Bhairava, Shiva’s Fierce Form:
Bhairava is a particularly ferocious form of Shiva. He appears in Hindu mythology and is revered by Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. In India and Nepal, he is revered. Bhairava is a wanderer with 64 different forms. They are divided into eight groups. A prominent Bhairava in each category leads that group. The commanders are known as Ashtanga Bhairavas, and they protect and manage the Universe’s eight directions.
Maha Swarna Kala Bhairava or Kala Bhairava is the one who rules them. Bhairavi, the terrifying aspect of Parvati, is his consort. The Aghora sect mostly worships Kala Bhairava. During Shivaratri, Kashmiris originated from Gorat, and adore him.
Adi Shankaracharya describes Kaala Bhairava in the Kalabhairava Ashtakam. He is shown in it as black-hued, nude, and wearing a skull garland. He possesses three eyes and four hands full of destructive weaponry. He is also linked to snakes. The vehicle of Kaalabhairava is a dog. One can show devotion to Kaala Bhairava by feeding or caring for dogs. The god is the lord of Kashi and controls death and time.
Bhairava’s name derives from:
The word literally means “awful” and “fearful,” but it also signifies that he guards his followers against external and internal foes (negative emotions like lust, greed, anger, etc.). Another view is that “Bha” signifies creation, “Ra” preservation, and “Va” annihilation. As a result, Bhairava is the Ultimate Godhead with whom all of these powers unite.
Legends Concerning Bhairava:
There are several myths about Bhairava. The most well-known tale is from the Shiva Mahapurana. Once upon a time, the Trimurtis, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, argued about who was the Supreme Creator of the Universe. As the Creator, Brahma was a little egoistic. He also believed that because he, too, had five heads like Shiva, he could accomplish everything Shiva could. As a result, he began interfering in Shiva’s regular activities.
Shiva was patient for a time, but he quickly lost it. He flung down a little nail he had removed from his finger. This nail morphed into Kaala Bhairava, who charged directly toward Lord Brahma and severed one of his five heads.
Another version of Bhairava’s origin is told in the Puranas. There was once a battle between Gods and devils. Shiva created Kaala Bhairava to destroy the demons. He gave birth to the Ashtanga Bhairavas, who wedded the Ashta Matrikas. The 64 Bhairavas and 64 Yoginis descended from the Ashta Bhairava and Ashta Matrikas.
Bhairava is a Protector deity who protects the eight directions. He also protects ladies, particularly the timid ones. There will be a Bhairava idol in every Shiva temple. The temple keys are stored in front of this statue. He is said to defend the temple once it has been closed for the night. As a result, he is also known as Kshetrapalaka (Guardian of the Temple).
Bhairava is also the Protector of Travelers, especially those who journey at night. Shani’s Guru is Kaala Bhairava (Saturn). In Tamil Nadu, he is regarded as a Grama Devata, or Hamlet Guardian, who defends the village and its inhabitants from harm from any of the eight directions. Worshiping Bhairava might bring about serenity, wealth, progeny, and success. He is also thought to guard against grief, untimely death, debt, and disaster.
Kalabhairava Ashtakam’s Importance:
Daily recitation of the Kalabhairava Ashtakam bestows knowledge of life and freedom. It can provide relief from the pain, greed, poverty, rage, and suffering caused by sorrow, attachment, and illusion. Kaalabhairava is the ruler of the five elements, which are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. He provides all kinds of greatness in life and the information we desire. By worshipping Kaalabhairava, we can achieve the joy that comes with the deepest stage of Samadhi, when all cares vanish away.