Kalashtami, which is also known as Kala Ashtami, is celebrated every month during the Ashtami Tithi of Krishna Paksha. The devotees of Lord Bhairav fast on all Kalashtami days in the year and worship him. The most important Kalashtami, which is also known as Kalabhairava Jayanti, falls in the month of Margashirsha as per the North Indian lunar month calendar. Meanwhile, according to the South Indian lunar month calendar, Kalabhairava Jayanti falls in the month of Kartik. However, both calendars celebrate Kalabhairav Jayanti on the same day. It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged as Bhairav on the day of Kalabhairav Jayanti. Hence it is also known as the Bhairav Ashtami.
When is Kalashtami in the year 2022
16 November 2022, Wednesday will be celebrated as Kaal Bhairav Jayanti this year. Let’s see the days when Kalashtami will be celebrated in the year 2022
|January 25, 2022, Tuesday||Start - 07:48 AM, Jan 25, End - 06:25 AM, Jan 26||Magh|
|February 23, 2022, Wednesday||Begins - 04:56 PM, Feb 23, Ends - 03:03 PM, Feb 24||Falgun|
|March 25, 2022, Friday||Begins - 12:09 AM, March 25, Ends - 10:04 PM, March 25||Chaitra|
|April 23, 2022, Saturday||Start - 06:27 AM, April 23, End - 04:29 AM, April 24||Vaishakh|
|May 22, 2022, Sunday||Begins - 12:59 PM, May 22, Ends - 11:34 AM, May 23||Jyaistha|
|June 20, 2022, Monday||Begins - 09:01 PM, June 20, Ends - 08:30 PM, June 21||Ashad|
|July 20, 2022, Wednesday||Starts - 07:35 AM, Jul 20, Ends - 08:11 AM, Jul 21||Shravan|
|August 19, 2022, Friday||Begins - 09:20 PM, Aug 18, Ends - 10:59 PM, Aug 19||Bhadrapada|
|September 17, 2022, Saturday||Begins - 02:14 PM, Sept 17, Ends - 04:32 PM, Sept 18||Ashwin|
|October 17, 2022, Monday||Begins - 09:29 AM, Oct 17, Ends - 11:57 AM, Oct 18||Karthik|
|November 16, 2022, Wednesday||Begins - 05:49 AM, Nov 16, Ends - 07:57 AM, Nov 17||Margashirsha|
|December 16, 2022, Frida||Begins - 01:39 AM, Dec 16, Ends - 03:02 AM, Dec 17||Poush|
Importance of Kalashtami
Kalashtami is an important festival for Hindus as it is believed that worshiping Kalabhairava on this day brings success and financial stability in life. It is also said that Lord Bhairav protects his devotees from all kinds of negative emotions and instincts like anger, jealousy, and greed. Kalabhairav, the fearsome form of Lord Shiva, is often worshiped in many temples across the country.
Kaal Bhairav Puja
On the eve of Kalabhairav Jayanti, the devotees take a holy bath early in the morning and then begin with all the rituals. Let us find out what those rituals are:
The devotees worship all the three deities Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva, and Lord Kaal Bhairav together. Sweets, flowers, and fruits are also offered to the deities in order to make them happy. After the puja, the devotees begin with chanting the Kaal Bhairav Katha.
The devotees do not sleep for the entire night and tell stories of Lord Shiva and Lord Kalabhairava to the invitees and all other devotees.
After reciting the Kaal Bhairav mantras and shlokas, devotees worship Kaal Bahirav at midnight by performing the Kaal Bhairav Aarti. The sound of conch shells, bells, and drums while chanting the mantras creates a sacred and positive atmosphere.
Devotees also fast on Kalabhairav Jayanti to wash away all their sins, get rid of obstacles, and attain happiness and great success in life
In some places across the country, devotees also serve sweets and milk to dogs as it is considered a sacred religious act. This is because dogs are considered to be the vehicle and companion of Lord Kalabhairava.
Worship Kaal Bhairav chanting these mantras
“Hrim batukaya updudharanay kuru kuru batukaya hari.”
“Om Hreem Vatukaras Apadudharak Vatukaya Hreem”
“Om Haran Hreem Hoon Hrum Hrun Kshetrapalaya Kaal Bhairavaya Namah”
Who is Kaal Bhairav?
