April 7, 2015

Matangi Maa! One of the Mahavidya Tantric Goddess's

Matangi Maa! One of the Mahavidya Tantric Goddess's

Goddess matangi
GODDESS MATANGI: Matangi is the Hindu Goddess of Inner Thought and Wisdom. This means she oversees the spoken word as she mystically presides over the more mystic inner kind of knowledge. Matangi is the ninth among the Dasa Maha Vidyas and is their doorkeeper but she is a primary form as the all powerful Goddess. As the highest truth, she is not bound by caste regulations or rules. She is described as the Dark One, a form of Saraswathi, incarnated as the daughter of Matang Rishi, a chandal who resisted the caste system and achieved brahimhood through karma. She worshiped Indra and later Goddess Saraswathi and became his daughter. In the mythic cycle of Daksha yajna, she appears as a manifestation of Sati, wife of Lord Siva and the Daksha’s daughter.

Lord Siva is also known as Matang. His Shakti or power is called Matangi. The goddess has dark emerald complexion and possesses a disc of a moon on her forehead. The three-eyed goddess is seated on the crown decorated with jewels. Her eyes are intoxicated. She is sixteen with a full breast and slim waist. Below her navel are three horizontal folds of skin. Her luster is like a blue lotus and is destroyer like forest fire. In each of her four hands, she has a noose, a mace, an axe and a hook. She is a destroyer of the demons by enchanting them first with her beauty and fulfiller of every desire of her devotees. At times she is seen seated on a corpse, holding a skull and a bowl of blood and untidy long hair. She is sometimes depicted with dark green skin and three eyes and holds a parrot and a jewel encrusted veena. This is the same musical instrument as Saraswathi. Matangi is surroundered by nature especially birds, green and red parrots which represent a guru.

In mythology, Matangi is associated with Ucchista Matangini, the Goddess who loves pollution explained by her origins. Once Lord Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi visited Lord Siva and Parvathi. The guests made food offerings, which while being tasted dropped to the floor. Ucchista means spittle defiled or polluted. From this prasada evolved a maiden known as Ucchista Matangini. Matangi is also associated with Tantra. Pranatosini Tantra traces the origin of Matangini. Once Parvathi left Siva and did not return for some time. Siva disguised himself as an ornament maker and tested her faithfulness. Parvathi did not give in but became furious. Later Parvathi disguised herself as a huntress. Siva was so impressed and turned himself as a chandala. They made love and the goddess requested that they make love in the form of chandala for this form to last forever as Uccista-Chandalini. In Svatantra Tantra legend, sage Matanga assumed austerities to suppress all creatures. After a considerable period, Goddess Tripurasundari appeared and emitted rays from her eyes from which Kali emerged with a greenish complexion and took the form of Raja-Matangini. Thus creatures were all brought under control.

Matangi is the advisor to Goddess Tripura Sundari who summons her to attain command over speech and knowledge. It is said that Matangi manifests Herself as Goddess Meenakshi Amman at Madurai. She is also worshipped as Ellama and this is connected to the myth of Parasurama placing the head of Renuka on a recluse woman. Renuka was the daughter of Renu. She was married to sage Jamadagni and their son was Parasurama. (Renuka-Ellamma would be posted under separate cover) Thus Matangi appears in varying conceptions. Her dhyanas too are diverse: Her complexion can range from white to depict Tantric Saraswathi; brown or black to depict tribal chandala or green as Madurai Meenakshi. She also personifies as Shyamala or Kali.

Goddess Matangi is the embodiment of thought. As Divine Speech, She is the Goddess of the spoken word as well as outward articulation of inner knowledge, including all forms of art, music and dance. Matangi relates to Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge. She is the form of Saraswati directed towards inner knowledge. She represents the teachings of the guru, and the continuity of spiritual instruction in the world. By honouring her, we also honour the guru. Those seeking to teach others should seek the grace of Matangi. She is the cosmic power that makes a householder’s life comfortable by granting the principle objects of a householder – dharma, artha, kama and moksha. She is the goddess of beauty, marriage, happy life and material gains. The devotees of Matangi is known to be blessed with Her grace of proficiency in poetry, music, dancing and the fine-arts in their chosen field.

