Kali Puja is among the essential Hindu festivals dedicated and honored to Goddess Kali. Also popular by the name Mahanisha Puja or Shyama Puja, this festival is highly celebrated in states including Assam, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, and Gujarat.
Kali Puja falls on the new moon day of the Kartika month. However, apart from this, it also has some resemblance with Lakshmi Puja during Diwali. Hence, Kali Puja 2023 date is 12th November 2023.
Through this post, let’s learn more about Kali Puja, its significance, and much more in detail.
-105 Days Left For Kali Puja 2023
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Kali is the Goddess of destruction. She appeared from the eyebrows of Goddess Durga and is also known as the destroyer of evil or Kal Bhoi Nashini. The puja offered to Goddess Kali is performed on the new moon day or Amavasya of Karthik month during the Nishitha or night period. On Kali Puja, people light diya, or earthen lamps to decorate their houses and temple which resembles evicting darkness.
What is the Significance of Goddess Kali?
The word Kali is obtained from the word Kala which resembles death, time, and darkness. Goddess Kali personifies both good and bad, negative and positive coexist in the world. And Goddess Kali’s idol signifies it as well.
Goddess Kali carries an executed head grubbed completely in blood. On the other hand, she is also seen offering meals and blessing her devotees. She wears a garland made out of the heads of beheaded demons while one of her feet is on the chest of Lord Shiva. During Kali Puja, devotees visit the Kali Puja pandal and seek for her blessings to get rid of any evil around or within themselves. Kali manifests female force or Shakti.
Let’s go through the pages of history and learn about Kali Puja in detail.
What is the History of Kali Puja?
During Diwali, when people perform Lakshmi Puja, the people living in West Bengal perform Kali Puja. Goddess Kali is the destroyer of evil outside as well as inside the world. She is also the first among the ten Dasa Mahavidyas or unconquerable Goddesses as per Hindu mythology.
Here is a short mythological story to know the history of Kali Puja.
According to the mythologies, Shumbh and Nishumbh, two demons once journeyed the heavens. They created chaos and began destructing the monarchy of Lord Indra. They became dominant and forced the Gods to escape from the monarchy and take shelter in the Himalayans to get help from Goddess Durga. For reinstating balance, Goddess Kali was born from the forehead of Goddess Durga.
Goddess Kali had a war with the demons and destroyed them. She slaughtered them and created a garland out of the beheaded heads of the demons to wear herself. She killed both Shumbh and Nishumbh, but her anger, rage, and power overawed Goddess Kali and she started killing everyone who came on her path. To reduce her anger, Lord Shiva decided to interfere and slept on her path. Goddess Kali was too angry and raged that she didn’t notice who was sleeping on the way and she finally stepped on the chest of Lord Shiva by mistake without knowing what she was going to do. When she realized that she had stepped on the chest of Lord Shiva, her tongue came out and she was filled with guilt.
This moment from history still comes alive when you visualize any idol, sculptor, or image of Goddess Kali. The festival wasn’t celebrated much, however, it gained popularity after the 19th century, particularly in West Bengal. During that period, King Krishnachandra from Navadvipa initiated Kali Puja with various landowners in Bengal. And the ordinary people accompanied the king, which slowly turned it into a tradition. Today, Durga Puja and Kali Puja have similar importance in the culture and life of people in Bengal. During these days, people visit various shrines and temples of Goddess Kali. The celebration is getting grand with every passing year as previously it was celebrated in some places, but now, it is celebrated in a grand way.
How are Kali Puja rituals performed?
Kali Puja is very important for the devotees of Goddess Kali, especially in West Bengal. On this day, people worship the idol of Goddess Kali. They make the idols themselves at home using clay and place them in temporary shrines, known as pandals. The actual puja rituals are carried out at night when the worship of Goddess Kali is carried out with red hibiscus flowers, sweets, lentils and rice, meat, fish, a skull containing animal blood, and certain tantric mantras and rites. The devotees meditate till early morning. On the other hand, the Brahmins worship Maa Kali as Adhya Shakti and perform the puja with desserts and food like lentils, rice, fruits, etc. in a satvik way.
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