What are the 10 Mahavidyas?

Our ancient texts mention about ten Mahavidya who are worshipped to seek all sorts of powers. Mahavidya worship is known as Sadhana in which worshippers concentrate on a single Goddess to please and to seek Her blessings. In any Sadhana, Yantra and Mantra are considered very effective mediums through which worshippers can reach their target and fulfill their motive to perform it.

In Hinduism, specific Yantra and Mantra are assigned to each deity and those are used as a medium to reach the deity to fulfill the motive. Each Goddess along with her Yantra is worshipped through the fixed procedures, steps, and rituals.

What are the 10 Mahavidyas
10 mahadiyas images


A dash mahavidhiya is one of Hinduism’s 10 wisdom goddesses. The term comes from the Sanskrit, dasha, meaning “ten,” maha, meaning “great” and vidya, meaning “knowledge.” Each mahavidya is a form of the Divine Mother. In Hindu mythology, the dasha mahavidyas were created after a disagreement between Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati (a form of Shakti). she manifested herself in ten forms to keep Shiva from leaving.

The highest spiritual truth is that reality is One. That reality, when personified as the Divine Mother, expresses itself in countless ways. The ten Mahavidyas or Wisdom Goddesses, represent distinct aspects of divinity intent on guiding the spiritual seeker toward liberation. For the devotionally minded seeker these forms can be approached in a spirit of reverence, love, and increasing intimacy. For a knowledge-oriented seeker, these same forms can represent various states of inner awakening along the path to enlightenment.

The 10 Mahavidyas or Supreme of Everything

10.tirpura bhaivrai


In the series of the ten Mahavidyas or wisdom aspects of the Divine Mother, Kali comes first, for she represents the power of consciousness in its highest form. She is at once supreme power and ultimate reality, underscoring the fundamental Tantric teaching that the power of consciousness and consciousness itself are one and the same.

Kali appears to us in countless ways, but some aspects are more commonly encountered than others. In the esoteric Krama system of Kashmir, she is said to have a succession of twelve forms, beginning with Guhyakali, the supreme mystery, the Absolute. The other eleven forms  represent every subsequent level of awareness, all the way down to our ordinary, unenlightened state. From pure formlessness and throughout the countless forms she assumes, Kali is the sole reality. Mother is all, and all is Mother.


क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं ह्रीं ह्रीं हूं हूं क्रीं क्रीं ह्रीं ह्रीं हूं हूं स्वाहा।


Goddess Tara is the second of the Das Mahavidya. Tara, which means star, is seen as beautiful but perpetually self-combusting. Hence Goddess Tara is perceived as the personification of unquenchable hunger that propels life.

Tara is the Goddess who offers ultimate knowledge and gives salvation and is also known as Neel Saraswati. Her weapons are Khadga, Sword and pair of scissors.

During the churning of the milky sea when poison came out the ocean,LORD SHIVA drank it to save the world from destruction. But Lord Shiva fell unconscious under the powerful effect of the poison. At this point Goddess Durga appeared as Tara and took Shiva on her lap and breast fed Him to counteract the effect of the poison. Hence Tara is said to be more approachable to the devotees because of Her maternal instincts.

Goddess Tara is very much similar to KALI in appearance. Both are shown as standing upon a supine Lord Shiva with protruding tongue. However while Kali is described as black, Tara is portrayed as blue. Both wear a necklace of severed human head. However, Tara wears a tiger-skin skirt while Kali wears only a girdle of severed human arms. Both have a lolling tongue and blood oozes from their mouths.

Goddess Tara, unlike Goddess Kali, holds a lotus in one of the above arms and a pair of scissors in one of the lower arms. In the remaining two arms Goddess Tara holds bloody Kripana and Kapala (skull-cup) filled with the blood.

