The Dispeller of Darkness
Prof (Dr) Shalini Verma ‘Lifoholic’
12th of October, 2021: On the 7th day of Navratri, in form of Maa Kaalratri, we celebrate the victory over the evil and the wrong doers. Maa Kaalratri is one of the fiercest forms of Adi Shakti Maa Durga. She is also referred to as Shubhankari because of her ‘Shubh’ or auspicious power within her ferocious form Goddess Kalaratri who is the destroyer of ignorance and darkness from the universe.
Maa Kaalratri is invoked on the seventh day of the Navaratri. In this form, she is depicted as a destructive form of the Goddess. She rides a dark black donkey. Her complexion is dark black and she has four hands – in her left hand she carries a sword and a thunderbolt while her right hands display Abhaya and varada mudra. ‘Abhay’, mudra symbolises her fearlessness to fight with the wrong-doers and ‘varada’ mudra symbolises her benevolence for righteous people.
Maa Kaalratri is named so because she, as one of the forms of Devi Parvati, is the Goddess of the Night. It is referred to as the one who is the death of time. This form of Maa Kaalratri primarily depicts that life also has a dark side – the violence of Mother Nature that encompasses death and destruction.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ कालरात्रि रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Kalaratri Rupena Samsthita।।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
As per the legend, the two asuras named Shumbha and Nishumbha once invaded devlok and destroyed Indra’s kingdom. Their invasion left the devas helpless since these two asuras were shieled by a boon that no man or god could kill them. To save the devas from the terror, Indra visited Parvati and apprised her of the situation. Parvati sent Chandi, also known as Kaali, to deal with the demons. To counter Kali’s attack, Shumbha and Nishumbha sent two of their ferocious demon attendants – Chanda and Munda. Chandi killed the demons and earned herself the name Maa Chamunda.
This was followed by another demon called Rakhtabeej. He was shielded by a powerful boon – whenever Rakhtabeej’s blood would shed and come in contact with the ground, a new Rakhtabeej would emerge – this actually meant that he was invincible and could never be destroyed. To counter this, Maa Kaalratri first struck him and bent low to drink his blood before it could come in contact with the ground. This drained Rakhtabeej out of blood in his body and ended his life. Maa Kaalratri then went on to kill Shumbha and Nishumbha and restored the peace in Devlok.
Worshipping this form of Goddess Parvati removes all kinds fear of seen and unseen nature and infuses self-confidence to deal with the worst kinds of situations.
It is believed that the planet Saturn (Shani) is governed by Goddess Kalaratri. Yogis and occult practitioners chant this mantra to attain mystic powers.
एकवेणी जपाकर्णपूरा नग्ना खरास्थिता।
लम्बोष्ठी कर्णिकाकर्णी तैलाभ्यक्त शरीरिणी॥
वर्धन मूर्धध्वजा कृष्णा कालरात्रिर्भयङ्करी॥
Ekaveni Japakarnapura Nagna Kharasthita।
Lamboshthi Karnikakarni Tailabhyakta Sharirini॥
Vardhana Murdhadhwaja Krishna Kalaratrirbhayankari॥