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Mahavidya Goddesses

Mahavidya Chinnamasta

Mahavidya Chinnamasta

Artist : Sundar Sinkhwal

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Chinnamasta or Chinnamunda, the ‘Severed Head or Decapitated’ goddess, is the third of the ten ‘Great Knowledge’ or Mahavidya goddesses. Collectively these ten mahavidyas represent the specific manifestations of the 'great goddess' Devi or Durga, who assumed these powerful aspects in order...

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Chinnamasta

Chinnamasta

Artist : Samundra Man Singh Shrestha

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This magnificent painting by Samundra depicts Chinnamasta, the 'severed headed' yogini, who traditionally appears as the third of the ten mahavidya or 'Great Knowledge-holding' goddesses in the Hindu shakta-tantra traditions. Collectively the ten mahavidya represent the...

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Mahavidya Bhairavi (Sepia)

Mahavidya Bhairavi (Sepia)

Artist : Devendra Man Sinkhwal

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Mahavidya Tripura Sundari

Mahavidya Tripura Sundari

Artist : Devendra Man Sinkhwal

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Tripura Sundari on Mahavidya Throne

Tripura Sundari on Mahavidya Throne

Artist : Ratna Gopal Sinkhwal

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Tripura Sundari, the "Beautiful Lady (Skt. sundari) of the Three Cities (Skt. tripura)", appears as the third of the ten Mahavidya or ‘Great Knowledge’ goddesses. Among her thousand epithets she is also known by the names of: Sodashi (sixteen year-old), Lalita (playful), and...

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Mahakali Enthroned

Mahakali Enthroned

Artist : Amrit Dangol

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Painted by Amrit Dangol over a four-month period, this composition depicts Mahakali, the "Great Black" goddess, squatting upon the ‘corpse-throne’ of quiescent Shiva and wrathful Mahakala as she engages in ‘reversed sexual union’ (Skt. viparita-rati) with her lord, Shiva-Mahadeva. Kali...

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Dakshina Kali

Dakshina Kali

Artist : Amrit Dangol

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This painting depicts Dakshina Kali in her traditional standing four-armed aspect. She strides upon the recumbent body of Shiva, who reclines peacefully upon the ground with his left hand supporting his head. Shiva is bluish-white in colour, with a mustache, three eyes, and the mark of a sandalwood...

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Mahavidya Dhumavati

Mahavidya Dhumavati

Artist : Devendra Man Sinkhwal

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Dhumavati, meaning the "Smoke-coloured or Smoky-one", is listed as the seventh of the ten mahavidya or 'Great Knowledge' goddesses, and is the most inauspicious in appearance. She takes the form of an elderly and ugly widow (Skt. vidhava), a role that has always held a somewhat...

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Mahavidya Bagalamukhi

Mahavidya Bagalamukhi

Artist : Samundra Man Singh Shrestha

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Bagalamukhi, the ‘Crane-headed One’, appears as the eighth of the ten mahavidya goddesses, and she is also known by the names of Bagala (the crane): Pitambara-devi (the yellow-clad goddess): Bakamukhi (heron-faced), and as Vagla or Vagalamukhi. Her legend relates how an asura demon...

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Tripura Bhairavi

Tripura Bhairavi

Artist : Ritesh Shahi

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Bhairavi, meaning the "Terrible or Terrifying", is the female counterpart of Bhairava, the wrathful form of Rudra-Shiva, and appears as the fifth of the ten Mahavidya or "Great knowledge" goddesses. Like Bhairava she has many different forms, and is depicted here in her four-armed aspect as Tripura...

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Mahalakshmi

Mahalakshmi

Artist : Devendra Man Sinkhwal

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This magnificent oil painting by Devendra Man Sinkhwal is based upon an original oil composition that was painted by Udaya Charan Shrestha. Mahalakshmi, or 'Great Lakshmi', appears as one of the astamatrikas, or 'Eight Mothers', who are extremely important in the Newar tradition and function...

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Mahalakshmi and Matrikas

Mahalakshmi and Matrikas

Artist : Samundra Man Singh Shrestha

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Within a sombre landscape of the five elements, Mahalaskmi, the 'Great Auspicious' matrika or ‘mother goddess’ stands gracefully in tribhanga or ‘triple bend’ posture upon the golden seed-head of an ornate pink lotus-throne. She is golden-yellow in complexion, with three eyes, four...

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Kalaratri

Kalaratri

Artist : Devendra Man Sinkhwal

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Kalaratri, meaning the "Dark Night", is the seventh of the nine aspects of the great Hindu goddess Durga, who is worshipped over a ten-day period in an annual autumnal festival known as Durga Puja in India, and Dashain in Nepal. This festival commemorates Durga’s ultimate victory over the...

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