 Mool Mantra

ॐ ह्रीं स्त्रीं हुं फट्॥



The eighth Mahavidya is Tripurasundari, also known as Kamala. A form of Mahalakshmi, She symbolizes wealth. Her body is golden in color and She is seated on a gold lotus. Here is the story of Her origin. One day Indra, the ruler of the heavens, saw Rambha and was lost watching her beauty. At that time, the fierce Rishi Durvasa appeared and gave a garland to Indra. But Indra, still mesmerized by Rambha, did not realize what he was doing and gave the garland to his elephant Airavat. Durvasa was angry with the disrespect shown to him and immediately cursed Indra thus, “You are the King of the Gods, but yet you are playing with women. You will lose Lakshmi. She will leave your kingdom.” Goddess Lakshmi, true to the curse, left the heavenly regions. All the Gods were saddened, and led by Indra went to Vishnu to get His counsel. Vishnu suggested that Lakshmi would appear if they churned the ocean of milk. Both devas and asuras arrived at the ocean of milk (Ksheera Samudra). They used Mount Mandara as the central axle and the serpent Anant Nag as a rope to move the mountain. Lord Vishnu took the form a large tortoise to support the Mountain. The asuras and the devas each took the opposite ends of the snake and churned the ocean. As they churned, a lot of beautiful beings and objects manifested including Ucchaisrava (the divine horse), Dhanvantari (the God of Medicine), the Sudharshana Chakra, the Parijata flower. And then came Lakshmi. When they saw Laksmi, the Gods offered Her an asan with the greatest respect. They did an abhishek to Her, offered Her a lotus garland, and entreated Her to stay with them, to which She agreed. She became known as Tripurasundari. Tri means three, Pura means a city, and Sundar means beautiful. Tripurasundari is the beautiful one of three cities or all the three.She manifests the perfection of compassion in all Nature. 




The fourth Mahavidya is Bhuvaneshvari, whose form closely resembles that of Tripurasundari. Her name consists of two elements: bhuvana, which means this living world—a place of dynamic activity—and isvari, which means the female ruler or sovereign. The name Bhuvanesvari is most often translated as “Mistress of the World,” but bhuvana is more than the earth we stand upon. It is the entire cosmos, the bhuvana trayam, consisting of the heavens, the atmosphere, and the earth. Because this is a living, dynamic phenomenon, Bhuvanesvari embodies all its characteristics and their interaction.

She is called Mahamaya (“she whose magical power is great”). Maya here is the power to create a magical appearance for the delight of the spectator; that is what a magician does. She is called Sarvarupa (“she whose form is all”) and Visvarupa (“she whose form is the universe” or “she who appears as the universe”). All that we experience in this life is, in fact, the Divine Mother. As Bhuvanesvari she is consistently associated with the here and now.

According to “Pranatoshini Grantha ”, Brahma had the desire to create the Universe, and he did intense Tapasya to invite the energy of Creation, Kriya Shakti. Parameswari, pleased with his Tapasya, responded to his invitation and came as Bhu Devi or Bhuvaneswari. She is red in color, seated on a lotus flower. Her body is resplendent and shining with jewels. She holds a noose (paasham) and a curved sword (ankusham) in two of her hands and the other two assume the mudras of blessing and freedom from fear. She resides in Shiva’s heart. Bhuvaneswari is the Supreme Empress of Manifested Existence, the exposure of consciousness.

Essentially, Bhuvanesvari, by her all-pervasiveness and identification with the universe, invites us to cultivate an attitude of universality.



The third Mahavidya is Chinnamasta. She is also known as Prachanda Chandika. Chinnamasta (“she who is decapitated”) is a form of the Divine Mother shown as having cut off her own head. This is her story:

Origin Story: According to Panchatantra Grantha, once Parvati went with her friends Dakini and Varnini to take a bath in the Mandakini River. Parvati was feeling very happy and a lot of love was welling up inside which caused her complexion to darken and the feeling of love completely took over. Her friends, on the other hand, were hungry and asked Parvati to give them some food. Parvati requested them to wait and said that she would feed them after a while, and began walking. After a short while, her friends once again appealed to her, telling her that she was the Mother of the Universe and their children and demanded that their hunger be satisfied immediately. The compassionate Parvati laughed and with her fingernail cut her own head. Immediately the blood spurted in three directions. Her two friends drank the blood from two of the directions and the Goddess herself drank the blood from the third direction.

Since she cut her own head, she is known as Chinnamasta. Chinnamasta shines like a lightning bolt from the Sun. She demonstrates the rare courage needed to make the highest conceivable sacrifice.


श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं ऐं वज्र वैरोचनीयै हूं हूं फट् स्वाहा॥


