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“Sixty and four are the instruments of enjoyments that tempt the individual soul (jiva). Sixty and four are the divisions (kalas) within jiva; Sixty and four are the chambers of jiva’s chakras; Sixty and four; where Shiva-Shakti are.” Thirumandiram V. 1418

In very ancient days, eight great Female Goddesses Shaktis emerged from the cosmic soul of the Principle Dieties and formed Kali Durga, the Universal Shakti Power, These were the grand Mothers (Ashta Matrikas) of all subsequent Yoginis. According to Kaula Tantra, these eight manifested each in turn into eight Divine Shaktis, thus resulting in the 64 Tantric Yoginis.

Eight Great Mothers (Ashta Matrikas), Halebid, Karnataka

An examination of the ancient Tantric tradition reveals a particular sanctity assigned to the number eight. The eight mother faculties (tatvas) of the manifested universe, the eight directions with four cardinal and four intermediate points (digbandahs), the eight miraculous yogic powers (siddhis), eight "limbs" of Yoga (astanga) eight forms of the Divine Mother (matrikas) and eight primary mystic symbols (mudras) are just a few examples. The square of eight, or sixty-four, occupies an even more profound position in the field of Tantra which, from the point of view of the practitioner, first and foremost identifies the sixty-four Tantric Yoginis.

if I am known. promoting the elevation of consciousness for those who seek it through me. kriya. Light. yoga and the revealed texts? My mystery is grand and broad and expansive beyond the consciousness of humanity. Manifesting in both celestial and terrestrial planes. I live hidden in the bodies of human lovers. I become intoxicated with all aspects of life. and Power that are all the hallmarks of my essence. I am the polarities and the forces of creation. with whom I always seek oneness. the Divine feminine in union with her Lord. Even given this. in order to know Shiva as my intimate lover. In doing so I provide an avenue for humanity to taste the nectar of immortality through my Kaula Tantra. pretending to be limited as a human incarnation. my true nature still remains secret. of what use is puja. “O Great Ones. Love.The Matrikas are found in inscriptions uncovered from the Indus Valley Civilization of 5000 years ago. what need is there for pilgrimage. I take on human incarnation in order that all of his less conscious manifestations might discover their divinity though relationship with me. austerities and even sadhana itself? If I am revealed. tantra.” Chatuhsasthi Yogini Mantra 64 Kali Yogini Namavali . yet I am ever accessible as the cosmic lover beyond the thinking mind and it is I who is the source of the Peace.

Vipracitta Rakta Priya Who loves passion 7. Ugra Rakta Bhoga Rupa Enjoyer of passion in the form 8. 1. Virodhini Vilasini Residing within Self 6. Kapalini Nagalakshmi Lakshmi of Naga 3. Each Mantra is preceeded by "Om" and is concluded with "Svahaa". Kali Nitya Siddhamata Mother of the Siddhas 2. Kula Devi Svarnadeha Of golden body 4. Ugraprabha Sukranatha Ruler of the seminal essence . Kurukulla Rasanatha Ruler of physical pleasure 5.Recitation of the following sacred mantras will bring about transformation of consciousness and a closer personal relationship with the aspects of Maha Kali.

Maha Kali Siddhesvari Queen of the Siddhas 17. Matra Devi Atma Vidya The Goddess with knowledge of Self 14. Dipa Muktih Rakta Deha Liberation through the body of passion 10. Mudra Poorna Rajatkripa Who completely radiates compassion 15. Kameshvari Sarvashakti Shakti of All 18. Balaka Kama Sevita Attended by the God of Love 13. Ghana MahaJagadamba Great Mother of the world 12. Nila Bhukti Rakta Sparsha Who receives pleasure from the touch of passion 11. Bhagamalini Tarini . Mita Tantra Kaula Diksha Initiatress of the Tantric Kaula Path 16.9.

