Vārāhi

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Varahi, VArAhi, Vaaraahi


Vārāhi literally means ‘boar-faced goddess’.

Significance of Vārāhi

Durgāsaptaśati, the well-known work of the śakti-sect, describes Saptamātṛkas,[1] the seven aspects of the Divine Mother, which are the Śaktis[2] of the seven deities like Śiva, Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Indra Vārāhī is counted among them as the fifth. She is the Śakti of Varāhāvatāra[3] of Viṣṇu.

Description of Vārāhi

She is boar-faced, is dark in complexion and has four or six arms. On the right side she exhibits the varadamudrā,[4] and holds daṇḍa[5] and asi[6] also. On the left she shows the abhayamudrā[7] and carries carma[8] and pātra.[9] Her vāhana or mount may be either an elephant or a buffalo. Sometimes, several varieties of Vārāhī such as Mahāvārāhi, Svapnavārāhī, Dhumravārāhī and so on are mentioned in tāntrik works. They are usually invoked in black magical rites.


References

  1. Saptamātṛkas 8.13-21
  2. Śaktis means female forms.
  3. Varāhāvatāra means Boar-incarnation.
  4. Varadamudrā means bestowal of boons.
  5. Daṇḍa means club.
  6. Asi means sword.
  7. Abhayamudrā means gesture of protection.
  8. Carma means shield.
  9. Pātra means bowl.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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