Navratri Day 7- Durga Saptami, Worship of Devi Kaalratri
Read about Navratri Day 6 – Devi Katyayani
The 7th day of Navratri celebrations sees the worship of Devi Kaalratri. ‘Kaal’ means time and/or death, while ‘ratri’ means night and/or darkness. Devi Kaalratri is considered to be one of the fiercest manifestations of Goddess Shakthi. Devi Kaalratri took form to kill the asuras Chandi and Mundi and then Raktabeej. Her fierce and horrendous appearance sends a chill through the spine of all evildoers. At the same time, devotees find a loving mother in Devi Kaalratri who comforts them and protects them when faced with evil. Kaalratri brings death to the darkness inside the minds of the devotees. Though terrifying, Devi Kaalratri is also called Shubankari, which means bearer of auspiciousness.
In scriptures, Devi Kaalratri is depicted with four hands and her complexion is dark like the night. Her left two hands hold a cleaver and a torch. Her upper right hand is in Var Mudra while the lower hand is in Abhay Mudra, which means giving and protecting respectively. Her eyes are big and shaped like the universe, her tongue is red and she wears a bead necklace which sparkles against her dark complexion. Devi Kaalratri, once offended and set on destruction, cannot be calmed down by anyone other than her husband Lord Shiva. She is worshipped by offering milk and molasses on the occasion of Navratri. Devi Kaalratri is considered the ruler of the planet Saturn. In some texts, she is considered to be the ruler of Rahu.
Devi Kaalratri mantras
A mantra is a word, a sound or a phrase that when recited in the right way with the right frame of mind can harness powers from the spiritual realm using focus as the tool. As such, a mantra is considered to be a ‘tool of thought’, with ‘man’ meaning mind and ‘tra’ meaning tool. When chanted with devotion, it can cause powerful vibrations within the mind and body which can result in the unlocking of abilities that may be considered superhuman.
A mantra can alter consciousness through tone, rhythm or vibration. When done right, it can take the person to deep states of meditation, making him or her aware of states of existence incomprehensible to a normal person. They can affect both the spiritual and psychological being of a person. Each mantra has its unique effects. Chanting the Devi Kaalratri mantra on the 7th day of Navratri blesses the devotee with abundance, fruitful benefits, grace, power, fame and prosperity.
Chanting the Devi Kaalratri mantra regularly can remove fear from the heart of the devotee. It can increase their self-confidence. Chanting the Kaalratri mantra can help the devotee to be free from evil forces that may be pursuing him or her. The mantra is incredibly powerful and will bestow peace to the person while casting a protective shield around him or her. Chanting Devi’s mantra will also help attain mystic powers. The following are different mantras of Devi Kaalratri.
Om Devi Kalaratryai Namah॥
Om Hreem Shri Kalaratri Durgaaye Namaha
Ya devi sarvabhutesu kaalratri rupena samsthita namestasyai namestasyai namastasyai namoh namah
Ek vedhi japakrnapura nagna kharasthita lamboshti karnikarkani tailabhayaktshareerini vampadolallsallohaltaknatak bhushana vardhanmudhardhawaja krishna kalratribhayankari
Om Bhurbhuva svah kalaraatri iha gaccha ihatisha kalaratryai namah kalaratrimavahayami sthapayami namah padhyadibhih pujanaambidhaaya
Om chandaviram chandamaayam raktabija prabanjaniim tam namaami cha devesim gayatrim pujayaamyaham
Devi Kaalratri worship rituals
The devotee should get up early in the morning and after a bath, wear clean, fresh clothes. Then do the Kalash puja. After invoking all devis and devas, worship Devi Kaalratri followed by the worship of Lord Shiva. During worship, one should offer milk, kheer and sweets to Devi Kaalratri. Offering red Champa flowers is considered especially auspicious. Apply kumkum, saffron or red sandal to the idol of Devi Kaalratri and do arti. Jaggery sweets are distributed after worship.
While the morning worship of Devi Kaalratri is done in the same manner as all the other days of the Navratri festival, Devi Kaalratri should be worshipped specially on the seventh day. At night, there are special regulations to worship the Devi. Before the puja, wash yourself and clean the puja area as well. Start by worshipping Lord Ganesha, Kartikeya, Devi Saraswati, Lakshmi and Jaya and Vijaya. After this, Devi Kaalratri is invoked and is offered flowers, incense and new medicines. It is good to chant ‘devi sukta, ratri sukta’ at this time.
It is customary to offer halwa and kheer to Devi Kaalratri. In some places, liquor in the form of bhog is also offered. Worshipping Devi Kaalratri during Navratri is believed to resolve all resentment in the devotee.
Devi Kaalratri story
After the killing of Mahishasura, three of his friends – Chanda, Munda and Raktabeej – took the pledge to take over the Deva Loka. For this, they joined forces with asuras Shumba and Nishumba. Their brother, Namuchi, was killed by Indra, the king of Devas. Shumba and Nishumba wanted to destroy Deva Loka in revenge. The resistance by Devas was shattered by the combined might of these powerful asuras. In desperation, they approached Lord Shiva seeking help.
Lord Shiva, comprehending the seriousness of the matter, asked the Devas to pray to Devi Parvati. To help Devas, Devi Parvati gave form to Devi Chandi and sent her to the battlefield. Devi Chandi was able to destroy most of the asuras on the battlefield, but she was not able to kill Chanda, Munda or Raktabeej. So, Devi Chandi gave form to the even fiercer Devi Kaalratri. This Devi was dark in complexion with luxurious hair. Her tongue was blood red and she had fiery eyes. Devi Kaalratri killed asuras Chanda and Munda and thus got the name Devi Chamundi.
However, killing Raktabeej posed a different challenge. Through severe penance, Raktabeej had pleased Lord Brahma and had received the boon that from each drop of blood spilt from his body during a war, another Raktabeej would take shape. So, killing Raktabeej was practically impossible. Devi Kaalratri, becoming aware of this, stabbed Raktabeej with her spear and then drank all his blood. Intoxicated with blood, Devi Kaalratri then went on a killing spree and destroyed the entire asura army along with their leaders Shumba and Nishumba.
However, even after killing all the asuras, Devi Kaalratri did not calm down. She continued roaming the battlefield, breathing fire with the intent to kill anyone that happened to come within her eyesight. This terrified the Devas. They approached Lord Shiva for rescue. Lord Shiva arrived and laid down on the battlefield. When Devi Kaalratri stepped on Shiva, she recognised her husband and immediately bit her tongue, her anger having vanished. She calmed down and bowed at her husband. Thus Devas regained their Loka.
Devi Kaalratri significance
While Devi Kaalratri’s appearance evokes fear, she always presents good to her devotees. They get blessed with grace, power and position in life. They are protected from evil and all fear is removed. Those worshipping Devi Kaalratri on the 7th day of Navratri get the doors to every siddhi in the Universe opened to them. But true faith, restraint and concentration are required during the worship.
Devi Kaalratri is a reviver of damaged relationships and opportunities. Worshipping Devi Kaalratri gives access to the lower universe of past lives and destroys negative karma. This gives the devotee the strength and inspiration to push forward and accomplish feats that he or she had considered impossible till then. Old business activities can be revived and all poverty can be destroyed.
People having trouble with Saturn will do well to worship Devi Kaalratri on this day. She will protect him or her from the ill effects of the planet.