BHUBANESWAR: The seventh incarnation of Goddess Durga is manifested on the seventh day of Navaratri. Maa Kalaratri is the protector of devas and human beings of earth. Legend has it that when demons like Mahishasura, Shumbha and Nishumbha among others dominated and tortured the beings of earth, religion or dharma faced an apparent decline. When the entire humanity was sinking deep into the demonic realm, Goddess Kalaratri descended to earth to save humanity from the oppression of demons. She is the embodiment of auspiciousness, who possesses the energy which transcends even death and time. Being the end of Kaala (time), she was bestowed with the name Kalaratri.
In the lower right hand of her four arms she shows the gesture of fearlessness to ensure the protection of her devotees. She holds a mighty sword in the upper left hand and a trident in the lower left hand. Her hair is dense, black and is scattered which gives her a fierce look. Her eyes have the lustre of lightning and thunder. She exhales heavy flames of fire. She has a great garland around her neck with a mule as her bahana (vehicle).
Charubala Mohanty, a trustee of Dakshini Kali temple here, said, “To obtain her grace, devotes should complete all the domestic chores in the morning and perform the pooja with utmost devotion and sincerity. One should then collect the pooja material like perfumed water, a variety of dry fruits, panchamrita, flowers, lamp, incense and rice and perform the puja as per the procedure. This puja cures one from all fears, sorrows, pain, and diseases. During her worship, one has to follow abstinence, celibacy, and truthfulness. One should avoid greed, ego, falsehood, and anger during the puja. Anyone indulged in injustice and wrong deeds face the wrath of the goddess.”
Pandit Vishnu Acharya Mani, a priest of Maa Chandi temple at Nayagarh, said, “Goddess Kalaratri is only a form of goddess Kali. She is also known as Shubhankari which denotes the one who always strives for welfare of the people. In Durga Saptashati, there is a mention of Goddess Bhadrakali slaying the demon Mahishasura. It is mentioned that during the battle, as the demons approached the goddess with their mighty army, they showered many arrows on the goddess on the peak of Mount Meru. In return, goddess countered these arrows in an effortless manner and killed the chariot riders and horses as well. Apart from that, she destroyed their bows and military flags. After cutting their bows, she pierced them with her mighty arrows. Then Bhadrakali threw the “shola” weapon which destroyed their weapons. All the demons including the great Mahishasura lost their lives.”
Shreya Das, a devotee of Maa Durga, said, “Maa Kalaratri is the destroyer of Rakta Beej, a demon. Everyone should worship her to eradicate fear from their lives.”