Kalika Purana

India, Bengal, Assam; ca. 1150

A so-called minor Purana originating within the folds of Shakta and Tantra as they developed in Assam and Bengal; systems of belief in which the goddess is recognized as principal deity and source of universal energy.

The text consists of nine-thousand stanzas in ninety-eight chapters, and has been dated to the 12th century. The work is mainly concerned with describing the worship of the goddess Kali or Kalika; and especially the veneration of Kamakhya, an erotic aspect of the Great Goddess Mahamaya.

The text also contains two lists naming several pithas, sacred places of the goddess; lists of 4 such places in one chapter, 7 in another.

The Kalika Purana is equally 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 makara (meat, drugs, intercourse) in a ritual context.

The text is also interesting in that it lists a great number of yoginis, many of which do not appear in other sources for these deities.

Here a quote from the text:

For just as a man is a parasol bearer on account of taking a parasol, and a bather at the time he takes a bath, in the same way Mahamaya's body when prepared for sexual enjoyment, colored reddish yellow by the red saffron applied for the sake of sexual excitement, is called Kamakhya.
Kalika Purana 60, 55-56


Kooij, K. R. van. Worship of the Goddess according to the Kalikapurana. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 1972.