Tvarita Urdvaretada Giver of the Upward Ecstasy 25.Who delivers from calamity 19. Bherunda Tatva Uttama Essence of Sexual Fluid 21. Nitya Jnana Svarupini The Great form of Wisdom 27. Mahavajreshvari Rakta Devi Senuous Goddess 23. Shivaduti Adi Shakti Origional Feminie Energy 24. Nilapataka Siddhida Giver of perfection . Kulasundari Kamini Desire Itself 26. Nityaklinna Tantraprita Fond of Tantra 20. Vahnivasini Sasini Radiance of the moon 22.

Sakini Mitrarupini . Sarvamangala Tantrada Who Bestows Tantra 30. Dakini Madasalini Shining with rapture 34. Rakini Papa Rasini Destroyer of sin 35. Jvalamalini Nagini Snake Goddess 31. Vijaya Devi Vasuda Goddess who is Giver of wealth 29. Lakini Sarvatantresi Ruler of all tantras 36.28. Lalita Kanya Sukrada Pure Maiden 33. Chitra Devi Rakta Puja Goddess who is worshipped with passion 32. Kakini Naganartaki Who dances with Nagaraj 37.

Bhuvaneshwari Mantrini Energy of all mantras 42.Friend 38. Bagla Muki Guru Moorthi Form of the guru 46. Shodashi Latika Devi Creeper Goddess 41. Dhumavati Kundalini Primordial energy of self 45. Chinamasta Yoni Vega With dripping yoni 43. Hakini Manoharini Mind Stealer 39. Tara Yoga Rakta Poorna Who in union bestows complete passion 40. Bhairavi Satya Sukrini Supreme Purity 44. Matangi Kanta Yuvati Youthful beauty enhanced by Love .

Aprajita Samaptida Who Bestows Orgasm 56. Ganga Yoni Svarupini Energy of the Yoni 55. Gayatri Nitya Chitrini Eternal core of the energy of Self 50. Kamala Sukla Samsthita Residing in the Semen 48. Mohini Matta Yogini Intoxicated 51. Prakriti Brahmandri Devi Goddess residing in the crown 49. Annapoorni Shiva Samgi With Shiva 53. Saraswathi Svarga Devi Goddess of Heaven 52. Narasimhi Vamadevi Beloved Goddess 54.47. Camunda Parianganatha Ruler of sacred erection .

Mahesvari Para Shakti Transcendental energy 63. Lakshmi Monoramayoni With beautiful yoni 64. Vaishnavi Satya Rupini Form of truth 62.57. Indrani Mukti Niyantri Guide to bliss 60. Durga Satchitananda Truth consciousness and bliss . Varahi Satya Ekakini Oneness of Truth 58. Kaumari Kriya Shaktini Energy of dedicated action 59. Brahmani Ananda Moorthi Image of bliss 61.

