Archive for the 'Hindu' Category

Vac

February 14th, 2010 by sabrina

star-of-heavenVac is the Hindu Goddess of speech. She is described in the Rig Veda as not only speech itself, but also as truth and perception, which allow us to turn divine knowledge into words. She is said to be the mother of the Vedas, having inspired sages to write them. Vac is depicted either as a golden-skinned woman or as a cow, a symbol of nourishment. She was eventually syncretized with the Goddess Sarasvati, ruler of knowledge. Vac’s name, which means “speech,” is also seen as Vak or Vach, and sacred texts give her the following names (some of which she shares with other Hindu Goddesses):
Aditi
Aghnya
Agnayi
Agnya
Anumati
Apva
Aranyani
Dhenu
Durga
Gauri
Indrani
Kuhu
Pathya
Prthvi
Raka
Ratri
Rodasi
Romasa
Sarama
Saranyu
Sarasvati
Sinivali
Sraddha
Surya
Svasti
Urvasi
Usas
Vrsakapayi
Yami

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Nirrti

October 16th, 2009 by sabrina

nirrtiNirrti is the Hindu Goddess of destruction and death. She dwells in desolate places, watching for people who are hungry or in mourning. She wears dark clothes and has messy hair. Offerings to Nirrti are often black, such as black grain and stones, or diseased and malformed animals, and were usually intended to keep her away from rituals rather than to invite her to join in. As time went on, Nirrti was given male attributes as well as female, and thus also became associated with “third sex” and transgender people. Nirrti’s name means “destruction.”

Category: Hindu | 1 Comment »

Bahuchara

September 26th, 2009 by sabrina

Okay, I was really surprised when I saw a Goddess riding on a rooster. Then when I found out what she was the Goddess of … well, I did refrain from drawing the connection in the actual entry, but you can put it together!

bahucharaBahuchara is the Hindu Goddess of castration. She is particularly worshipped by the hijra of India, the transgender and “third sex” community. There are several stories telling of her origin, but one says that she was once a maiden who was attacked by outlaws while traveling. Fearing that she would be raped, Bahuchara cut off her own breast and offered it to the outlaws. She also cursed the outlaws with impotence, a curse that was only lifted when they began to dress as women and worship her. In the present day, impotent and transgender men self-castrate as part of their worship of her. Bahuchara is depicted riding on a rooster, carrying a sword, a trident, and a book of sacred writings. Her name is also seen as Bahuchara Mata, Bahucharaji, Bahuchari, and Bahucara.

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Sarama

September 4th, 2009 by sabrina

I couldn’t find a picture of today’s Goddess, so you get a pic of my puppy, Sandy the cockapoo!

saramaSarama is the Vedic Goddess of intuition and dogs. She serves as a messenger for Indra, Lord of the Gods, and is the mother of the Sarameyas, two dogs who served Yama, God of death. Sarama was the only one able to find the sacred cows that had been stolen from the Angirasas, the fire priests, by following the path of truth, guided by her intuition. Sarama’s name means “the fleet one,” and she was also called Devashuni (divine bitch) and the Hound of Heaven.

Category: Hindu | 4 Comments »

Gauri

April 10th, 2009 by sabrina

gauri

Gauri is the Hindu Goddess of purity. She is an avatar of the Goddess Parvati. When Parvati first sought out Shiva to seduce him, Shiva found her dark skin to be unattractive. Parvati retreated into the forest, where she lived a very austere life, developing her spiritual powers. Brahma took notice of Parvati’s mastery of her physical self, and decided to grant her one wish. Parvati asked that her dark skin be taken away, so that Shiva would love her. Brahma took the darkness and created the Goddess Kali with it, leaving Parvati with golden skin, and she became the Goddess Gauri.

