Group of ten Hindu goddesses / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Mahavidya (Sanskrit: महाविद्या, IAST: Mahāvidyā, lit. Great Wisdoms) are a group of ten Hindu[1] Tantric goddesses.[2] The 10 Mahavidyas are usually named in the following sequence: Kali, Tara, Tripura Sundari, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi , Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala.[3] Nevertheless, the formation of this group encompass divergent and varied religious traditions that include yogini worship, Saivism, Vaishnavism, and Vajrayana Buddhism.[4]

Top row: Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshvari, and Bhairavi
Bottom row: Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamala

The development of the Mahavidyas represent an important turning point in the history of Shaktism as it marks the rise of the Bhakti aspect in Shaktism, which reached its zenith in 1700 CE. First sprung forth in the post-Puranic age, around 6th century C.E., it was a new theistic movement in which the supreme being was envisioned as female. A fact epitomized by texts like Devi-Bhagavata Purana, especially its last nine chapters (31-40) of the seventh skandha, which are known as the Devi Gita, and soon became central texts of Shaktism.[5]