Saptamatrika, Sapta-matrika, Saptamātṛka, Saptamātṛkā: 5 definitions


Saptamatrika means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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.

The Sanskrit terms Saptamātṛka and Saptamātṛkā can be transliterated into English as Saptamatrka or Saptamatrika, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

[«previous next»] — Saptamatrika in Vastushastra glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

Saptamātṛka (सप्तमातृक).—The saptamātṛkas are

  1. Brāhmi,
  2. Vaiṣṇavi.
  3. Māheśvari,
  4. Kaumāri,
  5. Indrāṇi,
  6. Vārāhi
  7. and Cāmuṇḍā.

The concept of saptamātṛka is very old and goes back to the Puranic period. The sculptures of the saptamātṛkas begin to appear from the time of the Badami Chalukyas and continued during the successive centuries. The Nolambas being the overlords of a region of Kamataka adopted the cult of saptamātṛkas and proquered some of the best specimens of the saptamātṛka sculptures of Karnataka.

The carving of saptamātṛka sculptures is generally of two types. The first is the type where mātṛkas are carved individually. The second type consists of a row of saptamātṛkas carved on a single piece of stone. All these sculptures may be in relief or in the round.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Saptamatrika in Purana glossary
Source: Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa (purana)

Saptamātṛkā (सप्तमातृका) refers to a set of Seven Mothers (Goddesses).—As has been pointed out by Avalon in the Introduction (p. 35) to Prapañcasāra-tantra, the Mātṛs are seven:—

  1. Brahmāṇī,
  2. Rudrāṇī,
  3. Kaumārī,
  4. Vaiṣṇavī,
  5. Vārāhī,
  6. Aindrī,
  7. Cāmuṇḍā or Mahābharavī.

Usually eight [viz., Aṣṭamātṛkā (eight mothers) ] are spoken of and sometimes nine; the others being Aparājitā and Nārasiṃhī.

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: Google Books: Papers on Art and Epigraphy

Saptamātṛkā (सप्तमातृका) or Saptamātṛkārahasya is discussed in the eighth chapter of the Saudhikāgama: an unpublished Sanskrit text of encyclopaedic nature on Orissan temple architecture, town planning and iconography comprising about 4457 verses divided into nine chapters.—Chapter eight concerns the Śaktirahasya (i.e., the Navadurgārahasya, Daśamahāvidyārahasya and Saptamātṛkā-rahasya) and their pañjaras.

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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India history and geography

Source: Yale Journal of Music & Religion: Ritual Music in Contemporary Brahmanical Tantric Temples of Kerala

Saptamātṛka refers to a group of deities worshipped in 13th century Kerala.—During this period, three rulers emerged as the most powerful: the Kōlatiri of Kōḷattunāṭu, the Sāmūtiri of Calicut (Ēṛanāṭu), and the Tiruvadi of Vēnāṭu. They worshipped fierce deities associated with warfare, such as Bhadrakālī, the Sapta Mātṛkas, Vēṭṭaykkorumakan, and Ayyappan; built new temples; and patronized priestly non-Brahmanical groups who maintained the ritual activities. Royal support facilitated the spread of the cults of these gods among warriors and other groups.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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