Matrikas – The Goddesses of War, Liberation and Children
Matrikas, also popularly known as Matara or Matri, is the group of seven Hindu goddesses. The MatrikasMatrikas
Matrikas, also popularly known as Matara or Matri, is the group of seven Hindu goddesses. The Matrikas include Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamunda. include Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, IndraniIndrani
Indrani is the consort of Lord Indra, also known as the God of Thunder... and Chamunda. Since they are seven in number they are also known as Sapta Matrikas. The name Sapta Matrikas consists of two Sanskrit words “Sapta” and Matrika”. The word “Sapta” in Sanskrit means seven and “Matrika” translates to “mother”. The Matrikas are regarded as different aspects of Shakti and are identified as the consorts of different gods, representing the powers of each god. The Matrikas are considered as the most important goddesses in Hinduism and are worshipped by devotees and worshippers all over the world with great devotion and passion.
Each Matrika is depicted in her own unique way. Brahmani, She is a benevolent aspect of Shakti who is majorly worshipped in Rajasthan and Gujarat. She is considered the female counterpart of Brahma and is believed to provide him with his power of creation also known as Brahmi, is depicted as a beautiful yellow colored woman with four hands. She is the consort of BrahmaBrahma
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)... and like him she holds a rosary, a noose, a water pot and a lotus. She is generally shown to be seated on a swan. Vaishnavi is the consort of Vishnu and is seated on Garuda. She has six hands and holds a conch shell, discus, mace, lotus, bow and sword in each. Just like VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.., she is adorned with many jewels, ornaments and a special crown called kirita mukuta. Maheshwari is the consort of ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... and is seated on NandiNandi
Nandi is one of the most iconic and famous characters of Hindu mythology. He is the vehicle of Shiva and also the gatekeeper of the abode of Shiva and Parvati. . She has a white complexion and six hands and holds a trident, a drum, a garland of beads, a drinking vessel, a skull and a serpent in each hand. Indrani is the consort of Indra and is seated on a charging elephant. She is generally shown as a dark skinned woman and holds Vajra, It is a Sanskrit word which means thunderbolt as well as diamond. Hence, it is the name given to a ritual weapon which is both indestructible and strong like a diamond, and irresistible like a thunderbolt goad, noose and lotus stalk in her hands. Kaumari is the consort of Kumara i.e., Kartikeya and is shown seated on a peacock. She has four hands and holds a spear, axe, silver coins and bow in each. Varahi is the consort of VarahaVaraha
Varaha is the third incarnation of Vishnu who came on earth to rescue the it from the bottom of a sea. As all the other forms of Vishnu, Varaha too had the purpose of restoring Dharma and ending the rule of evil and maleficence. and is depicted to have the head of a boar and body of a woman. She is generally shown to be seated on a ram or a buffalo. She has many arms and holds various items like a wooden rod, a sword, a drinking vessel, a bell, a discus, a yak’s tail, a bow etc. in each. ChamundaChamunda
The name Chamunda is the combination of two names ‘Chanda’ and ‘Munda’... is regarded as the power of Devi; more specifically, of Chandi. Chamunda is depicted as a dark colored fierce woman wearing a garland made of skull of the demons slain by her and holds a trident, a sword, a drum and a drinking vessel in her hands. She is generally shown standing on a human corpse.
There are many Vedic references and texts which state that once upon a time there were two brother named Shumbha and Nishumbha who were Asuras. They were very ardent worshippers of Brahma and performed intense penance for ten thousand years in Pushkar, Rajasthan. Brahma was pleased by their severe austerities and told them to ask for a boon. Upon this the brothers asked Brahma to grant them the boon that they would never be killed by any human, animal, demigod, demon or god. Brahma agreed and granted them the boon. Later, the two brothers went to their home and assigned the great sage BhriguBhrigu
Bhrigu was one of the seven great sages known as Saptarishis and was created... as their priest. Bhrigu then gave a golden throne and assigned the elder brother Shumbha as the king on a very auspicious day according to astrology. When the news about Shumbha becoming the new king spread across the world everyone tried to come and visit the new king. Chanda and Munda, two very powerful demons came there along with their army. A very powerful demon named Dhumralochan along with his army came to visit Shumbha as well. Rakthabeeja, a very powerful demon in his own right, came there as well. Asuras from all over the world came there with their armies and formed union with their new king Shumbha. With such a massive army and immense power, Shumbha and Nishumbha conquered the three worlds and brought utter chaos and destruction in the universe.
All the gods tried to fight against them but due to the boon granted by Brahma, even gods could not stop them. The gods then approached Devi and requested her to help them. Devi accepted their request and decided to help them. Chanda and Munda once saw Devi and were mesmerized by her unparalleled beauty. They informed the same to their king upon which Shumbha sent a demon named SugrivaSugriva
In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Sugriva was the younger brother of Vali, whom he succeeded as ruler of the vanara or monkey kingdom Kishkindha... to bring her. However, Devi rejected to go to Shumbha. Upon this Shumbha and Nishumbha decided that they would abduct her forcefully by any means necessary. They first sent Dhumralochan along with his army of sixty thousand Asuras. However, Devi killed Dhumralochan and destroyed his entire army. Later, they sent Chanda and Munda to fight against her but Devi killed the two demons as well. Even Rakthabeeja was slain by Devi. Finally, the brothers decided to go into combat against Devi themselves. When the two brothers approached to fight Devi, she assumed her true Shakti form and created the Matrikas, each with her own unique power. The Matrikas then proceeded to fight in the battlefield and killed Shumbha and Nishumbha. This was in accordance with the boon granted by Brahma as the demons were protected from humans, animals, demons and gods but not goddesses. Thus, the Matrikas freed the world from the tyranny and terror of the demons and restored the balance of the world.
Worship, Beliefs and Significance
There are many temples of Matrikas all over India. The most prominent temple, however, is the Saptamatrika Temple in Jajpur, Odisha. The goddesses are the chief deities of the warriors and pregnant woman. It is believed that the goddesses bless their devotees with victory in battles, and bless pregnant women with great and mighty children. They are also believed to bless the devotees with immense power, prosperity, happiness, joy and wisdom. However, it is believed that when the goddesses are furious, they make women childless and strike newborn babies with fatal fevers. The goddesses are benevolent to those who are indulged in benign acts, and show their maleficent aspect to those who commit themselves into acts of evil. The Matrikas symbolize power, strength, protection, wisdom and motherhood.