Only a really big fire can destroy all the lies born from worldly and spiritual experience.

She is the terrible one who has a dreadful face. Her hair is disheveled and she wears a garland of freshly cut human heads. Her ear ornaments are the corpses of children. Her fangs are dreadful, and her face is fierce. Her breasts are large and round, and she wears a girdle made of severed human hands. Blood trickles from the corners of her mouth and makes her face gleam. She makes a terrible sound and lives in the cremation ground, where she is surrounded by howling jackals…

Tara has many forms. Golden Prassana Tara is Terrible to Behold, blazing like the sun, with a necklace of bloody heads and sixteen arms holding an array of weapons and Tantric attributes. She “emancipates the universe” and ‘destroys the veils of ignorance.’ She Who is Fearsome With Upward Flaming Hair. Tara the War Goddess. Who is Peaceful by Day and Wrathful by Night, the daytime form is the ever popular Green Tara. The nocturnal manifestation is white and corpulent…

She has a body like pure crystal. She shines with the light of the rising sun. In her four hands she holds a noose, a goad, arrows, and a bow. She is seated on a throne like a queen, she wears many jewels, the crescent moon adorns her forehead, she has heavy breasts and a thin waist, and has a large bull as a vehicle. Along with Kali and Tara, Shodashi is an Adi  Mahavidya (primordial), which implies she has high place in the group, and like them, represents…

Mirita conveys the idea of reality in the contrast of sex and death, creation and destruction, giving and taking. She is probably the most stunning representation in the Hindu pantheon of the truth that life, sex, and death are part of an interdependent, unified system. Mirita (aka Chinnamasta) is one of the ten Mahavidyas. The name Mahavidyas comes from the Sanskrit root, with maha meaning ‘great’ and vidya meaning, ‘revelation, manifestation, knowledge, or wisdom.

She who is fierce in the three worlds: heavens, atmosphere and earth. Her primary role in the cosmic process is destruction. She has a luminous complexion like a thousand rising suns. She has three eyes and is lovely in her various ornaments. She is the Destroyer of Enemies. She wears a garland of freshly severed heads that are still vomiting blood. She wears red clothes. She has ten hands and carries a trident, small drum, sword, club, bow, arrows, noose, goad, book, and rosary. She is seated on a corpse throne. She smiles.

Dhumavati is ugly, unsteady, and angry. She is tall and wears dirty clothes. Her ears are ugly and rough, she has long teeth, and her breasts hang low. She has a long nose. She has the form of an angry widow. Her eyes are fearsome and her hands tremble. She rides in a chariot that has a banner with a crow emblem. In one hand she holds a winnowing basket, and with the other hand she makes a gesture of conferring boons. Her nature is rude. She is always hungry…

She has assumed a serious mood and is maddened with intoxication. Her brilliance reflects the golden hue of her body. On her forehead is the crescent moon, which is yellow in color. Idris (bagalamukhi) is strongly associated with supernatural or magical powers, with the ability to immobilize and attract others. In one myth she is petitioned by the male gods to rescue the world from a power-crazed demon whose very words can kill and destroy. She stops the demons rampage…

She has a smiling face, her eyes are intoxicated, and she is seated on a corpse. She is blue in color and has the disc of the moon on her forehead. She has a very thin waist, her breasts are round and firm, and she holds a noose, a sword, a goad, and a club in her four hands. Matangi is erotically powerful. Her name literally means “she whose limbs are intoxicated with passion.”  In one version of Matangi’s origin story…

She is resplendent like the rising sun and wears a bright moon disc on her brow. She is adorned with a crown and a necklace of jewels. She is bent down due to the weight of her large breasts, and in her hands she holds two lotuses and two bunches of rice shoots. She has three lotuslike eyes and has a smiling face. The name Kamala means ‘she of the lotus’ and is a common epithet of the goddess Laksmi or Sri, who is said to be adorned by lotuses and to be lotus eyed…

She is subtle and spacious and vast as the sky. Her body is blue, the color of infinite space, reflecting the limitless expanse of her awareness. Separation is an illusion, in truth we are connected with all that exists in a vast web of communion. Swan Devi (Nairatmya) embodies this realization. She is the Lady of Emptiness. She Who has Realized Selflessness. Like the element of space, she flows through the universe without impediment, for she has transcended ego-centered existence…

Her dancing, leaping, and soaring poses proclaim that she is fully alive and joyously free. She displays Buddhahood in female form and revels in the ultimacy of her attainments. Her glowing red body is ablaze with the heat of yogic fire and circled with flames of wisdom. Tantra Mother (Vajrayogini) never parts from her brimming skull cup, ever slaking her thirst for primordial ecstasy, which is not ordinary pleasure but the innate bliss that pulses at the core of every being…

Kurukulla is a ‘Female Tathagata’, a primordial mother, a female Buddha. As such, she also figures as a meditational deity in the highest and most esoteric division of Tantric practices, the Highest Yoga Tantra class, whose goal is the attainment of Buddhahood in the present lifetime. Because Kurukulla is a fully enlightened being, there is no limit to her mastery. She is also known as the Overpowering Goddess, Subjugator of the Three Realms, expressing her dominion…

In the beginning the Sun, Surya, appeared in the heavens. Sages offered soma so that the world might be created. The sun then created the three worlds. Shodashi was shakti through whom created them. Having created the worlds by empowering the sun, Shodashi took appropriate form to direct the triple world. In this form she became known as Bhudevi – mistress of the world. She is unmanifest until the world is created – therefore she is associated with the visible world. In simplest terms, the triple worlds are lokas – Earth, Atmosphere, and Heaven…

She dwells on a forest glade high on a mountainside. Her beauty reflects the lure of the forest. Her skin glistens with emerald light; the healing sap of trees flows in her veins; her limbs are robust and supple as saplings. She adorns herself with natures finery: feathers, flowers, fruit, and berries. She is necklaced by a white snake, crowned with flowers, and has small snakes as hair ribbons. She wields a small axe. She brandishes a bow and arrow. She is a huntress and her aim is true. She wears a skirt made of leaves that sways around her hips as she dances…

Bodhima (Visvamata) and Kalachakra adopt a striking pose, locked in passionate embrace, lovingly gazing at each other. The intimacy they share and the dazzling display of arms create a dynamic tour de force. Kalachakra is time and everything is under the influence of time, Kalachakra knows all. Whereas Kalachakri or Kalichakra (Visvamata), his spiritual consort and complement, is aware of everything that is timeless, untimebound or out of the realm of time. They are temporality and atemporality conjoined. Similarly, the wheel is without beginning or end…

Shakti Ensemble

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PRAJNAPARAMITA

She is the perfect wisdom that never comes into being
And therefore never goes out of being.
She is known as the Great Mother…
She is the Perfect Wisdom who gives birthless birth to all Buddhas.
And through these sublimely Awakened Ones,
It is Mother Prajnaparamita alone
Who runs the wheel of true teaching.

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