As a matter of fact. the Vaisnavas. Mahavira. The vedic and post-vedic literature mention the names of some individual yoginis. They were yoginis. Thus the original connotation of the term is scientific. Vaisnava. the six block rites and four-fold m e d i t a t i o n . Vama and Madhyama. Tantra is Sadhana.Yoga Damara. Lord Nrusimha created hundred and eight terrible goddess to help Ambika to kill Andhaka demon.M. And we have really works known as tantras belonging to various sects like the Saivas. The Tantrikas consider tantra as the fifth Veda. In accordance with the sects the Tantras are classified. the ally of Sumbha. The term Agam is explained as that class of tantra which is addressed to Parvati by Lord Siva. But in India it has a speciality forming a significant part of the country's religious system in points of time and space. when the occult and esoteric Sadhana reached the highest peak. Siva Damara." Really it is difficult to state the nons of tantras. Saraswata Damara. Geographical conditions are also responsible in classification of Tantra. who had the power of creating numerous demons from his oozed blood touching the ground. Visnukranta. the tantras deal with the worship of not only female deities but with various male deities as well. Tantra is generally categorised into Agama. on the other hand. In order to understand Tantra. who drank blood of the demon before felling on the grounds. The word is traced from the term 't a n' ( t o spread) and 'tat r i' (to explain). Durga Damara. its antiquity. The ancient and modern scholars have stated different derivative meanings of the word 'T a n t r a' . Siva's pasupata weapon proved futile. Nigama and Yamala. Agamas are Vedic or nonVedic. viz. It is true that this literature is generally known among the followers of various sects as 'Agama' as well. The earlier mothers out of fear took refuge in Nrusimha who asked all the created mothers to look after the living beings of the Universe as mothers. Yamalas tantra were designed to mean the worship of united deities. In the Vamadeva Tantra Parvati said to Lord Siva 'you have explained to me crores of tantras each of which has a special features of its own. Each tantra has its philosophy. The r e a r e thr e e t r ends of t ant r a s : Dakshina. The puranas and Upa-purans which are the source of different cults are referred to find out the origin of sixty-four yoginis. The culture of sixty-four Yoginis was the exuberant expression of extreme form of tantricism in about 8th century A. the Ganapatyas. Like this tantra has a vast mass of literature covering wide range of heterogenous systems. Sakha. S a d h a n a . division of castes. Origin of sixty-four yoginis is shrouded in mystery. who are basically the mothergoddesses. Worship of God. After Andhaka was killed the new goddesses moved in a campaign of destruction in the Universe. (of eleven types) and Savara of (eleven types).C o s m o l o g y . a s t r o n o m y . Rathakranta and Asvakranta. It is divided into Tantra. Agamas are of various types. deals with c o s m o l o g y . Bhaskar Ray in his book 'Setubandha' describes the 'Chausathi Mahamayavi Tantras' or '64 Yogini' as Veda. Damaras are of six types . Yamala and Damara. yogadharma etc. Varahi tantra says Agamas deal with seven topics . The same story is recorded in the Mahabhagavata Purana to kill Andhaka demon. Through the process of transformation the cult came into existence and exerted an important niche in the Saktatantric pantheon. significance etc in the religious system of India. Brahma Damara and Gandharva Damara. D e s t r u c t i o n . Tantra is a science of religion and philosophy of science. Ganapatya. Having no alternative Siva propitiated Nrusimha to come to his rescuse. To subdue them Nrusimha created thirty-two mothers more powerful than the earlier one. Saura. Janmejay Choudhury Tantricism in some form or other evolved in almost all the countries of the world.According to M. own system of ritual practice and deity etc. Shaktisangama tantra records Saiva. Haraprasad Sastri it means shortening of abbreviation like algebraic forms of formula. Yamala tantra. Pasupata etc. when the early men derived the magical power from the natural phenomena. The markendeya Purana relates that the gods created goddesses from their own Shaktis to assist Durga in killing the demon Raktavirya.Origin of Tantricism and Sixty-Four Yogini Cult in Orissa Dr. who had the power to multiply himself into demons of the same stature and prowess from the drops of blood oozing out of his wonds and touching the ground. we have to touch upon the ancient civilisations.D. An eminent . whereas Nigama refers to tantra spoken by Parvati to Lord Siva. but never sixty-four manifestations together. the Sauras etc. Purascharana.

