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Kala Bhairav: Legend Of The Mighty Rudra

By November 26, 2021October 19th, 2023No Comments
Kaal Bhairav Ashtami

We all know about Lord Shiva, the destroyer. He is one of the greatest Gods in Hinduism. Along with him, standing tall, are two more Gods – Vishnu and Brahma. Together, these three are referred to as the Trimurti in Hinduism. In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu is very well-known for his avatars. However, did you know that just like Lod Vishnu, Lord Shiva also has many avatars? One of his marvellous avatars is Lord Kala Bhairava. Lord Kala Bhairava is known to be one of the most wrathful and furious incarnations (Avatar) of Lord Shiva. Apart from this, there is an interesting fact about the Kala Bhairava temple in India. In this temple, the offerings are of alcohol.

Yes, you read that right. People from all over the world come to this temple in order to offer the statue of Kala Bhairava liquor or alcohol. It is believed that whoever offers alcohol to the deity, his wishes are fulfilled. If you found this fact interesting, then continue to read the entire blog to learn more amazing facts about Lord Kala Bhairava. 

About Kala Bhairav

Kala Bhairava is the wrathful incarnation of Shiva, also known as ‘Rudra’, part of the God Of Destruction. Lord Shiva took this avatar on the Ashtami Tithi, or Kartik (Amavasya calendar), according to the Hindu Calendar. Hence, this day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of the deity Kalabhairav Jayanti.

Kalabhairav is also considered as Para-Brahma or the one that consists of all Supreme Universal Reality. He saves his devotees from negativities like fear, anger, lust and greed. Additionally, the Lord also saves his worshippers from unwanted entities like ghosts and ghouls. This form is the fiercest and deadliest of all the forms of Shiva, and the legendary story behind it is astonishing.

Legend Of Kala Bhairav

The Kala Bhairava story is one that very few people know of. Let us have a look at the legend associated with Kala Bhairava birth. Once upon a time, there was a conference of Gods going on at the Sumeru Mountains. There, they all asked the Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) who was the most powerful God among the three. Brahma replied that as he was the one responsible for creating everything, he was the strongest. To which Vishnu replied that as he was the one who was the ‘palankarta’ or the protector, he was the strongest.

Mahesh or Shiva replied that he had the ability to destroy all. Hence, he was superior.  As the argument got very heated, Brahma, through his 5th head, uttered rude and slighting remarks to Shiva. This angered Shiva, and suddenly, a bright being emerged from his Third Eye.

This incarnation was called Kala Bhairava. Shiva instructed him to severe the disrespectful 5th head of Brahma, which had insulted him. Kala Bhairava severed the head easily with the fingernail of his smallest finger. The head struck the left palm of the avatar. He had to take upon the sin of Brahma-hatya (killing a learned Brahmin). Shiva then instructed his incarnation to get rid of this sin. He has to go to Kashi, where he shall be the gatekeeper of the city.

Kala Bhairav then took the vow of Kapali, where he would roam around the world as a naked beggar and use the skull of Brahma in his left hand as his begging bowl. As he reached Kashi, his sins were eventually forgiven. After this, a temple was built dedicated to the terrifying deity.

Kala Bhairav: Physical Manifestation

The incarnation of Kala Bhairav is stark opposite to that of Shiva. There are multiple significant features of this deity. These are as follows: 

  1. He is known as the God of Darkness.
  2. He is said to have 4 hands and 2 feet.
  3. His teeth are always shown protruding outwards.
  4. His 4 hands hold one of each: a sword or a noose (pasha)or a snake, and the skull of Brahma in his two left hands; a damru and a trident (trishul) in the two right hands.
  5. He is scantily dressed.
  6. His vaahan or vehicle is a dog.
  7. He is also known as Dandapani.

Kala Bhairava Ashtami

The puja is performed all night by worshippers with prayers, and tales of Kala Bhairava, Shiva and Parvati are told. The puja is traditionally done at midnight. Aarti includes traditional instruments like conches, bells and drums. Devotees worship Lord Shiva and Bhairava on Kala Bhairava Ashtami to seek forgiveness for any previous sins. Moreover, on this day, people also get up early in the morning and take a bath to perform puja and rituals for their ancestors. Devotees also observe a fast on Kala Bhairav Jayanti.

Main Rituals To Follow During Kala Bhairav Ashtami 

If an individual is observing Kala Bhairava Ashtami, then there are some rituals that an individual should follow. Mentioned below are the main rituals that an individual must keep in mind and follow during Kala Bhairava Ashtami. These are as follows: 

  1. Wake up early, take a bath, wear clean clothes and keep fast.
  2. Worshipper should chant Kala Bhairav Mantra 108 times.
  3. Honour your ancestors and pray for their souls and well-being.
  4. Also, light a lamp in front of Shiva.
  5. Worship the Kalabhairav version in the night.
  6. On the evening of Kala Bhairav Jayanti, go to any nearby temple. And place a Chaumukhi (4-faced) diya/lamp in front of Lord Bhairav.
  7. Also, offer flowers, sweets, etc., to the Lord.
  8. Additionally, sit in front of the idol and recite Kalabhairava Chalisa.
  9. Make sure to take aarti after finishing the puja. Additionally, remember to ask penance for any sins that you may have committed unknowingly.
  10. Also, remember to offer milk and food to dogs (the vehicle of Kala Bhairav).

Benefits of Worshipping Kala Bhairav 

  1. Bhairava-Mantra, Chalisa or Jaap (chanting) reduces fear of death.
  2. Worshipping the deity on Saturday and Tuesday removes negativity and any unwanted entities from around the worshipper.
  3. Rahu and Ketu effects can also be reduced by this puja. 
  4. Additionally, Kala Bhairava is also known to be the defender of women. Thus, it is believed that women who worship Kala Bhairava are protected by the deity himself. 
  5. Moreover, Kala Bhairava is the Lord of the Planet Saturn (Shani). This means that individuals who are facing the period of Sade Sati or have a weak Saturn in their Kundli should worship Kala Bhairava. This will help them strengthen the planet.


There you have it, folks! This was all about the ferocious and wrathful God Kala Bhairav. As scary as this God looks, worshipping him has many benefits as well. If an individual is facing issues because of weak Saturn, Rahu or Ketu in their life, then they should worship Lord Kala Bhairava in order to reduce the negative effects of the planet. Moreover, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are known to be the most auspicious days for worshipping the deity. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who did Kala Bhairava marry?

Kala Bhairav wife is Bharavi. Bhairavi is known to be one of the ten avatars of Goddess Parvati.

2. Which day is best for Kala Bhairava Worship?

One of the best days to worship Kala Bhairav is on Bhairav Ashtami. It is one of the most auspicious days to worship Lord Kala Bhairava.

3. What is Kala Bhairava lucky number?

People consider 13 to be the lucky number of Kala Bhairava.

4. What are some Kala Bhairava pooja benefits?

The benefits of Kala Bhairava include reduced negative effects of malefic planets in an individual’s kundli. Moreover, Kala Bhairav is known to be the protector of women. Thus, he is known to protect his female devotees from all evils.

5. Did Kala Bhairava kill Brahma?

No, Kala Bhairav did not kill Brahma. However, according to legends, Kala Bhairava cut off the 5th head of Lord Brahma. He was further sent to Kashi in order to wash off his sin of Brahm-hatya.

6. Is Kala Bhairava dead?

No, people tend to believe that Kala Bhairav is still alive. This is because he swore to take the form of a naked Brahman and would ask for donations or bheeksha in the cut of head of Brahma.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Shiva And Shankar?

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Chetna Kaushik

About Chetna Kaushik

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