The word Kaal means time and death and Ratri means night and so Maa Kaalraatri means the one who is the death of the Kaal that is the one who removes darkness by bringing light and destroys ignorance. Goddess Kalratri is also known as Shubhamkari or good doing. This form of Maa Durga signifies that life also has a dark side which includes the violence of Mother Nature, creating havoc and removal of dirt. She is believed to be the destroyer of all evil entities including the demons and brings calmness and courage to her devotees.
According to Hindu mythology Raktabeej, a demon, obtained a boon from Lord Brahma after doing hard penance. The boon was like that whenever every drop of his blood will fall on the ground and another clone of his would be born. Feeling happy and stronger he started to torment both the Gods and the humans and became uncontrollable. So they requested Goddess Parvati to save them from his threats and Goddess Parvati promised them to stop him. In order to kill him she changed herself in the most furious form of Kalratri Mata in which she wore a garland of human skull heads that represents the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabets and a girdle of several human heads and her three eyes bright red in colour. She holds a scimitar, sword, trident and vajra in her four hands. The new form of Parvati made Raktabeej scared and she stabbed and decapitated him with her weapons and at last drank all his blood.
Maa Kaalraatri is depicted as having dark complexion like dark night with bountiful hair and a fearlessness posture. She has four hands. One of the two left hands holds a cleaver and the other carries a torch. Her two right hands are in the mudras of giving and protecting. Her neck is adorned with a necklace that flashes like lightning and shines like moon. When she inhales and exhales flames come out through her nostrils. She wears tiger skin like Lord Shiva. Her three eyes implicates past, present and future which emanate rays like lightning. She wore two dead heads as her ear rings. She is seen to be mounted on a donkey. It is advised to wear blue, red and white colour on this day.
The appearance of Maa Kalratri is very dangerous especially for the evil doers. But her gesture reveals us of protection and assures us of freedom from all troubles and fear. The devotees should not be afraid of her appearance because she gives good fruit to her devotees. The devotees and worshippers should not fear while facing Devi Kalratri because she is responsible for the removal of worry and darkness from the life of sufferer. It is believed that on this day worshippers attain Siddhi, power and practice in the universe.
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