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Goddess Kali

Goddess Kali

Goddess Kali is an important female deity of Hinduism. She is also known as Kalika and possesses destructive powers and so is also known as “Dark Mother.” The name Kali originates from the Sanskrit word “Kala,” meaning time.

Goddess Kali symbolizes Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. The word “Kali” also means “the black one.”

The story of Goddess Kali

Once upon a time, there were two demons, Shumbh and Nishumbh, creating a lot of troubles for the Devas and humans. They were ruthless and caused danger to dharma. So the asuras, after capturing heaven and earth, proceeded to the Himalayas to capture Goddess Parvati.

A fierce battle ensued between the demons and devas, and the side of devas was defeated. Goddess Parvati took the form of Kali and went to the battlefield to teach the asuras a lesson. The demons were killed, but Kali’s rage did not come down, and she lost control over her and started killing the devas and humans. To save innocent people from her onslaught, Lord Shiva placed himself in front of the Goddess. As soon as Kali stepped on Lord Shiva’s chest, her tongue came out as she realized her mistake and transformed to her calm, sublime form again.

To commemorate this event, Goddess Kali is depicted keeping her foot on God Shiva.

The appearance of Kali

Kali is depicted in two forms: Kali, the four-armed, and the ten-armed Mahakali forms. The Puranas describe her as featuring a dark complexion, but in popular Indian Art, she features blue color. Kali’s eyes are red and are in absolute rage, and her hair is messy.

Two small fangs protrude out of her mouth, and her tongue is lolling. Kali wears a skirt made of human arms and a garland of human heads, and she is also shown wearing tiger skin. She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on the calm and prostrate Shiva.

In her Mahakali form, Goddess Kali is seen with ten faces, ten feet, twenty arms, and three eyes for each head. She is decked up with ornaments and carries several weapons in her hand.

How to worship Kali

Worshipping Kali during Navaratri is considered very auspicious. In West Bengal, Tripura and Assam, the Navaratri festival is known as Durga Pooja and is celebrated grandly. During Diwali, she is also worshiped; the day is observed as Kali Puja, Shyama Puja, or Tantric Kali. It falls on Diwali days of the Kartik month (October/November) as per the Hindu Panchaang.

Worshipping Kali helps you attain liberation and protects you from evil forces. Therefore, you can offer worship to Goddess Kali but ensure that you have good intentions.

The following auspicious days to perform Kali Puja:

  • Amavasya
  • Krishna Paksha Navami – the ninth day during the waning phase of the moon
  • Krishna Paksha Ashtami – the eighth day during the waning phase of the moon
  • Uttara Phalguna Nakshatra falls during the waning phase of the moon.

The following are essential points to be noted while worshipping Kali.

  • The perfect time to perform the Kali puja is midnight (11:50 PM to 12:50 AM). The puja should be conducted facing the north direction.
  • The person participating in Kali puja should wear a red, orange, or ochre color dress.
  • The murti (picture, photo, or painting) of Goddess Kali should be placed on a red color cloth.
  • The lamp should be lit using mustard oil.
  • Red shoe flowers should be offered to the portrait as garland.
  • Chandan Dhoop should be lit.
  • Mixes white and black til (sesame) and black peppercorns are ideal as an offering.
  • Then, offer Red Chandan and an unbroken coconut and Mishri (kalkanda or rock sugar).
  • Prepare Bhog using Til (sesame) and offer to the Goddess. This Bhog should be later shared with a virgin woman.
  • Chant the Kali bheej mantra 108 times.
  • Smear a white pumpkin with sindhur, cut it into two, and place it before the Goddess.
  • Once the puja is over, throw away all the items offered to the Goddess in a forest where humans do not frequent.

Benefits of worshipping Kali

Worshipping Kali shall bestow several benefits to the devotees.

  • Kali’s worship helps to attain Liberation or Moksha, the birthless state. She controls time and motion and helps the devotees in their spiritual pursuits.
  • She offers protection to you from enemies and adversaries. Out of vengeance, they might try to harm you directly or indirectly, and the power of Kali with save you from evil forces.
  • Those who worship Kali are blessed with good health.
  • When injustice has been meted out to you, surrender to Goddess Kali for a solution. Her grace will set things right for you.
  • Worship of Kali shall protect you from the maleficent effects of Navagraha (the nine planets of the zodiac). In particular, it is ideal to worship Kali during Rahu Kala to be free from Rahu Dosha.

Kali Mantras

 Kali Beej Mantra

Om Krim Kali

Kali Gayatri Mantra

“Om Maha Kalyai

Ca Vidmahe Smasana Vasinyai

Ça Dhimahi Tanno Kali Prachodayat”


‘Om Great Goddess Kali, the One and only one, who resides in the Ocean of Life and in the Cremation Grounds that dissolve the world. We focus our energies on you, may you grant us boons and blessings.’

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