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The Dus Mahavidyas

Kali Vidya

The Dus Mahavidyas are the ten Wisdom Goddesses. The Literal meaning of Dus Mahavidya is 'Das' means ten, 'Maha' means great and 'vidya' means wisdom or knowledge. These ten transcendental forms of Goddess Parvati, the Adi Parashakti. The other perspective is that these are ten different forms of Divine Maa Kali, who is the first of the Ten Mahavidyas that manifested from Devi Parvati. Worship of Maa Shakti is referred to as Mahavidya, with each form having their own background story, attribute and Mantras. The 10 Devis are significant in Tantra Sadhana and are also known as Tantric forms of Devi Shakti. The Todala Tantra describes all the Dus Mahavidyas and all other details about each Devi form. Successful Tantric worship of these Mahavidyas bestows several boons to the devotees.

The Dus Mahavidyas are (1) Kali, (2) Tara, (3) Shodasi or Maha Tripura Sundari (Sri Vidya), (4) Bhuvaneshvari, (5) Bhairavi, (6) Chinnamasta, (7) Dhumavati, (8) Bagalamukhi, (9) Matangi, (10) Kamala. These ten forms of Shakti are the epitome paradigm of the entire universe. They are a guide to spiritual awakening for devotees. The Devis also have specific directions in which they reside, like, Goddess Kali and Tara Maa are for North direction, Devi Bhuvaneshvari is West direction, Shodasi (Tripura Sundari) is the Ishaan corner and so on.

Story of Appearance of Dus Mahavidya

Legend has it that once when a simple love game between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati became serious. It built up to such intensity that Lord Shiva intended to walk out. When all efforts of Devi Parvati failed to pacify Her beloved consort, She manifested Herself into the fierce (Ugra roop) form of Maa Kali. Seeing this terrible form, it is said, Lord Shiva took flight but every direction He ran to had one more form of Divine Mother. Thus the 10 forms, the Dus Mahavidya manifested. So the Lord could not escape. The Dus Mahavidyas made Lord Shiva aware of the eternal love which existed between Him and Devi Parvati. Seeing the forms of the Dus Mahavidya, which ranged from scary and fearful(Ugra roop) to stunningly beautiful(Soumya roop), is said to have had a spiritual awakening in the Lord. Therefore, the Dus Mahavidya Devis are manifestations of the Divine Mother to bring about shifts in energies and spiritual awakening in the human race.

Dus Mahavidya Mantra

The Dus Mahavidyas can be worshipped by the ritualistic Dus Mahavidya Mantras and Yantras. The Yantras of Dus Mahavidya are mystical Cosmic geometry which represents the energies of each of the 10 Devis. As per Vedic Astrology, performing Yantra puja along with chanting of these Mantras provide Astrological remedies. Practising this Mantra Sadhana can help the devotee to attain Siddhis. These also include Dus Mahavidya Beej Mantra of each Devi and Dus Mahavidya Shabar Mantra. The Dus Mahavidya Shabar Mantra is in praise of each form of the Dus Mahavidya.

It is important to know the pronunciation of these powerful Mantras perfectly to get the optimum outcome of worship. The devotee who does the worship of Yantras and chanting of Dus Mahavidya Mantras, immersed in devotion, with a pure intention and in total surrender can be blessed with immense gifts from the Devi forms.

The Dus Mahavidya forms are also said to have an association with the various Avatars of Lord Vishnu, as mentioned in Todala Tantra text. It says that Devi Shakti requested Lord Shiva to explain to Her the essence of each of the Dus Mahavidya Devis. The Lord described to His Parvati the equivalents of each Devi and the Vishnu Avatars.

Mentioned below are different forms of Dus Mahavidyas, the Planets associated with them and the Vishnu avtars of each devis as per Vedic Astrology.

Goddess Kali

Kali VidyaKali, the dark-coloured goddess, is a perfect example of any goddess that is known not in the goddess cluster. Even though the order, names, and a number of the Mahavidyas vary according to different sources, Kali is definitely included. Kali is often referred to as the most crucial or primary Mahavidya. In most occurrences, it appears that all the other Mahavidyas originate through Kali, and are somewhat different embodiments connected with her. Kali is sort of always regarded being a dark presence, dreadful appearance.

Holding a blood-dripping cleaver along with a severed head in Her hand has a posture of blessings along with the Abhaya Mudra (assurance of Her protection) with Her two other hands. Kali, a symbol of greatest reality; She truly reveals the type of fully awakened consciousness. The mighty Devi Kali removes the darkness of ignorance and brings the light of awareness of the truth about self. The effects of Planet Saturn are under the control of Divine Maa Kali.

