Hindus consider Kala or Kal Bhairava to be a form of Shiva. It is a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. He is always shown accompanied by a dog, who is his vehicle and companion. According to legend, the Tridev (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva) once had a heated argument as to who among them was the ultimate supreme power. When Lord Shiva declared that it was him, Lord Vishnu conceded defeat while Lord Brahma would not give up. This didn’t sit well with Shiva, who then took the form of Kala Bhairava sitting on a black dog and cut Brahma’s fifth head off.
Every year, Kala Bhairava Jayanti is celebrated in the month of Kartik on the eighth day. The day is also known by several names such as Bhairava Jayanti and Bhairavahtami. This day is considered to be extra special if it falls on a Tuesday or a Saturday.
Let’s find out how to do a pooja in honour of Kala Bhairava Jayanti.
Wake Up Early
People often wake up very early on Kala Bhairava Jayanti to get started with the ritual—ideally during the Brahma Muhurat time (this is typically a couple of hours before sunrise). The first thing to do is to bathe and wear clean clothes.
Clean the Surroundings
Clean the entire house to get rid of negative vibes from the surroundings. Special attention must be given to the pooja room area. Some people opt to use ganga jal to clean the pooja area.
Perform Shradh and Tarpan
Perform shradh and tarpan for deceased ancestors and pray to the lord requesting him to bless their souls to rest in peace. These rituals are typically done during the morning hours after the cleaning is done and before doing pooja to the deity.
Lord Bhairava can be pleased easily. You can light a ghee lamp in front of his idol or picture and offer any raw food item such as black sesame, mustard oil, or coconut. Some people also offer fruits, paan, flowers, and supari.
Observe a Fast
Observe a day long fast and break it the following day after doing a pooja for the lord once again. If it is not possible to fast for such a long duration, you can follow a light diet of milk and fruits. Keep away from wheat, rice, garlic, onions, lentils, salt and any form of meat. There is a belief that observing a strict fast can help a person gain all-round success and removes obstacles.
Perform Midnight Arti
Stay awake through the night and perform a Kala Bhairava arti at midnight. It is suggested to use musical instruments such as conches, bells, and drums to do the arti. Devotees chant his mantras and/or narrate stories of both Lord Shiva and Lord Kala Bhairava to remain awake through the night.
Visit a Kala Bhairava Temple
Go to a Kala Bhairava temple in the evening. Temples dedicated to this deity are generally located near jyotirlingas or shaktipeeths. Take part in the special rituals performed specially on this day. Participate in the Shodashopachar pooja. This pooja involves following 16 Vedic pooja rituals.
Offer Food to Dogs
Feed as many stray dogs as possible and do not hurt them in any way—this holds true for all days, in truth. Feeding dogs is said to be one of the easiest ways of seeking his blessings. You can offer milk, curd or any food item and also a little bit of the prasad you offer the god.
It is believed that Kala Bhairava must be worshipped only along with his consort Bhairavi. Devotees worship Kala Bhairava to get the maximum benefits from Rahu, one of the navagrahas. They also pray to him for success in their ventures, victory over enemies, power, siddhis and prosperity. It is believed that praying to him before travel helps you have a safe journey. Chanting the Bhairava chalisa can help you achieve all these.
You can now own your own beautiful copy of the Bhairav Chalisa.