Kali Puja is performed on a new moon night. As Kali is associated with dark rites and demon worship,
the rituals performed are austere and offered with great devotion. Terrifying than Durga is Kali, the black earth-mother, whose rites involve sacrificial killings. Kali has dark skin and hideous tusked face, smeared with blood, the brow bearing a third eye, like Shiva's.
Description of Goddess Kali- She has four arms. She holds in one a weapon, in another the head of an asura, dripping blood; the other two are raised to bless the worshipers. Her body is naked except for her 'ornaments', which include necklace of snakes, skulls and heads of her sons and a belt from which hangs demon's hands, which signify Karma or action.
Kali developed her thirst for blood after killing the demon Raktavera. Lord Brahma had granted a boon to Raktavera that every drop of blood which fell from his body would be able to produce thousands more like him. The only way Kali could kill him was to hold him high, pierce him with a spear and drink all his blood as it gushed out. Kali is often portrayed with her tongue hanging out and her mouth dripping blood. This is said to signify the force that gives impetus to all activities.
Kali once gave free rein to her blind lust for destruction.
On one occasion Shiva
himself had to mingle among the demons whom she was slaughtering and allowed
himself to be trampled underfoot in her dance of victory, as it was the
only way to bring her to her senses and save the world from collapse.
She acquired her name Kali meaning 'conqueror of time' as she subdued her husband by trampling over him. This way Devi the symbol of fertility
conquered Shiva,the inexorable destroyer,who was equated
with time. Aspects of Kali are Chandi, the fierce and Bhairavi, the terrible
in which she is the counterpart to Shiva's aspect of Bhairava, when he
takes pleasure in destruction. Another name of this form is Chamunda.
Kali Puja is performed on a new moon night. As Kali is associated with
dark rites and demon worship, the rituals performed are austere and offered
with great devotion.
Kali myth- Origin of Kali is found in "Chandi" section of Makrenda Purana. She evolves from Devi Durga herself in the midst of battlefield. According to Markenda Purana Devi appears mainlyin three forms. She appeared when ever the Gods are struck in any crisis and prayed for her help. On first occasion she appeared when Brahma pleaded her for killing Madhu and Kaitava.
On second occasion she appeared as Mahishasurmardini. On the third occasion she was called through prayers for killing Sumbha and Nishumbha, the two demon brothers. All the other Goddess are mere her different forms, Durga, Katyani, Shivaduti, Sakambhari, Bhima or Bhramri. Description of this Bhramari (look of a wasp) is found in Kalika Purana. Here Devi drinks nectar like a black wasp.
According to Chandi Purana all Gods including Indra prayed to Devi to rescue them from Sumbha and Nishumbha. Devi created another Goddess from her body called Devi Koushiki, as she is born out of the cell (kosh) of Devi.As Devi Koushiki was wandering at Himalayas Chanda and Munda, two followers of Shumbha and Nishumbha, found her.
She felt disturbed by their presence and she became irritated. Her anger was so fierce that her body turned dark. From her frowning took birth the slayer Kalika. She looked fierce and ugly. She is a thin lady, wearing tiger skin, and adorned with garlands of human heads, and bearing human skulls.
Her rudeness and her stretched mouth with dangling tongue add to her furious look. Her hoarse voice surrounds the horizon. Just after her appearance she started to eat the whole of the battle force of the demons along with the horses and elephants. Finally with a furious sound she killed Chanda and Munda.
With an inhuman laugh she presented Devi Koushiki their torn heads. On return Devi Koushiki entitled her as Chamundi, slayer of Chanda and Munda. In every forms of Devi, be it Durga, Kalika or Chandi, one purpose becomes clear. She is not always the destroyer of demons or Ashuras. She is not only the defender of the Gods; she destroys the evil within man thus enhancing the goodness within leading to preservation of world peace.