarnated (You are asking about this form of Aadi Shakti)
  9. From Kamala, Lord Buddha was incarnated
  10. From Bhuvaneshvari, Lord Kalki will be incarnated ....[ CONTENTS FROM WIKI ENDS ]

NOTE: The story that I have told you in my answer is written in my own words which I have learned from TV and news articles.

  • 2
    Also try to add some references from original Scripture.I think all your sources are taken from wikipedia. A quote from Scriptures will add more authenticity to the answer. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 16:49
  • @SwiftPushkar The story that I have told in my answer is not from Wikipedia. I took only details about Goddess from wikipidia (not story). Story is in my own words which I have learn from different sources like TV, from some persons news articles.
    – Vishvam
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 17:33
  • Yes , but try to to find some , you will easily collect sources if you search the web. And then quoting from scriptures.These different sources you mentioned are also highly non-authentic , so we can't trust them always. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 17:37
  • In case you don't know here is the list of authentic scriptures - hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/15424/… Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 17:40

Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali are husband-wife. Kali is non-different from Parvati.

Infact Kali is Parvati's birth name, given to her by her father Himachala due to her complexion as referenced in chapter 7 of the Parvati Khanda in Shiva Purana:

गतस्तत्र गिरिः प्रीत्या सपुरोहितसद्विजः। ददर्श तनयां तां तु शोभमानां सुवाससा।।६।।

The mountain king accompanied with the priest as well as the Brahmanas went to see the girl who was self illumining.

नीलोत्पलदलश्यामा सुद्युर्ति सुमनोरमाम्। दृष्ट्रा च तादृशीं कन्यां मुमोदातिगिरीश्वरः।।॥७॥

She had the reflection of the blue lotus flowers, looking quite charming with beautiful complexion. The mountain king was immensely pleased by looking at her.

अथो शुभमुहूर्तेऽस्मिन् हिमवान्मुनिभिः सह। नामाकरोत्सुतायास्तु कालीत्यादि सुखप्रदम्॥११॥

Thereafter in the auspicious time, Himacala, in the company of the sages, gave the daughter the pleasant name of Kali.

Chapter 84 of the Devi-Mahatmya recounts how Kali emerges from the body of Durga/Ambika (A manifestation of Parvati)

Thereat Ambika uttered her wrath aloud against those foes, and her countenance then grew dark as ink in her wrath. Out from the surface of her forehead. which was rugged with frowns, issued suddenly Kali of the terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose, bearing a many-coloured skull-topped staff decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger’s skin, very appalling because of her emaciated flesh, exceedingly wide of mouth lolling out her tongue terribly, having deep-sunk reddish eyes, and filling the regions of the sky with her roars. She fell upon the great Asuras impetuously, dealing slaughter among the host, and devoured that army of the gods’ foes

In Chapter 6 of the Fourth Book of Devi Bhagavatam, Adi-shakti assigns a consort to Brahma Vishnu and Shiva. This is what she says in Lord Shiva's case:

Brahmâ said :-- Saying thus to Vâsudeva, that Higher Prakriti Devî who is all of the three Gunas and yet transcending them, began to address Mahâ Deva, the Deva of the Devas, in sweet words, thus :-- O Sankara! Accept this beautiful Mahâ Kâlî Gaurî, build a new Kailàsa city and live there happily. Your primary Gunas will be Tamas; Sattva and Rajas will be your secondary Gunas. Have recourse to Rajo and Tamo Gunas while you slay the Asuras and thus wander.

O sinless S’ankara! Have recourse to peaceful Satto Guna, when you reflect on the Supreme Self and practise austerities. You all are for creating, preserving and destroying the Universe and you are all of the three Gunas. There is no such thing in this world as are devoid of these three Gunas.


Parvati has many "avatars" and one of them is Mahakali. Its Shiva's favorite form of Parvati because it is the most powerful one and this is when Parvati got to know about the powers inside her. She took this avatar as Sati first. Shiv is also called Mahakal and his wife Parvati is called Mahakali

  • You should cite sources to back your answer. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 4:41

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