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Kalabhairava Ashtakam: An Incarnation of Lord Shiva

Kalabhairava Ashtakam: An Incarnation of Lord Shiva



Kala Bhairava is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and the Devta of Rahu, one of the nine planets in Vedic Astrology.  As the Rudra Avatar of Shiva, he is regarded as the guardian of Shiva’s temples.

Kala or Time is the fearsome face of Shiva and is feared by each and every living being as Time stops for no one.  Composed by the great philosopher saint of the 8th century, Adi Shankara, Kalabhairava Ashtakam is recited to make one’s journey through time or life free from troubles and dangers.

Click below to listen to the Ashtakam:


देवराजसेव्यमानपावनांघ्रिपङ्कजं
व्यालयज्ञसूत्रमिन्दुशेखरं कृपाकरम् 
नारदादियोगिवृन्दवन्दितं दिगंबरं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥१॥

I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Who is adorned by lotus-feet which is reverred and served by Indra (Devaraj),
Who has a Yagya-thread made up of snake, Who has the moon on His forehead,
Who is the abode of mercy, Who has been sung by Narad and other celestial singers,
and Whose clothes are the directions.||1||

भानुकोटिभास्वरं भवाब्धितारकं परं
नीलकण्ठमीप्सितार्थदायकं त्रिलोचनम् 
कालकालमंबुजाक्षमक्षशूलमक्षरं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥२॥

I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Who is resplendent like millions of sun, Who absolves the ocean of cycle of rebirth,
Who is supreme, Who has a blue neck, Who bestows us with our desires,
Who has three-eyes, Who is the end of Kaal, Who has lotus-like eyes,
Who has immortal monodent weapon, and Who is immortal.||2||

शूलटङ्कपाशदण्डपाणिमादिकारणं
श्यामकायमादिदेवमक्षरं निरामयम् 
भीमविक्रमं प्रभुं विचित्रताण्डवप्रियं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥३॥

I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Who has monodent, spade, a cord and punishment in His hands,
Who is the cause behind the beginning, Who has a grey (smeared) body,
Who is the first Deva, Who is imperishable, Who is free from illness and health,
Who is immensely mighty, Who is the Lord, and Who loves the special Tandava dance.||3||

भुक्तिमुक्तिदायकं प्रशस्तचारुविग्रहं
भक्तवत्सलं स्थितं समस्तलोकविग्रहम् 
विनिक्वणन्मनोज्ञहेमकिङ्किणीलसत्कटिं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥४॥

I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Who is the bestower of desires and salvation, Who has an enticing appearance form,
Who is endears His devotees, Who is static, Who takes various manifestations and forms the world,
and Who has a beautiful golden waist-thread with small melodious bells.||4||

धर्मसेतुपालकं त्वधर्ममार्गनाशकं
कर्मपाशमोचकं सुशर्मदायकं विभुम् 
स्वर्णवर्णशेषपाशशोभिताङ्गमण्डलं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥५॥




I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Who is the maintainer of righteousness, Who is the destroyer of unrighteous paths,
Who liberates us from the ties of Karma or deeds, Who bestows us with shyness,
Who is splendid, and Whose organ-groups are decorated with a beautiful cord of golden color.||5||

रत्नपादुकाप्रभाभिरामपादयुग्मकं
नित्यमद्वितीयमिष्टदैवतं निरंजनम् 
मृत्युदर्पनाशनं करालदंष्ट्रमोक्षणं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥६॥

I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Who has feet adorned by two sandals made of gold which is possessing a resplendent shine,
Who is eternal, Who is induplicable, Who bestows our desires to us,
Who is without desires, Who destroys the pride of death (as in is supreme to death),
and Who liberates soul by His teeth.||6||

अट्टहासभिन्नपद्मजाण्डकोशसंततिं
दृष्टिपातनष्टपापजालमुग्रशासनम् 
अष्टसिद्धिदायकं कपालमालिकाधरं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥७॥

I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Whose loud roar is enough to destroy all the manifestations created by the lotus-born Brahma,
Whose (merciful) glance is enough to destroy all the sins, Who is the powerful ruler,
Who gives the eight-powers, and Who wears a garland of skull-caps.||7||

भूतसंघनायकं विशालकीर्तिदायकं
काशिवासलोकपुण्यपापशोधकं विभुम् 
नीतिमार्गकोविदं पुरातनं जगत्पतिं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥८॥

I sing praise of Kalabhairav, Who is the ruler of the city Kashi,
Who is the leader of the ghosts and spirits, Who showers immense glory,
Who absolves people dwelling in Kashi from their sins and righteous deeds,
Who is splendor, Who has explained the path of righteousness, Who is eternally old,
and Who is the controller of the universe.||8||

कालभैरवाष्टकं पठंति ये मनोहरं
ज्ञानमुक्तिसाधनं विचित्रपुण्यवर्धनम् 
शोकमोहदैन्यलोभकोपतापनाशनं
प्रयान्ति कालभैरवांघ्रिसन्निधिं नरा ध्रुवम् ॥९॥

Those who study these eight verses on Kalabhairav — which is enticing,
which is a source of knowledge and liberation, which increases righteousness of a person,
and which destroys grief, attachment, depression, greed, anger an heat —
move towards the proximity of the feet of Shiv (Kalabhairav), necessarily.||9||

~ Artist: Uma Mohan

Kalabhairava

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