Sunday, 2 October 2016

Different Forms of Divine Mother

 

Although the Divine Mother is only one, Her manifestations are many.  During the early centuries of the Christian Era, the Divine Mother was worshipped as an independent and Supreme Goddess.  She was mostly pictured as riding a lion (Simha-vahini).  This is the image of Durga we find in the Chandi where she appears as Chamundeshvari and Mahishasura-mardini.

 

In later centuries, the Divine Mother came to be regarded as the spouse of God Shiva.  Here again, there were two schools.  In one school, the Divine Mother and Shiva are regarded as equal in power.  This school, known as ''Samya'', is the more common one, especially in South India.  In the other school, known as ''Kaula'', the Divine Mother as Kali is regarded as the dynamic principle, and Shiva as the passive principle.  This school is most prevalent in Bengal, and also in Kashmir and Kerala.

 

The Divine Mother is regarded as having ''Ten Great Wisdom Forms'' (Dasha-mahavidya).  These ten Goddesses are:

  1. Kali

  2. Tara

  3. Tripura Sundari

  4. Bhuvaneshwari

  5. Bhairavi

  6. Chhinnamasta

  7. Dhumavati

  8. Bagalamukhi

  9. Matangi (Saraswati)

  10. Kamala (Lakshmi)