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WHAT IS THE MYSTERY & THE DESCRIPTION OF CHAUSATH JOGINIS?


MYSTERY OF CHAUSATH JOGINIS;- 04 FACTS;- 1-There are four surviving yogini temples in the country. Out of the four such temples two are located in Odisha (one in Hirapur and the other one in Ranipur-Jharial in Bolangir Dist and the other two are in modern day Madhya Pradesh). 2- In Hinduism, the term yogini refers to a female yogi in general, but the term 64 yoginis refers to a tantric and secret female cult worshiping Hindu Goddess Durga. Khemukhi is the goddess whose broken statue is found in the 64 yogini temple in Bhedaghat in the Jabalpur District in India. Her name is most probably derived from Khe - In The Sky and mukhi - faced.

3-In the 64 yogini temple in Bhedaghat there are more than 64 goddesses, so the number 64 is not always related to the actual number of yoginis (goddesses), but rather to a religious mystical meaning expressed in the number 64.

4-The information on 64 yoginis (goddesses) is very little and it is very hard to say what they accomplished, as this cult used a form of communication impenetrable for outsiders known as twilight language. 64 yoginis believed that by various practices (black magic, too) they could achieve immense supernatural powers. Their temples are roofless. This particular aspect shows that in their religious practices and thinking they did not follow the orthodox Brahmanic paths. 5-The yogini cult practiced yoga along with tantrism. The object of worship was usually a Chakra or Wheel which had sixty four spokes, hence the name (Chausathi translates to sixty four in Odia). The presiding deity is Goddess Kali. The yogini’s are believed to be offshoots of the Saptamatrika and are incarnations of Shakti and depicted as vivacious and seem to embrace life rather than withdraw from it. The yogini’s define and represent the ultimate feminine power. CHAUSATH JOGINI TEMPLE (MORENA ) 05 FACTS;- 1-The Chausath Yogini temple is in Mitaoli village , near Padaoli in Morena distric (55 kms from Gwalior.)According to an inscription dated to 1323 CE (Vikram Samvat 1383), the temple was built by the Kachchhapaghata king Devapala . It is said that the temple was the venue of providing education in astrology and mathematics based on the transit of the Sun. 2-The Chausath Yogini Temple, Morena, also known as Ekattarso Mahadeva Temple, Standing atop an isolated hill of about hundred feet high, this circular temple commands a splendid view of the cultivated fields below. 3- Most of the Hindu temples structure are based on square or rectangular but circular temples like this are very rare in India. This temple is so named because of the presence of multitude of shivalingas inside its cells. This circular temple is one among the very few such temples in India. This is a yogini temple dedicated to sixty-four yoginis.

4-It is externally circular in shape with a radius of 170 feet and within its interior part it has 64 small chambers.Within the main central shrine there are slab coverings which have perforations in them to drain rainwater to a large underground storage. The pipe lines from the roof lead the rain water to the storage are also visible.The design of the temple has withstood earthquake shocks, without any damage to its circular structural features, in the past several centuries. The temple is in the Seismic Zone III. 5-Many of these curious visitors have compared this temple with the Indian parliament building (Sansad Bhawan) as both are circular in style. Many have drawn conclusions that this temple was the inspiration behind the Sansad Bhawan.

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CHAUSATH JOGINI TEMPLE (Odisha) 06 FACTS;-

1-The temple was discovered in 1953 by noted historian Shri. Kedarnath Mohapatra who was the curator of the Odisha State Museum then. It is the smallest and the best preserved of the yogini temples in the country. The temple is under the supervision of ASI (Archeological Survey of India) The temple is believed to be built by the Queen Hiradevi of Bramha dynasty during the 9th century . 2-64 Joginis Temple is a tantric temple, with hypaethral architecture as tantric prayer rituals involve worshiping the bhumandala (environment consisting all the 5 elements of nature - fire, water, earth, sky and ether). 3-The circular open air structure is a stark departure from the tradition form of temple architecture in Odisha. This may have been necessitated by the fact that the cult worshipped the five elements – air, water, fire, earth and ether or sky. The yoginis are carved out of black slate stone and are depicted riding their vahanas (mounts) here.

