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10 Mahavidya Names & Ten Forms of Goddess Shakti

28 Mar, 2024 by Snehil

10 Mahavidya Names & Ten Forms of Goddess Shakti

28 Mar, 2024 by Snehil

Hinduism is probably the only religion in the world that acknowledges the concept of Shakti, or the Sacred Feminine, as having the same power as Parabrahma, or the Absolute Divine. Hinduism believes that the elements of Shiva (the male, Purusha) and Shakti (the female, Prakruti) are two halves that create a harmonious and well-balanced whole. Shakti means "strength," as the name implies. 

Without Goddess Shakti, Lord Shiva has repeatedly declared that he is nothing. This illustrates the Mother Goddess's significant position in the Hindu pantheon. Our ancient scriptures include the names of 10 mahavidyas and their mantras for searching for various powers. Sadhana, a type of Mahavidya worship, involves devotees focusing on a single goddess in order to appease her and obtain her blessings. 

10 mahavidya mantras and yantras are regarded as highly effective means for worshippers to accomplish their goals and satisfy their motivations in any kind of sadhana. Each deity in Hinduism is associated with a particular yantra or mantra, which is used as a means of contacting the deity in order to achieve a goal. Every 10 goddesses has a set procedure, set steps, and set rituals for worshiping with their 10 mahavidya yantras. Let’s start with the story of the Ten Mahavidyas.

Story of the 10 Mahavidyas

It is believed that Sati, the wife of Shiva, was the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, who was a descendant of Brahma. Sati married Shiva against the will of her father. Daksha called all the gods and goddesses, except for his son-in-law, Lord Shiva, to a grand Yagya, or Yagna, which means "sacrifice, devotion, worship, offering." Sati was informed about her father's yajna by Narad Muni. 

Asking Shiva for permission to attend the yajna, she stated that her daughter did not require an invitation from her dad. Shiva claimed that Daksha was attempting to disgrace him and that, even if Sati participated in the yajna, the offering's results would not be fortunate. He therefore advised Sati not to go to the yajna. Sati lost her temper, believing Shiva to be behaving more like a simpleton than the universe's mother. 

Thus, in order to reveal her true identity to Shiva, she took on the form of the Divine Mother. The mountains trembled, the seas raged, and the wonder of her form filled the air. Shiva shook and attempted to run away. But in every direction that he tried to flee, the divine mother stopped him. No matter how hard Shiva tried, he was unable to get away from the Divine Mother because she had transformed into ten distinct forms and was watching over each of the ten directions. 

These 10 Mahavidyas are ten incarnations of the Divine Mother. The goddesses of wisdom are called Das Mahavidyas. Vidya means wisdom, Maha means great, and Das means ten. The first of the names of 10 Mahavidyas, Divine Mother Kali, is regarded as the representation of the Das Mahavidyas. Every 10 goddesses has a distinct name, story, attribute, and 10 mahavidya mantras and yantras.

Name of 10 Mahavidyas And Their Mantras and Yantras

Each of the 10 Mahavidyas has a particular yantra and mantra that are used as a means of communicating with God and achieving their goals. Each of the ten Mahavidyas is worshipped using set procedures, stages, and rituals, along with her yantra. Let us proceed to gain a better understanding of each of these powerful Dus Mahavidyas and their 10 mahavidya yantras and mantras.

1. Goddess Kali

Kali, the dark-colored goddess, represents any goddess who is not part of the goddess cluster. Considering the names of 10 mahavidyas, Kali is one of the mahavidyas, though the precise sequence, nomenclature, and quantity of them differ depending on the source. Kali is frequently referred to as the principal Mahavidya, or the most important one. For the most part, it seems that all the other Mahavidyas have their origins in Kali and are merely slightly different forms associated with her.

She is in a position of blessings, holding a blood-dripping cleaver and a severed head in one hand, and her other two hands are making the Abhaya Mudra, which assures her protection. The powerful Devi Kali brings light and dispels ignorance so that one can see the truth about themselves. It is Divine Maa Kali who controls the effects of Planet Saturn.


॥ 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॥”

2. Goddess Tara

Tara, also known as Tarini, the deliverer, is ranked second in the list of names of 10 mahavidyas. Among all the Mahavidyas, her physical attributes are most similar to those of Goddess Kali. Tara is the name of a star. Many people understand its significance to be comparable to that of Kali. Tara is frequently characterized as having three vividly red eyes. Tara is often portrayed as having a bulging belly, wearing tiger skin, and clutching a severed human head, just like Maa Kali. There are five half-moons on her head. 

Although Devi Tara may have a terrible appearance, her devotees believe that she opens her mind and eliminates things that are not in her children's best interests. Her strength is sound, and silence is necessary to explore the mind's inner workings. To obtain Devi's blessings, one can worship her and recite the Dus Mahavidya Beej Mantra. She has the power to influence the impact that Jupiter (Guru) has on Earth. 


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

3. Goddess Shodashi (Tripura-Sundari)

Tripura Sundari, also referred to as Maa Shodashi, is the magnificent eternal beauty whose name translates to "beauty of the three worlds." She is described as "shining like the bright radiance of the rising sun" in Tripura-Sundari's Dhyana Mantra. Shodashi, the Tantric version of Tripura Sundari, signifies the sixteen-year-old. She is holding a sugarcane bow, a goad, flower arrows, and a noose in each of her four hands. 

Chanting Her Mantra makes one aware that while outward beauty is a surface-level desire and illusion, inner beauty is what truly matters. When considering the 10 mahavidya mantras and yantras, by meditating on her yantra and reciting the goddess's Dus Mahavidya Beej Mantra, the worshipper gains the ability to draw in and enchant people from all over the world. Devi Shodashi has a connection to Mercury, the planet of Buddha.


