Mahakala of Ujjain is known among the twelve celebrated Jyotirlingas in India. The glory of Mahakaleshwar temple has been vividly described in varoius puranas. Starting with Kalidasa,many sanskrit poets have eulogised this temple in emotive terms.The tradition of Mahakala in minds of the people is eternal Ujjain used to be centre point of the calculation of the Indian time and Mahaklala was considered as the distinctive presiding deity of Ujjain
The presiding deity of time, Shiva, in all his splendour, reigns eternal in Ujjain. The temple of Mahakaleshwar, its shikhara soaring into the skies, an imposing façade against the skyline, evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal dominates the life of the city and its people, even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations, and provides an unbreakable link with past traditions. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at the Mahakal is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself), deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti. The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the South. This is a unique feature, upheld by tantric tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nagpanchami.On the day of Mahashivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple, and worship goes on through the night
Sukta 53 – Prayer to Kala (Time), personified as a Primordial Power
kāló áśvo vahati saptáraśmiḥ sahasrākṣó ajáro bhū́riretāḥ
tám ā́ rohanti kaváyo vipaścítas tásya cakrā́ bhúvanāni víśvā 1
1. Time, the steed, runs with seven reins (rays), thousand-eyed, ageless, rich in seed. The seers, thinking holy thoughts, mount him, all the beings (worlds) are his wheels.
saptá cakrā́n vahati kālá eṣá saptā́sya nā́bhīr amŕ̥taṃ nv ákṣaḥ
sá imā́ víśvā bhúvanāny añjat kāláḥ sá īyate prathamó nú deváḥ 2
2. With seven wheels does this Time ride, seven naves has he, immortality is his axle. He carries hither all these beings (worlds). Time, the first god, now hastens onward.
pūrṇáḥ kumbhó 'dhi kālá ā́hitas táṃ vái páśyāmo bahudhā́ nú sántam
sá imā́ víśvā bhúvanāni pratyáṅ kāláṃ tám āhúḥ paramé vyòman 3
3. A full jar has been placed upon Time; him, verily, we see existing in many forms. He carries away all these beings (worlds); they call him Time in the highest heaven.
sá evá sáṃ bhúvanāny ā́bharat sá evá sáṃ bhúvanāni páry ait
pitā́ sánn abhavat putrá eṣāṃ tásmād vái nā́nyát páram asti téjaḥ 4
4. He surely did bring hither all the beings (worlds), he surely did encompass all the beings (worlds). Being their father, he became their son; there is, verily, no other force, higher than he.
kāló 'mū́ṃ dívam ajanayat kālá imā́ḥ pr̥thivī́r utá
kālé ha bhūtáṃ bhávyaṃ ceṣitáṃ ha ví tiṣṭhate 5
5. Time begot yonder heaven, Time also (begot) these earths. That which was, and that which shall be, urged forth by Time, spreads out.
kāló bhūtím asr̥jata kālé tápati sū́ryaḥ
kālé ha víśvā bhūtā́ni kālé cákṣur ví paśyati 6
6. Time created the earth, in Time the sun burns. In Time are all beings, in Time the eye looks abroad.
kālé mánaḥ kālé prāṇáḥ kālé nā́ma samā́hitam
kāléna sárvā nandanty ā́gatena prajā́ imā́ḥ 7
7. In Time mind is fixed, in Time breath (is fixed), in Time names (are fixed); when Time has arrived all these creatures rejoice.
kālé tápaḥ kālé jyéṣṭham kālé bráhma samā́hitam
kāló ha sárvasyeśvaró yáḥ pitā́sīt prajā́pateḥ 8
8. In Time tapas (creative fervour) is fixed; in Time the highest (being is fixed); in Time brahma (spiritual exaltation) is fixed; Time is the lord of everything, he was the father of Pragâpati.
téneṣitáṃ téna jātáṃ tád u tásmin prátiṣṭhitam
kāló ha bráhma bhūtvā́ bíbharti parameṣṭhínam 9
9. By him this (universe) was urged forth, by him it was begotten, and upon him this (universe) was founded. Time, truly, having become the brahma (spiritual exaltation), supports Parameshthin (the highest lord).
kāláḥ prajā́ asr̥jata kāló ágre prajā́patim
svayaṃbhū́ḥ kaśyápaḥ kālā́t tápaḥ kālā́d ajāyata 10
10. Time created the creatures (pragâh), and Time in the beginning (created) the lord of creatures (Prâgapati); the self-existing Kasyapa and the tapas (creative fervour) from Time were born.
ATHARVANA VEDA 19.54 ie., Sukta 54 – Prayer to Kala (Time), personified as a Primordial Power
kālā́d ā́paḥ sám abhavan kālā́d bráhma tápo díśaḥ
kālénód eti sū́ryaḥ kālé ní viśate púnaḥ 1
1. From Time the waters did arise, from Time the brahma (spiritual exaltation), the tapas (creative fervour), the regions (of space did arise). Through Time the sun rises, in Time he goes down again.
kāléna vā́taḥ pavate kāléna pr̥thivī́ mahī́
dyáur mahī́ kālá ā́hitā 2
2. Through Time the wind blows, through Time (exists) the great earth; the great sky is fixed in Time. In Time the son (Pragâpati) begot of yore that which was, and that which shall be.
kāló ha bhūtáṃ bhávyaṃ ca putró ajanayat purā́
kālā́d ŕ̥caḥ sám abhavan yájuḥ kālā́d ajāyata 3
3. From Time the Riks arose, the Yagus was born from Time; Time put forth the sacrifice, the imperishable share of the gods.
kāló yajñáṃ sám airayad devébhyo bhāgám ákṣitam
kālé gandharvāpsarásaḥ kālé lokā́ḥ prátiṣṭhitāḥ 4
4. Upon Time the Gandharvas and Apsarases are founded, upon Time the worlds (are founded), in Time this Angiras and Atharvan rule over the heavens.
kālé 'yám áṅgirā devó 'tharvā cā́dhi tiṣṭhataḥ
imáṃ ca lokáṃ paramáṃ ca lokáṃ púṇyāṃś ca lokā́n vídhr̥tīś ca púṇyāḥ
sárvāṃl lokā́n abhijítya bráhmaṇā kāláḥ sá īyate paramó nú deváḥ 5
5. Having conquered this world and the highest world, and the holy (pure) worlds (and) their holy divisions; having by means of the brahma (spiritual exaltation) conquered all the worlds, Time, the highest God, forsooth, hastens onward.