4-One interesting aspect of the temple is that unlike other temples of that time in Odisha and Central India, one doesn’t find any erotic carvings in the yogini temples which according to historians may have been because the cult believed in celibacy as a path to salvation. There are around 56 such idols, made of black granite, inscribed within the wall cavities, centring on the main idol which is the Goddess Kali, who stands on a human head representing the triumph of the heart over the mind. 5-It's built in a circular fashion, completely put together with blocks of sandstone. The inside of the circular wall has cavities, each housing the statue of a Goddess. The temple houses a central altar (Chandi Mandapa) which has the remaining 8 Goddess idols on all 4 sides. Some historians believe that an idol of Maha Bhairava was worshiped in the Chandi Mandapa. 6-The Jogini idols are generally representing a female figurine standing on an animal, a demon or a human head depicting the victory of Shakti (Feminine power). The idols express everything from rage, sadness, pleasure, joy, desire and happiness. ucture. The number 64 finds its reference in Hindu mythology in various forms viz Kālá for time, Kalā for performing arts etc.

THE DESCRIPTION OF CHAUSATH JOGINIS(Temple in Hirapur);-

The Mothers, Lovers & Others .....

10 FACTS;- 1-Yoginis are a class of divine and semi-divine deities who emerged in the 5th century AD and remained in worship till 13th century AD, after which their cult seems to have become extinct. Originally esoteric deities, by the 10th century Yoginis became prominent in the wider religious landscape, as attested by their entry into Puranic literature and the unique circular, open-air temples enshrining them across the subcontinent . 2-The Chausaṭh Yogini cult, though comprising of Yoginis, is slightly different as the term ‘Yogini’ can represent diverse religious and cultic entities ranging from a yogic adept, a partner in Chakra-puja, a sorceress, astrological deities, Yoginis of the internal chakras, Yoginis of the Sri Chakra, a Devi or the Great Goddess, aspects of Devi, attendants of the Devi, acolytes of the Great Goddess or the Matrkas, Kaula Mata or patron goddess of the Kaulas, and variants of Yakṣiṇis and Dakinis .

3-The Chausaṭh Yoginis are however a group of goddesses who belong to a class of Vidyapiṭha deities, who draw their allegiance to Matrkas and Bhairava. The symptomatic characteristics that define the Yogini cult include tightly-bound clans or groups, association with magic and occult, martial prowess, sexuality (both anti-sexual and hyper sexual) and death.

4-The Yoginis of Hirapur are widely represented; these Yoginis like most of the other Yogini sets follow a similar tradition of including other female group divinities like Sapta Maātrkās within the Yogini group. They also include the deities of the Asta-Dikpalas.

5-All the Yoginis depicted here are in standing position. Some of these Yoginis have Kapalika or crematoria iconography where they are depicted standing on a corpse or carrying and even drinking from a skull cup. These very expressive Yoginis are seen merrymaking while drinking from a wine vessel, playfully touching their toes. The ones which are in war mode are Agneyi, Chamunda, Bhalluka, Aghora and Vindyavalini. The theomorphic figures include Narsimhi, Ostagriva, Varahi, Sarpassa, Ganesi, Bhalluka and Vikatanaina.

6-The Yoginis are closely associated with the Matrka cult as is evident from the close connection between the early depictions of mother goddesses and emergent conceptions of Yoginis.The characteristics of Yoginis' classify these goddesses according to clans (kula, gotra) that have the eight mothers as matriarchs.The clan mothers are those in whose nature the Yoginis partake as ansas, ‘portions’ or ‘partial manifestations’.The numeric grouping of eight that is found in the Matrka tradition also got replicated in the Yogini cult and with that the number Chausath or 64 came to be associated with the Yoginis.

7-One of the major sources which link Matrkas to Yoginis is the Mahabharata. Though Mahabharata does not necessarily attest the presence of any temples dedicated to the eight mothers. Among these mothers, some are said to have claws, fangs and beaks. This corresponds to some the Yoginis which have demonic features and composite bodies. Some of them are youthful maidens, while others are fleshless or potbellied.

