Chandika, “the Fierce”

While reading through Roots of Yoga, which is a wonderful compilation of English translated yoga texts, I came across a particularly evocative description of Chandika, a demon destroying form of the Hindu goddess Shakti. She also goes by several other names, such as Chandi (the Fierce), Mahamaya (Great Magic) and Abhaya (She Who Is Without Fear).

Here’s the passage, from the Matsyendrasamhita 7.20-7.25, or from pg 318 of Roots of Yoga:

[She] is Chandika, who destroys sorrow. She is as black as a storm cloud, her wild hair sticks up, she is adorned with a garland of severed heads and earrings of black snakes. She is decorated with red [paint], scents and flowers, as well as jewels. She has six faces, each with three eyes, and twelve arms. She is wearing a tiger-skin covered with a lion skin. She is holding a thunderbolt, a goad, a discus, a conch, a shield, a trident, a knife, a staff and a pestle and is showing the gestures of generosity and freedom from danger. She is benevolent, has three eyes, removes the suffering of her devotees, has the moon as her crest, dispels the three torments [which are caused by the self, the gods and the elements] from her devotees, has the form of the devourer of time, carries a skull filled with mead, is in the first flush of youth, is the leader of the troop of Yoginis, Bhairavi, the remover of fear. She causes attainment of all desired rewards. She is the three causes.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *