Kaumari, Kaumārī: 8 definitions

Introduction

Kaumari means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

1) Kaumārī (कौमारी) refers to the fifth of the eight Aṣṭamātṛkā (mother Goddesses) of Kathmandu city, locally known as Lumadhi Ajimā. Her location is Bhadrakālī.

2) Kaumārī (कौमारी) refers to “juvenile, childhood, youtful” and represents one of the sixty-four mātṛs to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”, or “Durgā’s Retinue”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva. They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ॐ कौमार्यै नमः
oṃ kaumāryai namaḥ.

Source: Sreenivasarao's blog: Saptamatrka (part 4)

Kaumari refers to one of the seven mother-like goddesses (Matrika).—The Matrikas emerge as shaktis from out of the bodies of the gods: Kaumari from Skanda. The order of the Saptamatrka usually begins with Brahmi symbolizing creation. Then, Vaishnavi and Maheshvari. Then, Kaumari, Guru-guha, the intimate guide in the cave of one’s heart, inspires aspirations to develop and evolve. Kaumari is also known as Kumari, Karttikeyani and Ambika.

The Bhavanopanishad (9) recognizes Matrikas as eight types of un-favourable dispositions, such as: desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, jealousy, demerit and merit. Tantra-raja-tantra (36; 15-16) expands on that and identifies Kaumari with youthful longings to enjoy (lobha).

According to Khadgamala (vamachara) tradition of Sri Vidya, the eight Matrkas are located along the wall (four at the doors and four at the corners) guarding the city (Tripura) on all eight directions: Kaumari on the East.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Kaumārī (कौमारी) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Kaumārī) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Kaumārī (कौमारी).—A śaktī.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 19. 7; 36. 58; 44. 111.

1b) A mind-born mother; image of; the chief implements and adornment follow that of Kumāra; the peacock for the riding animal, clad in red robes and wielding śūla and śakti.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 9, 22; 261. 27.
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Sreenivasarao's blog: Saptamatrka (part 4) (shilpa)

Kaumari refers to the fourth Matrka and is the shakthi of Kumara or Skanda (the war-god). Her depictions resemble that of Kumara. She is ever youthful, representing aspirations in life. Kaumari is also regarded as Guru-Guha the intimate guide who resides in the cave of one’s heart. She is shown seated under a fig tree (Oudumbara) riding a peacock, which is also her emblem.  Her complexion is golden yellow; and is dressed in red garments. She wears garland of red flowers. Kaumari has four hands; and carries shakti and kukkuta (cockerel) or ankusha (goad). The other two hands gesture Abhaya and Varada mudras. She is adorned with a makuta said to be bound with vasika or vachika. She embodies ideas of valour and courage. (Purvakaranagama and Devi Purana).

According to the Vishnudharmottara, Kaumari should be shown with six faces and twelve arms; two of her hands gesturing Abhaya and Varada mudras.  In her other hands she carries the shakti, dhvaja, danda, dhanus, bana, ghanta, padma, patra and parasu. Each of her heads has three eyes; and is adorned with karanda-makuta.

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Google Books: An Esoteric Exposition of the Bardo Thodol Part A

Kaumārī (कौमारी):—One of the six Īśvarī performing the rites of pacification.—The counterpart of this pair is Indrāṇī..

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

Kaumārī (कौमारी) refers to the Ḍākinī of the western gate in the Medinīcakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the medinīcakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The four gate Ḍākinīs [viz., Kaumārī] each has the same physical feature as the four Ḍākinīs starting with Lāmā.

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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