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Preconceived notions about light and darkness have a variety of intersecting views. As a culture, we adore light and do away with the aura of darkness. We celebrate Deepawali, a festival of lights almost villainising darkness. But, like our culture, this notion too, has something more attached to it. We, as a generation have started reading between lines. So, this is for the both nyctophiles and the morning people, for the lovers of full brightness and the admirers of dark mode. Here is an attempt to make darkness less dark.

• The seventh day of Navratri is about Mata Kaalratri, most ferocious form of Mata Parvati. Know all about Mata Kaalratri –

• Kaalratri is made up of two words – Kaal, a deified form of time, the all powerful scaffold  where events happen. Kaal in other sense is death. It also mean Kala, paying honour to the ever pervading darkness that exists before the creation of light. Ratri means night or ignorance. The long and the short of it, Kaalratri, either is the death of time (a supreme entity who is able to devour time) or the death of ignorance.

• Mata Kaalratri rides a powerful donkey and possesses four arms. One carrying a scimitar, the other has a thunderbolt while the other two arms are in Abhay and Varad mudra. Mata has a dark complexion and untied hairs with three eyes. The queen of night is also referred as Shubhankari.

• Shumbha and Nishumbha attacked the heaven and defeated the gods. Indra and other gods went to Kailash to seek help. There, they prayed to Mata Parvati, who was bathing and thus, she created and sent Chandi to aid the gods. Chanda and Munda were two battle hardened generals of Shumbha and Nishumbha sent to slay Chandi. To battle Chanda and Munda, Mata Chandi created Mata Kaalratri (interchangeably referred as Kali in some texts and differently in the others). Mata Kaalratri killed Chanda and Munda, thus acquiring the name of Chamunda. Then, Shumbha and Nishubha sent Raktbija to kill Mata Chandi. Raktabija had a boon that every drop of his blood created his clone. It became almost impossible for Mata Chandi to kill Raktabija. It is this time when Mata Kaalratri got infuriated and drank every drop of blood from Raktbija, thus aiding Mata Chandi to kill Raktabija and eventually killing Shumbha and Nishumbha.

• Mata Kaalratri, upon having the taste of blood became out of control and started to kill anyone who dared to stand in her way. The gods prayed to Shiva to quench the thirst of Mata Kaalratri. Thus, Shiva placed himself below the foot of Mata. Mata upon realising her mistake, bit her tongue and calmed down. This pose is often depicted at various places referring to Mata Kaalratri/Kali.

• Abode of Mata Kaalratri is Sahasrara Chakra, the seventh primary chakra. Thus, Mata Kaalratri is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri.

• Mata Kaalratri is very cruel for those who commit sins and extremely benevolent for those who worship her and seek refuge (Since, night or darkness had been regarded as an important instrument for every being to rest and sleep in the laps of Mother Nature).

• Worshipping Maata Kaalratri equips the devotee with power to devour time and to siphon the caressing nature of the night. Thus, worshipper of Mata Kaalratri have the power to move any obstacles and always meet auspicious fate.

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