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» Informational Articles » Festivals » Narak Chaturdashi/Kali Chaudas

Narak Chaturdashi

India is a land of festivals. Deepavali or Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the biggest and prominent Hindu religious festivals and is celebrated with fervour, over 5 days. It starts with Dhantrayodashi and ends on Bhai Dooj. Narak Chaturdasi is celebrated a day before Deepavali and is also called Choti Diwali, in the Northern part of India. Narak Chaturdasi is also known as Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas, Naraka Nivaran Chaturdashi and Bhoot Chaturdashi. As per the Hindu calendar, Narak Chaturdashi Date falls on the 14th day of Chaturdashi tithi in the month of Kartik, Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight of waning Moon). It is a day to garner protection from the Divine world.

Narak Chaturdashi 2020 is on 14th, November.

  • Kali Chaudas Puja Muhurat Time - 11:39 PM to 12:32 AM, Nov 14
  • Chaturdashi Tithi Begins on 13 Nov 2020 = 05:59 PM
  • Chaturdashi Tithi Ends on 14 Nov 2020 = 02:17PM

How to Celebrate Narak Chaturdashi

How to Celebrate Narak ChaturdashiJust like the different names by which Narak Chaturdashi is known, it is celebrated in different ways in the various parts of India. In the southern states of India, Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated as the main day of Diwali by lighting Diyas (oil lamps), bursting crackers, wearing new clothes, doing puja of Goddess Kali for her victory over Narakasura. In the Northern part of India, too, people light Diyas starting the celebration of Diwali the next day. In West Bengal Narak Chaturdashi is called Bhoot Chaturdashi. In Rajasthan, Gujrat and some parts of Maharashtra, Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated as Kali Chaudas. In the state of Rajasthan, this day is also celebrated as Roop Chaturdashi, and literally means a day to enhance one's beauty. People in Rajasthan indulge in feasting on sweets and savouries on this day.

Narak Chaturdashi Story

Narak Chaturdashi Story

The day is celebrated as a day of victory-over-evil because Lord Krishna killed the ferocious demon Narakasura on this day. The story narrates that Narakasura, an Asura (demon), was plundering both earth and the world of Gods (Devalok). Even Lord Indra, the King of Gods, failed to stop Narakasura. The Gods requested Lord Vishnu to intervene and save the earth and heaven. Lord Vishnu, the preserver, promised that the slaying of Narakasura will be done through Lord Krishna, who is an avatar of Lord Vishnu. True to His words, Lord Krishna put an end to Narakasura. Lord Krishna, requested his wife Satyabhama, who is the incarnation of Bhumi Devi to come along with him to the battlefield. Narakasura had been given a boon by Lord Brahma that no male will be able to kill him and that only a woman would be the cause of his death. This led the cruel Narakasura to imprison all women who were anywhere in the kingdom. Lord Krishna, with Satyabhama by His side engaged in a fierce battle with the demon. It is said the Lord had a slight injury inflicted by Narakasura. An enraged Satyabhama made the final assault with Her arrow which killed the demon. Lord Krishna set free all the women whom Narakasura had captivated. Therefore, Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated to commemorate this victory against Narakasura.

Goddess Kali or Maha Kali or Shakti is worshipped on this day and so the name Kali Chaudas. Among the many versions of the Narak Chaturdashi stories, it is said that Goddess Kali and Lord Krishna together killed Narakasura.
Another version of the Kali Chaudas/ Narak Chaturdashi Story says that Goddess Kali decimated the powerful and wicked asura Raktabija on this day and drank his blood. The demon Raktabija along with Shumbha and Nishumbha fought Goddess Parvati and Goddess Kali. Raktabija had been granted a boon that if a drop of his blood fell on the ground it would reproduce a clone / duplicate of him. When Goddess Kali saw this during the onslaught, She took her daunting fierce form. Goddess Kali opened her mouth wide and devoured all the clones of Raktabija, slaughtered the original Raktabija and drank his blood. This triumphant incident is said to have occurred on this day of Kali Chaudas.

Lord Hanuman is also worshipped on this day for protection. A Narak Chaturdashi Story is that when Lord Hanuman was a mere child, He had gobbled the Sun thinking it's a fruit, plunging the world into darkness. On the day of Narak Chaturdashi, all Gods tried to plead and cajole little Hanuman to release the Sun from His mouth but Lord Hanuman would not listen to anyone. Not finding any other way, Lord Indra used His thunderbolt to hit Lord Hanuman's mouth which released the Sun and brought the light back to the world.

