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Goddess of Kundalini[1]
Member of The Ten Mahavidyas
Goddess Bhairavi.jpg
An image of Goddess Bhairavi, Lithograph Print, circa 1880s of Bengal
AffiliationAdishakti, Mahavidya, Mother Goddess, and Mahakali
AbodeMount Kailash and Manidvipa
MantraOm Hasaim Hasakarim Hasaim Bhairavyay Namo Namah
WeaponTrishula, Khaṭvāṅga , Sword , Kapala, Sickle and Damru

Bhairavi (Sanskrit: भैरवी) is a Hindu goddess, described as one of the Mahāvidyas, the ten avatars of the Mother Goddess. She is the consort of Bhairava[2][3]


Bhairava with his consort, Bhairavi.

The name Bhairavi means "Terror" or "awe-inspiring". She is the Fifth of ten Mahāvidyas. She is also called Tripurabhairavi. "Tri" means three, "Pura" means fortress, castle, city, town, etc. Tripura convey three different stages of consciousness i.e. active, dream and deep sleep. She is in the form of all triads and once these triads are transcended, the Brahman is attained. In other words, once we have her grace, we can realize Shiva consciousness. Hence She is called Tripurabhairavi.[4][5]

Her dhyana shloka in the Devi Mahatmya describes her form. She is seated on a lotus with four hands, one with a book, one with rosary beads, one with abhaya mudra and another with varada mundra. She wears red garments and wears a garland of severed heads around her neck. She has three eyes and her head is adorned with a crescent moon. In another form she is carrying a sword and a cup containing blood and other two hands showing abhaya and varada mudras. She is also depicted as sitting on Shiva, which is more predominant in tantric worship. She is also depicted as a queen, closely resembling Rajarajeswari.[6]

Bhairavi yantra

Tripurabhairavī is set to be residing in muladhara chakra. Her mantra consists of three letters and they all form an inverted triangle in the centre of muladhara chakra. She is the creator in muladhara chakra in the form of kamarupa, which consists of three dots forming an inverted triangle, from which all triads are born, which ultimately leads to the creation of this universe.[citation needed] The innermost triangle of muladhara chakra is known as kamarupa. The three points of triangle have three bijaksara's (sacred letters) and the three bijaksara's connected to each other by the sides of the triangle and each of these sides represent iccha sakthi, jnana sakthi and kriya sakti or the Divine will, Divine knowledge and Divine action. Tripura Sundari and Tripura Bhairavi are closely associated but different. Tripura Bhairavi is posited as the latent energy whereas Tripura Sundarī who causes this latent energy to actualize and moves this energy upwards towards higher chakra's till Sahasrara Chakra.[7]


Bhairavi is also a title for a female adept in Kundalini, Tantra. A yogini is a student of Tantra or an aspirant. A Bhairavi is one who has succeeded. Bhairavi is the consort of Bhairava according to the Puranas and Tantras.

She is seen mainly as Kalaratri in Durga Saptashati who slayes Chanda, Munda and Raktabija. When she slayes Bhandasura in Mahabharata.

She is also called as Shubhankari, which means that she is the doer of auspicious deeds to her devotees who are her children, which means she is a good mother. She also favors violence, punishment and bloodshed to those who are irreligious and cruel, which also means that she is the Mother of all violence to them. She is said to be seen as violent and terrible but is a benign Mother to her children.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Frawley, Inner Tantric Yoga, Lotus Press, 2008, page 163-164
  2. ^ Johnson, W. J (2009). "A Dictionary of Hinduism". Oxford Reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780198610250.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-861025-0. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  3. ^ Visuvalingam, Queen Elizabeth (2003). "Bhairava". Oxford Reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/OBO/9780195399318-0019. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  4. ^ Erndl, Kathleen M. “Rapist or Bodyguard, Demon or Devotee: Images of Bhairo in the Mythology and Cult of Vaiṣṇo Devī.” In Criminal Gods and Demon Devotees: Essays on the Guardians of Popular Hinduism. Edited by Alf Hiltebeitel, 239–250. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989
  5. ^ Sukul, Kubernath. Vārānasī Vaibhava. Patna, India: Bihar Rastrabhasa Parisad, 1977
  6. ^ Johnson W. J. (2009). A Dictionary of Hinduism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198610250.
  7. ^ Ravi V. "Tripura Bhairavi". Mahavidyas. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Tripura Bhairavi – SivaSakti".
  9. ^ "Spiritual side of fierce Goddess Bhairavi, the Goddess of wisdom". Sanskriti - Hinduism and Indian Culture Website. 4 May 2016.