Dasha Mahavidya

Definition - What does Dasha Mahavidya mean?

A dasha mahavidya is one of Hinduism's 10 wisdom goddesses. The term comes from the Sanskrit, dasha, meaning “ten,” maha, meaning “great” and vidya, meaning “knowledge.” Each mahavidya is a form of the Divine Mother. In Hindu mythology, the dasha mahavidyas were created after a disagreement between Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati (a form of Shakti). Parvati manifested herself in ten forms to keep Shiva from leaving.

The Shaktism branch of Hinduism worships the female aspect of the divine, Shakti, as the personification of the universe's primordial energy, and therefore, the source of all creation.

Yogapedia explains Dasha Mahavidya

The dasha mahavidyas are:

  • Kali – the goddess who represents empowerment and destruction.
  • Tara – the goddess of compassion and protection.
  • Tripurasundari or Shodashi – the goddess of wealth and beauty.
  • Bhuvaneshvari – ruler of the universe and source of creation.
  • Bhairavi – the fearsome aspect of the goddess who also represents kundalini energy.
  • Chhinnamasta – the goddess who decapitated herself and who represents transformation.
  • Dhumavati – the widow goddess who represents death.
  • Bagalamukhi – the goddess who paralyzes her enemies. She is also frequently associated with yogic paranormal powers, or siddhis.
  • Matangi – known as the Tantra form of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and the arts.
  • Kamala – known as the Tantra form of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and abundance.

Some Hindu traditions separate the mahavidyas into the benevolent wisdom goddesses (Tara, Tripurasundari, Kamala, Bhuvaneshvari, and Matangi) and the fearsome wisdom goddesses (Kali, Dhumavati, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, and Bagalamukhi).

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