Varahi, Varāhī, Vārāhī, Vārāhi: 15 definitions

Introduction

Varahi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

1) Vārāhī (वाराही):—One of the sixty-four Divyauṣadhi, which are powerful drugs for solidifying mercury (rasa), according to Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara (chapter 9).

2) Vārāhī (वाराही):—One of the sixty-eight Rasauṣadhi, very powerful drugs known to be useful in alchemical processes related to mercury (rasa), according to Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara (chapter 9).

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

1) Vārāhī (वाराही) refers to the sixth of the eight Aṣṭamātṛkā (mother Goddesses) of Kathmandu city, locally known as Phibva Ajimā. Her location is Maitīghar.

2) Vārāhī (वाराही):—Name of one of the 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 वाराह्यै नमः
oṃ vārāhyai namaḥ.

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

Varahi refers to one of the seven mother-like goddesses (Matrika).—The Matrikas emerge as shaktis from out of the bodies of the gods: Varahi from Varaha. The order of the Saptamatrka usually begins with Brahmi symbolizing creation. Then, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari and Kaumari. Then, Varahi is the power and aggressive intent to go after enjoyment.

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 Varahi with pride and arrogance (mada).

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: Varahi on North-west.

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

Vārāhī (वाराही) 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., Vārāhī) 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

1) Vārāhi (वाराहि).—A Pravara (Angiras).*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 196. 12, 13.

2a) Vārāhī (वाराही).—A surname of Lalitā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 17. 19.

2b) A Śakti; a mind-born mother.1 Icon of, with buffalo mount.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 19. 7; 20. 37; Matsya-purāṇa 179. 11.
  • 2) Ib. 261. 30.

2c) A R. of the Varāhadvīpam.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 48. 39.
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)

Varahi refers to the fifth Matrka and is the shakthi of Varaha.—Varahi is shown with the face of a boar and having dark complexion resembling the storm cloud. She is sometimes called Dhruma Varahi (dark Varahi) and Dhumavati (goddess of darkness). Varahi is seated under Kalpaka tree. And, her vahana as well as the emblem on her banner is an elephant. She wears on her head a karanda-makuta and is adorned with ornaments made of corals. She wears on her legs Nupura-anklets. She wields the hala and the shakti and is seated under a Kalpaka tree. The Purva-Karanayama says that she carries Sarnga-Dhanush (bow), the hala (plough) and musula (pestle) as her weapons.

In the Raktabija episode of Devi-purana, Varahi is described as having a boar form, fighting demons with her tusks while seated on a Preta (ghoul). To this description the Vishnudharmottara adds that Varahi has a big belly and six hands, in four of which she carries the danda (staff of punishment), khetaka (shield), khadga (sword), and pasha (noose); while the two other hands gesture Abhaya and Varada mudras.

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: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Vārāhī (वाराही) is the name of one of the six family deities presiding over twenty-four sacred districts, according to the Vajraḍākavivṛti commentary on the 9th-centruy Vajraḍākatantra.—These six Yoginīs seems most likely to represent female leaders of six families [viz., Vārāhī]. The Vajraḍākavivṛti clearly connects twenty-four districts with the system of six families. Accordingly, the Vārāhī family comprises the districts Kulatā, Maru, Pretapurī (Pretādhivāsinī) and Triśakuni.

Source: academia.edu: A Critical Sanskrit Edition and a Translation of Kambala’s Sādhananidhi, Chapter 8

1) Vārāhī (वाराही) is the name of a deity associated with the syllable “śrī” of the Heart Mantra of Heruka (hṛdayamantra): one of the four major mantras in the Cakrasaṃvara tradition, as taught in the eighth chapter of the 9th-century Herukābhidhāna and its commentary, the Sādhananidhi.  The Hṛdaya-mantra consists of twenty-two letters. [...] A practitioner in meditation visualizes that twenty-two deities [viz., Vārāhī] are developed from the twenty-two letters constituting the mantra. Each letter of the mantra is used as the initial letter of each deity’s name except for the first and second deities, who are the chief couple deities and located at the center of the maṇḍala.

2) Vārāhī (वाराही) is also the name of a Yoginī associated with the syllable “vaṃ” of the Ṣaḍyoginīmantra (six yoginī mantra): another one of the four major mantras in the Cakrasaṃvara tradition. The Ṣaḍyoginī-mantra consists of six mantras taught to be the six Yoginīs. [...] These six Yoginīs are also found in Nāgārjuna’s Dharmasaṃgraha. A practitioner visualizes them [viz., Vārāhī] without male companions. Alternatively, a  practitioner visualizes them with their male consorts such as Vajrasattva.

3) Vārāhī (वाराही) (alias Vajravārāhī) is also the name of a Deity associated with the syllable “hā” of the Devīhṛdayamantra (Goddess’ heart mantra): another one of the four major mantras in the Cakrasaṃvara tradition. The thirteen letters constituting the mantra are transformed in meditation into thirteen deities. All these female deities [viz., Vārāhī] have their male consorts who resemble their consort female deities in appearance and are in sexual union with them.

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

Vārāhī (वाराही) refers to the Ḍākinī of the south-eastern corner 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. Two colors are evenly assigned to the four corner Ḍākinīs [viz., Vārāhī] in order in accordance with the direction which they face.

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Vārāhī (वाराही) refers to the second of the “six Yoginīs” (ṣaḍyoginī) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 13). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., ṣaṣ-yoginī and Vārāhī). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: The Jaina Iconography

Vārāhī (वाराही) is the name of a Yoginī mentioned in various Jaina manuscripts, often being part of a list of sixty-four such deities. How the cult of the Tantrik Yoginīs originated among the vegetarian Jainas is unknown. The Yoginīs (viz., Vārāhī) are known as attendants on Śiva or Pārvatī. But in the case of Jainism, we may suppose, as seen before that they are subordinates to Kṣetrapāla, the chief of the Bhairavas.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

varāhī : (f.) a sow.

Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vārāhī (वाराही).—f A plant, the Yam, Dioscorea. vārāhī- kanda m The root of it, a yam.

context information

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-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vārāhī (वाराही).—

1) A sow.

2) The earth.

3) The Śakti of Viṣṇu in the form of a boar.

4) A measure.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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