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“Brahmani”



Goddess Brahmani is one of the Sapta Matrikas – the seven divine mothers or Saptamatris in Hinduism. Goddess Brahmani takes Her name from Lord Brahma. Vamana Purana indicates that Goddess Brahmani came out from the mouth of Goddess Kali before she engaged Demon Rakta Beeja in the final encounter. Seeing the large troop of Rakta Beeja, Goddess Kali made a loud sound and from her mouth appeared Goddess Brahmani seated on a swan and wearing rosary and holding water pot (Kamandalu) in one hand.


Brahmani has four faces and a body bright as gold. In the back right hand, she carries the Sula and in the back left hand as Akshamala; the front right hand is in the Abhaya pose and the front left hand in the Varada pose. She is seated upon a red Lotus and has the Hamsa as her Vahana as also the emblem of her banner. She wears a yellow garment(Pitambara) and her head is adorned with a karandmakuta. Her situation is under a palasa tree.


Such is the description of her in the Amsumadbhedagama; the Vishnudharmottara,as quoted in the Vachaspatya, gives her six hands the left ones of which are characterized by Abhaya,Pustaka(book) and kamandalu, while the right ones are characterized by Varada, Sutra and Sruva. It also adds that her dress is deer-skin. On the other hand, the Purva-karanagama agrees withb the first work quoted above in ascribing only four hands to Brahmani, although it states that she carries the Kamandalu and Akshamala in two of her hands and holds the other two in Abhaya and Varada poses.


A chapter of Varaha Purana also suggests that the seven goddesses or Saptamatris also represent mental qualities which are to be avoided. Goddess Brahmani represents Pride or ‘mada.’

 


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