Kala Ashtami is observed on Ashtami Tithi of Krishna Paksha (waning phase). This day is dedicated to Lord Kalabhairava, an avatar of Lord Shiva.
Fri , 16th Dec 2022
Legend of Great KalaBhairava
According to Shiva Purana, Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu were arguing about who is preeminent among them. During that argument, Lord Brahma's fifth head teasingly laughed at Lord Shiva, this annoyed Him. Shiva created Bhairava from his third eye to severe the fifth head of Brahma.
Another Shaiva Scripture (agama) identifies Kalabhairava as Warrior Chief Veerabhadra's companion who severed the head of Sathi Devi's Father King Daksha, in the Yagna ceremony when he insulted Lord Shiva.
The word Bhairava is translated to Bha(i)- Creation, ra means Sustenance and va means Dissolution. MahaBhairava is the one who creates, sustains, and dissolves. Mahabhairava has 64 forms in total; they are grouped into 8 primary forms based on the attributes. Ashta Bhairava represents the five elements and three major Nadis- Ida, Pingala and Sushunna.
He is depicted as Shiva in raging anger. He is often seen in digambara (naked) form with sharp canine teeth, four armed holding a drum, a noose, trishul and skull. Sometimes he seen wearing tiger skin and an apron composed of human bones. His ornaments are serpants worn as bracelets, necklaces, anklets, armlets and yagnopavita (sacred thread). His vehicle is Dog. His consort is Bhairavi.
His primary purpose is annihilation of sins, evil forces. He protects his devotees from sins like enemies, voodoo, greed, lust and anger.
Similar forms are found in different cultures, like Esoteric Buddhism, Chinese traditions. In yogic world, Bhairava is the supreme ruler of the Universe, and He is the ultimate form of manifestation or pure "I" consciousness.
Devotees wake up in the early hours, take holy bath, begin the process of mental purification by chanting and meditating on Kalabhairava Mantras. Some devotees observe a strict fast from grains. People usually do not own Kalabhairava Idols or Pictures in the house due to his ferocious energies. People visit temples in the evening for group prayers and pooja rituals at the temple. We can offer red flowers, red fruits to the Lord since He is identified by black and deep red colors. After offering prayers, we can break the fast.
There is a tradition of feeding the dogs on this day because the Lord's vehicle is a black dog. Pooja or Vrat rituals usually include feeding cows, birds like cows and other animals in the surroundings. This imparts a sense of oneness and inclusiveness. All the customary celebrations aim at being empathetic and compassionate to other beings to deepen the spiritual pursuit.
All Kalashtami dates in 2023 and Ashtami Tithi Timing
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Jan 14, 7:23 PM - Jan 15, 7:45 PM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Feb 13, 9:46 AM - Feb 14, 9:04 AM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Mar 14, 8:22 PM - Mar 15, 6:46 PM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Apr 13, 3:44 AM - Apr 14, 1:34 AM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : May 12, 9:07 AM - May 13, 6:51 AM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Jun 10, 2:02 PM - Jun 11, 12:06 PM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Jul 09, 8:00 PM - Jul 10, 6:44 PM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Aug 08, 4:14 AM - Aug 09, 3:52 AM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Sep 06, 3:38 PM - Sep 07, 4:14 PM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Oct 06, 6:35 AM - Oct 07, 8:08 AM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Nov 05, 1:00 AM - Nov 06, 3:18 AM
Ashtami Tithi Timing : Dec 04, 10:00 PM - Dec 06, 12:37 AM