Chaitra Navratri Day 7: Kaalratri Puja

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Overview

  • To reduce dosha of planet Saturn (Shani) in your kundali.
  • To decrease troubles related to business, education, career and job.
  • To help you or your family member find a suitable husband/ wife.
  • To aid you to achieve good fortune and health.
  • To bring positive energy in your house.

To help you understand the importance and method of doing the Navratri puja.

Navratri puja is dedicated to the worship of nine different forms of Goddess Durga for 9 days. This year 2021, the Navratri puja will begin from April 13 th 2021 (Tuesday) to April 22 nd 2021 (Thursday). The seventh day of the puja begins with worshipping Goddess Kaalratri.

Iconography

Kaalratri is the 7 th form of the 9 forms of Goddess Durga or Nav Durga. She is considered to be thefiercest and most destructive of all forms of the Goddess Durga that her appearance itself invokes fear.

Her complexion is that of sprawling dark clouds, or the darkest of nights. She has bountiful black hairand 4 hands. Her left 2 hands hold a scimitar and a thunderbolt while the right 2 hands are in the varada (blessing) and abhaya (protecting) mudras.

She has 3 eyes that emanate lightning- like rays, and wears a necklace that shines like the moon. Flames appear through her nostrils when she breathes, and her mount is the donkey, sometimes considered as a corpse.

An ancient Tantric text describes her as the Goddess who rules the night part of every 24 hours (day and night). She is associated with the crown chakra, also known as the sahasrara chakra, and gives the invoker, siddhis and niddhis (particularly knowledge, power and wealth).

Her name, when divided forms the words kaal and ratri. Kaal usually signifies time but it can also mean darkness as that came before light. The image, as perceived by Vedic seers is that Kaal devours everything or the death of time.

In the Mahanirvana Tantra, Kaal devours the universe and himself is engulfed by his spouse Kali. A 19 th century Sanskrit dictionary, it is mentioned that Shiva is Kaal and thus, his wife is Kali.

The ratri signifies night, which is darkness after sunset that became deified and is invoked by sages to deliver mortals from fears and worldly bondage. According to Tantric tradition, each period of the night is under the sway of a particular terrifying goddess who grants a particular desire to the aspirant.

In Tantra, the word Kaalratri refers to the darkness of night, a state that is normally frightening to ordinary people but considered beneficial to worshippers of the Goddess. Summarily, Kaalratri is the personification of the night of all- destroying time.

This form portrays that life also has a dark side – the brutality of Mother Nature that encompasses destruction and death. She is also known as Shubankari i.e. auspicious/ doing good in Sanskrit, because of the belief that she always provides fortunate results to her followers and makes them fearless.

History

Legend states that 2 demons- Shumbh and Nishumbh, who invaded Devalok and defeated the demigods. Indra, the ruler of gods and his subordinates went to the Himalayas to ask for Shiva’s help in retrieving their residence.

Together, they all prayed for Parvati’s help, but she was bathing when she heard the prayers. Hence, she created another Goddess Chandi to assist the gods and annihilate the demons. Chanda and Munda were 2 demon generals, sent by Shumbh and Nishumbh to defeat Chandi.

Seeing this, Chandi created Goddess Kali/ Kaalratri who killed them, and acquired the name Chamunda. Thereafter, a demon named Raktabij arrived and he had the power (siddhi) that if a drop of his blood fell on the ground, his clone would spring up from that spot.

So, when Kaalratri attacked him, his spilt blood created several other demons that it became impossible to defeat him. Kaalratri grew furious at this and while battling, drank his blood to prevent it from falling on the ground. She eventually killed Raktabij and helped Goddess Chandi to kill his commanders Shumbh and Nishumbh afterwards.

However, she became so fierce that she started killing everyone who came before her. The gods prayed together for Shiva’s help, so he decided to lay below her foot in an attempt to stop her. When she was busy killing everyone, Shiva appeared below her foot and seeing her beloved husband below her foot, she bit her tongue. Her idols and pictures have this moment personified. Goddess Kaalratri then helped her husband stand and in her guilt, forgot all about the war. Hence, Shiva calmed her down.

Mantra

Mantra of Kaalratri:

ॐ देवी कालरात्र्यै नम:
Oṃ Devī Kālarātryai Namaḥ॥

Prayer of Kaalratri:

करालवंदना धोरां मुक्तकेशी चतुर्भुजाम्।
कालरात्रिं करालिंका दिव्यां विद्युतमाला विभूषिताम॥

Karalvandana dhoram muktkeshi chaturbhujam।
Kaal Ratrim karalikaam divyam vidyutmala vibhushitam॥

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