Kali Puja

Kali Puja-Bihar
The convention is that, once begun, Kali puja has to be performed annually for five consecutive years. Kali is worshipped in households as well as communally in puja pandals. Many trantrics perform a tantric form of Kali puja such as Smashana Kali who is tha Kali of cremation grounds. She is similar to Raksha Kali in her appearance and is painted black standing diagonally across Shiva with her left foot forward instead of her right foot. Some Bengalis make a distinction between Daksina meaning right in this case and Vama meaning left according to which foot is placed on Shiva’s chest. Images of Shmashana Kali are worshipped at night in a cremation ground and immersed before dawn.

Kali Puja is done to diminish the ego and all negative tendencies that hinder spiritual progress and material prosperity. Performed on the night of Kartik Amavasya, which falls in October/November, Kali Puja is an intense invocation to the fearsome goddess. The main purpose of the puja is to seek the help of the goddess in destroying evil – both in the outside world and within us.The legend goes that long ago the demons, Shambhu and Nishambhu, disturbed the peace of Indra, the king of gods, and his empire (heaven). After extensive and endless battles, the gods lost all hope and the demons became stronger.
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Best time to visit: Octobet to Nvember(Hindu calander Dipawali)
The climate in this region is tropical with hot summers and cold winters. Temperature during the summer months touch a high of 41.1’C and a low of 19.4’C. Winter months are better and the temperature ranges between a maximum and minimum of 19.4’C and 7’C. The monsoon months are July to mid-September.
Kali puja is celebrated with lots of gusto and fanfare in Bengal after Durga Puja during the time of Diwali. It is believed that Maharaja Krishnan Chandra of Nawadweep was the first to celebrate Kali Puja in his territory. Everyone was ordered to celebrate Kali puja and thus 10,000 images of Kali were worshipped. Ratanti Kali Puja was celebrated in ancient times before the present Kali puja. It is believed that the present form of Kali is due to a dream by a distinguished scholar of Indian charms and black magic or ‘Tantra’ and the author of Tantric Saar, Krishnananda Agambagish, a contemporary of Lord Chaitanya. In his dream he was ordered to make her image after the first figure he saw in the morning. At dawn, Krishnanand saw a dark complexioned maid with left hand protruding and making cow dung cakes with her right hand. Her body was glowing with white dots. The vermillion spread over her forehead while she was wiping the sweat from her forehead. The hair was untidy. When she came face to face with an elderly Krishnananda, she bit her tongue in shame. This posture of the housemaid was later utilized to envisage the idol of Goddess Kali. Thus was formed the image of Kali
Importance of festival:
The second most important festival is Kali puja held at the dead of night on the new moon of Kartik in October-November. Most forms of Kali are worshipped but the most common is that of Daksina Kali which shows Kali in her generous or boon-giving form. As Raksha Kali she give protection from epidemics or misfortune. In Bengal, Kali is connected with epidemics, especially cholera.The form of Raksha Kali shows here without protruding tongue or garland of human heads and she is only two-armed. She is worshipped if one’s wishes have been fulfilled on the completion of a vrata or vow.
Method of Celebration:
The popular forms of Kali are Shyama, Adya Maa, Tara Maa and Dakshina Kalika, Chamundi. There are other forms as well. They are known as Bhadrakali who is gentle and Shyamashana Kali who stays at the cremation ground. Kali has four arms and is represented with perhaps the fiercest creatures among all the deities in the world. She has a sword in one hand and a demon’s head on the other. Her other two hands bless her devotees. Her eyes are red and her body is smeared with blood. Her black complexion represents the transcendental nature. Kali is free from all artificial covering beyond all maya or false consciousness. She has infinite knowledge which is represented by the garland o fifty skulls depicting 50 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Her inner purity is represented by her white teeth while her omnivorous nature is depicted in her protruding tongue. Three modes of time, the past, present and future are represented by her three eyes.
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Culture of festivities:
Traditional images of Kali stand at about 4′ tall and show a four-armed Kali standing with right leg forward and placed on the chest of Shiva who lies beneath her. Kali is naked and wears a garland of human heads and a girdle of severed arms. She carries in her bottom left hand a severed head, top left a sword dripping with blood while her other hands are open in blessing and offering protection. Her tongue lolls out of her blood-soaked mouth and her hair hangs dishevelled over her shoulders down to her knees. she wears anklets, armbands, bracelets and a large crown. She is usually given a stylised breast-plate. Kali as her name implies is usually painted black although it is common to see blue images also. If she is painted black, the eyebrows and lines around her eyes and mouth are painted red also. Flashes of red are painted on her arms, legs, torso, palms of the hands and soles of her feet. The red against the black heightens the already gruesome effect of Kali’s appearance. In contract, Shiva is shown as a white, ash-smeared ascetic with matted hair, lying on a tiger skin, surrounded by snakes. Shiva’s eyes are half closed in meditation and he lies on his back with arms behind his head or propped up on an elbow. He wears raksasa beads around his head and is dressed in a tiger skin. In one hand is his dumaru drum and in the other a horn.
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