Kali Mata was named as Kaali because she is wife of Lord Shiva, who is said to be Lord of time. As He is Lord of time, few avatars or Amsas of Him are named after him such as KaalaBhairava. What is Lord Shiva's association with Kaala (Time)?.

Some people say He is Aajanma (unborn) and existed before time and thus called Lord of time. If this is true, can anyone validate this by citing a source?


1 Answer 1


YajurVeda salutes Lord Shiva by stating:

नमो अग्रियाय च प्रथमाय च [YajurVeda Taittariya Samhita]
Namo Agriyaya cha prathamaya cha
Salutations to Him who was before all things and who is foremost.

Thus there is no effect of time for Lord Shiva as he was before the time. This is expanded in Taittariya Aranyaka of YajurVeda as:

वामदेवाय नमो ज्येष्ठाय नमः श्रेष्ठाय नमो रुद्राय नमः कालाय नमः कलविकरणाय नमो ।।

“vāmadēvāya namō jyēṣṭhāya namaḥ śrēṣṭhāya namō
rudrāya namaḥ kālāya namaḥ kalavikaraṇāya namō |” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.18.1)

Here the emphasis is in:

रुद्राय नमः कालाय नमः कलविकरणाय नमो ।।
rudrāya namaḥ kālāya namaḥ kalavikaraṇāya namō |
Salutations to Rudra. Salutation to him who is time. Salutations to him who is the cause of evolution of universe.

Salutations to him who is time/ कालाय नम: is expanded by Shiva Purana as below:

Chapter 8&9 of Vaayaveeyasamhita Section of Shiva Purana mentions SaakshatShiva as Lord Kaala and time as Energy of Paramesvara.

Sages asked Vayu,

O skill one, please tell us. Who is this Lord Kaala? Under whose control is he? Who does not come under his control?

Then Vayu said,

  • It is the great splendor of Lord Shiva named Kaalatman. Kalaa, Kaastha, Nimesha are the forms it embodies.
  • It is the power of Lord that controls the Universe in the form of directives which are untransgressable to the universe consisting of mobile and immobile beings.
  • The Universe is under the control of Kaala. Kaala is not under the control of Universe. Kaala is under the control of Shiva. Shiva is not subject to its control.
  • Since the unobstructed splendor of Shiva is firmly fixed in Kaala the limit of Kaala is extensive and untransgressable.
  • He who thus correctly understands the principle of Kaala goes beyond the time and sees that which is beyond Kaala.
  • Obeisance to Shiva of wonderful form who has no Kaala to influence him, no bondage and liberation, is identical neither with Purusha or Prakriti nor the universe.
  • A day of Brahma's life constitutes life of 14 Indras. A day of Vishnu is life time of Brahma. A day of Rudra is life time of Vishnu. A day of Shiva is life time of Rudra. A day of SadaaShiva is life period of Shiva. A day of SAAKSHAATSHIVA is life period of SadaaShiva.
  • This Kaala functions as directed by Saakshat Shiva. O Brahmins, this is the period of time of creation as mentioned by me.
  • This Kaalantara shall be known as day of Parameswara. Parameswara's night shall be known to extend so long.
  • His day is period of creation. His night is period of dissolution. But understand he has neither day or night as we conceive them.
  • The dissolution is effected for the benefits of the world. The subjects, the Prajapathis, the three deities, Gods, Asuras, the sense organs, the sensual objects, the five great elements, the subtle and gross elements, the cosmic intellect, the deities, all these abide during the day of Paramesvara. They get dissolved at end of the day. At the end of night again begins the origin of universe.
  • Obeisance to the great Shiva, the soul of the universe, whose energy in respect of activity, time, innate nature is untransgressable and under whose command the whole universe functions.
  • Good answer. I just posted a question related to the "Sakshat Shiva" figure mentioned in this chapter: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/9291/36 Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 15:15
  • How much is a day of Rudra? Just like Brahma life period is 100 years.
    – Pinakin
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 11:05
  • @ChinmaySarupria The Shiva Purana says that the lifetime of Rudra is 100 years of Rudra, 1 day of Rudra is 100 years of Vishnu, and 1 day of Vishnu is 100 years of Brahma. Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 12:11
  • @KeshavSrinivasan: What Sri Vishnu Puranam and other Puranams says about life time of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. Lifetime of Sri Maha Vishnu swarupa is 100 years of Rudra ??
    – venkat
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 13:05

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