Lord Kaal Bhairav is the fierce form of Lord Shiva. He is depicted in an aggressive way, with angry eyes, flaming hair, tiger teeth, snakes around his neck, and a terrifying garland made of human skulls. Kaal Bhairav takes a Trishul, a drum, and the fifth head of Brahma, often looking terrifying. He has a blue-hued throat from swallowing poison to save the entire world. Therefore, he is said to be the conqueror of death.
In order to accomplish various siddhis, Lord Kaal Bhairav is widely worshiped by Tantriks and Yogis across the country. He is also considered to be the protector and kotwal of the universe. In astrology, Lord Bhairav is the Swami of Rahu, that is why people worship him in order to get great benefits from Rahu. It is believed that Bhairav is related to Bhairavi, the Mahavidya Devi who blesses us with Lagna Shuddhi, which purifies and preserves the body, character, personality, and other qualities related to the followers.
Lord Bhairav with full dedication and devotion can help you defeat all your enemies and achieve all kinds of success and happiness in the world. Worshiping and performing proper Pujas regularly appeases Lord Bhairav. A proper puja for Bhairav includes coconut, flowers, vermilion, mustard oil, black sesame, etc which are offered to the Lord in order to please him and get his blessings. Although Bhairav is the fierce form of Shiva, he himself has eight forms – Kaal Bhairav, Asitanga Bhairav, Sanhar Bhairav, Ruru Bhairav, Krodh Bhairav, Kappal Bhairav, Rudra Bhairav, and Unmat Bhairav.
Origin of Lord Bhairav
The origin of Bhairav can be traced back to the “Shiva Maha-Purana”, in which the conversation between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu is described. According to the Purana, Lord Vishnu asks Lord Brahma who is the supreme creator of the universe, Lord Brahma right away declares himself as the creator of the universe. After hearing this, Lord Vishnu reprimands Lord Brahma for his hasty and overconfident answer which leads to a long debate. After the debate, they decide to get answers from the four Vedas. The Rigveda declares Lord Rudra also known as Shiva as the supreme being and the creator of the universe. Yajurveda also answers that the one who we worship by performing various Yagyas (Yagams) and other such rigorous austerities and rituals is none other than Shiva. The Samaveda states that the revered figure is worshiped by various yogis and the person who controls the whole world is none other than Tryambakam (Shiva). And lastly, the Atharvaveda says, through the path of devotion all human beings can see and feel the Lord who can take away all the worries, sorrows, and pain of everyone is actually Shankara (Shiva). After hearing this, both Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu started laughing in disbelief.
Then suddenly Lord Shiva appeared in a powerful divine light. Lord Brahma looked at him angrily with his fifth head. Lord Shiva immediately created a living being and said that he would become the king of Kaal (death) and would be known as Kaal Bhairav. But Lord Brahma’s fifth head was still burning in flames with anger, Kaal Bhairav then pulled the flaming head off from Brahma. In order to save Kaal Bhairav from Brahmahatya, Lord Shiva ordered him to go around various holy places (pilgrimages). As instructed, Kaal Bhairav took Brahma’s head in his hand, started bathing in various holy places (pilgrimages), and worshiped many different Gods but Brahmahatya Dosha was still after him, following him every place he would go to.
Finally, Kaal Bhairav reached Mokshapuri, Kashi. As soon as he entered Kashi, Brahmhatya dosh merged into hell. Brahma’s head (Kapal) fell at a place called Kapal Mochan which was later called Kapal Mochan Teerth. After this, Kaal Bhairav provided shelter to all his devotees and settled himself permanently in Kashi. The people living or visiting Kashi should worship Kaal Bhairav as he protects his devotees.
The day of Ashtami (the eighth day after Purnima) in the month of Margashirsha, is considered to be an important day to worship Kaal Bhairav. Other than this, Sunday, Tuesday, Ashtami, and Chaturdashi are some of the important days for worshiping Kaal Bhairav. The devotees who circumambulate Lord Kaal Bhairav 8 times can be freed from all their sins and those who worship him for six months can get all kinds of accomplishments in life.
