Kalaratri, aka: Kālarātri, Kālarātrī, Kala-ratri; 10 Definition(s)


Kalaratri means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Kalaratri in Shaktism glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kālarātri (कालरात्रि, “Dark Night”):—One of the names of Mahākālī (tamas-form of Mahādevī). Mahākālī is one of the three primary forms of Devī. Not to be confused with Kālī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named tamas. For reference, see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

The night of Dhūmāvatī is Kālarātri (कालरात्रि, “the Night-of-Death”) — during the 4 months of the monsoon no public ritual can be performed, there are no pilgrimages, no festivals, no marriages, no initiation. At the end of the rainy period the rule of light returns and the festival of lights (Dīpāvalī) takes place.

Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses
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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)

Kalaratri in Purana glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kālarātri (कालरात्रि, “the night of time”) is a name of the Goddess Raudrī referring to her terrific form engaged in destruction, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 96. Raudrī is the form of Trikalā having a black body representing the energy of Maheśvara (Śiva). Trikalā is the name of a Goddess born from the combined looks of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva).

The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Kālarātri (कालरात्रि).—The Devatā presiding over the night on the eve of death. The fierce aspect of the Devatā is described in the Mahābhārata as follows:—

Coal-black in colour, with swollen mouth and eyes and wearing red garlands and clothings—thus appeared the woman (Devatā) presiding over the death-night. With the fierce cord in her hand she drags away the souls of the dead. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 9).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Kālarātrī (कालरात्री).—A varṇa śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 60.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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Katha (narrative stories)

Kalaratri in Katha glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

1) Kālarātri (कालरात्रि) is the name of a Brāhman woman who was expert in the magic power of witches, such as flying through the air, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 20.

2) Kālarātri (कालरात्रि) is the name of the southern opening of mount Kailāsa or the deity thereof, as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 109. Accordingly, “... when Śiva had been thus supplicated by the mountain [Kailāsa], he placed in the cave, as guards, elephants of the quarters, mighty basilisks, and Guhyakas; and at its southern opening Kālarātri, the invincible Caṇḍikā”.

Also, as Dhanavatī and Devamāya said to Naravāhanadatta: “your Majesty, Kālarātri is always near this opening. She was originally created by Viṣṇu, when the sea was churned for the nectar, in order that she might tear in pieces the chiefs of the Dānavas, who wished to steal that heavenly drink. And now she has been placed here by Śiva to guard this cave, in order that none may pass it except those beings, like yourself, of whom we spoke before. You are our emperor and you have obtained the jewels, and have passed this cave; so, in order to gain the victory, you must worship this goddess, who is a meet object of worship”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Kālarātri, 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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Kalaratri in Marathi glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

kālarātri (कालरात्रि).—m S The night occurring on the 7th day of the 7th month of every 77th year. The popular understanding of this word, and of its derivative kālarātra f is, according to some, the 8th of the bright half of āśvina, according to others, the 8th of the dark half of śrāvaṇa, the birthnight of kālī. 2 The last night of a kalpa. 3 A dark (not moonlit) night gen.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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-English dictionary

Kalaratri in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kālarātri (कालरात्रि) or Kālarātrī (कालरात्री).—f.

1) a dark night.

2) a sister of Yama.

3) the Amāvasyā on which lamps are lighted (in the Divali holidays).

4) the night of destruction at the end of the world (identified with Durgā); कालरात्रीति तां (kālarātrīti tāṃ) (sītāṃ) विद्धि सर्वलङ्का- विनाशिनीम् (viddhi sarvalaṅkā- vināśinīm) Rām.5.51.34.

5) a particular night in the life of man, on the 7th day of the 7th month of the 77th year.

Derivable forms: kālarātriḥ (कालरात्रिः).

Kālarātri is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms kāla and rātri (रात्रि).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kālarātrī (कालरात्री).—n. of a rākṣasī: Māy 243.25.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Kālarātri (कालरात्रि).—m.

(-triḥ) 1. A particular night, one which occurs on the 7th day of the 7th month of every 77th years; after such a period of life, a man is exempt from attention to the usual ordinances. 2. The last night of a Kalpa 3. A dark night. 4. A form of Sakti or Durga. E. kāla black, time, and rātri a night: see bhīmarathī.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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