Thursday, 28 August 2014

Dasha Mahavidya

Dasha Mahavidya




Adi Shakti Durga with Dasha Mahavidyas




ॐ  या चण्डी मधु - कैटभादि दैत्य दलानि या माहिष्ःओन् मूलिनि l
      या    धुम्रेक्षण्   चण्ड  -  मुण्ड   मथनि     या     रक्तबीजाशनि ll
      शक्ति   शुम्भ - निशुम्भ   दैत्य   दलानि   या  सिद्धीदात्री परा l
      सा    देवी    नवकोटि    मूर्ति    सहितां    मां   पातु   विश्वेश्वरी ll 

“Om The Goddess Chandi is one who vanquished demons Madhu - Kaitabha, who killed demon Mahishsura, who destroyed demons Dhumralochana and also Chanda - Munda, who swallowed demon Raktabija, who annihilated demons Shumbha - Nishumbha, who bestows Siddhis. May that Supreme Goddess, who is Lordess of the cosmos, may she bless us in all her 90 million forms.”


The Great Goddess Kali, who elevated Kalidasa from an illiterate fool to the greatest Sanskrit scholar and dramatist of his time, is my Aradhya. May she protect us with her sword, which is pure conciousness, by beheading the demons of ignorance.
Om Kali, jai Kali.
Om Kali, Mahakali.


Dasha Mahavidya दश महाविद्या 



Dasha Mahavidyas at Shibpur Bijayee Sangha Kali Puja Pandal, Kolkata
Dasha Mahavidyas are a group of ten Tantric forms of Adi Shakti, the Supreme Goddess. They range from extremely fierce and malevolent to extremely benign and benevolent aspects of Sati, and later Parvati. Each Mahavidya represents a particular feature of the Supreme Goddess and are worshiped for attainment of the four aims of human life, or for Nirvana.  They find mention in many texts, particularly Tantric literature and also in Shiva Purana, where they are depicted assisting Goddess Durga in her battle with demon Durgamasura. Here we will see the names, aspect, Mantras, anecdotes and notable temples of each of the ten Mahavidyas. Since each Mahavidya is a form of Parvati, Lord Shiva unites with all Mahavidyas under various names.


Kali काली 



Kali is the first and foremost among Mahavidyas, and the patron deity of Kali Kula school of Shaktism. Kali is also famous for being the patron of Bhakti saints like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramprasad Sen and Kamalakanta Bhattacharjee. Kali is worshiped more in West Bengal than anywhere else. From roadside shrines to shops, from charnel grounds to every household, Kali is everywhere in Kolkata. It is a must for all Bengali settlements outside Bengal to have a Kali temple. Also, Kali is the only Goddess of Hindu pantheon who doesn’t needs any introduction in West, where she is revered as a role model of feminists. Popular among both householders as well as ascetics, Kali is worshiped in two forms viz., Dakshina Kali and Vama Kali. Other forms are Mahakali, Bhadrakali, Guhyakali, Rakshakali Chamunda, Guhyeshvari, Raktadantika, Bhima and Smashana Kali.




Aspect 


Kali represents destructive aspect of Parvati


Consort


Mahakala महाकाल 


Mantra



नमो    दिर्घेश्वरीम्   देवीं   सर्व   काम   फल प्रदां l
दिर्घाकारा कुण्डलायुक्ता सिद्धिं यच्च  सुरेश्वरी ll

काली  काली  महाकाली  कालिके  पापनाशिनी l
खड्ग हस्ते मुण्ड हस्ते काली काली नमस्तु ते  ll

namo  drigheSvarIm  devI  sarva  kAma  phala  pradA l
dirghAkArA kuNDalayuktA siddhim yaccha sureSvarI ll

kAlI      kAlI      mahAkAlI      kAlike      pApanASinI l
khaDga haste muNDa haste kAlI kAli namastu te ll



Anecdote 



Kali makes her maiden appearance in Devi Mahatmyah, where she is invoked by Goddess Durga in her battle with demons Chanda – Munda and Raktabija. By killing Chanda – Munda, Kali earns the name Chamunda. She also appears in Atharva Veda and Kathaka Grihyasutra. Her other notable appearances are as follows:

1) On one occasion, Parvati invoked Kali to kill demoness Daruka (Linga Purana).

2) Parvati sends Kali as an emissary to Durgamasura (Shiva Purana).  

3) Lord Shiva and Parvati send Virabhadra and Kali to destroy the second Yagna of Prajapati Daksha (Mahabharata).

