Kalika Purana

#### The extant text contains 98 chapters with over 9000 stanzas and is the only work of the genre dedicated to the worship of the goddess Kali in her manifold forms such as Girija, Devi, Bhadrakali, and Mahamaya. This text describes in detail the rivers and mountains at Kamarupa tirtha and mentions the Kamakhya Temple. It glorifies the goddess Kamakhya, or Kamakshi and details the ritual procedures required for worshiping her. The Kalika Purana is equally well known, and both feared and slandered, for its detailed description of human sacrifice, an ancient and very common ritual most humans/cultures don't like to be reminded of. However, the main purpose of the text seems to be an attempt to close the gap between mainstream religious practice and the "forbidden" tantric methods, like use of the panchamakara (meat, wine, fish, parched grain and sexual intercourse) in a ritual context. The work belongs, therefore, to the goddess-oriented Shakta branch of Hinduism. Most probably it was composed in Kamarupa (modern Assam). It is an important work which has been quoted as an authority by the comparatively late Nibandha (digests of the smritis) writers from all over India, especially regarding Shakti worship. This Upapurana contains gratuitous material which refers to events and conditions of the remote past. It is also one of the rare Hindu texts that actually mentions the word "Hindu".


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