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Kala Bhairava Pancha rathnam

(The five gemsaddressed to Kala Bhairava.)


Translated by



(Kalabhairava is the God who is the protector of Benares. He is supposed to be the fearsome aspect of Lord Shiva. Once Brahma insulted Lord Shiva and his fifth head teasingly laughed at Lord Shiva. From Lord Shiva came out the Kalabhairava (Black Bhairava) who tore off the fifth head of Lord Brahma. On the entreaties of Lord Vishnu, Shiva pardoned Lord Brahma. But the sin (in the form of a lady) of beheading Lord Brahma followed Kalabhairava everywhere. Also the head of Brahma stuck to him. To keep away the sin and punishment which were chasing him, Kalabhairava entered the city of Benares. The sin could not enter the city. Kalabhairava was made as the Kotwal (Inspector general) of the city of Benares. Kalabhairava rides on a dog.A pilgrimage to Kasi (Benares) is not supposed to be complete without visiting the temple of Kalabhairava.

Another story identifies Kalabhairava with Veerabhadra who cut off the head of Daksha the father of Sathi Devi, when he insulted lord Shiva. Sathiís body was cut into pieces and strewn all over India giving rise to Shakthi Peetas. Outside every Shakthi Peeta is the temple for Bhairava.

There is also another interpretation. He is the form of Shiva who controls the growth and management of time. (Kala means time). Whoever wants to spend, manage or ration their time in a proper manner should pray him.

†† He is also considered as the guardian of temples of Lord Shiva. After locking the doors of the temple of Lord Shiva, the keys are ceremonially offered to Bhairava and taken back in most of the Shiva temples.)



1.Gadgam , kapalam , Damarugam , Trisoolam,

Hasthambhujesanthathum trinethram .

Digambarambasma Vibhooshithangam,



I saluteBhairava who wearsthe crescent,

Who holds in his†† lotus likehand,

Sword , skull , drumand trident ,

Who wears the directions as cloth,

And who hascoatedhisbody with ash.


2.Kavithvadhamsath varameva modhaan,

Nathalyeshambhu manobhiramam,

Namamiyaseekrutha sara meyam,



I saluteBhairava who wearsthe crescent,

Who is poeticandgrants†† good boons,

Whois Shambhuin the mind of his devotees,

Whois bewitchingto the mind,

And Salutations†† to one who has made his dog famous.


3.Jaradhi dukhougavibhedha daksham,

Viragi samsevyaPadaravindam,

Narapathipathwa prathamasu nandre,



I saluteBhairava who wearsthe crescent,

Who removes†† the sorrow of old age,

Whose lotus like feet is worshippedbysaints,

And who is the Lord of menand great saints.


4. Samadhi sampatj†† prathamanathebhyo,

Remathwad yachithapada padmam,

Samadhi nishtaistharasadhi gamyam,



I saluteBhairava who wearsthe crescent,

Whosefirst wealth†† is Samadhi,

Whose lotus like feet is begged by Rema,

And who entersin toSamadhi easily.


5.Grama gamyam, manasabhidhooram,

Characharasya prabhaavathi hethum,



I saluteBhairava who wearsthe crescent,

Whogoes to the villagesand is far away by his mind ,

Who is the cause ofdazzle of moving and unmoving things,

Who is producedfrom nothingand entertains his mother.