एकवेणी जपाकर्णपूरा नग्ना खरास्थिता। लम्बोष्ठी कर्णिकाकर्णी तैलाभ्यक्त शरीरिणी॥
Vamapadollasalloha Latakantakabhushana। Vardhana Murdhadhwaja Krishna Kalaratrirbhayankari॥
‘Kaal Ratri’ is the seventh form of Mother Durga worshipped on the seventh day of Navaratras. Black as night, She wears disheveled hair and a necklace of flashing lightning in stark contrast. Her breath emanates alarming flames from her nose. Blood drips from her scythe-like weapon non-stop and glare of her thorn-like weapon in the other hand is intimidating. Clad in a skirt of tiger skin with a bloody red scarf flowing over her torso, She appears horrifying to the evil forces, straddling a Donkey.
Her fearless pose is only enhanced by her three open eyes, which are bright and round like the universe. Her right hands, however, alleviate fears as one is always inclined to grant boons in blessing pose and the other is ever held so as to assuage fears of those who seek her shelter. She is also called Shubhankari (one who does favorable) since She is unmatchable at granting boons, success and protection to her steadfast devotees. She personifies repository of Knowledge that vanquishes ignorance and her terrifying terrible appearance effectively wards off evil.
Powerful and uncontainable female energy that She manifests claims to own the Sahashtrara Chakra (a.k.a. Crown Chakra) in human body, depicted by a thousand petals lotus. The energy center emblematizes human consciousness that eventually connects the mortal to the apex divine energy.
There are many mythological stories that tell us about the transformation of Goddess Durga into Maa Kalratri. According to the most common legend, two demons Shumbha and Nishumbha invaded and defeated devlok (the realm of demigods). These demigods prayed to Goddess Parvati for help who readily transformed herself into Goddess Chandika, to battle with demons on behalf of all devtas. Goddess Chandika, also known as Chamunda, transformed herself into Goddess Kalratri and killed both these demons. Maa Kalratri fought another demon called Raktveej and kept drinking his blood till he was completely dead, causing her tongue to appear blood-red.
Saptami Pujan of Goddess Kalratri on the seventh day of Navratri is considered to be auspicious. When it comes to other festivals, Ganesh Chaturthi precedes Durga Saptami of Navratris. After Saptami, comes Ashtami, which is then followed by Maha Navmi, Vijaya Dashmi and Diwali. On this day devotees observe fast as well as perform rituals to seek the Goddess’ blessings.