Gauri is usually depicted with light or golden skin. Because of her color, she is also associated with rice and grains, taking on the role of a fertility Goddess. Gauri’s name means “golden,” and her 108 name hymn includes the following names:
Shree gauri
Ganesha-janani
Guhambi-ka
Jaga-nnetri
Giritanu-bhava
Veera-bhadra-prasuve
Vishva-vyapini
Vishva-rupini
Ashta-murtyat-meka
Ashta-daridrya-shamani
Shiva
Shambha-va
Shan-kari
Balaa
Bhavani
Haima-vati
Parvati
Papa-nasini
Narayanam-shajaa
Nitya
Nirma-laa
Ambi-ka
Hemadri-jaa
Vedanta-lakshana
Karma-bramha-ma
Ganga-dhara-kutumbini
Mrudani
Muni-samsevya
Manini
Menakat-majaa
Kumari
Kanyaka
Durga
Kalidosha-vighatini
Katya-yani
Bhadra-daeni
Mangalya-daeni
Sarva-mangala
Manju-bhashini
Mahe-shvari
Maha-maya
Mantra-radhya
Maha-bala
Sati
Sarva-ma
Soubhagya-da
Kama-kala-na
Kamkshi-tardha-prada
Chandrarka-yuta-tatamka
Chidambara-shareerini
Sree chakra-vasini
Devi
Kameshva-rapati
Kamala
Murari priyardhamgi
Putra-poutra-vara-prada
Punya
Krupa-prurna
Kalyani
Anchit-ya
Tripura
Trigunam-bika
Purushardha-prada
Satya-dharma-rata
Sarva-sakshini
Shashamka-rupini
Sarasvati
Viraja
Svaha
Svadha
Pratyamgi-rambika
Aarya
Daksha-eni
Deeksha
Sarvotta-motta-ma
Shivabhi-nama-deya
Sree-vidya
Prana-vardha-svarupini
Hrinkari
Naada-rupa
Sundari
Shoda-shakshara-devata
Maha-gouri
Shyama-la
Chandi
Bhaga-malini
Bhaga-la
Matru-ka
Shulini
Amala
Anna-purna
Akhila-gama-samstut-ya
Amba
Bhanu-koti-samdya-ta
Para
Seetamshu-kruta-shekha-ra
Sarva-kala-sumangali
Soma-shekhari
Amara-samsev-ya
Amrutai-shvari
Sukha-sachi-chudara-sa
Balya-radita-bhutida
Hiranya
Sukshma
Haridra-kumkuma-radhya
Sarva-bhoga-prada
Markandeya-vara-prada
Sree-nitya-gouree-devata

Category: Hindu | 5 Comments »

Tulasi

March 24th, 2009 by sabrina

tulasiTulasi is the Hindu Goddess of loyalty. She was once a woman named Vrinda, who was married to a man of low caste named Jalandhar. Vrinda was so devoted to her husband that he became stronger for it and could not be defeated in battle. One day, the God Vishnu took on the form of Vrinda’s husband Jalandhar and tricked her into sleeping with him. Jalandhar lost his great strength and was subsequently killed, and Vrinda threw herself onto his funeral pyre. Vishnu, sorry for what he had done, turned Vrinda into the tulsi plant, a type of basil, and she became the Goddess Tulasi. The plant is considered to be very sacred, and there are certain rituals that must be used to take leaves from it. Tulasi’s name means “the incomparable one,” and other names, including those from her 108 name hymn, include the following:
Akriti
Aksini
Amba
Amritaruupini
Aradi
Archini
Avirbhuuti
Bhaktavatsala
Bhavitri
Bhuumi
Brahmapriya
Chakrini
Chandrabhaga
Chapaleksana
Charini
Danaprada
Devagita
Devi
Dhanavati
Dharini
Dhatri
Draviyasi
Dvirada
Gada
Gandhini
Garbhavarini
Gatra
Gatriya
Gauri
Gautamarchita
Gopikakrida
Guhyavidya
Hara
Jagatraya
Kalaharini
Kalini
Kamaksi
Kaveri
Krishna-Jivani
Krishnakanta
Kula
Mahavidya
Manikarnika
Manyai
Nandini
Padmini
Pitambara
Prabha
Prabhavini
Praya
Pritichinteksani
Priyabhuushana
Protasoma
Pushpasara
Rasini
Ratnaruupini
Rukmini
Sama
Samshraya
Sarasi
Sarasivasa
Sarasvati
Saravedavidamvara
Sarva devati
Satyasandha
Saurasa
Savitri
Shamanidhini
Shankhini
Sharavati
Shatadyutaye
Shatananda
Shikhini
Shitikantha
Shobhana
Shreyasi
Shreyovati
Shri
Shrimati
Shuchini
Shyamasundara
Sita
Sochyamanasa
Sthayini
Sugandhini
Sushroni
Suvasana
Svargini
Traimuurti
Trasini
Treta
Tripada
Tripathaga
Varada
Vedya
Vibhuuti
Vishvapavani
Vishvapujita
Vishvashraya
Vrinda
Vrindavani
Yagyavidya
Yamai
Yamunapriya

Category: Hindu | 1 Comment »

Tara

February 4th, 2009 by sabrina

Sage at Hocus Pocus asked a little while ago about Tara, and she was one of those Goddesses that I just hadn’t gotten to yet, mostly because I knew that she would be a little tricky. I think I’ve managed to tease out the Hindu Tara from the Buddhist Tara, who I’ll tackle tomorrow.

tara

Tara is the Hindu Goddess of liberation. She is one of the Mahavidyas, the Wisdom Goddesses. The Hindu Tara is usually depicted as fierce and horrifying, in contrast to the beautiful and compassionate Tara of Buddhism. She sits on a white lotus, and holds a knife or a pair of scissors, a skull, a sword, and blue lotus. Her complexion is often shows as blue, and she has three red eyes. Tara wears snakes and a tiger skin, and is seated on the heart of a corpse. Her depiction is very often like that of Kali, and she shares many names with Kali.

