Sri Kala Bhairava Ashtakam

Sri Kala Bhairava
Sri Kala Bhairva Ashtakam - Sri Kala Bhairva Swamy

Sri Kala Bhairava is one of the manifestations of Lord Shiva. There are several legends on His emergence.

Sri Kala Bhairav – emergence

Shiv Puran

It is believed to be mentioned in Shiv Puran as follows:

Once Sri Brahma also had five heads as Lord Shiva. Sri Brahma had got into a delusion that because of similarity of five heads, He was also equally good.

Besides, He also had misunderstanding with Lord Maha Vishnu. He made it known that He was better than Sri Vishnu as well.

Lord Shiva was irked by all this. He took the form of fierce Kala Bhairav and plucked the fifth head of Sri Brahma. Then Sri Brahma apologized to both Sri Shiva and Sri Vishnu.

As He had plucked Sri Brahma’s head, He was afflicted with a dosh. He had carried the fifth head in His hand and was roaming around for twelve years.

The dosh kept following Him. When He entered Kashi, the dosh could not follow Him there. Hence, He halted in Kashi.

Other legends

“Kala” denotes time. Lord Shiva, as Sri Kala Bhairav is considered as the creator and administrator of the time. “Bhairvava” is said to denote the giver of fear as well as delight.  “Bhairvava”, the dog is also the vahan of Sri Kala Bhairav.

Sri Kala Bhairvava is also considered as Kshetra Palaka, the protector of the place. It is also believed that He had destroyed Daksha, the demon who humiliated his Son in Law, Lord Shiva. At all the 52 Shakthi sthal (peets), Sri Kala Bhairav is the protector.

Forms of Sri Kala Bhairava

He has eight forms as mentioned below:

-Chanda Bhairava;
-Asithaanga Bhairava;
-Krodha Bhairava;
-Ruru Bhairava;
-Unmattha Bhairava;
-Bheeshana Bhairava;
-Kapaala Bhairava; and
-Samhaara Bhairava.

Worshipping Sri Kala Bhairava

There are dedicated temples for Sri Kala Bhairav in many places notably in Kasi and Ujjain. Apart from this, at every Shiv temple, there is a dedicated sanctum of Sri Kala Bhairav.

Recently, a new temple is constructed for Sri Kala Bhairav near Chennai.

Sri Kala Bhairava Ashtakam
Sri Kala Bhairava Ashtakam – Sri Kala Bhairava Temple at Thiruvadisoolam near Chennai

Sri Kalashtami

The eighth day from the full moon day (Pournami), the Krishna paksha Ashtami is considered as Sri Kalashtami. Special Pujas are done to Sri Kala Bhairava on that day.

Some people observe Vrat / fasting also.

Doing Puja to Sri Kala Bhairava is believed to provide protection as well as prosperity. Moreover, feeding the starving dogs is said to please Sri Kala Bhairava.

Sri Kala Bhairava Ashtakam

This is the compilation of eight hymns in prayer to and in praise of Sri Kala Bhairava Swamy. It is believed to be composed by Sri Adi Sankaracharya.

The benefits of reciting this Sloka is given at the end.

The Devanagari & English Scripts along with the simple English translation are given in this article.

देवराज सेव्यमान पावनांघ्रि पङ्कजं
व्याल यज्ञ सूत्रमिन्दु शेखरं कृपाकरम् ।
नारदादि योगिवृन्द वन्दितं दिगंबरं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ कालभैरवं भजे ॥१॥

deva-raaja sevya-maana paavanaa-ngghri pankajam
vyaala yajnya sootram-indu shekharam krupaakaram
naaradaadi yogi-vrunda vanditam digambaram
kaashikaa pura-adhi naatha kaala-bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-whose lotus feet are humbly worshipped by Indra, the King of Devas;
-who wears the snake as His sacred thread;
-who has (crescent) moon on His head;
-who is benevolent;
-who is worshipped by Sage Narada and other Sages; and
-who wears directions as His garments to depict His ultimate liberalization,
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

भानु कोटि भास्वरं भवाब्धि तारकं परं
नील कण्ठमीप्सितार्थ दायकं त्रिलोचनम् ।
कालकाल मंबुजाक्षमक्ष शूलमक्षरं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ काल भैरवं भजे ॥२॥

bhaanu koati bhaasvaram bhava-abdhi taarakam param
neela kaNttham-eepsi-taartha daayakam trilochanam
kaala-kaalam ambuja-aksham-aksha shoolam-aksharam
kaashikaa puraadhi naatha kaala bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-whose radiance is that of a crore suns;
-who is the crusader of the ocean of worldly existence;
-who is the shining star;
-who is supreme;
-whose neck is of blue colour;
-who accords us our wishes;
-who has three eyes;
-who is the personification of time;
-who has eyes like lotuses; and
-who protects the World with His trident,
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

शूल टङ्क पाश दण्ड पाणिमादि कारणं
श्याम कायमादि देवमक्षरं निरामयम् ।
भीम विक्रमं प्रभुं विचित्र ताण्डव प्रियं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ काल भैरवं भजे ॥३॥

shoola tanka pasha daNda paaNim-aadi kaaraNam
shyaama kaayam-aadi devam-aksharam niraa-mayam
bheema vikramam prabhum vichitra taaNdava priyam
kaashikaa puraadhi naatha kaala bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-in whose hands exist the weapons namely, the trident, chisel, noose and stick;
-who is dark bodied;
-who is the prime God;
-who is eternal;
-who walks magnificently; and
-who is fond of varied dances,
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