Date: 30th June
Avatar: Krishna
Direction: North

॥ ॐ क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं हूं हूं ह्रीं ह्रीं दक्षिणे कालिके क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं हूं हूं ह्रीं ह्रीं स्वाहा ॥
“Om Kreem Kreem Kreem Hum Hum Hreem Hreem Dakshine Kalike Kreem Kreem Kreem Hum Hum Hreem Hreem Svaha॥”

The cause which moves the subtle body to the infinite perfection and beyond, cut the ego! cut the ego! Maya! Maya!
Oh, Goddess who removes all the darkness. I am ONE with God

Goddess Tara

Tara Vidya Tara is placed second in the series of Mahavidyas and is also called Tarini, the deliverer. Her physical appearance is mostly like Goddess Kali among all the other Mahavidyas. The name Tara means star. The significance is frequently interpreted as being similar to that of Kali. Tara is often described with three bright red eyes. Similar to Maa Kali, Tara is frequently depicted holding a severed human head, has a protruding belly and wears a Tiger skin. Her head is adorned with five half Moons. Devi Tara may appear terrible but for the devotees, She illuminates the mind, removes what is not of the highest good for Her children. Her power is the force of sound, the importance of silence to delve deeper inside the mind. Worshipping and chanting the Devi's Dus Mahavidya Beej Mantra also helps to garner Her blessings. The effects of Planet Jupiter (Guru) on Earth is controlled by Her.

Date: 1st July
Avatar: Matsya
Direction: North

॥ ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं फट् ॐ ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं हूं फट् ॥
“Om Hreem Shreem Phat Om Aim Hreem Shreem Hoom Phat ||”

I bow to the Goddess who brings an abundance of knowledge and takes away fear and darkness.

Goddess Tripura-Sundari (Shodashi)

Tripura-Sundari Maa Shodashi or Tripura Sundari is the ravishing eternal beauty and Her name means, the beauty of the three worlds. Tripura-Sundari's Dhyana Mantra portrays her as 'She shines like the bright radiance of rising Sun'. Shodashi means the One Who is sixteen years and is the Tantric form of Tripura Sundari. In her four hands, She holds a noose, a goad, flower arrows, along with a bow of Sugarcane. Chanting Her Mantra brings to the awareness that beauty of the soul is of importance, the physical beauty is mere illusion and superficial desire. Meditating on Her Yantra and with chanting of Dus Mahavidya Beej Mantra of the Goddess, the worshipper is blessed with the power to attract and enchant the world. Devi Shodashi is connected to the planet Mercury(Budha).

Date: 2nd July
Avatar: Parashurama
Direction: Northeast

॥ श्रीं क ए ई ल ह्रीं; ह स क ह ल ह्रीं; स क ल ह्रीं ॥
“Shrim Ka Aye Ei La Hrim; Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim; Sa Ka La Hrim ||”

This sixteenth syllable that is Kala (Shrim) is ‘ S ' plus ‘ r ' plus ' i ' plus ' m ', from which the Vidya itself derives its name of Sri-vidya.

Goddess Bhuvaneswari

Bhuvaneswari Vidya Maa Bhuvaneshvari, literally means 'She Whose body's the world'. Bhuvaneshvari is connected with the Earths creation and is viewed as the underlying energy. 'Bhu' means Earth. She denotes Space, the space of consciousness and knowledge. Devi Bhuvaneswari embodies the dynamics of the world in all of us. She is identified using the mahabhutas (the essential physical elements) and also Prakriti (nature or the physical world). To Her worshippers, Bhuvaneswari Devi bestows knowledge, similar to Goddess Saraswati. Astrologically She is in charge of Planet Moon and is about the mind. Dus Mahavidya Mantra sadhana of Maa Bhuvaneshwari brings many blessings which include blissful married life, peace of mind, focus, sound sleep etc.

Date: 3rd July
Avatar: Vamana
Direction: West

॥ ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं क्लीं भुवनेश्वर्यै नम: ॥
“Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Bhuvneshwaryeyha Namah ||”

I invoke the Goddess who presides over the richness of the whole world.

Goddess Bhairavi

Bhuvaneswari VidyaMaa Bhairavi translates to mean 'the terrible one' or 'terror'. She wears Red clothing which is adorned with a garland of severed heads/skulls; Her body is smeared with blood vessels. Bhairavi is described oversees and proceeds within the three male deities who might be typically associated with creation. Bharavi Devi is thought to be very different from all the Gods and even surpassing them. This emphasis is quite common in a lot of hymns/stotras of Goddesses, especially of the Mahavidyas. Her image shows Her with four hands with a Pustaka(book) in one hand and a Japa Mala (Rosary) in another, out of Her four hands. Bhairavi also assumes the role of an educator and produces the Vedas as a result of Her wisdom.

Date: 4th July
Avatar: Balram
Direction: South

॥ ॐ ह्रीं भैरवी कलौं ह्रीं स्वाहा॥
“Om Hreem Bhairavi Kalaum Hreem Svaha॥”

I invoke Goddess Bhairavi who is the is the consort of Bhairava, seated on a lotus with four hands, one with a book, one with rosary beads, one with abhaya mudra and another with varada mundra.