The Hindu Tara is also associated with cremation. She sits or stands on a corpse, which is often shown being cremated or there are cremation fires in the background. In this context, cremation represents the transition from life to death and the soul’s liberation from the body. The sword and scissors that she carries symbolize the cutting of ties that bind one to ignorance and prevent freedom.

Tara’s name comes from a root which means “to carry,” and her other names and epithets include:
Ugra-Tara
Mahacinakrama-Tara
Smasana-bhairavi (terrible one of the cremation ground)
Jalesvari (mistress of rain)
Jagaddhatri (world nurse)
Prthivi (earth)
Vasudha (earth)
Vrksamadhyani-vasini (she who dwells in trees)
Sarvavamayi (she who creates everything)
Samsaratarini (she who carries across the ocean of samsara)
She who likes blood
She who is smeared with blood
She who enjoys blood sacrifice
She who likes fresh flowers

Category: Hindu | 1 Comment »

Kamala

January 13th, 2009 by sabrina

I have yet to truly understand the Hindu Goddesses and the overlap between them. For example, in Kamala’s name hymns (which I can’t find—I’m getting the names secondhand), she is also called Durga, Matangi, Bhairavi, Gauri, etc., and I know that other Goddesses have Kamala in their name hymns. Anyone out there with some insight on this? I’d love to hear your information and opinions. 

kamalaKamala is the Hindu Goddess of consciousness and creation. She is one of the Mahavidyas, the wisdom Goddesses. Kamala is depicted as a beautiful woman with golden skin, seated or standing on a lotus. She holds two more lotuses, symbols of both fertility and purity. She is accompanied by elephants, who pour jars of nectar on to her, also symbolizing fertility. Kamala is the Mahavidya form of Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and beauty. As a Mahavidya, she represents the unfolding of inner consciousness into the fullness of creation. Her greatest power is the removal of poverty, both material and spiritual. Kamala’s name, which means “she of the lotus,” is also seen as Kamalatmika, and her other names and epithets include:
Mahasakti
Mahamaya
Pranasakti (the life principle)
Narasimhi
Varahi
Durga
Siva
Raudri
Gauri
Sati
Kapali
Kalaratri
Ghora (awful)
Bhima (terrible)
Tamasi (darkness)
Matangi
Dhumavati
Tarini
Bhadrakali
Mahakali
Bhairavi
Mother of the World
Creator of all the Gods
Mistress of all
She who is situated in the middle of countless universes
Whose form is the creation
Who is the cause of creation
Who is without support
Who is the form of highest spiritual bliss
Who is the three gunas
Who creates all
Whose form is everything
Slayer of Madhu and Kaitabha
Slayer of Sumbha and Nisumbha
She whose bliss is Siva
She who is dear to the one who does the Tandava dance
She who wears a garland of skulls
She whose form is very terrible

Category: Hindu | 2 Comments »

Bhuvanesvari

December 20th, 2008 by sabrina

Bhuvanesvari is the Hindu Goddess of the physical world. She is one of the Mahavidyas, the wisdom Goddesses. Bhuvanesvari is considered to be one of the first of the Goddesses, who came into being just after the world was created in order to direct it. She is a form of Tripura Sundari, the Great Mother. Bhuvanesvari is described as being very beautiful, with a golden complexion and black hair. Her smiling face has three eyes, so that she can better observe the world. She sits on either a lotus, a symbol of both creation and perfection, or a throne.

Bhuvanesvari has some fierce aspects, as with all of the Mahavidyas, because she protects the world, her creation. She holds a noose and a goad, intended to control evil. Her hand gestures represent the offering of favors and fearlessness. Bhuvanesvari’s name, which means “mistress of the world,” is also seen as Bhuvanesi, Bhuvaneswari, and Bhubanesvari, and her other names and epithets include:
Jagaddhatri (she who nurses the world)
Mahamaya (great Maya)
Prapancesvari (mistress of the fivefold world)
Rajarajesvari (queen of queens)
Sarvarupa (she whose form is all)
Sarvesi (mistress of all)
Vagesvari (mistress of speech)
Visvarupa (she whose form is the world)
She who makes all the worlds
She who dwells in the five basic elements
She who makes the basic elements
She who is the cause of Mahapralaya
She who wanders in the physical world
She who wanders in the void
Slayer of Mahisasura
Slayer of Sumbha and Nisumbha
Destroyer of Raktabija
Destroyer of Madhu and Kaitabha

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Bhairavi

November 27th, 2008 by sabrina

Bhairavi is the Hindu Goddess of decay. She is one of the Mahavidyas, the wisdom Goddesses. Bhairavi is the transformation that comes with destruction, which is not necessarily negative. She personifies light and heat that can burn away the imperfections in the soul. She is usually depicted as having red skin, three eyes, and blood smeared on her lips and breasts. She smiles softly and wears a moon on her crown. Bhairavi’s name means “terrifying” and she is also known as Tripura Bhairavi (supreme terror in the three worlds).

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