The “Kalabhairava Ashtakam” is a Sanskrit hymn dedicated to Lord Kalabhairava, a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. This lyrical masterpiece is attributed to the sage Adi Shankaracharya and is revered in the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. The Ashtakam, consisting of eight verses (hence the name ‘Ashtakam'), eloquently glorifies the attributes and powers of Kalabhairava.
It is often chanted for spiritual protection, to overcome fears, and to seek blessings for a righteous and fearless life path. The hymn is a blend of devotion and philosophical depth, highlighting Kalabhairava's role as the destroyer of time (Kala) and the guardian of the spiritual path. Each verse ends with a chorus, “Kalabhairavam Bhaje,” which means “I worship Lord Kalabhairava.” The Ashtakam is not only a spiritual chant but also a part of cultural and religious practices, often recited in temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, especially during special occasions related to Shiva.
Kalabhairava Ashtakam Lyrics in English
Vyaala-Yajnya-Suutram-Indu-Shekharam Krpaakaram |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||1||
Bhaanu-Kotti-Bhaasvaram Bhavaabdhi-Taarakam Param
Niila-Kannttham-Iipsita-Artha-Daayakam Trilocanam |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||2||
Shyaama-Kaayam-Aadi-Devam-Akssaram Nir-Aamayam |
Bhiimavikramam Prabhum Vichitra-Taannddava-Priyam
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||3||
Bhakta-Vatsalam Sthitam Samasta-Loka-Vigraham |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||4||
Dharma-Setu-Paalakam Tva-Adharma-Maarga-Naashakam Karma-Paasha-Mocakam Su-Sharma-Daayakam Vibhum |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||5||
Nityam-Advitiiyam-Isstta-Daivatam Niramjanam |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||6||
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||7||
Kaashi-Vaasa-Loka-Punnya-Paapa-Shodhakam Vibhum |
Niiti-Maarga-Kovidam Puraatanam Jagatpatim
Kaashikaapuraadhinaathakaalabhairavam Bhaje ||8||
Kaalabhairavaassttakam Patthamti Ye Manoharam
Jnyaana-Mukti-Saadhanam Vicitra-Punnya-Vardhanam |
Prayaanti Kaalabhairava-Amghri-Sannidhim Naraa Dhruvam ||9||
Kalabhairava Ashtakam Lyrics in SANSKRIT
व्यालयज्ञसूत्रमिन्दुशेखरं कृपाकरम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥१॥
भानुकोटिभास्वरं भवाब्धितारकं परं
नीलकण्ठमीप्सितार्थदायकं त्रिलोचनम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥२॥
श्यामकायमादिदेवमक्षरं निरामयम् ।
भीमविक्रमं प्रभुं विचित्रताण्डवप्रियं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥३॥
भक्तवत्सलं स्थितं समस्तलोकविग्रहम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥४॥
कर्मपाशमोचकं सुशर्मदायकं विभुम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥५॥
नित्यमद्वितीयमिष्टदैवतं निरंजनम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥६॥
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥७॥
काशिवासलोकपुण्यपापशोधकं विभुम् ।
नीतिमार्गकोविदं पुरातनं जगत्पतिं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥८॥
कालभैरवाष्टकं पठंति ये मनोहरं
ज्ञानमुक्तिसाधनं विचित्रपुण्यवर्धनम् ।
प्रयान्ति कालभैरवांघ्रिसन्निधिं नरा ध्रुवम् ॥९॥
Kalabhairava Ashtakam Lyrics Meaning in Englsih
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, whose lotus feet are revered by Lord Indra, king of the devas; who has a snake as his sacrificial thread, a moon on his head and is very compassionate; who is praised by Narada, sage of the gods, and other yogis; who is a Digambara, wearing the sky as his dress, symbolizing his free being.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, who has the brilliance of a million suns, who saves devotees from the cycle of rebirths, and who is supreme; who has a blue throat, who grants us our desires, and who has three eyes; who is death unto death itself and whose eyes look like a lotus; whose trident supports the world and who is immortal.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, who holds the trident, mattock, noose, and club in his hands; whose body is dark, who is the primordial Lord, who is immortal, and free from the diseases of the world; who is immensely mighty and who loves the wonderful tandava dance.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, the one who bestows both desires and salvation, who has a pleasing appearance; who is loving to his devotees, who is stable as the god of all the worlds; who wears a golden belt around his waist with bells that make a melodious sound when he moves.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, who ensures that dharma (righteousness) prevails, who destroys the path of adharma (unrighteousness); who saves us from the bonds of karma, thereby freeing our soul; and who has golden-hued snakes entwined around his body.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, whose feet are adorned with two golden sandals with gems; who is the eternal, non-dual Ishta devata (god who grants our desires); who destroys the pride of Yama (God of Death); whose terrible teeth liberate us.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, whose loud roar destroys the sheaths of creations (meaning the delusions of our mind) of the lotus-born Brahma; whose very glance is enough to destroy all our sins; who gives us the eight siddhis (accomplishments); and who wears a garland of skulls.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi, who is the leader of ghosts and goblins, who bestows glory; who frees the people of Kashi from their sinful and righteous deeds; who guides us on the path of righteousness, who is the most ancient (eternal) lord of the universe.
Salutations to Lord Kalabhairava, the supreme lord of Kashi. Those who read these eight verses of the Kalabhairava Ashtakam, which is beautiful, which is a source of knowledge and liberation, which increases the various forms of righteousness in a person, which destroys grief, attachment, poverty, greed, anger, and heat – will attain (after death) the feet of Lord Kalabhairava (Lord Shiva).