What is Kala Bhairava Jayanthi?
Kala Bhairava Jayanti or ‘Kala Bhairava Ashtami’ is a festival dedicated to Lord Kala Bhairava, the fearsome form of Lord Shiva. It is celebrated on the 8th day of the moon’s waning phase or Krishna Paksha, during the Hindu month of ‘Karthigai’ (mid-November to mid-December). The festival celebrates the birthday of Kala Bhairava, the God of Time. This day is more auspicious when it falls on Tuesdays or Sundays as these days are dedicated to this Lord. On this day, many devotees perform special pooja for dead ancestors. The meaning of ‘kaal’ is time and Bhairava is a form of Lord Shiva. His birthday is celebrated with great enthusiasm in many parts of India.
History of Kala Bhairava Jayanti
The story of Kala Bhairava is mentioned in Shiva Maha Purana. Once, some controversy occurred among Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu about who was the greatest among them. Brahma made a comment that made Shiva angry. The furious Shiva then cut a small part of his fingernail and it became Kala Bhairava. Kala Bhairava chopped off Brahma’s head in anger. Kala Bhairava usually rides a black dog and carries a baton in his hand. The demigods were alarmed on seeing this fearsome avatar of Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma apologized to Bhairava for his mistake. Everyone, even the sages and saints, asked Shiva to calm down and return to his original form. However, Kala Bhairava has to suffer the consequences of cutting Brahma’s head. He has to wander around the world as a beggar, carrying the head of Brahma as a begging bowl. He had to do this to resolve the vow of Kapali and cleanse his sins. On reaching Varanasi, his sins were cleansed and Kapali’s vow was also resolved.
How is the occasion of Kala Bhairava Jayanti celebrated?
On Kala Bhairava Jayanti, devotees stay awake the entire night and worship Lord Shiva by chanting prayers and mantras. Aarti is performed for Shiva at midnight with bells, conches and drums. Early in the morning, devotees have a bath and prayers are offered for their departed kin. The vehicle of Lord Kala Bhairava is a dog and so, dogs are offered milk and other food items by devotees on this day. The belief is that on Kala Bhairava Jayanti, he will work magical effects that can transform devotees’ lives. Shiva’s blessings will remove all problems from the path of the worshippers and they will be able to become wealthy and successful. He also gives good health and courage to devotees.
Rituals of Kala Bhairava Jayanti
- Worship Lord Kala Bhairava and also feed a black dog with milk and sweets.
- After a ritual bath in the morning, do pooja.
- Stay awake during the night and observe fast for the entire day.
- Perform aarti at midnight and recite the mantras for Bhairava
- Perform Tarpan and Shradh for dead ancestors.
- People visit Kala Bhairava temples in the evening and take part in the ‘Shodashopachar Pooja’.
Benefits of Kala Bhairava Jayanti pooja and fast
- All round success and wish-fulfillment.
- Good health and victory in litigation.
- Lessens adverse effects of Shani and Rahu.
- Protects devotees from evil and removes fear of evil spirits.
- Resolves issues in family life.
- Victory over enemies.
- Protection from negative energies.