Ten Mahavidya Mantras

mahavidyas-featured

The Ten Mahavidyas (Daśa Mahāvidyāḥ) are central to the practices of Shakta Tantric tradition. Kamakhya is primarily and equally identified with Durga (especially as Mahisasuramardini), Kali, and Sodasi (Maha Tripurasundari), but she is also closely identified with all of the Mahavidyas, as is revealed in these mantras. Thus her traditions are diverse, expansive, mysterious, and unique in the world of Tantra.

Mahavidya means “great wisdom” or “great knowledge,” but it also means ten great feminine powers revealed through mantra, as vidya is the term given to female mantras in various Tantric traditions. The full power and mystery of the Mahavidyas is revealed in the Tantras, as well as in the context of direct lineage teachings and experience.

The Ten Mahavidyas are worshipped at the Sri Sri Kamakhya temple complex in Assam in individual temples, and also are venerated in regular worship in our shrine in Alameda, California, USA. We recite the following list of mantras daily as a hymn of worship, as it reflects the multiplicity of manifestations of Mother Kamakhya in this group of goddesses. The mantras may be used by any devotee for devotional purposes and are quite useful to sadhaks/sadhikas.

It is not recommended to attempt to use them for other purposes without initiation, permission, and close guidance by gurus and senior initiates of this tradition.

The pranama mantras (that is, mantras of reverence) given below are largely unique to Kamakhya, and they are recited by devotees as part of the process of receiving darshan and offering puja. When two shlokas are given, one or both may be recited, though typically the first given is most important.

Without recitation of the pranama mantra any puja is incomplete. They hold great power for connecting the devotee to the Divine Mother through the heart of worship.

Mahavidyas

Ten Mahavidyas, circa 1895, Calcutta (British Museum)

Without recitation of the pranama mantra any puja is incomplete. They hold great power for connecting the devotee to the Divine Mother through the heart of worship.

No initiation is required to recite these mantras.

Names of the Devis are given in English transliteration and Assamese (Eastern Nagari) script. These mantras are provided together for simple and easy reference in devanagari and English transliteration. It is recommended, however, that you practice mantras from your own tradition and with proper guidance in their pronunciation and practice. Click through each name to find out more about that Mahavidya, as well as guidance to perform simple rituals in your home.



Originally published in 2010, this page has been fully revised, redesigned, and corrected. There may be some remaining errors in the text, please consult with your own tradition and teachers for the proper mantras and pronunciations according to your tradition and do not rely on any website or book! 

Many thanks to our Spiritual Advisory Board co-chair Rajib Sarma of the Sri Sri Kamakhya temple complex for his work in originally compiling these mantras for publication via the Sri Sri Kamakhya Temple.

Featured artwork credit: The Ten Mahavidyas by Rabi Behera