Mahapadmavanantasthe Paramanandavigrahe Shabdabrahmamaye Svacche Vande Tripurabhairaveem” Bhairavi, the Terrible One, is also the consort of Lord Bhairava, a fearsome, destructive aspect of Shiva. Bhairavi is the very embodiment of destruction and decay. Hence, she is also termed as the Goddess of Decay. Bhairavi’s destruction, though, need not always indicate negativity. The principle behind her destruction is that everything that gets created needs to be destroyed, in order for the cycle of life to keep moving. Physical attributes Goddess Bhairavi is almost indistinguishable from the terrible Kali. They are much the same in looks, except for the fact that Bhairavi is depicted as the consort of Bhairava. Bhairavi is also referred to as Shubmkari, who is good to good people and terrible to bad ones. Legend has it that, when Bhairavi entered the battlefield, her horrible appearance made the demons weak-kneed and cowered under her gaze. Most of the demons would start panicking the moment they saw her. In Durga Saptashati, while slaying the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha, Bhairavi is seen as the Mahakali. However, she also slays Chanda and Munda (the Chieftains of asuras) and drinks their blood. Hence, Parvathi gives her the name, Chamundeshwari. Bhairavi in her other forms, is also identified with Durga. In her violent form, she is sometimes shown sitting on a donkey, her body covered with a tiger skin and skeleton, her mouth dripping with the blood of the asuras. She presents the abhaya mudra (gesture which grants the devotee succour) and vara mudra (bestowing boons on the devotee). Contrarily, she is also shown holding heavy weapons such as a trident, axe, and thunderbolt. Bhairavi is associated with the Mahapralaya (the Great Deluge at the end of each yuga or epoch), during which all creation is dissolved in the formless waters of destruction. Since everything that is ever created is destroyed, destruction exists everywhere. In that sense, Goddess Bhairavi exists everywhere. Bhairavi in Kundalini Tantra Bhairavi is the name given to a female yogini




Dhumavati personifies the dark side of life. Her name means “she who is made of smoke.” Smoke is one of the effects of fire. It is dark and polluting and concealing; it is emblematic of the worst facets of human existence.

Origin Story: As per legend mentioned in Pranatoshini Tantra, once Devi Sati due to satiate her extreme hunger swallowed Lord Shiva. Later on the request of Lord Shiva itself, She disgorged Him. After this incident, Lord Shiva rejected Her and cursed Her to assume the form of a widow.

A common feature is an association with a crow. The crow sometimes appears emblazoned on Dhumavati’s banner; sometimes it sits atop the banner. Occasionally the bird is shown as huge, serving as her mount (vahana).

She is associated with poverty, need hunger, thirst, quarrelsomeness, anger, and negativity. She is consistently shown as old and ugly, with sagging breasts and crooked or missing teeth. She is dressed in filthy rags.

Dhumavati is characterized as a widow, and this gives a clue to her unique nature as a Mahavidya and distinguishes her from the earlier goddesses, who are to be avoided.

Dhumavati represents the erosive power of time that robs us of loved ones, of our own youthful strength and vitality, of our health, and of whatever else contributes to our fragile happiness.  Everything that we so desperately clings to for security is by nature transient. In the end, we all face our own mortality. That is the fundamental problem of human existence


धूमावती मंत्र… : ॐ धूं धूं धूमावत्यै फट्।


She is also known as Bagala for short and as the “goddess who paralyzes enemies.” In later tantric yoga, Bagalamukhi is associated with the practice of pranayama. Her name is the combination of Bagala and Mukhi. Bagala, which is the distortion of the original Sanskrit root Valga (वल्गा), means bridle.

The headgear used to control a horse is known as a bridle. Hence Bagalamukhi means the Goddess who has the power to control and paralyze the enemies. Due to her capturing and paralyzing powers She is also known as Devi of Stambhana

In some traditions, she is an incarnation of the goddess Kali. Bagalamukhi translates as “the one who checks the mouth.” She is so-named for her power to silence speech and still the mind. In yoga, such a state helps the yogi find peace and higher states of consciousness/

Origin Story: Once an asura named Ruru, the son of Durgam, performed severe penance to win the favor of Brahma. Since Ruru was already very powerful, the Gods became very apprehensive of what might happen if he obtained a boon from Brahma. So they did Aradhana (propitiation) to yellow water (Shree Maa says here, that yellow intuitively means peace). Pleased with their tapasya, the Divine Mother appeared as Bagala. Bagala is the Goddess who stops all motion at the appropriate time, silences the mouths and words of all evil beings, and controls their tongues. May that Goddess bless us with stillness when it is appropriate!


ॐ ह्रीं बगलामुखी सर्व दुष्टानां वाचं मुखं पदं स्तम्भय जिह्वां कीलयं बुद्धिं विनाशय ह्रीं ॐ स्वाहा


The Shakti Sangama-tantra narrates the birth of Ucchishta-matangini. Once, the god Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi visited Shiva and his second wife Parvati (a reincarnation of Sati) and gave them a banquet of fine foods. While eating, the deities dropped some food on the ground, from which arose a beautiful maiden who asked their left-overs. The four deities granted her their left-overs as prasad, food made sacred by having been first consumed by the deity. This can be interpreted as the Ucchishta of the deity, although due to its negative connotation the word Ucchishta is never explicitly used in connection to Prasad. Shiva decreed that those who repeat her mantra and worship her will have their material desires satisfied and gain control over foes, declaring her the giver of boons. From that day, the maiden was known as Ucchishta-matangini.