8-These Yoginis are said to dwell in ghoulish spaces such as cremation grounds. The theriomorphism, shape-shifting, multiplicity, extraordinarily variegated appearances, bellicosity, independence, simultaneous beauty and danger of the Yoginis all find precedent in these early mother goddesses, as does their connection with khechari vidya or the power of flight. They also come to play a protective role vis-à-vis the world in later mythology, although some of their early inauspicious and wild characteristics tend to persist in these accounts.

9-The entire Sapta/Asht Matrka group, including Varahi, Aindri, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Chamunda, Maheshwari and Brahmani, is found in Hirapur. Apart from the Matrkas, other important cultic mothers worshipped throughout Odisha can also be seen as Yoginis in Hirapur; one such example being Viraja. Viraja in her present cult image in Jajpur is worshipped as a two-armed Mahisasuramardini; however, in Hirapur she becomes a very indistinct and placid looking Yogini.

10-The said Yogini is twin-armed and is shown standing on top of an unidentifiable spherical object out of which a lotus stalk appears to be rising. She has nothing in common with either the goddess called Viraja or Durga. Both her hands are missing and the only attribute that is common to Viraja and this Yogini is the lotus. The central deity of the shrine

(worshipped as Mahamaya) who is depicted quite majestically is a tantric divinity, it seems unlikely that a brahmanical icon could have warranted a similar treatment in terms of depiction.

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THE DESCRIPTION OF JOGINIS ;-

09 FACTS;-

1-Tantrism embodies a critical and controversial attitude toward women, sexuality and their relationship with their bodies, social classes and traditional notions of purity and impurity.When it comes to Chausaṭh Yoginis, ‘the question of a goddess ensconced in a patriarchal framework does not arise here. One comes across a fascinating group of Yoginis who in their original mythological context had been confined to the roles of consorts, attendant deities and possessed women; however, with their entry into the Yogini cult they are transformed into individual ferocious deities.

2-For instance the Yogini Sarasvati who has the body of a female, carries a veena, but is moustachioed as she can be seen twirling her moustache with one of her hands. This Yogini is an androgynous representation of the goddess of learning representing a process of synchronisation of the masculine and feminine aspect within a Yogini, which was not replicated elsewhere among other Yogini temples or sculptures.

3-Mahisasuramardini;-

In Hirapur she becomes a very indistinct and placid looking Yogini. The said Yogini is twin-armed and is shown standing on top of an unidentifiable spherical object out of which a lotus stalk appears to be rising. She has nothing in common with either the goddess called Viraja or Durga. Both her hands are missing and the only attribute that is common to Viraja and this

Yogini is the lotus.It is possible that this particular Yogini could be just a form of Viraja without exactly replicating each and every iconographic details of Viraja or Durga.

4-Yogini Viraja;-

The Yogini ascribed as Viraja, is also an evidence of one such assimilation.it is possible that the Yogini was represented keeping in mind her tribal/folk antecedents as Stambhesvari, and therefore it is devoid of any special characteristics.

5-Yogini Sarasvati;-

Sarasvati is not clearly split into half but is delicately fused. There is no clear cut left or right distinction as is found among other deities like Shiva-Parvati, Vishnu-Laksmi, Hari-Hara.

6-Yogini Rati;-

Rati holds no resemblance to the beauteous Rati who is also the consort of Kamadeva. This particular Yogini has a grotesque face and is almost macabre in appearance. Interestingly, this Yogini has Kamadeva as her mount. Her face is feral to the point of being feline, which also raises the possibility of her being a prototype of Narsimhi.

6-1-Yoginis are basically devoid of any male counterparts, but here is a Yogini who not only is a famed mythological wife but is also represented in the temple with her spouse. The Yogini in question is seen doing the exact opposite of what Rati represents: not only is she standing on top of her husband, but she is also seen to be trampling him.

6-2- Figuratively, she is very close to the ogresses who accompany Bhairava to charnel grounds as is described in the texts, but what can be seen here is the unbridled and intemperate passion of a woman who is otherwise a famous consort/wife.

6-3-Rati or the Yogini here transcends the conventional spousal role, and instead takes on a more dynamic and ferocious role of an ugra devata (fierce deity) who dismantles the gender roles.

