Loriliai Biernacki Loriliai.Biernacki at COLORADO.EDU
Thu Jan 22 22:11:11 UTC 2009

Dear Herman, 
    I've come across this image of the lolling tongue, mostly in meditative
visualizations in Tantric texts dating from the 15th - 18th centuries.
For an example of other goddesses with a lolling tongue, this visualization
is to the Blue Goddess of Speech, Nīlasaraswatī, who is also equated with
the Goddess Tārā, & the reference is from the Nīlasaraswatī Tantra
2.49 caturbhujāṁ lalijjihvāṁ mahābhīmāṁ varapradām |
khadgakartrisamāyuktasavyetarabhujadvayām ||

(this entire text of the visualization is longer than this). What I found
most interesting about the visualization is the scissors that she holds and
I think I've seen an actual image of this, though I'd have to track back to
remember where exactly. I'm thinking it may be in Buhnemann's text on
visualizations, which might also be quite helpful in your specific query.

If you're interested in more than just Sanskrit textual references, (which
seems to be what you're asking for,) you might be interested to take a look
at Schweder and Menon's article on Kali in Encountering Kali.
All best,
Prof. Biernacki
Associate Professor
University of Colorado at Boulder
UCB 292
Boulder, CO 80309
Loriliai.Biernacki at

> On Jan 21, 2009, at 6:48 PM, Herman Tull wrote:
>> I am looking for references to Kali's "lolling" tongue.  The Devi
>> Mahatmya and the Mahabhagavata Purana (thanks to Patricia Dold for
>> references) use forms of /lal + jihva (lalana/lalaj-jihva).  MW
>> cites the Kathasaritsagara as a source of lalaj-jihva.  Does anyone
>> has this citation?  Does this descriptive term ("lolling" tongue)
>> occur in reference to other figures/goddesses?
>> Thanks for your help.
>> Herman Tull
>> Princeton, NJ
> Dear Herman, Colleagues,
> I believe Rachel Fell McDermott has done work on this. I don't have
> any specific references. I'm not sure if she's on Indology and will
> see this, but if she doesn't respond, try the RISA list. I know she's
> on that. I'm not sure that the following would have any of the
> references you're looking for, but there's also:
> Jeffrey Kripal, "Kali's Tongue and Ramakrishna: 'Biting the Tongue' of
> the Tantric Tradition," History of Religions 34/2 (1994).
> Bradley Clough
> The University of Montana
> bradley.clough at

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