Cultural Arts Review: Kali in Supernatural

Posted on October 31, 2012 by


Over the last year I took a trip through seven seasons of the TV show “Supernatural.” Throughout this show, the writers have a habit of making gods of many, if not all, popular religions into mortals in human form with special powers. For example, the main characters have faced off against Mayan gods along with ancient Norse gods such as Odin. But, for purposes of this review, I’ll bring to light the episode where we met the Hindu goddess Kali.

In the fifth season, we meet Kali, depicted as a beautiful Indian woman. Although she appears normal at first, she soon displays extraordinary powers. In Hindu belief, Kali is the female embodiment of the destructive forces of nature. In Supernatural’s depiction, we are not left wanting in this sense as we eventually see her shoot fire from her arms/hands. She also has power over humans, being able to control their actions if she has a sample of their blood.

However, Supernatural’s accurate depiction of the Hindu goddess stops there. While, being part of the one true God in Hindu beliefs, she is immortal and above all things such as human desires, she is able to be killed and does in fact have to be saved from death in this episode. She also displays many human emotions throughout the episode, and is even said to have been in a relationship with Loki the Trickster from Norse mythology.

While this could be considered offensive to Hinduism, the show Supernatural tends to do this with most religious figures. Even Christian figures such as angels and demons have been killed numerous times throughout the show. So, although this sort of thing would very possibly offend Hindus watching the show, I don’t believe it should. This is because the writers of Supernatural have killed off a major deity from almost every major religion in the world today. It could be a controversial show because of this, but because it shows no preference towards one religion or another, it has stayed off the radar of religions activist groups of all major religions.

By Spencer Batalden


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