Seventh day of Navaratri
Seventh day of Navaratri, The day of Goddess Kaalratri. Navaratri or Durga Pooja is an auspicious festival that celebrates the different forms of Adi Shakthi or Goddess Durga. The nine different forms are together known as Navadurga. On the seventh day of Navaratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Kaalratri. In Sanskrit, ‘Kaal’ means death and ‘Ratri’ means Night. Hence, Kaalratri brings an end to the night or darkness thereby spreading light and happiness in the lives of her devotees.
Once upon a time, there lived two Asuras named Shumba and Nishumba. They were brothers and through penance, they got a boon from Lord Brahma that they can only be killed by a woman. They believed that no woman can defeat and kill them. In order to exert their power, Shumba and Nishumba defeated the Gods and took control of all the three worlds.
The Gods then visited Lord Shiva for help and upon Shiva’s wish, Devi Parvathy decided to help them. Devi Parvathy then transformed herself as Goddess Kaushiki. Goddesses Kaushiki was a mesmerising beauty. She challenged Nishumba, who was mesmerised by her boundless beauty, for a fight to win her hand for a marriage.
Demons like Chanda, Munda and Raktabeej joined the battle for Nishumba. In the battle that follows, Kaushiki killed many demons but in order to kill Chanda and Munda, she transformed into the form of Goddess Chandika. She then killed Chanda and Munda and wore their heads on her head, decorating her hair. In the battle that followed Goddess Chandika killed Shumbha and Nishumbha.
With the entry of Raktabeej, the battle became more ferocious. In Sanskrit, ‘Rakta’ means blood and ‘Beej’ means seed. Hence, Raktabeej was a demon who had the boon to transform every drop of his fallen blood to a new Raktabeej, equally powerful and immortal. In order to defeat Raktabeej, Goddess Chandika transforms into a more ferocious form ‘Kaalratri’. Goddess Kaalratri eventually defeats each clones of Raktabeej by slaying and sucking out the blood without spilling a drop. Hence, Kaalratri’s tongue is described as blood red.
It is said that Kaalratri, enranged by the battle, continued to kill everyone who came on her way. But she was cooled down by the very sight of Lord Shiva and returned to the form of Devi Parvathi.
Goddess Kaalratri was sometimes mentioned as Mahakali, but some scholars argued it to be wrong. Goddess Kaalratri is described to be as dark as the night with her hair untied and powerful eyes. She has four hands and three eyes. Two of her hands hold a sword and a cleaver and mudras in the other two. Goddess Kaalratri is said to breathe fire in and out. There is a garland around her neck which shines like the moon and she is seated on a donkey. With such a form, Goddess Kaalratri looks ferocious and scary, but only to those who do wrong.
Significance Of The Seventh Day.
Goddess Kaalratri is also known as Shubkari. Maha Saptami celebrates the victory of Goddess Kaalratri over the Asuras. This also symbolizes the victory of light or goodness over the dark or evil. On this day, families pray to remove negativity from their lives and homes. Special pooja will be done in individual households. It is believed that Goddess Kaalratri saves her worshippers from fear and obstacles by blessing them with peace and prosperity.