On Dhantrayodashi and Narak Chaturdashi, Yama / Yamraj/ Yamdev is worshipped by some people. Yamraj is the deity of death. By worshipping Him on this day liberates one from untimely or sudden death and to avoid going to hell (narak). The puja rituals include lighting 13 wheat flour oil lamps outside the house, facing the flame to the South.

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Narak Chaturdashi Significance in Occult

For Tantriks and Aghoris, Narak Chaturdashi is a very important day because it is a very high power day and one of the best days of the year to perform special rituals, penance and sadhana for special attainments. Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi is also a perfect day for exorcism of evil spirits. It is said offering puja and sacrifices at crematoriums on the night of Kali Chaudas wards off any ill effects of black magic. Also, for people interested in occult science, esoteric knowledge, the day of Kali Chaudas has major importance.

Narak Chaturdashi Significance Astrologically

Narak Chaturdashi Significance AstrologicallyIn Vedic astrology, Rahu is a shadow entity; it casts darkness in various aspects of life bringing dissatisfaction, fears, mental distortion, negative thinking and living in fantasy. Those suffering from ill effects of planet Rahu can effectively utilize the day of Narak Chaturdashi / Kali Chaudas to perform remedial processes and worship Goddess Kali to appease Her and get relief from the malefic effects of Rahu.

What to do on Narak Chaturdashi

As per the rituals, the Abhyanga Snan (holy bathing) on Narak Chaturdashi day holds a special significance for a person. This bath is taken before the Sunrise. The most important ritual is to use the 'ubtan' (pack) of Sesame oil (Til oil) and other ingredients. This is meticulously followed in the Southern states of India with elaborate preparations for the bath, the previous night. Mythology says that Lord Krishna had taken a bath with the ubtan of Sesame oil after killing Narakasura. The Abhyanga Snan with the ubtan protects one from poverty, unforeseen events, misfortune, etc.

In West Bengal it is believed that 14 deceased ancestors visit their loved ones, here on earth. So, 14 Diyas are lit outside the house in their honour.

Narak Chaturdashi is also called Roop Chaturdashi and it is said that a head bath and application of Kajal is a must on this day to shield oneself from evil eye (buri naazar).

Narak Chaturdashi, Chhoti Diwali & Kali Chaudas Puja Vidhi

Narak Chaturdashi Significance AstrologicallyThe rituals of Narak Chaturdashi puja are done with offerings of oil, flowers, and sandalwood. Lord Hanuman is offered Coconuts and prasada of sesame seed, jaggery and rice flakes (poha) with ghee and sugar.

In the states of West Bengal, Assam, Orissa and some other states, on Narak Chaturdashi, Kali puja or worship of Goddess Kali is performed with devotion and faith. Some devotees keep a day long fast till the puja is done at mid-night. Maa Kali's favourite Red Hibiscus garlands preferably of 108 Hibiscus and flowers are offered to the idol of Divine mother along with other Naivedyam. The ritual of offering Lemon garlands, of 11 or 108 Lemons, to the Goddess on the occasion of Kali Chaudas/ Narak Chaturdashi is prevalent. Many devotees wear black clothes and visit Kali temples to offer flowers and coconuts to the deity. Powerful mantras are chanted by the pujaris, devotees offer 'Pushpanjali' while repeating the mantras as per direction from the pujari. It is considered that meditating and praying throughout the night is beneficial for attainments of the spiritual kind.

Benefits of Worshipping Maa Kali

Goddess Kali is revered as the Goddess of time, creation, destruction and power. The fierce yet compassionate divine Maa Kali is the protector of Her devotees and protects from evil eye and all things evil including black magic, financial debts, hurdles faced in job or business. Worshipping the powerful Maa Kali pacifies malefic effects of the planet Rahu and Saturn. Her blessings heal chronic, terminal illnesses. She helps to face all fear and makes Her devotees fearless by proving courage. Goddess Kali kills our ego to be reborn as new. Her name is Kali which means black or dark, but She dispels darkness from our lives.

Narak Chaturdashi is apparently a dark night but with tremendous potential to see the light of Divine.

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