4) Kali incarnates as Prajapati Daksha’s 64th daughter, Dakshayani Sati (Kalika Purana).

5) Kali fights and defeats demon Shankhachuda (Vayu Purana).


Notable temples


Kalighat Kali Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal

The city of Kolkata derives its name from the ancient Kali temple at Kalighat. The Kalighat temple is amounted as one of the 51 Shakti Pithas. Other than this, the Dakshineshvar Kali temple also attracts crowds of devotees. Kalkaji temple of Delhi and Kali temple of Amarkantak are also famous. Chamunda Devi temple of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, Chamundeshvari Temple of Mysore, Karnataka and Guhya Kali temple of Kathmandu, Nepal are other known temples.

Tara तारा 



Tara is the second Mahavidya and also the second patron deity of Kali Kula Shaktism. Favourite of ascetics and hermits, Tara is often identified with Kali due to their almost identical iconographies and is considered to be Vama Kali herself. Besides this, Tara is also worshiped by Buddhist Tantiks. Tara is also patron of Bengali Tantric saint Bamakhepa (Vamadev). Tara too has various forms such as Neelasarasvati, Ugra Tara, Smashana Tara, Shanta Tara, Adya Devi and Aparajita.


Aspect 



Tara represents the protector aspect of Parvati.


Consort


Akshobya अक्षोब्य 


Mantra



प्रत्यालीढ़पदे घोरे मुण्डमाला उप शोभिते l
सर्वे  लम्बोदरे भीमे  उग्र तारा नमस्तु ते ll

pratyalIDa pade ghore muNDamAlA upa Sobhite l
sarve  lambodare  bhIme  ugra  tArA  namastu te ll


Anecdote 


According to various Tantric texts, Parvati appears as Tara to assist Lord Shiva to drink venom during Samudra Manthan (Churning of ocean).Other instances include Tara fighting battle against demons Andhakasura and Ruru (Shiva Purana).


Notable temples 


Tara Pith Tara Temple, Rampurhat, West Bengal

Tara Pith temple in Rampurhat near Kolkata is the most important temple of Tara. Reputed as a Siddha Pitha, it is believed to have been established by Sage Vashishta himself. Other temples include Tara Tarini temple of Behrampur, Odisha, which is counted as one of the four Adi Shakti Pithas of Kalika Purana (Kalighat, Kamarup Kamakhya and Vimala Pitha being the other three). Other important temples are Ugra Tara temple of Guwahati, Assam and Tarini temple near Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.


Tripurasundari/Kamakhya त्रिपुरसुंदरी/कामाख्या 



Tripurasundari/Kamakhya is the third Mahavidya and the patron deity of Sri Vidya school of Shaktism. However, she in her Kamakhya form is considered as a Kali Kula deity. Tripurasundari is notably worshiped in Yoni Pithas and Sri Chakra. The Kali Kula, Kalika Purana, Yogini Tantra and Kamakhya tradition reveres her as a form and/or Kali herself. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is noted to worship his consort Sri Ma Sharoda Debi as Shodashi Devi. Her various forms as Lalita Devi, Kamakhya Devi, Bala Devi, Rajarajeshvari, Shodashi, Maha Tripurasundari and Mohini. She is considered to be Tantric Parvati.


Aspect



Tripurasundari/Kamakhya represents creative aspect of Parvati.


Consort


Sadashiva सदाशिव 


Mantra



कामाख्या काम सम्पन्ना कामेश्वरी हरप्रिया l
कामना  देहि  मे नित्यं कामेश्वरी  नमस्तु ते ll

कामाख्ये   वरदे   देवी  नील  पर्वत वासिनी l
त्वं जगतं माता रूपेण योनी मुद्रे नमस्तु ते ll

कामार्थमागता  यस्मान्मया   सार्द्धं   महागिरौ l
कामाख्या    प्रच्यते   देवी   नीलशैले   रहोगता ll
कामदा   कामिनी   कामकांता   कामांगदायिनी l
कामांगनाशिनी यस्मात् कामाख्या तेन प्रच्यते ll

kAmAkhyA kAma sampannA kAmeSvarI harapriyA l
kAmanA  dehi  me  nityam  kAmeSvari  namastu te ll

kAmAkhye     varade    devI    nIla    parvata    vAsini l
tvam jagatam mAtA rupeNa yonI mudre namastu te ll

kAmArthamAgatA yasmAnmayA sArddhaM mahAgirO l
kAmAkhyA     pracyate     devI     nIlaSEle    rahogatA ll
kAmadA     kAminI     kAmakAMtA     kAmAMgadAyinI l
kAmAMganASinI  yasmAt   kAmAkhyA tena pracyate ll


