What is Kali Chaudas?
Kali Chaudas falls on the 14th day of Krishna Paksha in Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar. It marks the triumph of positive forces over negative energies. It is a part of the 5-day long Diwali festival and is widely celebrated across the nation. Various communities in the country follow different rituals on this day but it is equally important for everyone.
This festival drives away lethargy and sluggishness from the home and brings cheer to the environment. Performing the right rituals on the occasion of Kali Chaudas not only brings the blessings of the Goddess but also removes every destructive element that may lead you towards negativity.
Kali Chaudas Story
Kali is dark and Chaudas is the fourteenth day of the waning phase of the moon. Kali Chaudas is considered to be a dark day but a significant period for tantric and those who worship Goddess Mahakali. It is said that Goddess Kaali defeated the demon Raktabija on this day. This incident glorifies the Goddess and Her eternal power to protect the world from demonic energies.
Many different stories revolve around the celebration of Kali Chaudas. One of the popularly known stories is related to Lord Krishna and Narakasura’s death. Narakasura was the son of Mother Earth and was blessed with a boon by Lord Brahma. As per the boon, if he were to die, he could be only killed by his own mother. He felt invincible and began destroying the three worlds. He was also capable of attacking the Gods which is why the Gods sought help from Lord Vishnu.
On Kali Chaudas, Lord Vishnu took the form of Lord Krishna to stop the havoc created by the demon Narakasura. While Lord Krishna fought the battle, His consort Satyabhama accompanied Him as the charioteer. During the fight, Lord Krishna fell as He was hit by Narakasura’s powerful arrow. Satyabhama then took control and destroyed the Narakasura with her weapons. She is believed to be an avatar of Mother Earth and Narakasura’s death was fated to happen in the hands of his mother. This victory of good over evil is celebrated on Kali Chaudas.
One more tale narrates the slaughter of Narakasura by Goddess Kamakhya Devi. The demon Narakasura wished to marry Kamakhya Devi but She put forth a condition. If Narakasura built steps at the bottom of the Nilachal Hills (in present-day Assam) before dawn, Kamakhya Devi would marry him. As Narakasura began the task, Goddess Kamakhya tricked him by producing a crowing sound of the rooster (an indicator of sunrise). Fooled by this, Narakasura left the task incomplete and the Goddess killed him on Kali Chaudas. This signifies the winning of good over bad and is celebrated on the fourteenth day of Ashwin month.
How is Kali Chaudas celebrated?
Kali Chaudas is dedicated to Maa Kali and one of the important days to seek the blessings of the Divine Mother. This day is also known as Narak Chaturdashi and is celebrated with different names in different parts of India. In West Bengal, devotees revere this day as the birth of Maa Kaali and celebrate with great fervor.
This day is also called Bhoot Chaturdashi and the ancestors are commemorated. To revere them, 14 Diyas (oil lamps) are lit in the house. This is to honor the fourteen ancestors from the past fourteen generations who visit the house on this day.
Some parts of North India celebrate Chhoti Diwali on Kali Chaudas and it is considered to be very auspicious to follow the Abhyanga Snaan practice.
After this, new and clean clothes are worn which signifies auspiciousness. Devotees apply kohl (Kajal) in their eyes to dispel negativity and stay protected from evil eye.
Prominently, Goddess Kali is worshipped to seek protection from negative influences. Narakasura statues filled with firecrackers are made and burnt in Goa.
It is also a favorable day for those who perform tantric rituals.
Puja Vidhi procedure
- The day begins with Abhyang Snaan early in the morning which is an aromatic experience. Applying Ubtan and sesame oil on the body before bath is the main step in Abhyang Snaan.
- After the bath, Diyas are to be lit inside and outside the house and Rangoli is made.
- Now install a photograph of Maa Kaali on the puja altar.
- Offer Haldi- Kumkum and Akshat to the deity and light a Diya.
- Followed by that, offer fresh flowers and pray to the Goddess.
- Start Kaali mantra japa and perform Aarti.
- To complete the puja ritual, offer sweets to the Goddess and distribute the Prasad amongst everyone.
May Goddess Kali protect you and bless you! Happy Kali Chaudas to you and yours!