By Swami Harshananda
Vārāhi literally means ‘boar-faced goddess’.
Significance of Vārāhi
Durgāsaptaśati, the well-known work of the śakti-sect, describes Saptamātṛkas, the seven aspects of the Divine Mother, which are the Śaktis of the seven deities like Śiva, Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Indra Vārāhī is counted among them as the fifth. She is the Śakti of Varāhāvatāra 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, and holds daṇḍa and asi also. On the left she shows the abhayamudrā and carries carma and pātra. 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.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore