Kaalratri is the seventh form of the Maa Durga. She has four hands – the left two hands hold a thunderbolt and a scimitar, and the right two are in the Abhaya (protecting) and Varada (blessing) mudras. Her necklace shines like a moon. She has three eyes that control light rays. Blazes appear from her nose whenever she exhales or inhales. Kaal means time, and Ratri means Night.
History and Significance of Mata Kaalratri
One day, two demons invaded Devaloka and defeated devas. These demons were named Shumba and Nishumba. Indra, the god’s rules, accompanied by other devas, went to the Himalayas to seek Shiva’s blessing and support in reclaiming their home. They started praying to Mata Parvati. She heard their prayers when she was taking a bath, so she created Maa Chandi (Ambika) to help gods in defeating the demons.
Shumba and Nishumba immediately sent two demon generals, Munda and Chanda, to fight Mata Chandi. When they entered the battlefield, Maa Chandi created a dark goddess, Kaalratri (Kali).
Kali/Kaalratri killed them, thereby earning the name Chamunda.
Later, Raktabija, a demon, arrived on the battlefield. Raktabija had the boon that if any blood drop of his fell onto the ground, a clone of him would be generated. When Kaalratri attacked him, his spilled blood gave rise to different clones of him. As such, it became difficult to destroy him. So while battling, Kaalratri, furious at this, drank his blood to stop it from falling, eventually killing Raktabija and assisting goddess Chandi kill his commanders, Shumbha and Nishumbha. She became so destructive and deadly that she started killing everyone, whoever comes in front of her.
All the devas started praying in front of God Shiva for help, and so Shiva came below her foot to try and prevent her from destroying others.
By seeing her beloved husband below her foot, she bit her tongue and helped him(God Shiva) stand, and in the guilt, she forgot about the fight, and hence god Shiva calmed her down.
Ma Kaalratri is Adi Shakti’s form that destroys evil-doers and thus ends evil. She is exceptionally generous towards her devotees and rewards them by removing the darkness (sorrow) from their lives.