Anecdote 



Tripurasundari makes her debut appearance in Lalitopakhyana section of Brahmanda Purana, where she is invoked to slay demon Bhandasura and his hordes. Other than this, Kamakhya makes her debut appearance in Kalika Purana as the presiding deity of Kamarupa region (Assam) in North-East India. Kalika Purana also describes that when Cupid was incinerated and later resurrected by Lord Shiva, he advised Cupid to perform penances to appease Goddess Kamakhya to regain his form. Temple lores of Kamakhya Temple recount that how Kamakhya Devi cursed Narkasura to die at Lord Krishna’s hands when the demon proposed the Goddess for marriage. Another temple lore recounts that how Kamakhya Devi  killed the army of the king of Cooch Behar for trespassing the temple during Ambuvachi festival, when the Goddess undergoes her annual menstrual cycle (the Yoni inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple oozes iron oxide into the natural streamlet that originates from the Yoni, giving the streamlet blood-red color) and then cursed the king for watching her secret dance with the help of a corrupt priest (whom Kamakhya kills for this blasphemy) by forbidding him and his descendants from even glancing at the Nilachal hillock (on which the temple is situated). Another temple lore from Tripura recounts that how Tripurasundari instructed the local king to retrieve the Sati Pinda from dense forest and construct a temple in her honour.


Notable temples 


Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam

Kamarupa Kamakhya Temple of Guwahati is not only the most important of all Shaktipithas, but also the most famous temple of Tripurasundari/Kamakhya. Previously a tribal sacrificial site to the Khasi Goddess Kameke/Kamekha, Kamkhya Temple complex has temples dedicated to each Mahavidya. Tripureshvari temple of Udaipur, Tripura is another important temple of Tripurasundari and along with Kamakhya temple, it is also counted as a Shakti Pitha. Another Shakti Pitha dedicated to Tripurasundari is Lalitambika temple of Prayag (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh.

Bhuvaneshvari भुवनेश्वरी  


Bhuvaneshvari is the fourth Mahavidya. Durga, Chandika, Sati, Parvati, Siddhidatri, Chandraghanta, Kushamanda, Kaushiki and Ambika are her other forms. She is often identified as Adishakti herself and thus the female half of Lord Shiva in his Ardhanarishvara form.


Aspect 



Bhuvaneshvari represents the Lordship or governing aspect of Parvati.


Consort


Trayambaka त्रयंबक 


Mantra



भुवनेशी     महामाया     सूर्यमण्डल    रूपिणी l
नमामि वरदां शुद्धां कामाख्या रूपिणी शिवा ll

bhuvaneSI      mahAmAyA     suryamaNDala     rupiNI l
namAmi varadAm SuddhAm kAmAkhyA rupiNI SivA ll


Anecdote



All Shaivite and Shakta Puranas identify Bhuvaneshvari as Adi Shakti who along with Lord Shiva creates everything. Shiva Purana and Devi Bhagavatam are two such texts.


Notable temples 

Vaishno Devi Temple, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir

Bhuvaneshvari temples of Cuttack, Odisha, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Udaipur, Rajasthan & Jamshedpur, Jharkhand and Vaishno Devi of Katra, Jammu & Kashmir, Jvala Devi of Jwalamukhi, Himachal Pradesh and Chandi Devi of Haradwar, Uttarakhand are of great importance.



Bhairavi भैरवी 




Bhairavi is the fifth Mahavidya. Favourite of hermits, she is the consort of Lord Shiva’s fierce form Bhairava. Bhairavi is often identified as Kali and Tara & also Durga and also as the eight Matrikas (Brahmi, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Aparajita, Chamunda). Her other names are Tripurabhairavi, Brahmacharini, Aparna, Mahamaya, Linga Bhairavi and Balabharavi.


