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Kalashtami 2021: Date, rituals, auspicious timings, significance and history

The festival of worshiping Lord Bhairav on Kalashtami is celebrated with full enthusiasm and devotion in different parts of the country.

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Kalashtami or Kala Ashtami is a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Bhairav and is observed every Hindu lunar month on the ‘Krishna Paksha Ashtami Tithi’ (8th day during the waning phase of moon).

The ‘Ashtami Tithi’ (8th day) after ‘Purnima’ (full moon) is considered to be the most suitable day to propitiate Lord Kaal Bhairav. On this day, Hindu devotees worship Lord Bhairav and keep a fast to please Him. There are a total of 12 Kalashtami observances in a year.

Of these, the one falling in the ‘Margashirsha’ month is most significant and is known as ‘Kalabhairav Jayanti’. Kalashtami is also considered holier when it falls on a Sunday or Tuesday, as these days are dedicated to Lord Bhairav.

The festival of worshiping Lord Bhairav on Kalashtami is celebrated with full enthusiasm and devotion in different parts of the country.

Kalashtami Date in 2021: December 27 Monday

Ashtami Tithi Timing: December 26, 8:08 pm – December 27, 7:28 pm

Rituals during Kalashtami:

Kalashtami is an important day for Lord Shiva followers. On this day devotees get up before sunrise and take an early bath. They perform special puja of Kaal Bhairav to seek His divine blessings and seek forgiveness for their sins.

Devotees also visit Lord Kaal Bhairav’s temple in the evening and offer special prayers there. It is believed that Kalashtami is a fierce form of Lord Shiva. He was born to bring an end to the burning anger and temper of Lord Brahma.

On Kalashtami special puja and rituals are also offered to dead ancestors during the morning.

Devotees also keep a strict fast all day long. Some staunch devotees keep vigil all night and pass their time listening to stories of Mahakaleshwar. The observer of the Kalashtami Vrat is blessed with prosperity and happiness and obtains all success in his/her life.

It is considered auspicious to recite Kaal Bhairav Katha and chant mantras dedicated to Lord Shiva.

There is also a custom to feed dogs on Kalashtami as a black dog is considered to be the vehicle of Lord Bhairav. Dogs are offered milk, curd and sweets.

Offering food to Brahmins at Hindu pilgrim places like Kashi is considered to be highly rewarding.

Important Timings On Kalashtami:

Ashtami Tithi Timing: December 26, 8:08 PM- December 27, 7:28 PM

Significance of Kalashtami:

The greatness of Kalashtami is stated in ‘Aditya Purana’. The main deity of worship on Kalashtami is Lord Kaal Bhairav who is known to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

The word ‘kaal’ in Hindi implies ‘time’ while ‘Bhairav’ refers to ‘the manifestation of Shiva’. Hence Kaal Bhairav is also called as the ‘God of Time’ and is worshiped with full devotion by Lord Shiva followers.

According to the Hindu legends, once during an argument between Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, Lord Shiva got infuriated with a remark passed by Brahma. He then took the form of ‘Mahakaleshwar’ and chopped the 5th head of Lord Brahma.

From then onwards, Devas and Humans worship this form of Lord Shiva as ‘Kaal Bhairav’. It is believed that those who worship Lord Shiva on Kalashtami seek generous blessings of Lord Shiva.

It is also a popular belief that by worshiping Lord Bhairav on this day removes all the sufferings, pain and negative influences from one’s life.

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