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The Kaal Bhairav Ashtami comes on the eighth day(ashtami) of the waning moon(krishna paksh) of Marg Shirish.Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Bhairav on an auspicious day of Margshirsha Krishna Paksha. Bhairav ashtami is also knows as Kaalashtami and therefore, Kaalashtami fast is observed on this day. By worshipping Lord Shiva in the form of Bhairav nath, one can get relief from all the sins and sufferings in his life. It is also believed that all the wishes of the devotee gets fulfilled by worshipping Bhairav nath if done with full faith and dedication. It is considered fruitful to observe fasts and worship Lord Bhairav with proper rituals on the day of Bhairav ashtami. According to the Shastras, worshipping Kaalbhairav on this day gives desired results.
Lord Bhairav nath has the knowledge of tantra-mantra and is himself a Rudra. Shivapurana has mentioned Bhairav as another form of Lord Shiva. He is the one who created and nurtures the universe. The one who comes under his shelter gets relief from all the sufferings in life. Bhairav nath always protects his devotees.
Bhairav Ashtmi Katha
As per the legends, once Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma argued about being more powerful than one another. The argument heated up to such a level that Lord Shiva had to organize a meeting comprising of saints, scholars etc. to reach to a conclusion. When the results were declared, Lord Vishnu accepted but Lord Brahma insulted Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva could not bear this insult and took a destructive form. He appeared in the manifestation of Lord Bhairav riding on a black dog carrying and carrying a danda. Therefore, he is also known by the name of "Dandadhipati". This horrifying form of Lord Shiva terrified the demigods. Seeing the terrified form of Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma realised his mistake and apologized to him. On being endured by all the gods, saints and Lord Brahma himself, Lord Shiva calmed down.
Bhairava Ashtami Pooja Vidhi
People should worship Lord Bhairav nath with proper rituals and full faith. Jaagran should be performed at night to worship Lord Bhairav nath along with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Katha and kirtans should also be performed. It is utmost important to recite Bhairav katha while performing the puja. At the middle of the night, the devotee should perform Bhairav aarti with conch, drum, gong etc.
Lord Bhairav nath rides a black dog. So one should offer food to a dog to please Lord Bhairav nath. Take a bath in a river or a lake early in the morning and perform shraadh and tarpan for your dead ancestors followed by worshipping Lord Bhairav nath. The one who performs the puja and observes a fast gets relief from all the sufferings and fears related to ghosts, evil spirits also go away.
The person gets successful in every work performed with dedication and is protected by every kind of disease.
Significance Of Bhairava Ashtami
Goddess Kalika is also worshipped along with Lord Bhairav nath on this day. Goddess Kali is worshipped in the same manner as Goddess Durga on the saptami of navratri.
Worshipping Lord Bhairav brings peace and harmony in the family, maintains health of the family members and protects them from getting affected by various diseases. By reading Bhairav tantrokta, Batuk Bhairav kawach, Kaal Bhairav Strot, Batuk Bhairav Brahma kawach etc., one gets relief from all sorts of troubles. The devotee gets freedom from all inauspicious deeds and ends the malefic effect of planets.