Matangi is often described as an outcast and impure. Her association with pollution mainly streams from her relation to outcast communities, considered to be polluted in Hindu society. These social groups deal in occupations deemed inauspicious and polluted like a collection of waste, meat-processing and working in cremation grounds.

Matangi is regarded as a Tantric form of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and the arts of mainstream Hinduism, with whom she shares many traits. Both embody music and are depicted playing the veena. They are also both said to be the Nada (sound or energy) that flows through the Nadi channels in the body through which life force flows. Both are related to rain clouds, thunder, and rivers. Though both govern learning and speech, Saraswati represents the orthodox knowledge of the Brahmins while Matangi—the wild and ecstatic outcast—embodies the “extraordinary” beyond the boundaries of mainstream society, especially inner knowledge


 क्रीं ह्रीं मातंगी ह्रीं क्रीं स्वाहा: 


Kamala is the tenth of the ten Mahavidya Goddesses. Goddess Kamala is considered the supreme form of the goddess who is in the fullness of Her graceful aspect. She is not only compared with Goddess Lakshmi but also considered to be Goddess Lakshmi. She is also known as Tantric Lakshmi. The goddess in the form of Kamala bestows prosperity and wealth, fertility and crops, and good luck. Hence She is Devi of both Dhan and Dhanya i.e. wealth and grains.

Kamala is portrayed as making the gestures of boon-giving and fearlessness.  She sits on a lotus and holds lotus blossoms in her two upper hands. Even her name means “lotus.” She is flanked by two elephants. Obviously, Kamala is Lakshmi, who is portrayed in an identical manner, but in the context of the Mahavidyas, there are also significant differences.

Kamala is not a divine consort but the independent and all-supreme Divine Mother. She is not the spouse of any male deity. Interestingly, she is rarely identified with the other female forms found in orthodox Vaisnavism, such as Sita, Radha, or Rukmini. However, Kamala is not completely auspicious or one-sided. Sometimes she is called Rudra (“the howling one”), Ghora or Bhima (“the terrifying one”), or Tamasi (“the dark one”). Like Kali, the Tantric Kamala embraces the light and the darkness, for she is the totality.

Kali is said to represent unfettered absolute reality; Tara an expanded state but yet bound by the physical; Bagalamukhi the fierce concentration; Kamala and Bhairavi with the satisfaction of physical well-being and worldly wealth; while the other Mahavidyas symbolize the worldly needs and desires that eventually draws into Kali. Also, Kali, Chinnamasta, Bagalamukhi, and Dhumavati are characterized by their power and force – active and dormant. Tara has certain characteristics of Kali and certain others of Sundari. And she is also related to Bhairavi, Bagalamukhi and Matangi in aspects of sound-force (sabda) expressed or implied. Whereas Sundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Matangi, and Kamalatmika have qualities of light, delight, and beauty. The Tantras speak of Kali as dark, Tara as the white; and Sundari as red.


ॐ नमः कमलवासिन्यै स्वाहा ।।


The 10 Mahavidyas are indifferent to each other. They are not 10 different goddesses but one goddess in 10 different forms. They do not bow before anyone,nor do they serve anyone. They all are one soul i.e. Shrimad Dakshina kali. [In Durga Parampara they are forms of Sri Durga].


While Kali the destroys the universe and dwells in the chaos with her consort Mahakala Shiva, for creation she indulge herself in union with the lord of time. But for her offspring as she need extreme power,she absorves her own spouse. Mahakala Shiva being fully absorbed by her Shakti, takes the form of the Trigungatmika brahmanda in the womb of Kali. And that’s how kali becomes Lambodari Tara,the supreme mother.[Tara is mainly associated with wisdom and ultimate remover of problems as she even removed Halahala poison’s pain from Shri Mahakal,thus making him Neelkantha*note that was a Leela of Haraparvati. Goddess Tara is very tantric by nature,so she is also addressed as Bali homa priye~one who loves sacrifices in rituals.The everblue goddess Tara is consort of Aksobhya shiva].

After Tara gives birth to the Triguna, she tooks three forms to the trimurti as their consort for the Leela of creation. She becomes Lakshmi for Sattwa guni Vishnu,Vani for Raja guna Brahma and Uma for Tama guni Shiva. These three forms together become the ultimate queen of all her creations- Rajrajeswari Srividya,who dwells in her own celestial heaven,Manidweepa.

