Chaitra Navratri 2023: Navdurga or nine forms of Durga is worshipped during Navratri and each avatar showcases a different side of the loving goddess. Shailaputri is the daughter of mountain while Chandraghanta is the destroyer of demons. Kushmanda represents the presence of goddess since the inception of the universe, while Skandamata is all about motherhood. On the seventh day of the festival (March 28), Maa Durga takes the form of goddess Kalaratri, a fierce form of the goddess that takes on demons, spirits, ghosts and all the negative energies and provides the ultimate protection. Navratri began on March 22 and is set to conclude on March 30 with Ram Navami. (Also read: Navratri fasting rules 2023: Dos and don’ts to follow, foods to eat and avoid)
As per an ancient tantrik text, Goddess Kalaratri rules the night part of every day and night and is associated with crown chakra. She is known to bless the worshipper with knowledge, power and wealth. Kalaratri is also called Shubhankari, Raudri and Dhumorna.
Who is Maa Kalaratri
Maa Kalaratri is fierce in her form, has a dark complexion and rides a donkey. She also wears a garland of skulls around her neck and has four hands. Her right hands are in Abhaya (protecting) and Varada (blessing) Mudra, and she holds a thunderbolt and a scimitar in two of her hands. Kaalratri in Sanskrit is made up of two words – Kaal means death or time and ratri means night or darkness. Thus, Kaalratri is the one who brings death of darkness.
Legend of Maa Kalaratri
Maa Kalaratri is said to have emerged from the forehead of Maa Chandi who was created to kill the evil triumvirate of Chand, Mund and Raktabeej. While goddess Chandi was able to kill Shumbh and Nishumbh, Chand, Mund and Raktabeej had to be stopped as they wreaked devastation. Goddess Kaalratri was able to slay Chanda and Munda but at first found it difficult to defeat Raktabeej as due to a boon of Lord Brahma a single drop of Raktabeej’s blood could create his clone and to stop him, the goddess had to make sure none of the blood falls on the ground. Maa Kaalratri started drinking blood of each clone of Raktabeej and there came a point when she was eventually able to kill him.
Significance of worshipping Maa Kalaratri
It is said that worshipping the goddess eliminates the malefic effects of planets in one’s life and brings happiness. The goddess blesses her devotees with whatever they seek from her and removes obstacles and brings happiness.
To worship the goddess, jaggery or food made from jaggery is offered to Maa Kaalratri as prasad. Devotees also offer sringar to the goddess on Saptami night which includes sindoor, kajal, comb, hair oil, shampoo, nail paint, lipstick among others.
Puja Mantra to worship Maa Kaalratri
Om Devi Kalaratryai Namah॥
Ekaveni Japakarnapura Nagna Kharasthita।
Lamboshthi Karnikakarni Tailabhyakta Sharirini॥
Vardhana Murdhadhwaja Krishna Kalaratrirbhayankari॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Kalaratri Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