Goddess Matangi is associated with the full moon, the ‘night of intoxication.’ The Mahavidyas represent some or other manifestation of the Divine Mother. They are in this sense also to be regarded as Vidyas or different approaches to tantric knowledge. Matangi resides in the Throat Chakra and radiant like the moon. This is the centre of speech. She is the manifest form of song, and the vibratory sound, Nada, that flows in the subtle channels, ‘nadis’, down through our entire body and mind. There is a special ‘nadi’ or channel that runs from the Third Eye to the tip of the tongue, which relates to Her. This is the stream of inspiration from the mind to its expression via speech. Matangi represents the flow of Bliss through this channel, which is experienced by the creators of great literary, poetic and other artistic work, resulting in brilliant expressions of creativity. Om Hrim Klim Hum Matangyai Phat Svaha. Hari Om
 — by Yogi Ananda Saraswati ....

(Indian lute).Sri Matangi Devi is not one of the more commonly known goddess forms; however, She appears in varying conceptions all across the Indian subcontinent, from the frigid mountains of Tibet to the steaming jungles of Tamil Nadu. Her Dhyanas are very diverse, and change quite a lot depending on the Tantra consulted -- Her complexion can range from white (She is the Tantric Saraswati) to brown or black (She is a tribal Chandala; an outcaste) to blue or green (She is Meenakshi Madurai, and also a form of Kali); with two or four arms, holding various different weapons and other items.

She is seated on an altar and has a smiling face and a green complexion. Her eyes are intoxicated. Her clothes and all of Her ornaments are red. Around Her neck is a garland of kadamba flowers. She is sixteen years old and has very full breasts and a very slim waist. She holds a skull on Her left side and a bloodied chopping blade on Her right, And She plays a jewel-encrusted veena. Her hair is long and wild, and the disc of the moon adorns Her forehead. She perspires slightly around Her face, which makes Her all the more beautiful and bright. Below Her navel are three horizontal folds of skin and a thin vertical line of fine hair. She wears a girdle of jeweled ornaments, as well as bracelets, armlets, and earrings. She represents the 64 arts and She is flanked by two parrots.


Matangi is a primary form of the all-powerful Goddess known in Hinduism as Devi. She appears most prominently as one of the Dasha Mahavidyas (Ten Wisdom Goddesses) of Tantric Hinduism, but may also be considered a more primal and fearful form of the popular Goddess Saraswati.
Whereas Saraswati presides only over Creation, governing traditional knowledge and arts, Matangi also contains elements of Destruction -- by which She severs the attachments that bind humans to the mundane world, paving the way for more unorthodox and revolutionary forms of Creation, knowledge and art.
She is called the Outcaste Goddess because She prefers to dwell outside the mainstream, and also because She facilitates the "polluting" process by which Divine Unstruck Sound is manifested on Earth in the form of human speech, literature and music. Meditation upon the esoteric aspects of Matangi provides a bottomless source of meaning, insight, and inspiration.


Goddess Parvati (Devi) was away visiting Her father Himalaya, when Her consort Lord Shiva began longing for Her, and growing jealous in Her absence. So Shiva disguised Himself as an ornament vendor and appeared at Himalaya s door. Parvati selected a few shell ornaments, but when She asked the merchant his price he asked Her to pay him with sexual favors. Outraged at his presumption, Parvati was about to curse the man when Her divine intuition revealed he was actually Shiva in disguise, apparently out to test Her fidelity. Concealing Her knowledge of His true identity, She replied, "Yes, fine, I agree. But not just now." And She sent Shiva on His way.

Later, as Shiva prepared for His evening prayers on the shores of Manas Lake, Parvati came to teach Him a lesson. She took the form of a beautiful outcaste girl, a member of the wild hunter-gatherer tribe known as the Chandalas. She was dressed all in red, Her body lean, Her eyes large, Her breasts full -- and She began a seductive dance by the lakeside, near the place where Shiva sat.

