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Know About Significance of The Day, How it is Marked And For Which Deity

In India, there are a number of holy days that are marked for various deities, religious and cultural festivals, and among them is Kalashtami, also known as Kala Ashtami. It is observed on every Hindu lunar month during Ashtami Tithi of Krishna Paksha (8th day during the waning phase of moon). The day is dedicated to Lord Bhairava, who is said to be a fearsome and wrathful manifestation of Lord Shiva. This month, the day falls on August 11. Also Read – Krishna Janmashtami 2020: COVID-19 Plays Spoilsport With Potter Community in Mumbai Hit Hard

There are a total of 12 Kalashtami in a year and the Ashtami Tithi (8th day) after Purnima (full moon) is considered to be the best day to worship Lord Bhairava. Hindu devotees, who follow Lord Bhairava, worship and keep a fast on the days that are marked for him. Kalashtami is also considered to have more value if it falls on a Sunday or Tuesday, which are dedicated to Lord Bhairava. Also Read – Krishna Janmashtami 2020: Date, Time of Puja, Why The Day is Important And How It’s Celebrated

Legend Behind Kalashtami:

It is believed that Bhairava is a manifestation of Shiva’s wrath, who came into being when the Trimurti gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were debating who among them was more superior. Legend says that when Brahma insulted Shiva, the latter became so angry that Bhairava appeared from his forehead and severed one of the former’s five heads. It is said that Brahma’s severed head stuck to Bhairava’s left palm due to the grave sin he had committed.

To pay for the sins he had committed, Bhairava had to take on the vow of a Kapali and wander the world as a naked beggar with the skull of Brahma as his begging bowl. His sins were finally forgiven when he reached the holy city of Varanasi.

How it is Marked:

Devotees who follow Bhairava worship him for success, wealth, health and obstacle removal, and believe that by observing Bhairava Ashtami, their sins will be washed away and they will be free from the fear of death. On Kalashtami, they get up before sunrise, bathe and then perform a special puja for Kaal Bhairava, seeking his blessings and forgiveness.

Apart from that, devotees visit Lord Kaal Bhairav’s temple in the evening and offer special prayers there too, and they keep a strict fast the whole day. Those who are staunch believers keep an all-night vigil with prayers, worship and tales of Bhairava, Shiva and Parvati. They also follow the custom of feeding dogs as it is believed that a black dog used to ferry Lord Bhairava around.

Kalashtami is celebrated with full enthusiasm and devotion in different parts of the country.

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