Yogini, aka: Yoginī; 7 Definition(s)


Yogini means something in 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.

In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Yoginī (योगिनी).—Women endowed with supernatural powers (yoginī).—Human yoginīs form a subtype of the general category of yoginī. Yoginīs or female spirits possessing superhuman powers are said to be divine or human (Siddhayogeśvarīmata 22.5), but, as I argued elsewhere, one could in fact distinguish between three subcategories of yoginīs:

  1. Divine yoginīs who are identified with mantra syllables;
  2. Witch-like semi-divine yoginīs who are invoked and appear flying in the cremation ground;
  3. Human yoginīs who are said to belong to lineages or clans.

The basic typology lists seven types of human yoginīs, who must be recognized and identified through particular features. The seven types, called lineages or clans (kula), are based on the names and traits of the seven mother goddesses:

  1. Brāhmī,
  2. Māheśvarī,
  3. Kaumārī,
  4. Vaiṣṇavī,
  5. Vārāhī,
  6. Aindrī,
  7. Cāmuṇḍā (or Mātṛnāyikā),

After identifying a yoginī as belonging to one of these seven clans, she must be shown certain hand gestures that represent the divine attributes of her male counterpart (such as the disc, cakra, for Vaiṣṇavī), to which she will react in her particular way. On certain days of the lunar month, her attributes must be drawn on her/the practitioner’s house (there is some ambiguity on this point) and she must be worshipped on these days. These human yoginīs are then said to bestow the ability to fly and other supernatural powers, just as other yoginīs or goddesses do, as well as to transmit the traditional teaching, sampradāya.

All seven types are described in Brahmayāmala 74.41–80 as well as in a long chapter on various yoginīs in the somewhat later Tantrasadbhāva (16.247–285). The Siddhayogeśvarīmata (29.21–51) includes only the first five types. The same yoginī types appear in later texts too, such as in the Jayadrathayāmala (3.38.35ff).

Source: academia.edu: Women in Early Śākta Tantras
Shaktism book cover
context information

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)

Yogini in Purana glossary... « previous · [Y] · next »

1a) Yoginī (योगिनी).—A Varṇa śakti: an attendant on Śiva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 59 and 105; III. 41. 30.

1b) The goddess who stands in Kanakhalatīrtha and dances with Śiva.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 193. 70.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Yoginī (योगिनी) refers to the fifteenth of twenty-six ekādaśīs according to the Garga-saṃhitā 4.8.9. Accordingly, “to attain Lord Kṛṣṇa’s mercy you should follow the vow of fasting on ekādaśī. In that way You will make Lord Kṛṣṇa into your submissive servant. Of this there is no doubt”. A person who chants the names of these twenty-six ekādaśīs (eg., Yoginī) attains the result of following ekādaśī for one year.

Source: Devotees Vaishnavas: Śrī Garga Saṃhitā
Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Yoginī (योगिनी) refers to one of the twenty-four names of the Lāmās, according to the 8th-centry Jayadratha-yāmala.—While describing the special practices of the Lāmās mentions the special language to be used with them. This language is described as monosyllabic (ekākṣara-samullāpa) and may thus be considered to have belonged to the Sino-Tibetan family as the Lamas themselves belonged to the Tibetan group of mystics. The Lāmās [viz., Yoginī], according to this language, had 24 different names.

Source: archive.org: Indian Historical Quarterly Vol. 7 (shaivism)
Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

64 Yoginīs (sixty-four yoginīs) according to Kālikāpurāṇa.

  1. Kameśvarī,
  2. Guptadurgā,
  3. Vindhyakandaravāsinī,
  4. Koṭeśvarī,
  5. Dirghikā,
  6. Prakaṭī,
  7. Bhuvaneśvarī,
  8. Ākāśagaṅgā,
  9. Kāmākhyā,
  10. Dikkaravāsinī,
  11. Mataṅgī,
  12. Lalitā,
  13. Durgā,
  14. Bhairavī,
  15. Siddhidā,
  16. Balapramathinī,
  17. Caṇḍiī,
  18. Caṇḍogrā,
  19. Caṇḍanāyikā,
  20. Ugrā,
  21. Bhīmā,
  22. Śivā,
  23. Śāntā,
  24. Jayanti,
  25. Kālikā,
  26. Maṅgalā,
  27. Bhadrakālī,
  28. Dhātrī,
  29. Kapālinī,
  30. Svāhā,
  31. Svadhā,
  32. Aparṇā,
  33. Pañcapuṣkariṇī,
  34. Damanī,
  35. Manaḥprotsāhakāriṇī,
  36. Śailaputrī,
  37. Kuṣmāṇḍī,
  38. Kauśikī,
  39. Umā,
  40. Haimavatī,
  41. Jayā,
  42. Vijayā,
  43. Sāvitrī,
  44. and several gupta yoginis
Source: jaimaa: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

yōginī (योगिनी).—f (S) A female fiend or sprite attendant on and created by Durga. Sixty-four are enumerated. 2 A female devotee or performer of yōga.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

yōginī (योगिनी).—f A female devotee. A female sprite.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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