Shrividya Shodasi[She is Shrimata Lalita’s Shodashakshari vidya present within Dasha Mahavidyas,she is none other than tripura sundari and hence responsible for the whole existence of cosmos. She is Purusha(Shiva) and herself Prakriti(Shakti). Hence Shivashaktiekya rupini,her description as Kameshwari is also given in Durga Saptashati].

Srividya being Bhuvaneshwari takes avataras to sustain her creation,[Bhuvaneshwari is none other than Durga Devi herself and hence she is presiding deity of Devi Bhagvatam. She is the real potency behind creator Brahma, Sustainer Vishnu and Destroyer Mahesha. Her consort is Bhuvaneshwara Shiva or Tryambakeswar Shiva].

Being Bhairavi she spreads the ultimate wisdom to redeem her children[Bhairavi is associated with knowledge ,wisdom and protection. Surprisingly she is the only presiding deity of Durga Saptashati. So she is also addressed as Navarna Chandika or Chandi Devi. She destroys all sorts of Bhaya or fears. She is only Kundalini swaroopa Narayani Devi of Chandipatha. Her consort is Dakshinamurti Shiva]. And as Dhumavati she destroys her own creation to rebuild it again.[Dhumavati or Dhumrakali is the widow aspect of Kalika. She is associated with coldness and ugliness. At the same time she can be a giver of unlimited wealth and prosperity too. Because she has almost 36 rupa bhedas,Dhumrakali has no consort as she is a widow].

As Chinnamasta she provides morality and self-satisfaction by her own divine nectar of blood to those who are spiritually thirsty and suffering from the pain of worldly hunger.[Chinnamasta is originally Prachanda chandika. She signifies her victory over lust by standing upon mating couple Kamadeva and Rati Devi. Thus her sadhaka needs to be completely free from lust. Her 2 attendants are Dakini and Varini or Jaya and Vijaya. She is always allied with Khabandh Shiva].

As Bagalamukhi she purifies her children from mortal sins and renew them like a newly blossomed yellow plant.[She is associated with trampling over one’s or her devotee’s enemies,she also well known as pitambarama because of her bright yellow presence and also said that Kushmanda Durga is one of her Anga Vidya, she is known for paralyzing her evil/enemy. Her actual form is 4 handed Brahmaastra rupini VajraBagalamukhi holding tongue of Nadasura and sitting upon corpse of Madnasura. Her consort is Maharudra Deva].

As Matangi she fills our eyes with illusion so that we may not get away from her this Sristi -Sthiti -pralayatmika leela. [Mainly the Green goddess Matangi is associated with knowledge, skills and other supernatural abilities,that’s why in other various paths of shaktism she is also called Siddhividya.Her consort is Viresh/Matanga Bhairava(Shiva)].

As Kamala she watches her own leelas and takes no part in it. But only witnesses her own beauty in her own creation.

After she is bored with all this she destroys all of these as Kali and again turns the wheel of time as was before,as will be again. [Mainly Kamala or Kamalatmika is associated with completion of wealth and related material desires. Her consort is Vishnurup Mahakal].

They are one soul in different aspects.

Other than 10 Mahavidyas,there are total 18 Mahavidyas collectively known as Astadasha Mahavidyas. But some Mahavidyas vary from Kalikula to Shreekula. Like Ashwaroodha is Mahavidya in Shrikula but not in Kalikula.

Mahavidyas of Kalikula~Kali,Raktakali,Tara,Mahismardini, Triputa,Twarita,Durga, Vidya and Pratyangira.

Shreekula~Tripura Sundari,Tripura Bhairavi,Bala tripura sundari, Baglamukhi, Kamala,Dhumavati, Matangi, Swapnavati,Madhumati and Mahavidya.

What are the 10 Mahavidyas Faq’s

Who is the most powerful Mahavidya?

Kali The ultimate form of Brahman, “Devourer of Time” (Supreme Deity of Kalikula systems). Mahakali is of a pitch black complexion, darkest than the dark of the Death-Night.

Is Bhairavi a Parvati?

Bhairavi is a Hindu goddess, described as one of the Mahāvidyas, the ten avatars of the Mother Goddess. She is an aspect of Parvati and the consort of Bhairava, an avatar of the god Shiva.

What are the Dasa Mahavidya?

A dasha mahavidya is one of Hinduism’s 10 wisdom goddesses. The term comes from the Sanskrit, dasha, meaning “ten,” maha, meaning “great” and vidya, meaning “knowledge.” Each mahavidya is a form of the Divine Mother.


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