Kaal Bhairava Ashtami
Thursday, 3 December 2015
भय का हरण करे, वह भैरव - भयहरणं च भैरव:।
Lord Bhairav protects, removes all obstacles, cleans the soul with his sheer intensity and makes things favourable for a sadhak. He is one of the most feared deities, but actually, he is one of the most rewarding.The vahana (vehicle) of Lord Bhairava is the dog. Dogs (particularly black dogs) were often considered the most appropriate form of sacrifice to Bhairava, and he is sometimes shown as holding a severed human head, with a dog waiting at one side, in order to catch the blood from the head. Feeding and taking care of dogs is another way of showing our devotion to Lord Bhairava.
Once Brahma insulted Lord Shiva and his fifth head teasingly laughed at Lord Shiva. From Lord Shiva came out the Kalabhairava (Black Bhairava) who tore off the fifth head of Lord Brahma. On the entreaties of Lord Vishnu, Shiva pardoned Lord Brahma. But the sin (in the form of a lady) of beheading Lord Brahma followed Kalabhairava everywhere. Also the head of Brahma stuck to him. To keep away the sin and punishment which were chasing him, Kalabhairava entered the city of Benaras ( now Varanasi ). The sin could not enter the city. Kalabhairava was made as the Kotwal (Inspector) of the city of Varanasi. Bhairava rides on a dog. A pilgrimage to Kasi (Benares) is not supposed to be complete without visiting the temple of Kalabhairava.
Lord Bhairava is also known as Kshetrapalaka, the guardian of the temple. In honor of this, keys to the temple are ceremonially submitted to Lord Bhairava at temple closing time and are received from him at opening time. Lord Bhairava is also the guardian of travellers.
There's a shrine for Lord Kaal Bhairava in most Shiva temples. The Bhairava shrine in the Arunachala temple is very special. The Kaal Bhairava temple in Kashi (Varanasi) & Ujjain is a must see for Bhairava devotees.