Bhadrakali, Bhadrakālī, Bhadra-kali: 24 definitions


Bhadrakali means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Shaivism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली):—Sanskrit name of one of the thirty-two female deities of the Somamaṇḍala (second maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra) according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. She is also known as Rudrakālī according to the Ṣaṭsāhasra-saṃhitā. These goddesses are situated on a ring of sixteen petals and represent the thirty-two syllables of the Aghoramantra. Each deity (including Bhadrakālī) is small, plump and large-bellied. They can assume any form at will, have sixteen arms each, and are all mounted on a different animal.

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Shaktism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

1) Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली):—Name of one of the goddesses to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva (“The truth concerning Durgā’s ritual”). They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ह्रीं ओं भद्रकाल्यै नमः
hrīṃ oṃ bhadrakālyai namaḥ

2) Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली, “the auspicious power of time”).—One of the names of the Goddess, Devī, who is regarded as the female principle of the divine; the embodiement of the energies of the Gods.

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) and Amṛteśvara refers to the pair of Goddess and God appearing in the nineteenth Kalpa (aeon), according to the Kularatnoddyota (chapter 9).—Accordingly: “O Supreme Goddess, in the nineteenth (aeon you will be born) as Dakṣa’s daughter with the name Bhadrakālī, O beloved, accompanied by Bhava. Due to Dakṣa’s insult, (you) gave up the body generated at that time and having done so (became) the energy (kalā) called the New Moon (amā) present in the midst of the Moon, Sun, and Fire. [...] O beloved, (Himavat) having become supremely content, you will become his daughter”.

Note: We are told in the Kularatnoddyota that prior to the goddess’s incarnation in the nineteenth kalpa as Dakṣa’s daughter, she will come into the world to kill the demons Caṇḍa and Muṇḍa. Then as Durgā and Kātyāyaṇī in “a black and brown (kṛṣṇapiṅgalā)” form she will slay Mahiṣa, the king of the demons. She then appears again in the end of the Dvāpara Age, as described in the Purāṇas, to slay the evil king Kaṃsa and thereby save the newly-born Kṛṣṇa. Again, the Jayadrathayāmala says practically the same, identifying the goddess of the nineteenth and last age as Bhadrakālī.

2) Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) is the name of the Goddess associated with the direction South-east and the sacred seat of Tisra, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “(Bhadrakālī) has one face, three eyes, and two arms in which she holds an ascetic’s staff and severed head. She sits on a crow and bestows boons in the south-east. She is Maṅgalā who is in the triple sacred seat and is worshipped by the lords of the gods. (Through her) one attains the tranquil plane that bestows liberation and worldly benefits”.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) was worshiped as part of the Navarātra Tantric ritual (an autumnal festival of the warrior goddess Caṇḍikā).—Worship of Bhadrakālī is attached to a pre-existent strata of Brahmanical rituals of kingship advocated in Vedic literature. (Bṛhatsaṃhitā 43; Kāṭhakagṛhyasūtra 57.1 and Arthaśāstra 2.30.519).—Various 5th century sources refer to rituals such as the worship of Bhadrakālī, for example: Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa 2.158.6cd–7, Agnipurāṇa 267.13cd–16ab (repeating Viṣṇudharmottara); Varāhapurāṇa cited in the Kṛtyaratnākara, pp. 364–365.

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली).—Another form of Pārvatī. General. Lord Śiva, on hearing about the selfimmolation in fire of his wife, Satī at the famous yajña conducted by Dakṣa rushed in all anger to the spot, and beat the earth with his matted hair, and there ensued two forces called Vīrabhadra and Bhadrakālī. This Bhadrakālī was really Satī or Pārvatī in another form. (See full article at Story of Bhadrakālī from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) is the name of a Goddess that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—These Goddesses (e.g., Bhadrakālī) form the shining galaxy of female deities worshipped by the people of Kaśmīra.

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) is another name for Śivā: the Goddess-counterpart of Śiva who incarnated first as Satī and then Pārvatī, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.16:—“[...] the great goddess Śivā is of the three natures. Śivā became Satī and Śiva married her. At the sacrifice of her father she cast off her body which she did not take again and went back to her own region. Śivā incarnated as Pārvatī at the request of the Devas. It was after performing a severe penance that she could attain Śiva again. Śivā came to be called by various names [such as Bhadrakālī,...]. These various names confer worldly pleasures and salvation according to qualities and action. The name Pārvatī is very common.

2) Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) refers to one of the “nine Durgās” (Navadurgā), participating in Vīrabhadra campaign against Dakṣa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.33. Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“Mahākālī went ahead for the destruction of Dakṣa accompanied by nine Durgās [viz., Bhadrakālī]. Eager in executing the command of Śiva, they accompanied the marching heroes—Ḍākinī, Śākinī, Bhūtas, Pramathas, Guhyakas, Kūṣmāṇḍas, Parpaṭas, Caṭakas, Brahma-Rākṣasas, Bhairavas and Kṣetrapālas and set out quickly for the destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली).—A name of Yogamāyā;1 bestows good on children when propitiated with human sacrifice; when the Goddess found the man sacrificed was a virtuous Brahmana like Bharata she became fiery and cut off the heads of the Vṛṣala chief and his attendants who offered him to her;2 fought with Niśumbha and Śumbha in the Devāsura war;3 worshipped by the Gopīs at the end of their vrata.4 Lion as her riding animal; having three eyes and a trident: praised by Paraśurāma;5 came out of the wrath of Umā for the destruction of the Dakṣa's yajña.6

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 2. 11.
  • 2) Ib. V. 9. 12-18.
  • 3) Ib. VIII. 10. 31.
  • 4) Ib. X. 22. 5.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 39. 33, 44 to 53.
  • 6) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 140, 165.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.45.11). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Bhadra-kālī) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) was mentally created by Śrīdevī in order to destroy Dakṣa’s sacrifice, as mentioned in chapter 3 of the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, [...] Śrīdevī informed Lord Śaṅkara about the sacrifice of Dakṣa in which the later is not invited. She could not tolerate the insult of Siva and requested the latter to destroy the sacrifice. Immediately Śiva created Vīrabhadra of fierce appearance. The dreadful Bhadrakālī was born from the wrath of Śrīdevī. Lord Śiva then ordered Vīrabhadra with Bhadrakālī to destroy the sacrifice of Dakṣa. Vīrabhadra reached there and destroyed the sacrifice in no time. Seeing this Dakṣa was panic-striken and immediately sought refuge in Vīrabhadra. Then Vīrabhadra advised Dakṣa to go to Vārāṇasī and worship Śaṅkara by whose grace all his vices would be destroyed.

Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) is one of the epithets of Durgā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 53. Accordingly, as Vīravara praised Durgā: “... thou art the principle of life in creatures; by thee this world moves. In the beginning of creation Śiva beheld thee self-produced, blazing and illuminating the world with brightness hard to behold, like ten million orbs of fiery suddenly produced infant suns rising at once, filling the whole horizon with the circle of thy arms, bearing a sword, a club, a bow, arrows and a spear. And thou wast praised by that god Śiva in the following words ... [Bhadrakālī, etc...]”.

Also, “... when Skanda, and Vasiṣṭha, and Brahmā, and the others heard thee praised, under these [eg., Bhadrakālī] and other titles, by Śiva well skilled in praising, they also praised thee. And by praising thee, O adorable one, immortals, Ṛṣis and men obtained, and do now obtain, boons above their desire. ”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Bhadrakālī, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Hinduism glossary
Source: Google Books: Tantra, Its Mystic and Scientific Basis

Tāntric deity Bhadra Kālī means creative matrix. She is the supreme creativity. Kālī means, the timeless principle (कालजयी शक्ति). In the garland of Kālī there are fifty heads of human skulls. They represent the fifty letters. Kālī is the Supreme Controller of the seed of creation.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली): Bhadrakālī is also known as the gentle Kali, who came into being by Devi's wrath, when Daksha insulted Shiva. She is the consort of Virabhadra.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) refers to one the twenty-four Horā (astronomical) Goddess to be invoked during pūjā (ritual offering) in Tantric Buddhism, according to the 9th-century Vajraḍākatantra chapter 18.61-74. [...] A Yogin, putting a vessel in the left side of him, offers various things together with raw flesh, fish, immortal nectar (pañcāmṛta). Then the Yogin invites Goddesses to please them with nectar—five Ḍākinīs and twenty-four Goddesses [viz., Bhadrakālī] come to the Yogin’s place, forming a maṇḍala.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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India history and geography

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study (history)

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) is the name of a sacred spot mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The place dedicated to Bhadrakālī is the village Badarkal about four miles south-east of Krambhar.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली).—f S A form of the goddess kālī or durgā.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली).—Name of Durgā; जयन्ती मङ्गला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी (jayantī maṅgalā kālī bhadrakālī kapālinī) Durgāpūjāmantra; भद्रकाल्यै पुरुषपशु- मालभतापत्यकामः (bhadrakālyai puruṣapaśu- mālabhatāpatyakāmaḥ) Bhāgavata 5.9.12.

Bhadrakālī is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms bhadra and kālī (काली).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली).—f. (-lī) 1. One the forms of the goddess Durga. 2. A fragrant grass, (Cyperus pertenuis or rotundus.) E. bhadra Siva, kal to approximate, affs. ghañ and ṅīp .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली).—[feminine] [Name] of a goddess (in [later language] Durgā).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली):—[=bhadra-kālī] [from bhadra > bhand] f. Name of a goddess (later a form of Durgā), [Śāṅkhāyana-gṛhya-sūtra; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] of one of the Mātṛs attending on Skanda, [Mahābhārata]

3) [v.s. ...] of a village on the right bank of the Ganges, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] of a plant (= gandholī), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली):—[bhadra-kālī] (lī) 3. f. One of the forms of Durgā; a fragrant grass.

[Sanskrit to German]

Bhadrakali in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Bhadrakali in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Bhadrakāli (ಭದ್ರಕಾಲಿ):—[noun] = ಭದ್ರಕಾಳಿ [bhadrakali].

--- OR ---

Bhadrakāḷi (ಭದ್ರಕಾಳಿ):—[noun] a formidable form of Durga.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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