Kali Puja: The End To All Evilness And Negativity

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India is a land of diverse cultures and festivals. Bengali 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.  Kali Puja, a significant celebration during the Diwali festivity, takes place on the new moon day. While many individuals in India observe the worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Amavasya Tithi during Diwali, the people of West Bengal, Orissa, and Assam honour Goddess Kali on the new moon day, which is considered the most crucial day of Diwali.

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 2023, Kali Puja falls on Sunday, November 12, 2023.

Also Read: Importance of Worship of Maa Durga during Navratri

Kali Puja Festival 2023: Date, Muhurat and Timings

This year, Bengali Kali Puja will be observed on Sunday, November 12, 2023.

  • Amavasya Tithi Starts: 02:44 p.m on November 12, 2023
  • Amavasya Tithi Ends: 02:56 p.m on November 13, 2023

Legend of Kali Puja

According to the legend, when the gods lost a battle with the demons, Goddess Kali was born from the forehead of Goddess Durga to put an end to 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 only stopped by Lord Shiva when he intervened and laid down in front of her as a child. 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.

Also Read: How to Worship Lord Shiva for Long Life?

Significance of Kali Puja

Kali Puja is celebrated to seek the help of Goddess Kali in destroying 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.

Puja Vidhi

The devotees clean their houses and decorate the place of worship on 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 the prasad to Maa Kali and then is distributed among the devotees as Charnamrit. The Kali Puja is performed and the devotees chant Kali Mantra and recite various bhajans in remembrance of Maa Kali.

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