Matangi Maa! One of the Mahavidya Tantric Goddess's
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 ....
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.
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.
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.
, 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.")
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.
Aum Maatangyai NamaheGoddess, confer on us well-being,
confer superb prosperity,
grant form, grant victory, grant fame,
Posted by Sandeepgiri Goswami