Kalaratri is the aggressive manifestation of Durga, the supreme Goddess. She is the seventh of the nine aspects of Durga and is considered as the most violent form of the Goddess. She is worshipped on Saptami, the seventh day of the nine-day Navaratri festival.
The word ‘Kaal’ can mean, time, death and also darkness, and ‘Rathri’ is the night. ‘Kalaratri’ can thus denote the one, ‘who is death to the night-like darkness,’ that is, ‘the annihilator of darkness, negativity, and ignorance’; or can simply be ‘the dark night.’ Kalaratri is thus a ‘dark Goddess’ and is also the one who is frightening to look at, but she remains essentially as ‘Shubhamkari,’ the one who brings in auspiciousness or the great benefactor. This Goddess is said to indicate the dark sides of life and is believed to destroy the evil energies and establish peace and faith in the world.
Her Incredible Form
True to her name ‘Kal Rathri,’ the dark night, the Goddess is dark-complexioned like a moonless night. She has a mass of flowing, but disheveled hair. A luminous necklace is flashing around her neck, while flames are emanating out of her nostrils, as she breathes in and out. She has three shining eyes, representing the past, present and the future. She has four arms and holds a bloodstained hatchet and a thunderbolt in her two left hands, while her two right hands are in the protective Abaya mudra and the boon-giving Varada mudra. In some other depictions, she is also shown holding a shining sword in her right hand. Wearing a tiger skin like Lord Shiva and riding a donkey, this fierce Goddess presents a picture of fearlessness.
Mantras in praise of Kalaratri
The terrible looking Kalaratri is indeed a benevolent Goddess, and she spells evil only for the wrongdoers. She is believed to be the one, who removes all forms of darkness and negativity from the lives of the virtuous. She offers them protection and assures freedom from fear and difficulties. It is believed that her worship, especially on the Navaratri-Saptami day, will bless devotees with immense power and accomplishments.
Here, let us go through some of the sacred hymns in praise of Goddess Kalaratri, the chanting of which with faith can get for the devotees her divine blessings and immense benefits.
Om Devi Kalaratryai Namah॥
EkaveniJapakarnapura Nagna Kharasthita।
Lamboshthi Karnikakarni Tailabhyakta Sharirini॥
Vardhana Murdhadhwaja Krishna Kalaratrirbhayankari॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Kalaratri Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
Karalavandana Ghoram Muktakeshi Chaturbhujam।
Kalaratrim Karalimka Divyam Vidyutamala Vibhushitam॥
Divyam Lauhavajra Khadga Vamoghordhva Karambujam।
Abhayam Varadam Chaiva Dakshinodhvaghah Parnikam Mam॥
Mahamegha Prabham Shyamam Taksha Chaiva Gardabharudha।
Ghoradamsha Karalasyam Pinonnata Payodharam॥
Sukha Prasanna Vadana Smeranna Saroruham।
Evam Sachiyantayet Kalaratrim Sarvakam Samriddhidam॥
Him Kalaratri Shrim Karali Cha Klim Kalyani Kalawati।
Kalamata Kalidarpadhni Kamadisha Kupanvita॥
Kumatighni Kulinartinashini Kula Kamini॥
Klim Hrim Shrim Mantrvarnena Kalakantakaghatini।
Kripamayi Kripadhara Kripapara Kripagama॥
Om Klim Me Hridayam Patu Padau Shrikalaratri।
Lalate Satatam Patu Tushtagraha Nivarini॥
Rasanam Patu Kaumari, Bhairavi Chakshushorbhama।
Katau Prishthe Maheshani, Karnoshankarabhamini॥
Varjitani Tu Sthanabhi Yani Cha Kavachena Hi।
Tani Sarvani Me Devisatatampatu Stambhini॥