Varahi Tantra (English Study)

by Roberta Pamio | 2014 | 29,726 words

This English essay studies the Varahi Tantra and introduces the reader to the literature and philosophy of the Shakta Tradition to which this text belongs. These Shakta Tantras are doctrines where the Mother Goddess is conceived as the Supreme deity who is immanent and transcendental at the same time. The Varahitantra (lit. the "Doctrine of th...

Chapter 31 - The worship of Śaktis

The chapter starts speaking of the vīra puraścaraṇa (1-30’), as also found in the Tā.Bh.S.[1] : the worship of paraśakti is prescribed, i.e. a woman who is not the wife of the sādhaka. The text continues with a description of the worship of eight Śaktis, i.e. eight women, each belonging to one of the following classes: brahmāṇī, kṣatriyā, vaiśyā, śudrā, a harlot, the daughter of a barber, a washer-woman and a yoginī. The vīracārī sādhaka has to invite them in his house, welcome and please them by offering good dresses and ornaments; then he should worship them as the Eight Mothers, i.e. the eight different aspects of the Goddess, and invoke the grace of the Goddess for his mantrasiddhi by singing a hymn in the left ear (karṇejapastotra) of each of these ladies whom he considers to be the symbol of the Goddess. This hymn is found in verses 18-26 of this chapter.

Next, it is spoken about prayoga (vv.30"-34’) and the importance of cakrapūjā at the end of any prayoga, for one’s own protection and to eliminate the errors done during the prayoga (vv.34"-41’).

Verses 41"-45 mention three mudrās to perform during the homa, which are mṛgī, haṃsī and śūkarī.[2]

Verse 46 says which vessel one should use for each of the ṣaṭkarmas.[3]

Then the Lord, requested by the Goddess, speaks of some medicines which enable a person to attain good health (vv.47-52) and of some rituals which give perfection in speech (vv.53-103).

Again, questioned by the Goddess, the Lord reveals the ingredients of a few medicines for the protection of children and of the house (104-120’).204

The chapter concludes with two hymns which are not present in the Tā.Bh.T., one dedicated to the yoginīs and one to Vārāhī (vv.120"-194).

Footnotes and references:


See pages 328-330 of the Tā.Bh.S. (Vārāṇasī: 1983).


See pages 373-374 of the Tā.Bh.S. (Vārāṇasī: 1983).


See page 379 of the Tā.Bh.S. (Vārāṇasī: 1983).

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