According to Hindu mythology, Lord Kaal Bhairav is considered the God of Time - Kaal means 'time' and Bhairav is a manifestation of Shiva. The origin of Kaal Bhairav can be traced back to a story from the Shiv Purana. It is said that once a heated argument ensued between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu over who was superior.
To settle this dispute, Lord Shiva appeared as a gigantic pillar of light, challenging them to find its end. While Vishnu decided to seek the bottom, Brahma lied about having found the top. Shiva, infuriated by Brahma's dishonesty, manifested as Kaal Bhairav and decapitated one of Brahma’s five heads. This form of Shiva is thus considered a symbol of the triumph of truth and righteousness.
Kaal Bhairav Jayanti is observed with intense devotion and rituals. Devotees fast during the day and perform puja rituals, particularly at night, as Kaal Bhairav is said to have been born at midnight. The celebrations include the recitation of Kaal Bhairav Katha, a narrative of his origin, and the chanting of Kaal Bhairav mantras and stotras. In many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, special pujas and aartis are conducted, and devotees make offerings of flowers, fruits, and sweets.
In some regions, devotees also offer alcohol to Kaal Bhairav, a practice rooted in the belief that this form of Shiva accepts such offerings. It is important to note that this practice varies by region and community. The ritualistic worship of Kaal Bhairav is believed to protect the devotees from misfortune and ill fate, and it is thought to remove sins and provide relief from the fear of death.
Kaal Bhairav Jayanti is more than just a religious event; it is a time for spiritual introspection and the realization of the impermanence of life, as symbolized by Kaal Bhairav, the lord of time. It is a day for reaffirming one's faith in justice, truth, and the divine order of the universe.