Kali Puja is a significant Hindu festival celebrated in many parts of India. It is a festival dedicated to Goddess Kali, the embodiment of power, strength, and protection. This Puja is usually celebrated during the Diwali festival, and it is believed to be one of the most auspicious days of the year.
History of Kali Puja:
Origins of Kali Puja:
The origins of Kali Puja can be traced back to the Vedic period in India, where Goddess Kali was worshipped as a symbol of strength and power.
It is believed that the earliest references to Kali can be found in Rigveda, one of the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism. In Rigveda, Kali is described as a goddess who destroys evil and protects well.
Kali Puja is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of the goddess Kali over the demon Raktabija. According to legend, Raktabija was a powerful demon who had been blessed with a boon that made him invincible.
Every time he was wounded in battle, drops of his blood fell to the ground and new demons would be created. This made him virtually indestructible, and he began to terrorize the gods and humans.
In order to defeat Raktabija, the gods called upon Goddess Durga, who is known for her warrior-like qualities. Durga went to battle with Raktabija but found that she was unable to defeat him because of the blood drops that created new demons every time he was wounded.
Durga then summoned Kali, a fierce and powerful form of Durga. Kali entered the battlefield and started killing the demons with her sword. But as Raktabija was wounded, his blood spilt on the ground, creating more demons. So Kali decided to drink the blood of Raktabija before it touched the ground, thereby preventing the creation of more demons.
With the prevention of new demons, Kali was then able to kill Raktabija and his entire army, thus freeing the world from their terror. This victory of Kali over Raktabija is celebrated every year as Kali Puja, which is a tribute to the goddess’s fierce and powerful nature.
Kali Puja in Medieval India:
During the medieval period in India, This Puja gained significant popularity and became an important festival in the Hindu calendar. The first mention of Kali Puja in medieval India can be found in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, a 16th-century text that describes the celebrations of this Puja in Bengal. It is believed that Kali Puja became popular in Bengal during the reign of King Krishnadeva Raya in the 16th century.
Kali Puja in Modern India:
In modern India, Kali Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion, particularly in West Bengal, Odisha, and Assam. The festival is celebrated during the month of Kartik (October-November) and is usually held on the new moon day of the month.
The celebrations of this Puja involve the lighting of lamps, the offering of flowers and sweets to the goddess, and the recitation of hymns and prayers.
Significance of Kali Puja:
Kali Puja is celebrated to honour and worship Goddess Kali, the embodiment of power, strength, and protection. This Puja is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and the power of the divine.
Kali Puja is celebrated to honour and worship Goddess Kali, who is considered to be one of the most powerful and fearsome forms of the Hindu goddess.
According to Hindu mythology, Kali is the destroyer of evil, and she is often depicted as a fierce and angry goddess, with a necklace made of human skulls and a skirt made of severed hands. Kali is also associated with time, death, and rebirth, and she is believed to protect her devotees from evil and harm.
This Puja is celebrated to commemorate the day when Goddess Kali defeated the demon Raktabija. According to the legend, Raktabija had a boon that every drop of his blood falling on the ground would create a new demon.
It was impossible to defeat him, but Goddess Kali, with her immense power and strength, managed to defeat him by drinking his blood before it could touch the ground. Thus, Kali Puja is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and the power of the divine.
In addition to its religious significance, This Puja also has astrological significance. According to Hindu astrology, the day of Puja is considered to be an auspicious day, and it is believed that performing puja and other rituals on this day can bring prosperity, success, and good fortune.
The festival is also associated with the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits the homes of her devotees on the day of Kali Puja, and offering prayers and performing puja can bring wealth and prosperity.
Where is Kali Puja Most Celebrated?
Kali Puja is most celebrated in West Bengal, Odisha, and Assam. In West Bengal, This Puja is a major festival, and it is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. The city of Kolkata is known for its grand celebrations of this Puja. In Odisha, this Puja is celebrated as Diwali, and it is known as ‘Bada Diwali.’ In Assam, this Puja is celebrated as ‘Kali Puja’ or ‘Shyama Puja.’
Why is Kali Puja celebrated:
Kali Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion throughout India, but it is particularly popular in West Bengal, Odisha, and Assam. There are several reasons why this Puja is celebrated most in these regions, and in this blog, we will explore some of these reasons.