Enthralled, Shiva asked Her, "Who are you?" She replied, "I am Matangi, daughter of the Chandalas. I have come here to do penance." Shiva smiled. "I am the One who gives fruits to those who do penance," He said, and he took Her hand and kissed Her, and then He made love to Her. While they were thus engaged, however, Parvati abruptly transformed Shiva into an outcaste Chandala Himself -- whereupon He immediately realized that Matangi was his wife.

Parvati told Him, "Since You made love to Me in the form of a Chandala girl, She will henceforth be one of My permanent forms, to be known as Ucchista Chandalini." That is, Matangi, the Outcaste Goddess, who governs all that is leftover and polluted. And so Matangi took Her place as one of the Ten Wisdom Goddesses, the primary forms of Devi/Parvati. And some time later, when Parvati and Shiva argued and He threatened to leave, Matangi joined the other Mahavidyas in blocking His every exit, thereby demonstrating (among many other things) Devi's ultimate power over Shiva -- and His utter inseparability from Her.

This is only one of the many beautiful myths surrounding Matangi and Her origins. It is taken from the Praanatosini-tantra and other sources. Additional versions relate Her to such pan-Hindu Goddesses as Kali and Lalita Tripurasundari, as well as to more localized deities -- most notably, Tamil Nadu's Meenakshi Madurai.

, here is a longish essay I wrote about Her some time ago.If you would like to read more about
has released a CD of hymns to Meenakshi Madurai, two of which focus on Matangi. The album is volume two of Chasur's "Ksetra" series, and is entitled, , the prodigiously talented Carnatic (South Indian) classical vocalist If you would like to hear some hymns to

Nithyasree Mahadevan Here's a track listing, along with purchase information. ANOTHER DESCRIPTION OF 


(Here is another discussion of Matangi, courtesy of "Exotic India.")
In the second image from the top, above, the background is a golden yellow, the face of stunning beauty. The bright white complexion of the Devi, the white color of the birds and that of the conch appear to be embossing the background. Matangi is seated on a throne of vivid green, her fingers moving over the strings of the veena (lute). Two lotus flowers dangle from a slender string tied to the upper part of the veena, which is shaped like a bird's head.The Goddess Matangi is one of the Dasha Mahavidyas (Ten Wisdom Goddesses). She is Siddha Vidya or Tantra personified, thus commanding occult power. On the mundane level, she is the daughter of the sage 

Matanga, who is said to have been the preceptor of Shabari of the Ramayana fame.
At the edge of her throne sits a parrot seemingly rapt in the music she is creating. Beside her is a conch-shell. The gentle intoxication caused by the honey-sweet wine mentioned in Her dhyana-shloka (set out below the image)> Madhur Madhu Madaam is suggested by the dreamy expression in Matangi's eyes. Two birds are artistically positioned and the subtle juxtaposition of light and shade makes the color scheme effective. The lotus flower under the feet of the Devi is in full glory of bloom.

Being a goddess of the Tantra system, the crescent moon on Matangi's forehead here reminds the aspirant on the path of Tantra of the sacrifices he will have to make to obtain siddhis. The veena tells us of her mastery over music, rather of the symphony of life in this universe, and of man's need to harmonize his life to avoid all jarring extremes. The old folk saying, "Tighten it not so much that it breaks, Loosen it not so much that no music emanates," is equally applicable to life.

The parrot, with its tendency to repeat all it hears, symbolizes the inexorable law of karma, the belief that one cannot escape the consequences of one's acts. It also represents the world of nature. With one foot on the lotus, the Goddess controls the terrestrial world in tranquility and serenity, while the other foot, lifted on to her throne, represents her sovereignty over the celestial domains. The devotee invokes her with the following verse:

Aum Maatangyai NamaheGoddess, confer on us well-being,
confer superb prosperity,
grant form, grant victory, grant fame,
kill enemies.
Posted by Sandeepgiri Goswami

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