The following deities are closely connected with the practice of Sri Vidya. The hymns associated with these deities are sung as part of Sri Vidya worship. Familiarity with hymns such as Sahasranamam, Asthothram, Kavacam and Hridayam is recommended.
Ganesha, also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists.
Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify.Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.
Ganesha emerged as a distinct deity in the 4th and 5th centuries AD, during the Gupta period, although he inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. The principal scriptures dedicated to Ganesha are the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, and the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. Brahma Purana and Brahmanda Purana are other two Puranic genre encyclopedic texts that deal with Ganesha.
2. Bala Tripurasundari
Bālā Tripurasundarī, Kumārikā ('the virgin goddess') or simply Bālā ('child') is the daughter of the Hindu goddess Tripura Sundari, the consort of Kameswara.
Lord Subramanya is the son of divine couple Shiva and Parvati, to destroy the demon Tarakasura. Before conceiving him, even these Parents of the World had to perform severe Tapas or austerities! This teaches the world, of the great need for Tapas on the part of the parents desirous of excellence of offspring. He is stated to have been born in a forest of arrow-like grass and reared by the six divine mothers of the constellation Krttika (Pleiades), hence the name ‘Karthikeya’.
Karthikeya has six heads and is an embodiment of perfection. It seems he assumed six faces to suckle the milk of the six mothers. He was appointed the commander-in-chief of the gods and thus became ‘Deva-senapati’. With his matchless weapon, the Shakti or lance, shining brilliantly like fire, he easily destroyed Tarakasura, thus becoming’ Shaktidhara’ and ‘Tarakari’. Being very young and virile he is ‘Kumara’ or ‘Sanatkumara.’ A forceful attacker in war, he is known as ‘Skanda’. ‘Skanda’ also means one who has accumulated the power of chastity.
He is a war god and brave leader of God’s forces, created to destroy the demons which represent the negative tendencies in all of us. Karthikeya tends to the spiritual growth of aspirants, having the fire and energy to lead the army towards moksha. He represents transmutation of sexual energy and utilizing such energy for spiritual evolution. He takes care of health, family life, healthy children, and assets such as land, etc. Fire and Mars relate to Karthikeya.
Those who are suffering with Rahu, Ketu, Kala Sarpa Dosha (In the Vedic chart, people whose planets sit between Rahu and Ketu.), and those having sarpa shap (curse of the snake) should worship Karthikeya.
Chandi (Sanskrit: Caṇḍī) or Chandika (Caṇḍīka) is a Hindu goddess. Chandi is the combined form of Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga, the ferocious form of Parvati. She is said to be the most ferocious incarnation of Adi Parashakti. Chandika form is said to be extremely ferocious and inaccessible because of her anger. She cannot tolerate evil acts. Chandika does not like evil doers and becomes terribly angry on seeing them. She slays evil doers without mercy. Her anger is expressed in Devi Mahatmya. A seven-year-old girl is also known as Chandika in Sanskrit scriptures.
Dattatreya is one of the lords of Yoga in Hinduism. He is considered to be an avatar (incarnation) of the three Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, collectively known as Trimurti.
In the Nath tradition of Shaivism, Dattatreya is revered as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas, the first "Lord of Yoga" with mastery of Tantra (techniques). His pursuit of simple life, kindness to all, sharing of his knowledge and the meaning of life during his travels is reverentially mentioned in the poems by Tukaram, a saint-poet of the Bhakti movement Over time, Dattatreya has inspired many monastic movements in Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism.
Several Upanishads are dedicated to him, as are texts of the Advaita Vedanta-Yoga tradition in Hinduism. One of the most important texts of Advaita Vedanta, namely Avadhuta Gita (literally, "song of the free") is attributed to Dattatreya.
Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme God within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism.
Shiva is "the transformer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is the Supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe. In the goddess tradition of Hinduism called Shaktism, the goddess is described as supreme, yet Shiva is revered along with Vishnu and Brahma. A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power (Shakti) of each, with Parvati the equal complementary partner of Shiva.
At the highest level, Shiva is regarded as formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe. Shiva has many benevolent and fearsome depictions. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. In his fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons. Shiva is also known as Adiyogi Shiva regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation and arts.
The main iconographical attributes of Shiva are the third eye on his forehead, the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the trishula as his weapon and the damaru. Shiva is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of Lingam.
