India is a land of diverse cultures and festivals. Kali Puja is an extremely popular Hindu festival dedicated to the Goddess Kali. It is otherwise known as Shyama Puja or Mahanisha Puja. The festival is celebrated on the new moon day in the Kartik month. As per the Gregorian calendar, it falls either in the month of October or November every year. It is a major festival in the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha and Assam. In 2021, Kali Puja calls on 4th November.
Legend of Kali Puja
According to the legend, when gods lost a battle with the demons, Goddess Kali was born from the forehead of Goddess Durga to put an end to the evil and save the earth. That is why Kali is believed to be the personification of Shakti (female power). The killing of the demons increased Maa Kali’s blood lust which took hold and she started killing anyone she felt had done anything wrong. She also danced so furiously that the earth trembled beneath her. She could be stopped only by Lord Shiva when he intervened and laid down in front of her. In art, Kali is often depicted with her tongue hanging out, depicting the moment when she realised she had stood on Lord Shiva and her rage subsided.
Significance of Kali Puja-
Kali Puja is celebrated to seek the help of Goddess Kali in destroying the evil and get her blessings for happiness, prosperity, health, and peace. She is also worshipped as the preserver of nature. She is always referred to as fierce and violent. Goddess Kali is represented as a woman with dark skin, three eyes, four hands and long flowing hair. The top left hand holds a kharga, or sword, while the bottom left hand holds the slaughtered head of a demon. The right hands show the Abhaya Mudra, signifying protection. She wears a Garland of several heads and hands and has her tongue protruding out of her mouth. Her iconography is complete with one foot on the thigh and the other on the chest of her husband Lord Shiva.
The devotees clean their houses and decorate the place of worship on the Kali Puja day. They keep Nirjala Vrat too. It is believed that red hibiscus is Maa Kali’s favourite flower, therefore, she is covered with beautiful red garlands of hibiscus. Then the Prasad to be offered to Maa Kali is prepared. Maa Kali is offered a prasad of Khichuri bhog, Niramish Mangsho ( mutton without onion and garlic), Fish Curry, Payesh and Bhaja (fried fritters). This prasad is offered as a mool bhog to the deity. Sacrifice or Bali of fruits and vegetables is also a well-known ritual in the festival. In some places even alcohol is offered as a part of prasad to Maa Kali and then is distributed among the devotees as Charnamrit. The the Kali Puja is performed and the devotees chant Kali Mantra and recite various bhajans in remembrance of Maa Kali.
About Dev Darshan
Started by IIT graduates, DevDarshan is a Devotional Platform for 5000+ Hindu Temples in the Indian Subcontinent. DevDarshan’s long term vision is to provide a digital platform to Temples and Gurus for sharing the millennia-old teachings of Indian culture in the world and by doing so, projecting Bharat (India) as Vishwa Guru (Universal Leader) through its rich cultural and spiritual heritage.
DevDarshan facilitates online Daily Darshan, Pujas and digital donations for Devotees. Due to the present state of the pandemic, the majority of the Temples have shifted to conducting online Kali Puja for the convenience of the Devotees. However, it becomes a bit of a hassle to connect to the Mandir priests to get the puja conducted. DevDarshan can come to your rescue at that moment. DevDarshan is a platform which provides a smooth interaction between the Temples, Pandits and the Devotees without much worry and hassle. It also conducts online Pujas such as online Kali Puja. Check out the online services provided by DevDarshan here and get your bookings done in one click.