Kali Puja

Tuesday 25th – Wednesday 26th October

Kali Puja is a major festival for the Goddess held during the month of Karthik in the Tantra-dominated north-eastern states of Bengal, Assam and Orissa. Kali Maa is worshipped throughout the whole night. Candles and lanterns are lit, as they are elsewhere in India for Diwali, the Festival of Lights of the Gods. Worship of Kali Maa begins on the night of Tuesday 25th October in 2011, and continues with various festivies for Kali Puja taking place through the day and night of the New Moon. In 2011, Kali Puja falls on Wednesday 26th October.

Elsewhere across India, the Goddess is celebrated with Lakshmi Puja instead.


Performing Kali Puja

Kali Maa is worshiped as Adya Shakti on the night of ‘Karthik Amavasya’, the New Moon night of the month of October/November. Falling shortly after Durga Puja, Kali Puja is the second most popular festival in the north-eastern states. Kali Maa is also known in her dark form as Shyama, meaning ‘black’ in Sanskrit.

On the night before Kali Puja, homes are decorated with fourteen diyas (clay oil lamps). On the day of the Puja itself, candles and beautiful lanterns adorn every home. Festivities, processions and worship all take place, along with fireworks, theatre and so on.

On the night of the Puja, tantrik riuals are performed accompanied by the chanting of appropriate mantras. Offerings are made to the Devi of red hibiscus flowers, sweets, fruits, rice or other grains, meat or fish, and liquor (karan).

Traditionally, blood sacrifices are also offered.
It is said that devout worshippers of Kali Maa should meditate and perform sadhana throughout the night until dawn.


Maha Kali Aarti

Prem sahit nit karun aarti, Maha Kalika maiya ki.

Ari-daladarni mangal bharani dukhharni sukh- daiyaki,

Prem sahit nit karun aarti, Maha Kalika maiya ki.

Tumhin agambhav bharne vali, tumhin jagat lai karne vali,

Tumhin kashtalakhi nij bhaktan par, akar turat sahaiya ki,

Prem sahit nit karun aarti, Maha Kalika maiya ki.

Tumhin prabal ho Hari ki shakti, Raudrabhav Shankar ka bhakti,

Tumhin janni patvar bani, ik sevak Sundar naiya ki,

Prem sahit nit karun aarti, Maha Kalika maiya ki.


I perform Aarti with unfailing regularity and faith in adoration of the Great Mother Kali who tramples under foot every one of her enemies and tears their bodies to pieces, bestows blessings upon her devotees, dispels distress and brings happiness.

You are the elusive creator, who creates the universe and destroys it at will. Seeing your devote adherents in distress, you hasten to their aid.

You are the indomitable Shakti (power) of Hari, the devotion of Rudra, Bhava or Shankara. You are, Oh Mother, the rudder pedal to steer the boat of your devotee, Sundardasa.