Kali Puja is a passionate prayer to the fearsome, ferocious goddess. The aim of Kali Puja is to seek the help of Maa Kali in destroying evil, both in the outside world and within us. It is believed that Kali Puja is performed to diminish ego and all negative tendencies that hamper spiritual growth. Kali Pooja is also observed on the night of Kartik Amavasya, which falls in October / November. Read more to know about the origin and legend of Maha Kali Puja.
Kali Puja – In Bengal
Kali Puja is always associated with the state of Bengal. Durga Puja, the National festival of the Bengalis ends on a sad note. However, this melancholy gradually disappears with the arrival of Lakshmi Puja (Diwali) in North India and Diwali Kali Puja in Bengal. The occasion of Kali Puja brings the aura of festive zeal amongst the various cross sections of society.
Goddess Kali is one of the fiercest forms of the Shakti, the eternal energy and the cosmic power. Kali has the strength to destroy the whole existence. Kali symbolizes the basic powers to fight the evil and the strengths essential to fight the rivals. According to Hinduism, we are living in the Kali Yuga (age) or the Dark Age; the time of revival of the divine female spirit. Kali Puja explores and illuminates the rich meaning of feminine divinity.
Legend of Kali Puja
As per the legend behind the celebration of Kali Puja, long ago the two demons, Shambhu and Nishambhu, bothered the world of Indra, the king of gods. The gods lost all their hopes with numerous and endless battles. The demons became stronger. The gods took shelter in the Himalayas, the abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The disturbed gods asked for protection from Maa Durga.
Kali took birth from Durga’s forehead as Kal Bhoi Nashini. Kali was created to save the heaven and the earth from the rising brutality of the demons. She went on her way to end the war and kill the demons, along with her two escorts Dakini and Jogini. The whole environment was full of chaos. After killing the demons, Kali made a garland of their hands and wore it around her neck. In the massacre, she lost control and started killing everyone who came in her way.
The troubled gods asked Shiva for his help. And Shiva made a plan to save the world. Lord Shiva lay down in the path of the rampaging Kali. When the goddess stepped on Shiva, she recovered her senses. The popular image of Maha Kali with her tongue hanging out, in fact portrays the moment when she steps on lord Shiva and repents for it.
Since then people are celebrating this momentous day. Kali, also known as Shyama Kali, is the first of the ten incarnations (avatars) of Shakti. Tantrik Puja is also observed at the midnight on this Amavasya (New Moon Night). Kali Puja is performed basically to seek protection against all evils and for happiness, health, wealth and peace.