7-Yogini Yamuna;-

Yogini Yamuna is far removed from the conventional and very graceful riverine goddess.The fierce and animal faces of the Yoginis is a way to show that these beautiful Yoginis could transform themselves with ease. While the exterior signifies that the Yoginis have the power to destroy evil and anti-life forces, the attribution of extraordinary powers also serves the purpose of taking the Yoginis out of the realm of human existence. With such powers, they transcend the human sphere to become deities.

8-Every Chausath Yogini group comprises of some of the more identifiable and well-known goddesses but there are some who are relatively obscure and unknown. These could include folk deities, village goddesses and tribal goddesses.

9-Every Yogini is not represented in a repulsive or a wrathful way. We find examples like Charcika, Chandika, Tara and others, otherwise known for their martial and destructive traits, are depicted in a sober and pacific manner. As Yoginis, they are found to be hiding their true identity under layers of ascribed meanings and symbolism.The Chausath Yoginis also challenge the preconceived gender and sexual roles with the kind of impunity that is replicated only to a limited extent by the Mahavidyas.

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CHAUSATH JOGINIS (of Hirapur);-

Iconographic elements and attributes of the Yoginis at Chausathi Yogini Temple, Hirapur

Name>>>Seat/Mount>>>Arms>>>Attributes

1-Chandika>>>Standing on a corpse>>>4>>>Broken

2-Tara>>>Dancing on a corpse>>>2>>>Broken

3-Narayani>>>Wine vessel>>>2>>>Kalasa

4-Narmada>>>Elephant>>>2>>>Skull cup

5-Maheswari>>>Bull>>>2>>>Nothing

6-Yamuna>>>Tortoise>>>4>>> Three arms broken, one holding a skull cup

7-Manada/ Lakshmi>>>Lotus>>>2>>>Nothing

8-Gauri>>>Alligator>>>4>>>Broken

9-Aindri/Indrani>>>Elephant>>>2>>>Broken

10-Varahi>>>Buffalo>>>4>>>2 arms broken, other two

holding skull cup and bow

11-Varuni/Vriddhi>>>Sea waves>>>2>>>Broken

12-Ranavira/Padmavati>>>Snake hood>>>2>>>Khadaga and garland

13-Ustogriva / Vanaramukhi>>>Camel>>>4>>>Broken

14-Vaisnavi>>>Owl on pedestal>>>2>>>Broken

15-Pancha Varahi>>>Boar>>>2>>>Broken

16-Badyarupa>>>Damru (stringed drum)>>>2>>>Broken

17-Charchika>>>Human figure>>>2>>>Broken

18-Vetali>>>Fish>>>4>>>Broken

19-Chhinnamasta>>>Human head>>>4>>>3 arms broken, one holding a bow

20-Vindhyavasini/ Vrshabhanana>>>Hill>>>2>>>Broken

21-Jalakamini>>>Frog>>>2>>>Broken

22-Ghatabara Nandini>>>Lion>>>2>>>Both the hands lifting an elephant skin

23-Karkali>>>Dog>>>2>>>Both the hands holding right leg

24-Sarasvati>>>Snake>>>4>>>3 arms broken, perhaps holding a Veena

25-Yosha/Yasha>>>Pedestal>>>2>>>Broken

26-Virupa>>>Series of waves – water>>>2>>>Nothing

27-Kaveri>>>Series of Kalasas>>>2>>>Broken

28-Bhalluka>>>Flower creeper>>>2>>>1 arm broken, other holding damru

29-Narsimhi/Simhamukhi>>>Flowers>>>4>>>2 of the upper arms broken, lower hands holding a pot