भुक्ति मुक्ति दायकं प्रशस्त चारु विग्रहं
भक्त वत्सलं स्थितं समस्त लोक विग्रहम् ।
विनिक्वणन्मनोज्ञ हेमकिङ्किणी लसत्कटिं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ काल भैरवं भजे ॥४॥

bhukti mukti daayakam prashasta chaaru vigraham
bhakta vatsalam sthitam samasta loka vigraham
vi-nikvaNan-manojnya hema-kinkiNee lasat-kattim
kaashikaa puraadhi naatha kaala bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-who blesses the desires and the moksha (salvation);
-whose form appears pleasant;
-who loves His ardent devotees;
-who is constant;
-who is the Lord of the entire Universe;
-who wears the golden ornament around his midriff; and
-whose ornament with bells makes pleasant sounds when He moves,
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

धर्म सेतु पालकं त्वधर्म मार्ग नाशकं
कर्म पाश मोचकं सुशर्म दायकं विभुम् ।
स्वर्ण वर्ण शेष पाश शोभिताङ्ग मण्डलं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ काल भैरवं भजे ॥५॥

dharma setu paalakam tva-adharma maarga naashakam
karma pasha mochakam su-sharma daayakam vibhum
svarNa varNa-shessa pasha shobhi-taangga maNdalam
kaashikaa pura-adhi naatha kaala bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-who safeguards the dharma;
-who extinguishes adharma;
-who protects us from the effects of karma;
-who liberates our souls;
-who is all pervading;and
-who wears gold coloured snakes as ornaments around His body,
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

रत्न पादुका प्रभाभि राम पाद युग्मकं
नित्य मद्वितीयमिष्ट दैवतं निरंजनम् ।
मृत्यु दर्प नाशनं कराल दंष्ट्र मोक्षणं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ काल भैरवं भजे ॥६॥

ratna paadukaa prabhaabhi raama paada yugmakam
nitya madvi-teeyam-isstta daivatam niranjanam
mrtyu darpa naashanam karaala damssttra mokssannam
kaashikaa pura-adhi naatha kaala bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-whose holy feet are encased in the golden footwear with precious gems;
-who is everlasting;
-who fulfills our desires;
-who destroys the death; and
-whose sword and large teeth give us moksha
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

अट्टहास भिन्न पद्मजाण्ड कोश संततिं
दृष्टि पात नष्ट पाप जालमुग्र शासनम् ।
अष्ट सिद्धि दायकं कपाल मालिका धरं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ काल भैरवं भजे ॥७॥

atta-haasa bhinna padma- jaaNda kosha santatim
drushti paata nashta paapa jaalam-ugra shaasanam
ashta siddhi daayakam kapaala maalikaa dharam
kaashikaa puraadhi naatha kaala bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-whose energetic laughter splits the generations created by the lotus-born Bramha (this may mean to denote the destruction work of Lord Shiva)
-whose casual glance will suffice to alleviate our sins;
-who grants us the eight Siddhies*; and
-who adorns the garland made of skulls,
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

*[Eight yogic attributes such as (1) Anima – reducing the body size to that of an atom, (2) Mahima – enlarging the body size to infinity, (3) Garima – making the body heavy (4) Laghima – making the body light, (5) Prapti – being anywhere at will, (6) Prakyama – realizing one’s desires, (7) Isitva – supremacy over nature and (8) Vasitva – control of natural forces]

भूत संघ नायकं विशाल कीर्ति दायकं
काशि वास लोक पुण्य पाप शोधकं विभुम् ।
नीति मार्ग कोविदं पुरातनं जगत्पतिं
काशिका पुराधि नाथ काल भैरवं भजे ॥८॥

bhoota sangha naayakam vishaala keerti daayakam
kaashi vaasa loka puNya paapa shodhakam vibhum
neeti maarga kovidam puraatanam jagat-patim
kaashikaa puraadhi naatha kaala bhairavam bhaje

Sri Kala Bhairava
-who is the lord of the bhoothas (goblins -the celestial beings);
-who grants the glorious success;
-who corrects the sins and good deeds of the people living in Kaashi;
-who is all pervading;
-who guides us in the path of virtues;
-who exists from time immemorial; and
-is the Lord of the universe,
to such Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

कालभैरवाष्टकं पठंति ये मनोहरं
ज्ञान मुक्ति साधनं विचित्र पुण्य वर्धनम् ।
शोक मोह दैन्य लोभ कोप ताप नाशनं
प्रयान्ति कालभैरवांघ्रि सन्निधिं नरा ध्रुवम् ॥९॥

Kaalabhairav-aashtakam pathamti ye manoharam
jnyaana mukti saadhanam vicihtra puNya vardhanam
shoka moha dainya lobha kopa taapa naashanam
prayaanti kaalabhairava-amghri sannidhim naraa dhruvam ||9||

This Kala Bhairava Ashtakam which contains eight stanzas is quite soul fulfilling to read and recite. It is the source of wisdom and salvation. The Sloka will enhance the sense of virtues in the person who recites.

The recitation in the Sanctum of Sri Kala Bhairava will alleviate grief, unsavory attachment, poverty, deficiencies, anger and longing. Attainment of moksha (liberation) is possible.

To such Sri Kala Bhairava, the Supreme Lord of Kaashi, I humbly surrender and offer my salutations.

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