Kala Bhairava Jayanthi is also known as Bhairava Ashtami or Bhairava Jayanthi or Maha Kala Bhairava Ashtami.
It is a Hindu holy day, commemorating the birthday of Kala Bhairava (The violent form of Lord Shiva). Kala Bhairava’s conveyance is a dog.
Kala Bhairava Ashtami falls on Karthika Krishna Paksha Ashtami as per the South Indian Amavasyant Calendar (Every month Ends with a new moon). As per the North Indian Purnimant calendar (Every month ends with a full moon) it falls on Margashirsha Krishna Paksha Ashtami.
Rituals on Bhairava Ashtami
The fast, undertaken on this day, is believed to be a protection from direct and indirect obstacles in life.
On Lord Bhairava Jayanthi, Lord Shiva (Bhairava) is worshipped in temples. Devotees gather in temples early morning to seek the blessings of Lord Kala Bhairava.
Story of Kala Bhairava / Legend
Shiva Mahapurana mentions the story of Kala Bhairava as, Once a controversy arose among the Thrimurthi’s, Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar (Shiva) that who was superior of them. To decide the issue, saints, rishis and sages were summoned, after deliberations pronounced that in fact there is a special power.
Vishnu was satisfied, but Brahma could not agree. In the heated debate, Brahma passed a comment which made Shiva furious, he instantly appeared in the form of Bhairava and he cut off one of the five faces of Lord Brahma with Baton. After that, Lord Brahma apologized in front of Kala Bhairava and realized his mistake. After being convinced by all the Gods, Saints, Sages and Brahma, Lord Shiva restored to his original form.
Chant the following mantra while worshiping Kala Bhairava:
Om Hreem Kala Bhairavaya Namaha!