30-Viraja>>>Lotus bud>>>2>>>Nothing

31-Bikata Nayana>>>No>>>2>>>Broken

32-Maha Lakshmi>>>Lotus>>>2>>>Long garland and vajra

33-Kaumari>>>Peacock>>>2>>>Broken

34-Mahamaya>>>Lotus>>>10>>>Nothing

35-Rati>>>An archer holding a bow and arrow, probably Kamadeva>>>2>>>Broken

36-Karkari>>>Crab>>>2>>>Broken

37-Sarpasa>>>NO>>>4>>>Broken

38-Aghora>>>Buffalo>>>2>>>Broken

39-Rudrakali/Bhadrakali>>>Crow>>>2>>>1 arm broken, other one holding a bell

40-Virakumari>>>Scorpion>>>4>>>Bow

41-Ambika>>>Mongoose>>>4>>>1 arm broken, two hands leaning

down to touch knees and one holding a damru

42-Kamaksi/Kamayani>>>Cock>>>2>>>Broken

43-Ghatavari>>>Lion>>>2>>>Broken

44-Stuti>>>Pot>>>4>>>Broken

45-Kali>>>Human body>>>2>>>One arm broken, other holding Trisula

46-Uma>>>Flower>>>4>>>2 arms broken, other two

holding nagapasa and in abhayamudra

47-Samudri>>>Conch shell>>>2>>>Broken

48-Brahmani>>>NO>>>4>>>Broken

49-Jwalamukhi>>>Wooden cot>>>2>>>Broken

50-Agneyi/Agnihotri>>>Ram>>>2>>>1 arm broken, other holding a sword

51-Aditi>>>Parrot>>>2>>>Broken

52-Chandrakanta>>>Stool / Pedestal>>>2>>>Broken

53-Vayubhega>>>Cow>>>2>>>Broken

54-Chamunda>>>Musk Deer (Dora)>>>4>>>2 upper arms holding a lion; sword, severed head

55-Maruta>>>Deer>>>2>>>Broken

56-Ganga>>>Crocodile>>>4>>>2 arms broken, other two holding lotus and nagapasa

57-Dhumavati/Tarini>>>Duck>>>2>>>Winnowing fan

58-Gandhari>>>Horse>>>2>>>Broken

59-Ganesi>>>Ass>>>2>>>Nothing

60-Sarva Mangala (missing)

61-Ajita>>>Doe>>>4>>>Broken

62-Surya putri>>>Horse>>>4>>>Shield, bow; lower 2 hands broken

63-Vayubina>>>Deer>>>2>>>One hand resting on a breast

64-Vindhyavalini>>>Rat>>>2>>>Broken, but appears like holding a bow and arrow

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BHAIRAVAS;-

The Bhairavas of the central shrine are seated in lalitasana except Ekapada Bhairava who is standing on one foot. All the Bhairavas are depicted with erect phalluses or urdhava linga. Like the Yoginis, the Bhairavas too appear calm and smiling and not in the ferocious avatar.

Iconographic features of the Bhairavas of Hirapur Yogini Temple

Name>>>Arms>>>Mount>>>Attributes

1-Ajaikapada Bhairava

4

Seated on a lotus

Khadaga , shield; other two arms broken

2-Svachchanda Bhairava

10

Seated on two lotuses

Dead body, aksyamala, skull cup and damaru; other arms broken

3-Canda Bhairava

10

Seated on a lotus and female figure

Damaru, flute, aksyamala, trisula, shield; other arms broken

4-Canda Bhairava

10

Seated on a lotus and female figure

Damaru, flute, aksyamala, trisula, shield; other arms broken

KATYANIS;-

The Katyayanis unlike the Yoginis are carved in sandstone. Out of the nine Katyayanis, seven are shown flanked by an attendant holding an umbrella. These Katyayanis are gaunt warrior figures each holding a weapon. All the Katyayanis are standing on a human head (each looking different from the other) and are flanked by a dog.

Attributes of Katyayanis in Hirapur Yogini Temple

Katyayani>>>Attributes>>>Mount 1- Sword>>>Severed human head 2-Skull cup>>> Severed human head 3-Knife, skull cup>>> Severed human head 4-Aksyamala>>>Severed human head 5-Skull cup>>>Severed human head 6-Aksyamala>>>Severed human head 7-Knife, skull cup>>>Severed human head 8-Knife, skull cup>>>Severed human head 9-Sword, Danda (staff)>>>Severed human head

RAMKRRISHNA & THE 64 YOGINI; - 05 FACTS 1-The great sage Ramakrishna was initiated and trained in the 64 tantric kriyas by Mataji Bhairavi over a four year period. 2-Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, broadly acknowledged as one of Indias foremost holy men, was initiated into Tantra in 1859 and was comprehensively trained in the sixty-four tantric kriyas. 3-Following four years of secret nighttime meetings with his tantric guru under a peepal tree in a secluded area of the temple garden, he mastered the sixty-four sadhana practices. His tantric guru, Bhairavi Brahmani, recognized 4-Ramakrishna as an Avatar. Progressing through the practices, she introduced Ramakrishna to the sacred panchamakaras,which leads to the highest Samadhi..The great Avatar nonetheless affirmed that Tantra and the sixty-four Tantric Kriyas were a valid path and method. 5-Any visit to Dakshineshwar Kali temple by Kaula Marg Tantrics should include a meditation under that sacred peepal tree,which was still alive at my last visit in 2009.

