The Seventh Day of Navratri begins with the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. Goddess Kalaratri is believed to be the seventh shakti (power) of Goddess Durga in some parts of India. In other parts they worship the Goddess Chamunda (also known as Chandi or Chandika) on the seventh day of Navratri. These two Goddesses have very similar characteristics so I’ll describe them both.
Goddess Chamunda is kind and compassionate to her devotees, but she symbolizes disaster, destruction, death and distress of Mother Nature. Because of her power, she was the Goddess worshiped by many of the royal families of India. There are disputes about Goddess Chamunda’s physical form, so there aren’t many paintings or sculptures depicting her.
Goddess Kalaratri is the One who is dark as night. Kala means black and ratri means night. She is know as “the Death of Kaal (Time).” She removes darkness and destroys ignorance. She reminds us that life has a dark side.
Goddess Kalaratri is the most violent and fiercest avatar of Goddess Durga. Her appearance alone is enough to invoke fear. She has a very dark complexion and her bountiful hair waves in fits around her. Her upper left hand holds a gleaming sword, and the lower left hand holds a weapon for destroying negativity. Her other two hands are in protection postures. She has three fearsome eyes and flames spill out from her breath. Her neck is adorned with a necklace of flashing lightning. She rides a donkey, who is the symbol of loyalty.
Though the appearance of Goddess Kalaratri is horrible, she is extremely generous to those who worship her with devotion. She is known by her devotees as “the One who does good,” because she is the unprecedented granter of boons. She grants freedom from fear, pain and suffering. Through her, her devotees attain power, position, and fame and prominence. She also protects her devotees from negativity within and without themselves, and evil people.