Shachi

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"Indrani" redirects here. For the photographer, see Indrani (photographer).
Indra (alias Sakra) and Shachi Riding the Divine Elephant Airavata, Folio from a Jain text, Panchakalyanaka (Five Auspicious Events in the Life of Jina Rishabhanatha [Adinatha]), circa 1670-1680, Painting in LACMA museum, originally from Amber, Rajasthan

In Hinduism (specifically, early Vedic accounts), Shachi (Sanskrit: शची; also known as Indrani (queen of Indra), Aindri, Mahendri and Poulomi) is the goddess of wrath and jealousy, and a daughter of Puloman, an Asura who was killed by Indrani's future husband, Indra. She is one of the seven Matrikas (mother goddesses). She is described as beautiful and having one thousand eyes. She is associated with lions and elephants. With Indra, she is the mother of Jayanta and Jayanti and Midhusa, Nilambara, Rbhus, Rsabha and Chitragupta. The meaning of 'Shachi' is 'bwah' also, and in Hindu epics, she is also described as 'The Endless Beauty'.

Goddess Shachi or Indrani is one of the Sapta Matrikas – the seven divine mothers or Saptamatris in Hindu Religion. It is said that she has similar characteristics of Indra and the same Vahana or vehicle – white elephant. A puja dedicated to Goddess Aindrani is performed during the Ashada Navratri.

She is also believed to help in destroying jealousy.

She has a significance in Vedic lietrature in developing the idea of Shakti which denotes power, the feminine personified might, as described in later Hindu mythology . She gave origin to the concept that female consort, whether she s parvati or kali .. is the most important Shakti of all thus becoming the role model for all the goddesses in later period ( the Purana has several mention of this concept)

In Rig Veda she s described to be very beautiful, one of the hyms in RigVeda pictures her as jealous of rivals.In the same hymn Shachi also asks god to rid her of rivals .

Its is said that unlike other goddesses, she possess an independent character of her own. Unlike most of the goddess wives who are known by their husbands name like Rudrani, Varuni (wife of Varun), Saranya (wife of Sun), Indra is probably the only god who is known to be after his wife's name as well, hence he was often referred as Shachipati - meaning master of shakti/power, or ShachiVat (possessor of Shachi)

Shachi is derived from the verb shak or shach - in vedas, it is said that shakti/Shachi is something a male god possess not female ..As the goddess itself is shakti

In the earlier Vedic accounts, Shachi was depicted as a female shadow of Indra. She was, for a short while, considered to be an evil spirit. She was said to be the daughter of a demon; hence she is sometimes referred to as the Goddess of wrath. Then, in later Hindu interpretations, she began personifying jealousy and evil intent, but after a few years, she became an important and highly worshiped Astral Spirit and is worshiped in South India until this day.

According to the Rig Veda, Shachi is considered a most fortunate female for Indra granted her immortality. It is said that he chose her over all of the other Goddesses because of Her magnetic attractions

Shachi is rarely worshipped as an independent deity and is usually part of the Saptamatris.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley

The Hindus: An Alternative History By Wendy Doniger

Hindu Goddesses: Beliefs and Practices