Devi (or Goddess) Kaalratri is seventh among the nine embodiments of Goddess Durga and is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri.
To know about the Goddess’ previous form – Katyayani, read my blog post: Navratri Day 6: Worshipping Devi Katyayani through artwork
This is the coloured sketch, I made, of Goddess Kaalratri .
According to Hindu Mythology, there existed a ferocious demon named Raktabeej, who was blessed with an extraordinary boon that one drop of his scattered blood was able to form a duplicate of him. Hence, in one way, he was invincible in a battle that involved bloodshed as drops of blood could form billions of the copies of the demon. The Gods pleaded to Goddess Parvati to help them out of their woes and she complied.She took the form of Kaalratri and used a vessel to catch every drop of blood scattered from the demon’s body, while battling him. Her extremely violent appearance terrified Raktabeej as well as the other demons. The demon was soon slayed by the divine Goddess.
Goddess Kaalratri is depicted with a dark complexion, disheveled hair and a fierce appearance. However, her nature is highly benevolent to her devotees. She is draped only in a red garment, tiger skin and flashes a lightning necklace around her neck. She has three eyes and her breath spews fire. Her mount is the donkey. Her raised right hand is in Varada mudra (dispensing boons) and her right lower hand is in Abhay mudra (assuring safety and bliss). Her left lower hand holds a thorn-like weapon, made of iron and there is a dagger in the upper left hand.
Today, the air reverberates with the Sanskrit verses in reverence to the Goddess.
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, Kaalratri rupena sansthita
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha!
The goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Kaalratri .
I bow to her, I bow to her, I bow to her again & again.
To know about the Goddess’ eighth form – Mahagauri, read my blog post: Navratri Day 8: Worshipping Devi Mahagauri through artwork