Kalaratri, Kālarātri, Kālarātrī, Kalarātri, Kala-ratri: 15 definitions

Introduction

Kalaratri means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous (K) next»] — Kalaratri in Shaktism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

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: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses

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: Hare-Krsna: Nava-Durgā

Kālarātrī (कालरात्री) refers to one of the nine Navadurgā which literally means the “nine forms of Goddess Durgā”, and constitute, according to Vedic scriptures, the manifestation of Durgā in Her nine different aspects. [...] Each goddess [viz., Kālarātrī] has a different form and a special significance.

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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)

[«previous (K) next»] — Kalaratri in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

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: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Kālarātrī (कालरात्री).—A varṇa śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 60.
Purana book cover
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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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (K) next»] — Kalaratri in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

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.

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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous (K) next»] — Kalaratri in Ayurveda glossary
Source: Ancient Science of Life: Snake bite treatment in Prayoga samuccayam

Kalarātri (कलरात्रि) refers to a type of snake-bite that “resembles foot of a bird with sandal wood smell”, according to the 20th century Prayogasamuccaya (one of the most popular and widely practised book in toxicology in Malayalam).—[...] The author has given a detailed description of types of bite mark and the corresponding causes and prognosis... If vital parts in body such as forehead, cheeks, nose, ears, temples, palmar surface of hands, nipples, cardiac area, axillary area, umbilicus, groins and thighs are bitten, the chance of survival becomes doubtful. Four types of poisonous teeth and their prognosis are mentioned, which are: [viz., Kalarātri, ‘bite resembles foot of a bird with sandal wood smell’ ...]

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous (K) next»] — Kalaratri in Jainism glossary
Source: archive.org: The Jaina Iconography

Kālarātrī (कालरात्री) is the name of a Yoginī mentioned in various Jaina manuscripts, often being part of a list of sixty-four such deities. How the cult of the Tantrik Yoginīs originated among the vegetarian Jainas is unknown. The Yoginīs (viz., Kālarātrī) are known as attendants on Śiva or Pārvatī. But in the case of Jainism, we may suppose, as seen before that they are subordinates to Kṣetrapāla, the chief of the Bhairavas.

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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (K) next»] — Kalaratri in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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.

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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

[«previous (K) next»] — Kalaratri in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Kālarātrī (कालरात्री).—name of a rākṣasī: Mahā-Māyūrī 243.25.

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

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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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