Bhairavi, Bhairavī: 9 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Bhairavi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (B) next»] — Bhairavi in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Bhairavī (भैरवी).—One of the eight Ambas. They are: Rudrārcikā, Rudracaṇḍī, Naṭeśvarī, Mahālakṣmī, Siddhacāmuṇḍikā, Siddhayogeśvarī, Bhairavī and Rūpavidyā. All these are the eight different forms of Devī. (See the word DEVĪ).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Bhairavī (भैरवी).—An epithet of Umā; when Śiva is Bhairava, Umā is Bhairavī;1 a mother-goddess.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 158. 25.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 7. 72; 44. 22.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Bhairavī (भैरवी, “the fearful Goddess”):—The sixth of the ten Mahāvidyās. She represents the power of death. She embodies the force of destruction wherever there is creation. Her power resonates when pertaining to activities such as drinking alcohol or using drugs and she is strengthened by emotions like anger, jealousy or hatred. The ten Mahāvidyās are the emanations of Mahākālī, the Goddess of time and death. She is depicted as a fearful laughing goddess with four arms entwined with poisonous snakes in her hair. She has three red eyes, a wagging tongue and feaful teeth. Her left foot is standing on a corpse

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Bhairavī (भैरवी).—Name given to a commentary in general written by Bhairavamiśra, which see above. The commentary on the Paribhāṣenduśekhara is more popularly known as Bhairavī.

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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

1) Bhairavi is a fierce and terrifying aspect of the Devi virtually indistinguishable from Kali, except for her particular identification as the consort of the Bhairava. She is also called Shubhamkari, Bāla or Tripurabhairavi.

It is believed that when Bhairavi entered the battle field, her horrible appearance made the demons become weak and very feeble, and it is also believed that most of the demons started panicking as soon as they saw her. The consort of Goddess Bhairavi is Bhairava an aspect of Shiva.

2) Bhairavi is also a title for a female adept in Kundalini Tantra. A Yogini is a student of Tantra, or an aspirent. A Bhairavi is one who has succeeded. Supposedly there are many more levels of achievement than these two, but Tantra is, in essence, a mystery religion, and one would have to be initiated, to learn them all. The name "Bhairavi" means "Terror," or "awe-inspiring," so the one who has achieved the state of Bhairavi, is beyond the fear of death, and therefore awesome.

Source: Vedanta Society: The Mahavidyas

The name Bhairavi means “frightful,” “terrible,” “horrible,” or “formidable.” The basic idea here is fear. Ordinarily we associate fear with darkness. It is not uncommon to be afraid of the dark, or rather of the dangers that lurk there unseen, but that is not the sort of fear that Bhairavi provokes, for she is said to shine with the effulgence of ten thousand rising suns.

In her individualized aspect, Bhairavi is the power of consciousness dwelling in every human being. Then she is known as Kundalini. Basic to both the cosmic and individual aspects is identification of Bhairavi with tremendous power. It is often said that Bhairavi represents divine wrath, but it is only an impulse of her fierce,  maternal protectiveness, aimed at the destruction of ignorance and everything negative that keeps us in bondage.

Sometimes she is in the cremation ground, seated on a headless corpse. Like Kali, she has four arms. With two of her hands she holds the sword of knowledge and the demon’s head that represents the destruction of the ego. Her other two hands may display the abhayamudra, urging us to have no fear, and the varadamudra, the gesture of granting boons. More often they hold a mala, signifying devotion, and a book, signifying knowledge. The trident represents the pervasively threefold nature of her manifestation and can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Bhairavī (भैरवी) refers to one of the twenty-four Ḍākinīs positioned at the padma (lotus) in the middle of the Herukamaṇḍala, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, between the south and east (of the heruka-maṇḍala) are six Ḍākinīs who are half yellow and half black in color. They [viz., Bhairavī] are headed by the major four Ḍākinīs of the Cakrasaṃvara tradition. They stand in the Pratyālīḍha posture and, except for the body posture, their physical features and objects that they hold are the same as Vajravārāhīs.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

bhairavī (भैरवी).—f A rāgiṇī or musical mode. See rāga. 2 A name or form of durgā.

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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Bhairavī (भैरवी):—[from bhairava] a f. See below

2) [from bhairava] b f. of va

3) [v.s. ...] Name of a [particular] form of Durgā, [Religious Thought and Life in India 188]

4) [v.s. ...] a girl of 12 years (representing Durgā at the D° festival), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] (in music) Name of a Rāgiṇī.

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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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