॥ 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 ||”

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4. Goddess Bhuvaneswari

Considering the names of 10 Mahavidyas, the meaning of Maa Bhuvaneshvari is 'She whose body is the world'. Bhuvaneshvari is considered the underlying energy and is associated with the creation of the Earth. 'Bhu' means Earth. She represents space—the space of awareness and understanding. Devi Bhuvaneswari represents the way the world works within each and every one of us. She is recognized through Prakriti (nature, or the material world) and the mahabhutas (the fundamental elements of the physical world). 

Bhuvaneswari Devi grants knowledge to her devotees that is comparable to that of Goddess Saraswati in nature. She rules the mind and is associated with the planet Moon in astrology. When considering the 10 mahavidya mantras and yantras, Maa Bhuvaneshwari's Dus Mahavidya Mantra sadhana is associated with numerous benefits, such as a happy married life, mental clarity, concentration, restful sleep, and so on.


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

5. Goddess Bhairavi

When we consider the names of 10 mahavidya, the name of Maa Bhairavi means "the terrible one" or "terror" in translation. She is dressed in red, with a garland of severed heads and skulls as decorations. There are blood vessels all over her body. It is said that Bhairavi is in charge of and moves forward among the three male gods, who are usually connected to creation. 

There is a belief that Bharavi Devi is superior to all the gods and very different from them. This emphasis is found in many hymns and stotras about goddesses, particularly the Mahavidyas. She is depicted in the image holding four hands, one of which is carrying a japa mala (rosary) and the other a pustaka (book). In addition, Bhairavi takes on the role of teacher, and her wisdom results in the creation of the Vedas.


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

Ten mahavidhya names

6. Goddess Chhinnamasta

Another Ugra roop found in the Dus Mahavidya, the self-decapitated Goddess Chinnamasta, is an extremely frightening image. Considering the names of 10 mahavidyas, Prachanda Chandika is another name for Chinnamasta, which translates to "She whose head is severe." The image of Chinnamasta shows her drinking her own blood that spurts from her neck, holding her own severed head in one hand and a sword in the other. 

She is a symbol of giving and taking life—sacrifice in both senses. Chinnamasta Maa is in charge of the evil astrological planet Rahu. In order to protect her from the numerous negative effects of Rahu, a native with a birth chart with a weak placement of Rahu may worship her. Her teachings are profound and are primarily used in Tantra Sadhana.


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

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7. Goddess Dhumavati

When considering the names of 10 Mahavidyas, Dhumavati is also known as the Widow Goddess. She is usually portrayed as ugly, her hair unkempt, and her eyes full of worry. She represents the difficult and unpleasant parts of life. Dhumavati's story claims that, in order to satisfy her hunger, she swallowed her husband, Lord Shiva. 

Because of that, smoke began to emanate from her body; hence, the word "Dhumavati," which means smoke, was given to her. Additionally, Maa Dhumavati is sometimes thought of as an ancient version of Kali, where Kali stands for eternal life and immanent life forces. She has control over Planet Ketu's effects.


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

8. Goddess Bagalamukhi

Maa Bagalamukhi is frequently referred to as "the paralyzer." She gives off an extremely drunken, gloomy vibe. Her golden complexion is the only thing adding to its allure—her yellow dress, accessories, and garlands. The goddess Bagalamukhi is endowed with magical abilities. 

She grants her devotees the power to transfix anyone attempting to harm them, and she herself provides her devotees with strong protection. Maa Baglamukhi is the goddess of Mars and its manifestations. Considering the 10 Mahavidya mantras and yantras, she is a favorite among the Tantra Sadhana.


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

9. Goddess Matangi

Maa Matangi is regarded as the odd one out of the names of 10 Mahavidya deities. One myth about Matangi touches on the idea of becoming contaminated just by hanging around with your fellow Candalas, or untouchables. She is the ruler, the embodiment of leadership. The desires of the devotee are realized by worshiping Dus Mahavidya Devi's yantra and reciting her mantra. 

She is in charge of the sun's effects, according to astrology. She is identified with pollution and is a symbol of society's lower castes. Saraswati in Tantric form is Matangi, the Devi of art, music, and knowledge. She integrates information that goes beyond what is commonly known in Hindu society. 


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

10. Goddess Kamala

Devi Kamala, also referred to as the Lotus Goddess, is the last of the names of 10 Mahavidya deities. The Tantric Laksmi is called Kamala. Out of all the goddesses mentioned in the ten Mahavidyas, Kamala is usually the most well-known and revered. She is a goddess possessing nearly all favorable and auspicious attributes. 

Maa Kamala is fortunate to have many of the things that people generally aspire to, including safety, success, good fortune, luxury, and prestige. According to Dasa Mahavidya, Kamala is not the same as Lakshmi, even though she is sometimes referred to as Devi Lakshmi. Kamala is merely a giver, acting in order to secure the well-being of the devotee. Maa Kamala is the one in charge of Venus


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

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Final Takeaway

Worshiping the Mahavidyas in their various forms ultimately leads to the devotees' liberation. Even the names of 10 Mahavidya deities actually carry a blessing that inspires their followers to reach ever-higher peaks in their spiritual journeys. Being a Devi Upasaka (follower) is primarily about expanding one's consciousness beyond the norm and letting go of restrictive social norms and expectations. 

But here's a warning to those who are determined to seek Mahavidya's grace. Even though each of these 10 mahavidya yantras and mantras is extremely potent and offers all the blessings that their followers wish for sadhakas or seekers, they should be aware that they should never attempt to abuse the abilities of the unique mantras associated with these Devis. There should not be a single detail missed in the faithful performance of ritual worship.

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