The Kalabhairavastam

The Kalabhairavastam
*Dr Raj Pandita
As a growing child I had difficulty reading the Sanskrit texts and understanding their meaning. These days I am using the vast resources of the internet to transliterate our ancient of Sanskrit texts making them easier to read and also to understand their literal meaning.

Bhairava worship has been prevalent in Kashmir since ages. Each region of Kashmir had its own guarding Bhairava. I remember in my childhood when we used to visit our ancestral village of Vahibug, we used to go to the temple of Shankar Raz Bhairava. It was said that a local Muslim once spat on the temple wall and he was immediately blinded.

Here I am presenting “the Kalabhairavastam” by Shankaracharya

Deva raja sevya mana pavangri pankajam,
Vyala yagya sutra mindu shekharam kripakaram,
Nardadi yogi vrinda vanditam digambaram,
Kashika puradi nath kalabhairavam baje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Whose lotus feet are served by Indra
Who wears the sacred thread of Naga
Who has moon on his forehead
Who is the abode of mercy
Whose clothes are the directions
Who is worshipped by sages like Narada.


Bhanu koti bhaswaram, bhavabdi tarakam param
Neelakanth meepsitarth dayakam trilochanam
Kalakala mambujaksha maksha shoola maksharam
Kashika puradhi nath Kalabhairavam Bhaje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Who shines like a million suns
Who absolves the ocean of cycle of rebirth
Who is supreme and has a blue neck
Who bestows us with our desires, Who has three lotus like eyes
Who is the end of Kala, who has immortal weapon and Who is immortal.

Shoola Tanka pasha danda pani madhi karanam
Shyam kaya madhi devamakshram niramayam
Bheem vikramam prabum vichitra tandav priyam
Kashika puradhi nath Kalabhairavam Bhaje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Who has a spear, a chord and a stick as weapons,
Who is the cause behind the beginning , who has a grey (smeared ) body,
Who is the first Deva, Who is imperishable, Who is free from decay and illhealth
Who is immensely mighty, who is the Lord and who loves the vigorous Tandava.


Bhukti mukti daykam prashast charu vigraham
Bhaktavatsalam Sthitam Samastha Loka vigraham
Vinikwanan manogya hem kinkini lasatkatim
Kashika puradhi nath Kalabhairavam Bhaje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Who is the bestower of desires and salvation
Who has an enticing appearance and form
Who endears his devotees, Who is static and also assumes various forms,
Who has a golden waist thread with small melodious bells.


Dharmasetu palakam twa darm marga nashkam
Karm pasha mochakam susharm dayakam vibhum
Swarn varna shesh pasha shobhitang mandalam
Kashika puradhi nath Kalabhairavam Bhaje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Who is the maintainer of righteousness and the destroyer of unrighteous paths
Who liberates us from the ties of Karma
Who makes us ashamed when trying to do wrong things,
Who has a shining body decorated with golden chords.

Ratna paduka prabhabhiram padyugmakam
Nityamadwitheeyamishta daivatam niranjanam
Mrityu darpa nashnam karala damshtra mokshanam
Kashika puradhi nath Kalabhairavam Bhaje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Who has feet adorned by gold sandals adorned by gems,
Who is eternal, who is induplicable,
Who has no desires but bestows all our desires,
Who destroys the fear of death and
Who liberates the souls by his teeth.


Atthas bhinna padma janda kosha santatim
Drishti pat nasht pap jal mugra shasanam
Ashtasidhi daykam kapal malika dharma
Kashika puradhi nath Kalabhairavam Bhaje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Whose roar is loud enough to destroy all the manifestations
created by the Lotus- Born Brahma,
Whose merciful glace is enough to destroy all sins,
Who is the powerful ruler who gives the Eight Siddhis *
Who wears the garland of skulls.

Bhootasanga nayakam vishal kirti dayakam
Kashi vas lok punya pap shodhkam vibum
Neetimarga kovidam puratanam jagatpatim
Kashika puradhi nath Kalabhairavam Bhaje.,

I sing praises of Kalabhairav, who is the ruler of Kashi
Who is the leader of Ghosts and Spirits,
Who showers immense glory,
Who absolves people dwelling in Kashi from their sins
Who is an expert in the way of righteousness
Who is eternally old and controller of universe


Kalbhairavashtakam pathanti ye manoharam
Gyanmukti sadanam vichitrapunya vardhanam
Shoka moha dainya lobh kop tap nashnam
Te prayanti kalbhairavagri sannidhim dhruvam

Those who recite these eight verses on Kalabhairav,
Which is the source of eternal knowledge,
Which increases the effect of righteous deeds,
Which destroys grief, passion, poverty, want and anger,
Would surely move towards the presence of Kalabhairav.

*The Eight Siddhis : Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Prapti, Prakamya, Isatva & Vasitva
*Dr. Raj Pandita was one of the first KP's to enter the field of Speech Langauge Pathology. After teaching at a National Institute at Bombay for 12 years, shifted to USA and continued working in the field. Has a deep interest in community activities and a passion for kashmiri music.
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Please read the title as: KALABHAIRAVASTAKAM. Thanks Dr. Raj Pandita Los Angeles, CA
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