The Ten Mahavidyas (Daśa Mahāvidyāḥ) are central to the practices of Shakta Tantric tradition. Kamakhya is primarily and equally identified with Durga (especially as Mahiṣāsuramardinī), Kālī, and Ṣoḍaśī (also known as Mahā Tripurāsundarī, Lalitā, or Rājā Rājeśvarī), 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.
One of the most consistent comments I hear from devotees is this:
“I would love to practice more meditation/yoga/puja/etc., but I just don’t have enough time/am too busy/have too much on my plate/can’t/don’t know how.”
The problem is the same for beginners as well as advanced practitioners. As we travel along any spiritual path and dive more deeply, things don’t get easier, they get harder. Yes, some things get easier – concepts become familiar, we might learn certain things more quickly or need less basic instruction as time goes on. But the deeper we go, the bigger the obstacles are. So what is the answer?
Compassion is an oft-overlooked yet vital part of the Hindu and Tantric path toward personal happiness and liberation. In the Devi Mahatmyam, the Gods praise Mahadevi (literally, the Great Goddess) in all Her forms with a famous and powerful hymn called the Devi Suktam. One of the verses from the hymn praises Her as compassion (daya):
ya devi sarvabhutesu dayarupena samsthita |
namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah ||
Devi Mahatmyam 5.65-67: To that Goddess who exists in all things as the form of compassion, I adore her, I adore her, I adore her, again and again!
The Goddess is compassion, She is manifested in all things as compassion. What does this mean in a real day-to-day sense?