Diwali Kali Puja: When the entire nation celebrates Diwali, the people of Bengal celebrate Kali Puja. Goddess Kali is one among the Dasa Mahavidya (ten incarnations of the Mother Goddess). The name ‘Kali’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Kal’, meaning ‘time’. She is the supreme of all powers, the ultimate reality.
Goddess Kali, also known as Mahakali, Bhadrakali, and Kalika, is believed to be the most superior one among the Dasa Mahavidya. The earliest appearance of Kali is from Shiva. She is the Shakti of Shiva. Mahakali is the Mother Goddess of war, anger, time, change, creation, destruction, and power. The Goddess destroys the evil to save the innocents. She is the divine protector who bestows moksha (liberation).
The other roopa (forms) of Kali are – Dakshina Kali, Samhara Kali, Bhima Kali, Raksha Kali, Bhadra Kali, and Guhya Kali.
According to different traditions, Kali is believed to have 8, 12, and 21 different forms. The popular among them are – Adya Kali, Chintamani Kali, Sparshamani Kali, Santati Kali, Siddhi Kali, Dakshina Kali, Bhadra Kali, Smashana Kali, Adharvana Bhadra Kali, Kamakala Kali, Guhya Kali, Hamsa Kali, Shyama Kali, and Kalasankarshini Kali.
Kali Puja is a Hindu festival on the New Moon Day (Dipannita Amavasya) of the Hindu month of Kartik. The Laxmi Puja day of Diwali and Kali Puja coincide.
Maa Kali is worshiped in two different forms – the furious form of Kali is black in colour (Shamshan Kali), and is generally revered by the tantric; the mild form of Kali is blue in colour (Shyama Kali), and is worshiped by the grihi (common people with family). Both the colours black and blue are the colours of the sky. Black and blue colours symbolise the limitless sky and Devi’s limitless powers.
The Mythical Story of Mahakali:
As per a Hindu legend, Rakshasa (demons) Shumbh and Nishumbh once attacked heaven and created rumpus there. The Gods and the demons got involved in a battle, in which the Gods were badly defeated. They then went to Devi Uma, who took the form of Mahakali and defeated the evil. But after the victory, she lost control. Becoming furious, she started destruction.
No one could stop her. Mahadev went in front of her. She stepped on his chest. In embarrassment, her tongue came out and she gained back consciousness. That image of Devi Kali, stepping on Mahadev, is worshiped.