The rituals are region-specific and followed by people according to the mythological happenings they believe. In some places, this day is celebrated as Kali Chaudas. Kali means Black i.e. dark and Chaudas means fourteenth. It is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the dark half(Krishna Paksha) of the Kartik month.
The 2nd day of five days long Diwali; Narak Chaturdashi or Kali Chaudas falls on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Kartik month. Narak Chaturdashi is also referred to as Chhoti Diwali; as it falls just a day before the festival Diwali. It is said to be the day that removes the evil inside. Narak Chaturdashi is also called as Roop Chaudash or Roop Chaturdashi.
Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated on the 14th day of the waning moon of the Krishna paksha of the Kartik month. In 2021, Narak Chaturdashi/ Roop Chaudas/ Kali Chaudas is being celebrated on Thursday, 4 November. Abhyang Snan is the most important ritual of Narak Chaturdashi. It is believed that this holy bath removes all the evil effects and illness. Here is muhurat for abhyang snan
As muhurats vary from place to place; Find accurate abhyang snan muhurat of your current location at drikpanchang.com
Narak Chaturdashi Story
Narakasura Death Day
Narakasura, the asura son of earth goddess Bhudevi and Varaha (Vishnu) was blessed with a long life from his father Vishnu. He misused the powers and used to torture people and especially capture the women in his fort. Unable to bear the sufferings the people, as well as the other celestial beings, pleaded Satyabhama for help. Satyabhama was supposed to be the Avtar of Bhudevi who was Krishna’s wife. Satyabhama and Krishna after battling with the Narakasura killed him. This incident interprets that parents should not hesitate to punish their children when they step into the wrong path.
Naraksura asked her mother to celebrate his death day. Thereafter it is believed that this day is celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi.
It is said that Lord Krishna had an oil bath to rid himself of the blood-spattered on his body when Naraka was killed. Hence people observe this day as Abhyang Snan.
The Legend Of Hanuman
Everybody knows Lord Hanuman, the beloved devotee of Lord Rama. When Hanuman was just a baby he saw the Sun and thinking it to be a wonderful fruit gobbled it up, throwing the entire world into pitch darkness. On Kali Chaudas day, all the Gods and demi-gods pleaded with Hanuman to release the Sun, but Hanuman did not agree, so Lord Indra attacked him with his thunderbolt, which hit Hanuman on the mouth and the Sun came out, and then there was light again in the world.
The Legend Of Bali
King Bali was one of the most generous kings and gained a lot of fame for it, but the fame went to his head and he became very arrogant. He started insulting and humiliating people who came to him for alms, so Lord Vishnu decided to teach him a lesson and came in the incarnation of Vaman in the guise of a dwarf. When Bali told him to ask whatever he wanted, Lord Vaman asked for land equal to just three steps of his. With the first step the Lord measured the whole earth, and the entire heaven with his second step. Then he asked Bali where to place his third step. A humbled Bali bowed down and requested the Lord to place his last step on his head, which gained him salvation. So Kali Chaudas is celebrated on this day to drive away greed.
Rituals To Be Followed On Narak Chaturdashi
(1) Wake up early before sunrise
(2) Abhyang Snan
- Abhyang Snan is taking bath early in the morning before sunrise. Having Abhyang Snan is considered as taking a bath in the Holy River. This is done early in the morning and is believed that it washes away all the sin and evil vibes.
- It is believed that Abhyang Snan helps in boosting blood circulation and make the skin smooth and beautiful.
- Massage your body with aromatic oil and then apply ubtan ( a paste of Besan, milk, Kesar, oil , Chandan, Haldi).
- Massage thoroughly the ubtan over your body and rinse it with water.
- Wear new clothes after the bath.
(3) Puja of Shri Krishna
Flowers are being offered to Lord Krishna saying the following Mantra:
VasudevSutDevam, NarakasurMardanamah |
DevkiParmanandam Krishnam VandeJagatgurum||
(4) Lighting diyas in the evening
In the evening, along with the Yam Deep as lit up on the day of DhanTeras along with eleven or twenty-one new diyas. Before lighting up the diyas in the evening, the puja of the diyas is being done with kumkum, chawal (rice) &Gud (Jaggery). After the Puja, diyas are lit up and placed at every corner of the house.
Venerating Lord Hanuman on this Chhoti Diwali is also popular in some corners of India. Hence, followers of Lord Hanuman also worship Him with proper rituals; therefore this day is also famous as Hanuman Puja.
Kali Chaudas/Narak Chaturdashi Celebration
- In Goa and other parts of Eastern India, paper-made effigies of Narakasura or boats, filled with grass and firecrackers symbolizing evil, are made. These effigies are burnt and made to float in the holy waters at around four o’clock in the morning and then firecrackers are burst to celebrate the end of evil.
- People light fireworks, which are regarded as the effigies of Narakasura who were killed on this day.
- In North India; people here prepare a special ubtan and rub it off over their entire body, before bath. Towards the evening, during the Choti Diwali ‘Dahan’ this ubtan taken off the bodies is thrown inside the fire, signifying warding away the impurities.
- People belonging to Bengal and East India consider this day to be very auspicious to worship Goddess Kali (a form of Shakti) and hence celebrate Kali Chaudas.
- The people of East India believe this day to be the birthday of Goddess Kali. It is celebrated with great pomp and show by setting up huge idols of Goddess Kali in big grounds. Innumerable devotees gather at one place and offer prayers to the Goddess.
- In Maharashtra, families celebrate this day by getting up early in the morning and having an abhyanga snan with ‘ubtan’. This ubtan is a mixture of Chandan, ambe haldi, Multani mitti, khus, Rose, besan etc. People worship the Lord by visiting temple early in the morning and bursting crackers.
- In southern India, people wake up early and take a holy bath. Then they make a paste of kumkum and oil and apply it on their foreheads. Some communities in Tamil Nadu do Lakshmi Puja on this day.
Significance of Narak Chaturdashi
Kali Chaudas/Narak Chaturdashi has huge significance among Hindus. This auspicious day signifies ‘Good always wins’. The story of Narakasur is evident this. Goddess Kali blessings on Kali Chaudas will ensure protection from all negative energies and victory over enemies. Kali Chaudas or Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi is considered to be the ideal one for Tantriks and Aghoris to perform their rituals and penances. Those facing severe troubles due to Rahu should especially conduct remedies to appease the Goddess on Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi.
Benefits of Narak Chaturdashi: Goddess Kali offers her devotees protection from persistent illnesses, terminal illnesses, evil effects of black magic, financial debts, obstacles in job or business and effects of Lord Shani and Rahu.
Happy Kali Chaudas!! Happy Chhoti Diwali!!
Also read this: Unique rituals of Diwali – Myths vs Reality