Aspect



Bhairavi represents asceticism of Parvati


Consort


Dakshinamurti दक्षिणामूर्ति 


Mantra



महापद्म वनान्नृतास्ते परमानन्दं विग्रहे l
शब्द   ब्रह्ममये   देवी  वन्दे  त्रिपुर भैरवी ll

mahApadma vanannrutAste paramAnanda vigrahe l
Sabda  brahmamaye   devI  vande  tripura bhairavI ll


Anecdote



All Tantras are presented in the form of a conversation between Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. Here, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati discuss matters of spirituality with each other and are known as the Bhairava and the Bhairavi. According to Shiva Purana, Bhairavi is the ancient form of Adishakti who slew Madhu – Kaitabha to protect Brahma & Vishnu. In the same Purana, she enlightens Lakulisha, a devotee of Lord Shiva, with the secret of Lord Shiva’s skull garland. In Devi Mahatmyah, she is depicted slaying Mahishasura, Dhumralochana and Shumbha – Nishumbha.


Notable temples


 
Bhairavi Devalay, Tezpur, Assam
Bhairavi Devalay of Tezpur, Mahamaya temple of Dhubri, Dirgheshvari temple of Guwahati, all of which are in Assam are important centres of Bhairavi worship. Other than this, the Siddha Bhairavi temple of Martindi, Odisha, Bhairavi Shakti Pitha at Gokarna, Nepal and Linga Bhairavi temple at Kovai, Tamil Nadu also attract crowds.



Chhinnamasta छिन्नमस्ता 

Chhinnamasta is the sixth Mahavidya and is better known for her act of self-decapitation. She is identified as various goddesses such as Durga, Chandi, Kamakhya and Kali. However, her closest association is with the Buddhist Tantrik goddesses such as Chhinnamunda, Vajrayogini and Vajravarahi. Her other forms are Prachanda Chandika, Gupta Kamakhya, Guhya Durga and Vairochana.


Aspect



Chhinnamasta represents self-sacrificing aspect of Parvati.


Consort


Kabandha कबंध 


Mantra



गुप्त  दुर्गे  महाभागे  गुप्त  पाप  प्रणाशिनी l
सप्तजन्मार्जित पाप त्राहिमाम शरणागति ll

नमस्ते गुप्त कामाख्ये तुभ्यं त्रैलोक्यपूजिते l
प्रयाच     विविधं     नित्यं     देवी     सिप्रिये ll

gupta durge mahAbhAge gupta pApa praNASinI l
saptajanmArjita   pApa   trAhimAm   SaraNAgati ll

namaste gupta kAmAkhye tubhyam trailokyapUjite l
prayAcha      vividham      nityam      devI      sipriye ll


Anecdote



In Tantric literature, it is said that after the end of war with Mahishasura, when Dakini and Varini, two attendants of Durga told her that even after drinking blood of demons their blood-thirst remains unquenched, Durga beheaded herself and satisfied her attendants with her blood. Another version says that once Parvati decapitated herself and quenched the thirst of Jaya and Vijaya, her two attendents. Another oral legend says that Parvati drank the demon’s share of Somaras and thereafter decapitated herself to prevent them from acquiring it.


Notable temples


 
Chintapurni Mata Temple, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
Chintapurni Mata Temple of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, Chhinnamasta temples of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Bishnupur, West Bengal and Deoghar, Jharkhand are some of the famous temples. Also, there is a famous Chhinnamasta-Vajrayogini temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.



Dhumavati धूमावती 

Dhumavati is the seventh Mahavidya and is considered inauspicious. Among all Hindu Goddesses, Dhumavati alone appears as a widow. Goddess of death and decay, she is associated with Alakshmi, Jyeshtha and Niritti.


Aspect



Dhumavati represents the cursed aspect of Parvati.


Consort


Being a widow, Dhumavati has no consort.

Mantra



देवीम् कोटेश्वरीम् शुद्धाम् पापाग्नि कामरूपिणी l
नमामि    मुक्तिकामय    मुक्तिं    देहि   हरप्रिये ll 

devIm koTeSvarIm SuddhAm pApAgni kAmarupiNI I
namAmi    muktikAmaya   muktim   dehi   harapriye ll


Anecdote



There are many versions of the anecdote on Dhumavati. According to one version, once Sati swallowed Lord Shiva out of hunger, because of which Lord Shiva cursed her to lose her youth & beauty and become an old widowed woman. Another version says that Dhumavati is burnt remains of Sati herself. Vamana Purana version says that when Dhuralochan confronted Durga, she soaked all smoke into her and became Dhumavati and killed Dhumralochan.
Another version says that Dhumavati is the charred remains of Sati, after the later quit Her mortal coil through self immolation. Akshay Tritiya is said to be the death anniversary of Lady Sati, and thus inauspicious within Shakta circle.


