Bhadrakālī is a Hindu goddess popular in Southern India. She is one of the fierce forms of the Great Goddess (Devi) mentioned in the Devi Mahatmyam. Bhadrakali is the popular form of Devi worshipped in Kerala as Sri Bhadrakali and Kariam Kali Murti Devi. In Kerala she is seen as the auspicious and fortunate form of Kali who protects the good.
This goddess is represented with three eyes, and four, twelve, or eighteen hands. She carries a number of weapons, with flames flowing from her head, and a small tusk protruding from her mouth. Her worship is also associated with the Tantric tradition of the Matrikas as well as the tradition of the ten Mahavidyas and falls under the broader umbrella of Shaktism.
Story of Darika Edit
The demon Darika, after intense ascetic penances and practices, secured a boon from Lord Brahma that he would be invincible and would not get killed by any man. He began to harass the world and commit numerous crimes. When Lord Shiva came to know about the misdeeds of demon Darika, he became infuriated and created the Goddess Bhadrakali to kill the demon. Full of wrath, he opened his fiery third eye and the massive flaming form of Bhadrakali emerged. She was huge, wore a ferocious look and had countless heads, hands and legs. When Shiva requested Bhadra Kali to destroy Darika, she went through a forest and sought the help of bloodthirsty ghosts and spirits who lived there. When Darika saw Bhadrakali and her largely female army coming, he laughed and dismissed her, forgetting that his boon of invincibility did not prevent his being killed by a woman. After a fierce battle, Bhadrakali and her assistants finally finished him off, and the Goddess began to return home from Kailash, full of wrath and excitement and holding the head of Darika in her left hand. When she reached Kailash, her husband Shiva tempted to calm her wrath by dancing before her and offering her worship. She was satisfied and henceforth began to receive offerings from devotees as a boon from Shiva.