Rajashyamala or Matangi is one of the Mahavidyas, ten Tantric goddesses and a ferocious aspect of Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother. She is considered to be the Tantric form of Sarasvati, the goddess of music and learning. Like Sarasvati, Matangi governs speech, music, knowledge and the arts. Her worship is prescribed to acquire supernatural powers, especially gaining control over enemies, attracting people to oneself, acquiring mastery over the arts and gaining supreme knowledge.
Matangi is often represented as emerald green in colour. While Ucchishta-Matangini carries a noose, sword, goad, and club, her other well-known form, Raja-Matangi, plays the veena and is often pictured with a parrot.
Varahi is one of the Matrikas, a group of seven or eight mother goddesses in the Hindu religion. With the head of a sow, Varahi is the shakti (feminine energy, or sometimes, consort) of Varaha, the boar Avatar of the god Vishnu. In Nepal, she is called Barahi.
Varahi is worshipped by three major schools of Hinduism : Shaivism (followers of the god Shiva), Vaishnavism (devotees of Vishnu) and especially Shaktism (goddess worship). She is usually worshipped at night, and according to secretive Vamamarga Tantric practices. The Buddhist goddesses Vajravārāhī and Marichi are believed to have their origins in the Hindu goddess Varahi.
9. Laitha Tripurasundari
Tripurāsundarī ("Beautiful (Goddess) of the Three Cities") or Mahā-Tripurasundarī ("Great Beautiful (Goddess) of the Three Cities"), also called Ṣhoḍaśhi ("Sixteen"), Lalitā ("She Who Plays"), Lilavati/Leelavati (Playful, Charming), Lilavani/Leelavani (Having Playful, Charming Speech and Eloquence), Lilamati/Leelamati (Having a Playful, Charming Mind), Lalitambika (Playful, Charming Mother), Lileshi/Leeleshi, Lileshwari/Leeleshwari (Goddess of Divine Play), and Rājarājeśvarī ("Queen of Queens, Supreme Ruler"), is one of a group of ten goddesses of Hindu belief, collectively called Mahavidyas or Dasha-Mahavidyas. She is the foremost and the most important in Dasha-Mahavidyas. All other Mahavidyas concludes in Her vidya i.e. Sri Vidya. Her consort is Maha Kameswara Shiva. She is the highest aspect of Goddess Adi Shakti. Parvati is the complete incarnation of Lalita Maha Tripura Sundari. Tripurasundari is the primary goddess associated with the Shakta Tantric tradition known as Sri Vidya.
As Shodashi, Tripurasundari is represented as a sixteen-year-old girl, and is believed to embody sixteen types of desire. Shodashi also refers to the sixteen syllable mantra, which consists of the fifteen syllable (panchadasakshari) mantra plus a final seed syllable. The Shodashi Tantra refers to Shodashi as the "Beauty of the Three Cities," or Tripurasundari. There is a very popular saying among Sri Vidya tradition which is that "one has to be verily Shiva himself or in one's last birth to get Sri Vidya. Since we are not Shiva, it has to be the last birth or when we get it, it becomes our last birth" and "One can worship Lalitha only if She wishes us to do so"
Guru is a Sanskrit term that connotes someone who is a "teacher, guide, expert, or master" of certain knowledge or field. In pan-Indian traditions, guru is someone more than a teacher, traditionally a reverential figure to the student, with the guru serving as a "counselor, who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student." The term also refers to someone who primarily is one's spiritual guide, who helps one to discover the same potentialities that the gurus already realized.
11. Dasamahavidya (10 devatas)
The ten Mahavidyas, or Wisdom Goddesses, represent distinct aspects of divinity intent on guiding the spiritual seeker toward liberation. For the devotionally minded seeker these forms can be approached in a spirit of reverence, love, and increasing intimacy. For a knowledge-oriented seeker, these same forms can represent various states of inner awakening along the path to enlightenment. The Mahavidyas are Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. The name Mahavidyas comes from the Sanskrit roots, with maha meaning 'great' and vidya meaning, 'revelation, manifestation, knowledge, or wisdom.
Pratyangira or sometimes called Prathyangira, Narasimhi or Narashimhika, is a Goddess associated with Shakti, the or eternal energy. She is described as a goddess with a lioness's face and a human body. This combination of lion and human forms represents the balance of good and evil.
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