Monday, March 16, 2009
Sri Varahi is one of the seven sakthis incarnating from the Mother. She is described to have human body with eight arms, head of a boar and also having three eyes.
In the Sri Vidhya tradition, she is also called the Danda-natha (Lady Commander of the forces of the mother-goddess, symbolizing the might of Sri Vidya). As Varahi (hog-faced or the great consumer) she destroys evil forces that obstructs the devotees progress, paralyses the enemies and lead the devotees ultimately to Sri-Vidyas. She is classed as the fifth among the seven mother-like divinities (Saptmatrukas) and hence also called Panchami.
With Kurukulla, she is accorded the parental status to Sri-Chakra (Lalitha Tripura-Sundari). While Kurukulla represents the full moon, Varahi (the devoured) represents the new-moon. And while Varahi represents the illumination (prakasa) aspects of the mother-goddess, Kurukulla is the deliberation (vimarsa) aspect.
In another aspect, Varahi is also said to be one of the Yoginis, taking the form of a boar. She is said to lift up the earth with her tusks to confer benefits on all creatures. She is imagined as an eight-armed and three-eyed lady with a face of a hog, seated under a Palmyra tree, and functioning as a trusted attendant of the Goddess as her chief counselor.
In this form she is known as Chaitanya-bhairavi (the devotee's association of strength) She is being described as a fierce (Maha-Ghora) and as Commander of the forces, she moves about in a chariot drawn by boars. She is said to reside in the ocean of sugar-cane juice (ikshu), one of the four oceans that surrounds the mother goddess, holding her court in the island of nine-jewels, and facing the mother-goddess. This prayer seeks her blessings.
The Lalita Sahasranama, a collection of 1000 names of the Supreme Mother, hails Sri Varahi as the destroyer of demon Visukran, who was born from the right hand of demon Bhanasura. She was also the commander-in-chief of the armies of Goddess Kali in the war against demon Tharukasura; of Goddess Sandi in the war against demon Sumbasura; and commander-in-chief of the forces of Sri Lalita in the war against demon Pandasura.
Saint-poet Sri Abirami Bhattar in his evergreen composition – Abirami Andadhi – cites the names of Sri Varahi as another name of the Supreme Mother.
Sri Devi Bhagavata hails Sri Varahi as one who “dispels the fear and bestows victory.” Many Puranic lores revere Sri Varahi (in the form of Thandini) and Sri Shyamala (in the form of Manthrini) – the two forces without whose permission the Supreme Goddess cannot be beheld. That is Sri Shymala is the sugarcane in the sugarcane bow adorning the hands of the Supreme Mother while Sri Varahi is the sharp arrows shot from it to kill the enemies.
‘Girichakra’ is the chariot on which Sri Varahi is seated and is worshipped in nine forms, much similar to Sri Durga. Sri Varahi is also revered in the names of Ashvaarooda Thandini Devi, Panchami Devi, Swapna Devi, Vaarthali Devi, Madhu Varahi, Manthrini Varahi, Bhakta Varahi and Pakaalamukhi. Out of these names Sri Varahi as Panchami is regarded the most powerful, as She is the manifestation of the supreme powers of Lord Sadashiva.
In the well-known Buddhist tantric text Chakrasamvaratantra, which is very popular with Newar Buddhists, Vajravarahi is the presiding goddess who unites with the god Chakrasasmvara, also known as Heruka. In one of the descriptions in the iconographic compendium called Sadhanamala, she is called the "first queen of the god Sri-Heruka" (ibid., p. 217). She is also loosely characterized as a dakini and Vajrayogini, though the latter is a different deity.
What does distinguish Vajravarahi from other similar goddesses (another being Nairatma, the consort of Hevajra) is the sow's-head excrescence behind her right ear, which refers to the "varahi" component of her name. She dances on a corpse in the posture known as ardhaparyanka, which means "one leg on the thigh." Her other emblems, such as the chopper in the right hand, the skull cup in the left, and the tantric staff (khatvanga) in the crook of the left arm, are missing here. But the red complexion, the third eye, the garland of severed heads (of enemies of the religion), and the bone apron that serves as her only apparel are some of the other features that distinguish the deity.
End of Varahi Anugrahashtakam:
Kim dushkaram thwayi mano vishayam gathayam,
Kim durlabham thwayi vidhanu vadarchithayam,
Kim durbharam thwayi sakruth smruthi magathayam,
Kim durjayam thwayi krutha sthuthi vada pumsam.
What is not reachable for him, when he has you in his mind?
What is not available to him, when he worships you?
What is beyond him, when you enter his mind?
Where is the defeat for him who offers a prayer to you?