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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Mahavidyas

DEFINITION:

In traditional Tantra, the Ten Great Wisdom goddesses, the mahavidyas or dasa mahavidyas (Sanskrit dasa=ten; maha=great; vidyas=wisdoms). When Shiva and his consort, Shakti, in the form of Parvati, got into an argument (over a game of dice), he threatened to leave. She manifested ten forms of herself, ten goddesses, to guard the directions (east, west, north, south, southeast, southwest, north east, northwest, above, below). Each one brought some form of fascinating wisdom to keep Shiva occupied. They are:

  1. Kali 
  2. Tara 
  3. Tripura Sundari 
  4. Bhuvaneshvari 
  5. Chhinamasta 
  6. Bhairavi
  7. Dhumavati 
  8. Bagalamukhi 
  9. Matangi 
  10. Kamala

Some sources give slightly different lists or orders.

SOURCE:  Donald Michael Kraig (Shambhala Nath)
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