Kalika Purana

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The Kalika Purana (Sanskrit: कालिका पुराण, Kālikā Purāṇa) (ca. 10th century) is a Hindu religious text, considered as one of the 18 Upapuranas. The extant text contains 98 chapters with over 9000 stanzas and is the only work of the genre dedicated to the worship of the goddess Kali in her manifold forms such as Girija, Devi, Bhadrakali, and Mahamaya. This text describes in details about the rivers and mountains at Kamarupa tirtha and mentions about the temple of the goddess Kamakshya or Kamakshi.[1] It glorifies the goddess Kamakshya, and details the ritual procedures required for worshipping her. The Kalika Purana is equally known, and both feared and slandered, for its detailed description of human sacrifice; an ancient and very common ritual most humans/cultures don't like to be reminded of. However, the main purpose of the text seems to be an attempt to close the gap between mainstream religious practice and the "forbidden" tantric methods - like use of the makara (meat, drugs, intercourse) in a ritual context.[2] The work belongs, therefore, to the goddess-oriented Shakta branch of Hinduism. Most probably it was composed in Kamarupa (modern Assam). It is an important work which has been quoted as an authority by the comparatively late Nibandha (digests of the smritis) writers from all over India, especially regarding Shakti worship.[3] This Upapurana contains gratuitous material which refers to events and conditions of the remote past. It is also one of the rare Hindu texts that actually mentions the word "Hindu".

Printed editions[edit]

The earliest printed edition of this text was published by the Venkateshvara Press, Bombay in 1829 Saka Era (1907) followed by the Vangavasi Press, Calcutta in 1316 Bangabda (1909).


  1. ^ Dowson, John (1984) [1879]. A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, and Religion, Geography, History. Calcutta: Rupa & Co. p. 143. 
  2. ^ http://yoniversum.nl/daktexts/kalikapur.html
  3. ^ Hazra, R.C. (1962, reprint 2003). The Upapuranas in S. Radhakrishnan (ed.) The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol.II, Kolkata:The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, ISBN 81-85843-03-1, p.280

External links[edit]