The worship of Goddess Kali has a long history in West Bengal and Odisha. According to historical records, the worship of Kali in Bengal can be traced back to the 18th century when the Navadurga puja, which includes the worship of Kali, was introduced by Raja Krishnachandra of Navadvipa. Over time, this Puja became an important part of Bengali culture and was celebrated with great enthusiasm during the festival of Diwali.
In Odisha, the worship of Kali is also deeply rooted in history. The ancient Kali temple of Taratarini, located in the Ganjam district of Odisha, is believed to be one of the 51 Shakti peethas (sacred places of the goddess) in India.
The temple is an important pilgrimage site for devotees of the goddess, and this Puja is celebrated with great devotion in the state.
Kali Puja is an important part of the cultural identity of Bengalis and Odias. The festival is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm, and it is an occasion for people to come together, exchange greetings, and share food and sweets. This Puja is also a time for cultural events, such as music, dance, and theatre, which showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The celebration of Kali Puja in West Bengal and Odisha is marked by a festive atmosphere that is unparalleled. The streets are decorated with lights and colourful decorations, and pandals (temporary structures) are set up to house the idols of the goddess.
The pandals are beautifully decorated with flowers, lights, and other decorative items, and they attract large crowds of people who come to offer prayers and seek the blessings of the goddess.
Kali Puja in 2023: Tithi and Date
Kali Puja, celebrated on the new moon day in Hindu month Kartik (October/November), is also called Shyama Puja.
The date of this Puja varies every year as it is based on the lunar calendar. The Puja’s date is determined by the moon’s position, typically falling on the 15th day of Kartik’s dark fortnight. In some regions, the festival is also celebrated on the day of Diwali, which falls on the same day as Amavasya Tithi.
In West Bengal and other regions, the Puja is celebrated on the night of Amavasya Tithi, also known as Nishita Kaal.
This is considered to be the most auspicious time for performing puja. The puja is performed post-midnight as it is believed that the goddess is more responsive to prayers and offerings then.
In 2023, it is expected to be celebrated on Friday, 20th October.
Benefits of Kali Puja:
It’s a significant Hindu festival, celebrated with devotion and enthusiasm in India, holding immense religious importance. There are several benefits of performing Puja.
Protection from Evil Forces:
The worship of Goddess Kali is believed to offer protection from evil forces, both external and internal. It is believed that the goddess destroys all negative energies and protects her devotees from harm. By performing Kali Puja, one can seek the blessings of the goddess and invite her protection into their life.
Kali is also known as the goddess of strength and courage. Her fierce and powerful form is believed to inspire confidence and courage in her devotees.
By performing Kali Puja, one can seek the blessings of the goddess and overcome obstacles and challenges in life. The worship of Kali is also believed to help in removing fear and anxiety.
Kali is often associated with success and achievement. Her fierce and powerful form is believed to empower her devotees with the strength and determination to achieve their goals. By performing Kali Puja, one can seek the blessings of the goddess and attain success in their endeavours.
Enhancing Spiritual Growth:
Kali is also known as the goddess of spiritual enlightenment. Her worship is believed to help in enhancing spiritual growth and connecting with the divine. By performing Puja with devotion and sincerity, one can seek the blessings of the goddess and attain spiritual enlightenment.
- Astrological Benefits:
It is also believed to have astrological significance. According to Vedic astrology, the worship of Kali during the period of the Rahu-Ketu transit is particularly auspicious.
Kali Puja is a significant festival in India, especially in West Bengal, Odisha, and Assam. The festival is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. Additionally, the celebration of it includes the worship of Goddess Kali, cultural programs, and social gatherings. Moreover, the festival is a time of joy, happiness, and spiritual renewal.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Kali Puja:
1. What is Kali Puja?
A. It worships the fierce goddess Kali, a powerful deity in Hinduism, through a sacred ritual.
2. What are the benefits of Kali Puja?
3. What materials are required for Kali Puja?
A. Materials required include flowers, fruits, sweets, incense, lamps, sandalwood paste, turmeric powder.
4. When is Kali Puja in 2023?
A. In 2023 it is expected to be celebrated on Thursday, October 19th. However, the exact date may vary depending on the Hindu lunar calendar and the traditions followed in different regions.
5. How should I perform Kali Puja?
A. Perform it by invoking blessings, offering prayers, reciting mantras, and performing rituals to seek the goddess Kali’s protection.