Goddess Chhinnamasta

Chhinnamasta VidyaThe self-decapitated Goddess Chinnamasta's iconography is another Ugra roop of the Dus Mahavidya, which can be termed truly terrifying. Chinnamasta means 'She whose head is severe' and is also called Prachanda Chandika. Chinnamasta is illustrated holding Her very own amputated head in a single hand, with a sword in the other, drinking Her very own blood, that spurts from Her neck. She represents sacrifice, both the giver and the taker of life. The Astrological Planet Rahu, a malefic Planet by nature, is controlled by Chinnamasta Maa. She may be worshipped by a native who has weak placement of Rahu in the birth chart, to get Her protection from the many ill-effects of Rahu. Her teachings are deep and mostly invoked in Tantra Sadhana.

Date: 5th July
Avatar: Narasimha
Direction: East

॥ श्रीं क्लीं ह्रीं ऐं वज्र वैरोचनीये हूं हूं फट् स्वाहा ॥
“Shreem Kleem Hreem Aim Vajra Vairochneye Hoom Hoom Phat Swaha ||”

I invoke Goddess Chhinnmastika who is the lighting-force power behind the Lord who wields the Vajra, the weapon of the God Indra (King of Heaven). You are the one who fulfils the desires and saves from all sorts of worries.

Goddess Dhumavati

Dhumavati VidyaDhumavati is called the widow Goddess. She is typically depicted to be ugly, with dishevelled hair and Her eyes brimming with concern. She symbolizes the painful and burdensome aspects connected with life. The story of Dhumavati says that She swallowed Her husband Lord Shiva to appease Her hunger. Smoke started emanating from Her body as a result of that and so She is named Dhumavati, 'Dhuma' means smoke. She is also sometimes regarded as an old form of Kali, wherein Maa Dhumavati represents timelessness and unmanifest life-forces. The effects of Planet Ketu is under Her control.

Date: 6th July
Avatar: Varaha
Direction: East

॥ ऊँ धूं धूं धूमावती स्वाहा ॥
“Om Dhoom Dhoom Dhoomavti Phat Swaha ||”

Prayers to the one who creates an illusionary smoke screen (Dhum= smoke, Vati = cover) in the form of old age and death. May we see beyond the fear of illusions and mortality to truth and immortality.

Goddess Bagalamukhi

Bagalamukhi VidyaMaa Bagalamukhi can be often called 'the paralyzer'. She emits any grim disposition which is heavily intoxicated. Her complexion is completely golden, embellished simply by Her yellow dress, ornaments, and garland. Goddess Bagalamukhi possesses magical power. Her devotees are protected severely by Her and it is said that anyone trying to cause harm to them will be transfixed, a power which She also bestows to Her devotee. Maa Baglamukhi is the Goddess for Planet Mars and all its effect. She is a favourite of Tantra Sadhana.

Date: 7th July
Avatar: Kurma
Direction: South

॥ ऊँ हल्रीं बगलामुखी नमः ॥
“Om Hreem Baglamukhi Namah ||”

This mantra creates stillness and silence by destroying the creator and illusion, leaving us to dwell on the inner-most self that is beyond ego and illusion.

Goddess Matangi

Matangi Vidya Maa Matangi is thought to be the outcaste. A particular myth related to Matangi touches on the concept of being polluted simply by associating with your Candalas, or the untouchables. She is about leadership, the Ruler. By worshipping this Dus Mahavidya Devi's Yantra, chanting Her Mantra, wishes of the devotee are fulfilled. Astrology has put Her in charge of the effects of Planet Sun.

Date: 8th July
Avatar: Ram
Direction: West

॥ ऊँ ह्रीं क्लीं हूं मातंग्यै फट् स्वाहा ॥
“Om Hreem Kleem Hoom Matangyey Phat Swaha ||”

I invoke Matangi, the one who destroys the demons by enchanting them first. Illuminate me with true knowledge of inspiration and expression.

Goddess Kamala

Kamala VidyaDevi Kamala, the final Goddess of the Mahavidyas, is known as the Lotus Goddess. Kamala is the Tantric Laksmi. Among the many goddesses included in the ten Mahavidyas, Kamala is typically the most popular and well acknowledged. She is the Goddess with almost completely auspicious and desirable qualities. Maa Kamala blesses with many things which humans generally seek, such good luck, luxuries, success, name and safety. Planet Venus is under the control of Maa Kamala.

Date: 9th July
Avatar: Kalki incarnation of Lord Buddha Vishnu is believed to be of Durgaji.
Direction: South

॥ ॐ ह्रीं हूं ग्रें क्षों क्रों नमः ॥
“Om Shreem Hoom Grem Kshom Krom Namah ||”

I invoke Matangi, the one who destroys the demons by enchanting them first. Illuminate me with true knowledge of inspiration and expression.

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