--> Skip to main content


Showing posts from August 14, 2017

Ashta Matrika

Ashta Matrika means the Eight Mother Goddess and is a concept that is believed to have expanded out of Sapta Matrikas. The concept of seven mothers, or sapta matrikas, became popular during the seventh-eighth century AD especially in the eastern parts of present day India. The Sapta Matrikas are Brahmani, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Indrani, Varahi, and Chamunda. (This is the usual list but sometimes it changes depending on the region or the tantric text). When the name of Goddess Bhairavi is added to the above list, then we have the Ashta Matrika. As per the Ashta Matrika concept, the seven mothers, or Sapta Matrikas, appeared to nurse and take care of Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva. Bhairavi, the fierce form of Shakti, was added to the seven mothers to match the appearance of Shiva as Urdhvalinga Bhairavas. The Ashta Matrikas are also known as Yoginis. The number eight is of great significance as Mother Goddess in Tantric cult appears in the multiples of eight.

Nagampoozhi Mana near Vaikom Dedicated to Snake Worship

Nagampoozhi Mana is an important center of Snake worship in Kottayam District in Kerala and it is located near Vaikom. Nagampoozhy Mana is around 1 km from Vaikom Mahadeva Temple on the road to Udayanapuram. Naga deities worshipped here are Nagaraja and Nagayakshi. The murtis face east and they are found on the corridors of Nagambozhi Mana. ‘Mana’ is the term used to refer to the traditional home of Brahmins in Kerala. A unique feature of the temple is that important pujas in the shrine are conducted by women; just like the famous Mannarshala Temple in Alleppy District in Kerala. Oil from the lamp lit in the shrine helps in curing skin diseases. The oil is given to devotees by the oldest woman member of Nagampoozhi Mana. The temple is located between the famous Vaikom Mahadeva Temple and Udayanapuram Subrahmanya Swami Temple.

Symbolism In Krishna Dancing On Snake Kaliya

The ever-dancing mind of humans – probably his best friend and worse still the worst enemy – is pictured as the poisoned waters and the ever-changing desires (that has the negative qualities of poisoning the mind) are presented by Kaliya himself. Mental worries, mental imbalances, delusions and anxieties, generally represented by coiled serpentine figures; choke the mind and the powers of rational thinking.   However, the celestial dance of Sri Krishna on the head of the subdued Kaliya symbolizes the overcoming of desires. Just as the divine appearance of Lord Shiva with snakes around His neck exemplifying the control of His ascetic mind over His senses and desires. The many heads of Kaliya is said to representing the multi-faceted ego of humans and the majestic victory dance of Sri Krishna represents the beatings that one receives on the ego, time and again, to ground and bring him closer to the Almighty. Source – Sapthagiri Magazine August 2017 published by Tirumala Ti