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The Goddess in the Tantrik Tradition
Shakti is both Maya, that by which the Brahman creating the universe is able to make itself appear to be different from what it really is, and mula prakriti, or the unmanifested state of that which, when manifest, is the universe of name and form. – Introduction to the Mahanirvana Tantra, Sir John Woodroffe.
There is no Shiva without Shakti nor Shakti without Shiva. She has different name-adjectives but still remains herself, though taking different forms according to the preponderance of the three qualities. Below are some links to different aspects of the Devi.
According to various tantrik texts, there are 33 million aspects of Devi. Some were doubtless worshipped in India from early times, and subsequently brahminised, becoming “higher” forms. Others remain in their primitive form, sometimes symbolised by stones, posts and other artefacts.
See the abstract of the Devirahasya on this site for a list of just some of the many aspects of the goddess worshipped in the tantrik tradition.
Guru. The guru can be male or female, but she or he is the embodiment of Shiva-Shakti on earth. Visit this page to read of the significance of the teacher and translations from tantras relating to her or him.
Dakshina Kalika is the most famous of the tantrik Devis and first of the ten Mahavidyas. She is viewed with fear by the ignorant but with love by those who wish to conquer their fears. View her yantra, see the first chapter of the Kulachudamani Tantra. See the Kali Nitya Yantras with descriptions and mantras. Here are Kali’s 100 Names (Devanagari and English). Read about Vira Sadhana from the Brihad Nila Tantra. Study the Kali Hridayam hymn. You can also download chapters of The Magic of Kali in Adobe Acrobat format from this site.
Tara is the second of the ten Mahavidyas and has affiliations with Sarasvati, going under such names as Nila Sarasvati, Kurukulla, Ugra Tara and Aniruddha Sarasvati. Turn to this page for an abstract of the Brihad Nila Tantra Go here for an abstract of the Rudrayamala Tantra, including information on Mahachinachara and Kundalini.
The Triple Goddess. Lalita (Tripurasundari) has three aspects as virgin (Bala), mother (Tripurasundari) and crone (Tripura Bhairavi) and is the waxing Moon as Kali is the waning Moon. She represents love and sexuality while Kali represents death. Read the Bhavana Upanishad and the ritual application of the words. Lalita means “She who Plays”. She dwells on a paradise island in a sea of nectar. Her yantra is the famous Shri Yantra, which has nine mandalas. See her daily puja.Or view her 15 Nityas. View the Five Limbs of Bala, containing mantra, puja, amulet, 1,000 names and hymn. Turn to Mahashodha Nyasa, a translation of the great ritual which equates time with a sadhvini or a sadhaka. Here is a translation of the magical armour (kavacha) of the 15 Nityas. And here you will find a translation of the great Subhagodaya, which gives the daily puja of 108 Lalita Tripurasundari.
The Goddess Jvalamukhi. While Kali is dark and Lalita is bright, Jvalamukhi is both and neither. Surrounded by Her 10 flames, the kalas of Fire, She unites the two and is the Devi of the sadhus, the goddess 21,600. Turn to her yantra.
The Goddess Durga. In war, the goddess is fearless in her battle against the demonic forces. Visit this page to get a taste of the Devi routing the egotistic forces of man.
Mahavidya Bagalamukhi. The crane-headed devi is a cruel (krura) aspect of the goddess and this hymn is used to paralyse the prattling speech of enemies, or disconnected parts of the psycho-physical complex.
The Goddess Varahi. This devi (goddess) is an aspect of Tripurasundari. In the Tantrarajatantra, Kurukulla is the mother of the devi while Varahi is the father aspect. This link points to a translation of a chapter from the Tantrarajatantra outlining her worship and attendants.
The Goddess Kurukulla. Another aspect of Tripurasundari.
Goddess Shoshika. This goddess obliterates waste left at the end of puja.She is also known as Ucchishta Chandali and is worshipped as such by adherents of Shri Vidya.
Goddess Chinnamasta. Her name means “beheaded” and she is the fifth of the famous ten Mahavidyas.
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1975-2021. Translations are © Mike Magee 1975-2021.Questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org