Kaal Bhairav is a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. He is revered as the “Lord of Time” and is often depicted with a ferocious appearance, adorned with a garland of skulls, carrying a trident, and accompanied by a dog.
The story associated with Kaal Bhairav traces back to a legend mentioned in the Puranas. According to one popular narrative, Brahma, the creator of the universe, became arrogant due to his creative powers and egoistically considered himself the supreme deity. Lord Shiva, to humble Brahma and remind him of the ultimate truth, appeared as Kaal Bhairav.
In this story, Brahma spoke disrespectfully to Lord Shiva’s companions, leading to Shiva’s rage. To demonstrate the impermanence of his ego and power, Lord Shiva manifested as Kaal Bhairav and assumed the form of a fearsome being, carrying a skull as his begging bowl. He decapitated one of Brahma’s five heads, signifying the destruction of ego and arrogance.
In another version of the story, Kaal Bhairav is believed to have taken the form of a fearsome being with a divine mission to protect the holy city of Varanasi (Kashi). Legend has it that Kaal Bhairav guards the city’s boundaries, ensuring that no evil forces or negative energies enter the sacred land. Devotees believe that seeking his blessings at the Kaal Bhairav temple in Varanasi grants protection and relief from malefic influences.
Devotees worship Kaal Bhairav seeking protection, liberation from negative influences, and the destruction of ego. The deity is often propitiated through rituals and offerings, including offerings of liquor, meat, and other specific items according to traditions.
Kaal Bhairav is not only a fearsome deity but is also considered a compassionate force who bestows blessings upon devotees who approach him with sincerity and devotion. He symbolizes the inevitability of time, the impermanence of worldly attachments, and the importance of humility and devotion on the spiritual path.
Founder, Upgrading India