Notable temples


 
Dhumavati Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Dhumavati temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajpara, Bihar are the only two known Dhumavati temples.



Bagalamukhi बगलामुखी 

Bagalamukhi is the eighth Mahavidya and is famed for paralyzing her foes. She is worshiped to get rid of enemies. Her other forms include Pitambara, Brahmastrarupini and Vak Shakti.


Aspect



Bagalamukhi represents the Courageous aspect of Parvati.


Consort


Maharudra महारुद्र 


Mantra



प्रपद्ये   शरणं   देवी   श्री   कामाख्ये  सुरेश्वरी l
शिवस्य दयिताम् देवी कामाख्या कामरूपिणी ll

prapadye SaraNam devI Sri kAmAkhye sureSvarI l
Sivasya   dayitAm   devI   kAmAkhya  kAmarupiNI ll


Anecdote



Bagalamukhi is said to have manifested at the request of Lord Vishnu from Haridra Sarovar to subdue a storm that would have destroyed all living beings from the surface of earth. Also, Bagalamukhi slew the demon Madanasura, who had achieved Vak-Siddhi from Brahma which caused the Asura's curses to come true. Hence Devi pulled out his tongue and killed him.


Notable temples


Pitambara Shakti Pitha, Datia, Madhya Pradesh

Pitambara Shakti Pitha of Datia, Madhya Pradesh, Bagalamukhi temples in Bankhandi, Himachal Pradesh, Patan in Nepal and Shajapur in Madhya Pradesh are some of the famous temples. Kamakhya Temple complex also houses a Bagalamukhi temple.



Matangi मातंगी 


Matangi is the ninth Mahavidya and is considered an outcaste goddess. Revered as Tantric Sarasvati, Matangi is said to be Tripurasundari’s prime minister in Sri Vidya traditions and an attendant of Kamakhya in Kali Kula tradition. Her other forms are Raja Matangi, Shyamala, Chandalika and Ucchishtha Changulini.


Aspect



Matangi represents knowledge aspect of Parvati.


Consort 


Matanga (Chandeshvara) मतंग (चण्डेश्वर)


Mantra



सरस्वत्यं नमो नित्यं भद्रकाल्यां नमो नम: l 
वेद  वेदांत   वेदांग  विद्या स्थानेभ्य एव च ll

sarasvatyam namo nityam bhadrakAlyam nomo namah l
veda   vedanta   vedanga  vidyA  sthAnebhya  eva  cha ll


Anecdote



According to Kalika Purana, Matangi is wife of sage Matanga who transforms into Kali and kills Shumbha, Nishumbha and their hordes. According to Vamana Purana, Matangi is born from the leftovers of Lord Shiva. She is described as one of the war companion of Goddess Durga in Shiva Purana and in Lalitopakhyan, she participates and assists Tripurasundari


Notable temples



Madurai Meenakshi Devi
Meenakshi Devi of Madurai is considered an Avatar of Matangi Devi. Also, she is worshiped inside the main sanctum sanctorum of Kamakhya temple along with Kamakhya and Kamala.


Kamala कमला 


Kamala is the tenth and last Mahavidya. Due to her association with Lakshmi, Kamala’s consort is said to be consort of Lord Vishnu. Revered as the Tantric Lakshmi, she is another attendant of Kamakhya. The city of Mumbai has been named after her Mumba Devi form. Her other forms are Kamalatmika, Padma, Padmavati, Lakshmi, Vishnu Vallabha, Indira, Mahalakshmi, Mumba Devi and Haripriya.


Aspect


Kamala represents the prosperous aspect.


Consort 


Vishnu विष्णु 


Mantra


सदाचार   प्रिये   देवी   शुक्लपुष्प  वर  प्रिये l
गोमायादि सूचि प्रिते महालक्ष्मी नमस्तु ते ll

sadAchAra  priye  devI  SuklapuShpa vara priye l
gomAyAdi suchi prIte mahAlakshmI namastu te ll


Anecdote



During the churning of ocean, Kamala came in disguise of a rotting corpse. No one except Lord Shiva came near her. Thereafter Kamala became Lord Shiva’s wife. Also, it was Kamala who vanquished the demon called Mumbasura in her Mumba Devi.


Notable temples


Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharashtra

Mumba Devi temple of Mumbai and Mahalakshmi temple of Kolhapur, both of which are in Maharashtra are the only two independent temples of Kamala. Other than these, she is worshiped inside the main sanctum santorum of Kamakhya temple along with Kamakhya and Matangi.