The second story of Lord Kalabhairav
There is another story of the origin of Bhairav which is the story of Shiva and Shakti. Sati, the daughter of Daksha, the king of the gods, chose Shiva as her husband. However, Daksh disapproved of their marriage by allegedly stating that Shiva lives in the jungles with wild animals and ghosts and hence has no resemblance to him. But Sati against her father Daksh’s will married Shiva. Soon after their wedding, Daksha organized a grand “Yagya” in his palace where he invited all the kings and gods except Lord Shiva. After learning about the Yagya, Sati decided to go there. As soon as she reached the Palace, Daksha publicly insulted Shiva. Sati then unable to bear the humiliation of her husband sacrificed herself by jumping into the sacred fire of the Yagya.
After learning this, Lord Shiva destroyed the Yagya and killed Daksha by beheading him. Shiva took the corpse of Shakti on his shoulders and started flouncing here and there in his Rudra form which could destroy the entire universe. To prevent that, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshana Chakra to cut Shakti’s body into pieces, which then fell around. The places where the body parts of Shakti had fallen are now known as Shakti Peethas. It is said that Shiva in the form of Bhairav protects all these Shaktipeeths. Every Shaktipeeth temple is accompanied by a temple dedicated to Bhairav.
Forms of Bhairav
There are a total of 64 Bhairvas. These 64 Bhairvas are divided and grouped into 8 categories and each category is led by one Pramukh Bhairava. The major eight Bhairvas are called Ashtanga Bhairava. All 8 directions of the universe are controlled by the Ashta Bhairav. Each Bhairav has seven sub-Bhairavas, which is a total of 64 Bhairavas. All the Bhairavas are ruled and controlled by Maha Swarna Kaal Bhairav, who is known as Kaal Bhairav. According to some Shaivite Tantric scriptures, Kaal Bhairav is the supreme ruler of the universe and Bhairavi is his wife.
Kalabhairava is the protector of the universe
It is said that the 8 Bhairavs represent the five elements of the universe – Air, Fire, Water, Sky, and Earth, and the rest three are the sun, the moon, and the soul. Each of the 8 Bhairavas are different in appearance, have different weapons, and have different vehicles. They even bless their followers with 8 different types of wealth which represent Ashta Lakshmi. It is also believed that if you worship Bhairav consistently and with full devotion, you can attain a true Guru in your life. There are also different mantras for all the eight different Bhairavs.
Bhairav is also called the protector, as he protects all the eight directions of the universe. In Shiva temples, when the temple is closed, the keys are placed in front of Bhairav as it is believed that he himself guards the temple.
Important Temples of Kalabhairav
People have been worshiping Kaal Bhairav since ancient times. But according to the holy texts, 60 years from the Chirtabhanu year that is from April 2002 to the next Chirtabhanu year April 2062 is considered to be the most important time.
The Ashtami (the eighth day after Purnima) is said to be the most ideal day for worship and performing rituals. According to the Hindu calendar, Kaal Bhairav appeared on Earth in the month of Margashirsha.
There are many temples of Bhairav that are located in different parts of India. Kaal Bhairav temples can also be found in and around Shaktipeeths, Jyotirlinga, and Mahamaya temples.
Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain
The Kaal Bhairav temple of Ujjain is said to be one of the most unique temples in India, liquors are offered to the Lord. This temple is situated at the riverbanks of Shipra.
Kal Bhairav Temple, Varanasi
The Kaal Bhairav temple of Varanasi is dedicated to the idol of Bhairav. It is considered the Kotwal of Varanasi and one of the greatest Hindu temples in the state.
Kalabhairaveshwara Temple, Karnataka
Kalabhairaveshwara Temple is an ancient temple in Karnataka, which is also known as Kalabhairaveshwara Kshetra Palaka in the Adichunchanagiri Hills.
Ajaikpada Bhairav temple, Orissa
The Ajikapada Bhairav temple in the Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa is found in the Chausath Yogini temple in Orissa.
Kalabhaivar Temple, Tamil Nadu
The most famous temple of Kalabhairav is located in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu.
Chomukh Bhairavji temple, Rajasthan
Chomukh Bhairavji Temple is located in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan and is worshiped by the people of Kharkhara.
Shri Kaal Bhairav Nath Swamy Temple
Shri Kaal Bhairav Nath Swamy Temple is located in the Adegaon village of Madhya Pradesh.
We are certain that by now you must’ve understood the importance of Lord Kala Bhairava in the
Hindu religion. And now that you know how important and blissful it is to worship Lord Kaal Bhairava on the Kalashtami, it’s time to follow all the rituals and worship the great Lord for his blessings.