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WORSHIPPING MA KALI WITH HER 64 YOGINI NAMAVALI;-

04 FACTS;-

1-A fundamental principle of spiritual life is that we do no harm. Beyond that, Tantra aspires to break through the

barriers in human consciousness that separate human illusion

from divine vision. In this way, the tantric reaches a state of seeing the oneness in every aspect of nature. The original

source alone exists, in and through all that exists. The Yogi

and Tantric have a shared goal to turn the search light of consciousness back to its very source. Oneness pervades the

source of the light from which all creation has come.

2-Ma Kali is in all forms. She is particularly present in the 64 Yoginis, all extensions of her Cosmic Personality. This 64 Yogini Namavali wins the grace of Maha Kali and her ancient

mother aspects.Devotees of 'the Mother and her 64 forms' will be pleased to use these sacred sounds which will elevate humanity.

3-For the absolving of sins, clarity of consciousness, a peaceful heart, massive protection, dynamic aura, robust health, and the magnificent grace of abundance of every type, one should chant the sacred names of the sixty-four Yoginis. We should never minimize their potential. They are not minor deities, but the supreme divinity; none other than emanations of the one cosmic Prakriti residing over every aspect of the relative plane. They can pull a soul from the lowest depths of illusion into the most elevated heights of grace- light.

4-To perform this puja, simply prepare a copper yantra with sixty-four petals and chant the following mantras with an open heart. If copper is not available, draw the yantra with India ink using Bhoj Patra. The daily repetition of these mantras with purify all darkness, jealousy and resentment within. Seek out direct spiritual guidance from a soul animated by the Divine. As the Siddha Rama Devar said, “Surrender to the young Shakti, and she will not forget you for the rest of your life.”

MA KALI & HER 64 YOGINI Namavali;-

1. Om Kali Nitya Siddhamata Swaha

(Mother of the Siddhas)

2. Om Kapalini Nagalakshmi Swaha

(Lakshmi of Naga)

3. Om Kula Devi Svarnadeha Swaha

(Of golden body)

4. Om Kurukulla Rasanatha Swaha

(Ruler of physical pleasure)

5. Om Virodhini Vilasini Swaha

(Residing within Self)

6. Om Vipracitta Rakta Priya Swaha

(Who loves passion)

7. Om Ugra Rakta Bhoga Rupa Swaha

(Enjoyer of passion in the form)

8. Om Ugraprabha Sukranatha Swaha

(Ruler of the seminal essence)

9. Om Dipa Muktih Rakta Deha Swaha

(Liberation through the body of passion)

10. Om Nila Bhukti Rakta Sparsha Swaha

(Who receives pleasure from the touch of passion)

11. Om Ghana MahaJagadamba Swaha

(Great Mother of the world)

12. Om Balaka Kama Sevita Swaha

(Attended by the God of Love)

13. Om Matra Devi Atma Vidya Swaha

(The Goddess with knowledge of Self)

14. Om Mudra Poorna Rajatkripa Swaha

(Who completely radiates compassion)

15. Om Mita Tantra Kaula Diksha Swaha

(Initiatress of the Tantric Kaula Path)

16. Om Maha Kali Siddhesvari Swaha

(Queen of the Siddhas)

17. Om Kameshvari Sarvashakti Swaha

(Shakti of All)

18. Om Bhagamalini Tarini Swaha

(Who delivers from calamity)

19. Om Nityaklinna Tantraprita Swaha

(Fond of Tantra)

20. Om Bherunda Tatva Uttama Swaha

(Essence of Sexual Fluid)

21. Om Vahnivasini Sasini Swaha

(Radiance of the moon)

22. Om Mahavajreshvari Rakta Devi Swaha

(Sensuous Goddess)

23. Om Shivaduti Adi Shakti Swaha