the principal seven or eight are known as mother goddesses such as Brahmani. 23. Anala 25. Of these sixty-four yoginies. Atirahasya Yogini. Ghatabari. The first two groups of the second classification have association with the sacred pithas. cansatha yogini namavali. 17. Maheswari. Indrani etc. Kulaja and Antyeja. The yoginis have been classified in different texts according to their functions. 12. Madhavi. Brahmayani. 64 and more angles of the centre of which there is Siva. Besides. Brihadnandikeswara Purana. Another list enumerates as many as sixty-nine yoginis in eight categories. 13. That the cult of sixty-four yoginis was widely prevalent is evident from several lists of sixty-four yoginis recorded in different texts. Vaisnavi. 20. The Kalika purana. Ba r ahi 27. 2. are classified as yoginis. Another text states sixty-nine yoginis in eight categories. Yogaja and Mantraja based on different principles. Chhaya. Bhagabati. Another text divides yoginis into Ksetraja. Betali. 10. sixtyfour Ratibandhas. 16. Nila. Rahasya Yogini.modern scholar opined that yoginis were originally women or priestesses. 29. Name of these sixtyfour yoginis – 1. Tarini. The sixty-four yoginis are most probably so many angles representing the equal number of manifestations of the Shakti embracing Siva. It is probable that these eight principal mother goddesses who are evidently the yoginis were multified into sixty-four. Kanti. Rupa. This theory of Matsyendra holds good when we analyse the extant yogini temples. but ultimately the number sixty-four appears to have been accepted by all the authorities. such as Gupta Yoginis. Omnipresent. Maya 3. Various sources have furnished different numbers of yoginis. the yogojas are propitiated with yogic practices and the mantrajas with Mantras. . Charchika 12. The number of yogini is really perplexing. The Yoginis are sixty-four in number and are classified as Sahaja. 7. Kamala. chandi purana of Sarala Das. Rudrayani 8. 8. Chandrakanti. who being possessed by the spirit of goddesses became yoginis. Tripura. 26. Sampradaya Yogini. Vaisnavi. Kulatirna Yogini. Maheswari. Chamunda 21. Varabi.P. The circle thus forms a 'Lotus' reminding us of the famous Tantric Sricakra. sixty-four yoginis are associated with sixty-four kalas. Baseli 9. Bata Avakasa of Balaram Das and other texts containlist of sixty-four yoginis. sixty-four Nayika and sixty-four emotion of human-being. Durgapuja. the inscribed images in the sixty-four yogini temple of Bheraghal of M. Pithaja. who according to the Puranic stories were created to drink blood of the demons. Bhuchari. Khe cha r i . Nigarva Yogini. names and rituals attached to them. 18. 5. Kachikeswari 24. Ambika Kumari 14. 4. Brihndla Tantra. Ugratara 11. 6. 15. 22. Skanda purana. The mother goddesses such as Brahmani. Maheswari. Kaumari. furish seventy-fine images. Indrani and Chamunda. 19. Santi. The yogini kaula of Matsyendranath also refers to the worship of mystic circles made up of 4. Guptatara Yogini. 30. immovable and undualified. sixtyfour Bhairava. Naga r i 28. Bhairavi. Narayani.

62. Ullaka. Ramayani. 52. Uttarayani. Kankali. Kapali. 39. Dwarini. 54. 43. Twelve lists of sixty-four yoginis collected so far do not confirm to each other. Rudrakali. 63. 58. 56. Sohini. Dohini. Trilochana. Gopali. Samasila. Kalinjari.in/e-magazine/Orissareview/oct2004/englishPdf/originoftantricism. Bukuchai. 61. Dake swa r i . Sankata Tarini. 41. Mohini.shivashakti. 50.pdf http://www. 42. 47. Sankha. Balakshatrayani. Kama l a . Kalavati.gov. All these names of sixty-four yoginis are described in Chandi Purana of Sarala Das. http://orissa. 44. 36. Kechamukhi Samuha.31. 53. 32. 55. The images of Bheraghat temple of Madhya Pradesh are seated in Lalitasana. Bali. Brahmani. 46. Kamasena. 48 Dakhinai . Trailokya Byapini. whereas at Ranipur Jharial they are in dancing poses. Kotalai. 51. Anadi Shakti. Mudha. 59. 34. The extant yogini temples do not show uniformity in iconography. Anuchhaya. 60. 37. Dharani 64 Matangi. 40. Nima i . In Hirapur Yogini temple the images are all standing associated their Vahana. 49.com/ for detailed tantra . 45. 35. 57. 38. 33.

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