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Kalabhairava is the God who is the protector of Benares. He is supposed to be the fearsome manifestation of Lord Shiva. Once Brahma insulted Lord Shiva and his fifth head teasingly laughed at Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva created the being 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 with the head of Brahma stuck to him. To keep away the sin and punishment which were chasing him, Kalabhairava entered the city of Benares. The sin could not enter the city. From then on Kalabhairava was made as the Kotwal of the city of Benares. He always rides on a dog. A pilgrimage to Kashi (Benares) is not supposed to be complete without visiting the temple of Kalabhairava.

Another story identifies Kalabhairava with Veerabhadra who cut off the head of Daksha, the father of Sathi Devi, when Daksha insulted Lord Shiva during a Yegna conducted in his premises. Sathi's body was cut into pieces and strewn all over India giving rise to 51 Shakthi Peetas. Outside every Shakthi Peeta is the temple for Bhairava.

There is also another interpretation which says that Kalabhairava is the form of Shiva who controls the growth and management of time (Kala means time). Whoever wants to spend, manage or ration their time in a proper manner should pray him. He is also considered as the guardian of temples of Lord Shiva. After locking the doors of the temple of Lord Shiva, the keys are ceremonially offered to Bhairava and taken back.

There is a very musical story (ashtakam) of Lord Kalabhairava that is written by Adi Sankara Bhagawt Pada which is even today recited by the priests of the temple of Kalabhairava in Benares before blessing the devotee with a tap by the cane taken from Lord Kalabhairava. Here is the English translation of that sloka: 1) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Whose lotus like feet is being served by Devendra, Who is merciful and wears the moon on his forehead, Who wears a snake as his sacred thread, Who wears the different directions as his cloth, And who is worshipped by sages like Narada. 2) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Who shines like billions of suns, Who helps us cross this miserable ocean of life, Who is supreme and has a blue neck, Who has three eyes and grants us our desires, Who is the death to the God of death, Who has lotus flower like eyes, Who has the un defatigatable trident, And who does not have decay. 3) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Who has a spear, a chord and a stick as weapons, Who is black in colour and the primeval cause, Who is deathless and the first God, Who is free from decay and ill health, Who is the Lord who is a great hero, And who likes the special vigorous thandava 4) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Who fulfills desires and also grants salvation, Who is well known for his pretty mien, Who is a form of Shiva, who loves his devotees, Who is the God of the entire world, Who assumes various forms, And who has a golden waist thread, On which jingling bells are tied. 5) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Who maintains the bridge of dharma in life, Who destroys paths which are not right, Who saves us from the ties of Karma, Who is the lord who makes us ashamed, When trying to do wrong things, Who has a shining body because of golden rope, With bells tied in various places. 6) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Who has feet adorned by the shine of gem studded sandals, Who is eternal and does not have any one second to him, Who is our favorite God who bestows everything, Who takes away the fear of death from humans, And who grants them salvation by his terrible teeth. 7) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Whose loud roar is enough to destroy all those created by Brahma, Whose sight is sufficient to destroy all sins, Who is crafty and strict ruler, Who can grant the eight occult powers, And who wears the garland of skulls. 8) I salute Kalabhairava, the lord of the city of Kasi, Who is the chief of the society of Bhoothas, Who grants broad based fame, Who is the lord who judges good and bad deeds, Of those who live in Varanasi, Who is an expert in the way of righteousness, And who is eternally old and lord of the universe.

Those who read this enticing octet on Kalabhairava, Which is the source of eternal knowledge, Which increases the effect of righteous deeds, And which destroys grief, passion, poverty, want and anger, they would surely reach the holy presence of Kalabhairava.

 The birth i.e. avathar of Lord Bairava took place in "margaseeram" (the month of february) specifically the day is "kalastami". Worshipping Lord Bairava on this particular date, with fasting for 24hrs they will be blessed with everything in the life. The desirable mount of him is dog which in all aspects represents the four vedhas only. The Lord is named as kala Bairava which relates to the divine Yama who use to take away lives of everyone.

 So, the worship to Kala Bairava will be the powerful to the devotees to dare with the killer divine "yama" who will also have fear with devotees of Lord Bairava. It is believed that the entire world is under the commands of Kala Bairava. The world being very small, Lord Bairava stands controlling the entire universe.


In his magnificent only two toes of him could be accommodated over the world, the rest extends everywhere and allover space. Lord Bairava does his actions with speed and quickness to safeguard all his devotees.


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