Lord Shiva has several forms and avatar (manifestation of a deity in physical body form). Although his original ascetic form is widely revered, his Pashupatinath and Vishwanath avatar is also quite famous. But one of the most fearsome avatars of Lord Shiva is the Kalabhairava. This form of Shiva, described by Adi Shankaracharya in the Kalabhairava Ashtakam, is shown to be naked, black, entwined with a garland of skulls, three eyes, weapons of destruction in his four hands, and entwined with snakes.
The depiction of this form may seem at odds with the dispassionate, calm, and meditative form that many pray every day, but there is deep symbolism associated with Kalabhairava.
Ashta Bhairav are eight manifestations of Kaal Bhairav. They are the guardians and controller of eight directions. Each Bhairav has eight sub Bhairavs under him. So there are 64 Bhairavs in total. All of the Bhairavs are ruled and controlled by Maha Swarna Kala Bhairava, who is considered the supreme ruler of time of the universe and the chief form of Bhairava.
1. Sri Asithaanga Bhairav
Worship Benefits: Gives creative ability.
2. Sri Unmatha Bhairav
Worship Benefits: Controls negative ego and harmful self talk.
3. Sri Bheeshana Bhairav
Worship Benefits: Obliterates evil spirits and negativity.
4. Sri Chanda Bhairav
Worship Benefits: Gives incredible energy, cuts competition and rivals.
5. Sri Ruru Bhairav
Vahana: Ox (Rishabam)
Worship Benefits: Divine educator.
6. Sri Krodha Bhairav
Vahana: Eagle (Garuda)
Worship Benefits: Gives you the power to take massive action.
7. Sri Samhaara Bhairav
Worship Benefits: Complete dissolution of old negative karmas.
8. Sri Kapaala Bhairav
Worship Benefits: Ends all unrewarding work and action.
Each of the Bhairava’s manifestations represent, Akash, air, fire, water and earth and the other three being sun, moon and atma. Each of the Bhairavs are different in appearance, have different weapons, different vahanas. They also represent the Ashta Lakshmis.
Lord Kalabhairava is described as bhoot sangha nayaka – the lord of the pancha bhootas – which are earth, fire, water, air, and ether. He is the granter of all kinds of coveted excellence in life, all the knowledge that we desire. There is a difference between learning and excellence and this state of bliss gives a person all the coveted excellence. By remembering Kalabhairava, a person attains the bliss that is in the deepest state of Samadhi, where you are devoid of all worries, not bothered by nothing.
KALABHAIRAVA ASHTAKAM LYRICS IN SANKRIT & ENGLISH
व्यालयज्ञसूत्रमिन्दुशेखरं कृपाकरम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥१॥
Vyaala-Yajnya-Suutram-Indu-Shekharam Krpaakaram |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||1||
भानुकोटिभास्वरं भवाब्धितारकं परं
नीलकण्ठमीप्सितार्थदायकं त्रिलोचनम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥२॥
Bhaanu-Kotti-Bhaasvaram Bhavaabdhi-Taarakam Param
Niila-Kannttham-Iipsita-Artha-Daayakam Trilocanam |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||2||
श्यामकायमादिदेवमक्षरं निरामयम् ।
भीमविक्रमं प्रभुं विचित्रताण्डवप्रियं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥३॥
Shyaama-Kaayam-Aadi-Devam-Akssaram Nir-Aamayam |
Bhiimavikramam Prabhum Vichitra-Taannddava-Priyam
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||3||
भक्तवत्सलं स्थितं समस्तलोकविग्रहम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥४॥
Bhakta-Vatsalam Sthitam Samasta-Loka-Vigraham |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||4||
कर्मपाशमोचकं सुशर्मदायकं विभुम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥५॥
Dharma-Setu-Paalakam Tva-Adharma-Maarga-Naashakam Karma-Paasha-Mocakam Su-Sharma-Daayakam Vibhum |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||5||
नित्यमद्वितीयमिष्टदैवतं निरंजनम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥६॥
Nityam-Advitiiyam-Isstta-Daivatam Niramjanam |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||6||
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥७॥
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||7||
काशिवासलोकपुण्यपापशोधकं विभुम् ।
नीतिमार्गकोविदं पुरातनं जगत्पतिं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥८॥
Kaashi-Vaasa-Loka-Punnya-Paapa-Shodhakam Vibhum |
Niiti-Maarga-Kovidam Puraatanam Jagatpatim
Kaashikaapuraadhinaathakaalabhairavam Bhaje ||8||
कालभैरवाष्टकं पठंति ये मनोहरं
ज्ञानमुक्तिसाधनं विचित्रपुण्यवर्धनम् ।
प्रयान्ति कालभैरवांघ्रिसन्निधिं नरा ध्रुवम् ॥९॥
Kaalabhairavaassttakam Patthamti Ye Manoharam
Jnyaana-Mukti-Saadhanam Vicitra-Punnya-Vardhanam |
Prayaanti Kaalabhairava-Amghri-Sannidhim Naraa Dhruvam ||9||
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