She is also known as Shubhamkari
|Affiliation||Avatar of Adi Parashakti/Parvati|
|Weapon||Thorn like weapon and dagger|
Maa Kala Ratri is the seventh form amongst the Navadurga or the nine forms of the Hindu goddess Parvati or (Shakti). She is worshipped during the nine nights of Navratri celebrations. The seventh day of Navratri pooja (ritual) is dedicated to Durga Kalaratri and she is considered the most violent form of Goddess Durga. Kalaratri is the one of the fiercest forms of Durga and her appearance itself evokes fear.
This form of Goddess is believed to be the destroyer of all demon entities, ghosts, spirits and negative energies, who flee upon knowing of her arrival.
Kaal Ratri means the One who is “the Death of Kaal”. Here Kaal is dedicated as time & death and ratri means night. Kaal Ratri is the one who destroys ignorance and removes darkness. This form primarily depicts that life also has a dark side – the violence of Mother Nature, creating havoc and removing all dirt. She is also known as Shubhamkari or "good-doing".
Once there were two demons named Shumbha and Nishumbha, who invaded devaloka and defeated the demigods; Indra the ruler of the demigods, along with the demigods went to The Himalayas for getting help, to get back their abode. They prayed to goddess Parvati. Parvati heard their prayer, while she was bathing, so she created another goddess Chandi or Ambika to help them out. Goddess Chandi then went to kill the cruel demons. In the battlefield when Chanda-Munda sent by Shumbha and Nishumbha, came to battle her, she created a dark goddess Kali or Kaalratri. Kali killed them acquiring the name Chamunda. A demon named Rakhtbeej arrived, who had the boon that if any drop of blood of him fell on the ground another Rakhtbeej would be created. When Kaalratri attacked on him, his blood would create several clones of him. This way it was impossible to defeat him. So while battling, furious Kaalratri whenever attacked him drank his blood to prevent it from falling down and thus she killed Raktabeej and helping goddess Chandi to kill Shumbha and Nishumbha and give back the demigods a safe place to live.
Another legend says that Maa Kali or Chamunda was the creator of Devi Kalratri .Riding a powerful donkey Kalraatri chased the demons Chanda and Munda and brought them to Kali after catching and incarcerating them. Then the demons were killed by goddess Chamunda
Another legend says that, once there was a demon named Durgasur who tried to attack Kailash, the abode of Parvati in the absence of Shiva. Parvati got to know about this and created Kaalratri and said her to go and warn Durgasur, when Kaalratri reached there Durgasur's guards tried to capture her but she grew big in her original form and said Durgasur that his death was nearby. After that when Durgasur came to invade Kailash, Parvati battled him and killed him gaining the name Durga. Here Kaalratri serves as an agent who gives the message and warning from Parvati to Durgasur.
The complexion of Maa Kalaratri is like dark night with bountiful hair and heavenly shaped form, and, she has four hands. The left two hands holds a scimitar and a thunderbolt, and the right two are in the mudras of “giving” (varadamudra) and “protecting” (abhayamudra). She wears a necklace that shines like the moon. Kalaratri has three eyes which emanate rays like lightning. Flames appear through her nostrils when she inhales or exhales. Her mount is the donkey, often considered as a donkey's corpse. Blue, red and white colors should be used to wear on this day.
The appearance of Maa Kalaratri can be seen as being very dangerous for evil-doers. But she always bears good fruits for her devotees who are not afraid of her and all should avoid fear when faced with her, for she removes the darkness of worry from life of her bhaktas or worshipers. Her worship on 7th day of Navratri has very much a high importance to Yogis and Sādhakas. Yogis & Sādhaka penance on Shahtra Chakra on this day. For the worshipers on this day door opens of every siddhi, power and practice in the universe.
- Kalratri -Varanasi Temple, D.8/17, Kalika Galli, which is a lane parallel to Annapurna – Vishwanath