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The fiery destructive power of Shakti
Member of The Eight Matrika
Newari portrayal of Chandi
Sanskrit transliterationCaṇḍī
AffiliationMahalakshmi, Mahadevi, Adishakti, Durga, Dhandai Devi
Mantraॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामुण्डायै विच्चे
om aim hrīm klīm cāmuṇḍāyai vicce
ConsortSamhara Bhairava

Chandi (Sanskrit: चण्डी, IAST: Caṇḍī) or Chandika (IAST: Caṇḍika) is a Hindu deity. Chandika is another form of Mahadevi, similar to Durga.[1] Chandika is a powerful form of Mahadevi who manifested to destroy evil. She is also known as Kaushiki, Katyayani, Asthadasabuja Mahalakshmi and Mahishasuramardini.


Caṇḍī or Caṇḍikā is the name by which the Supremely divine is referred to in Devī Māhātmya. Chandi represents the killer of Chanda. Chanda and Munda were Ashur's strong army generals.[2][better source needed] Bhaskararaya, a leading authority on matters concerning Devi worship, defines Chandi as 'the angry, terrible or passionate one'.[3]

The designation of Chandi or Chandika is used twenty-nine times in the Devi Mahatmya, which is agreed by many scholars to have had originated in Bengal, the primary seat of the Shakta or Goddess tradition and tantric sadhana since ancient times. It is the most common epithet used for the Goddess. In Devi Mahatmya, Chandi, Chandika, Ambika and Durga have been used synonymously.[4][page needed]

It is also called Navarna Mantra or Navavarna Mantra. Besides the Sri Vidhya mantras, it is one of the principal mantras in Shakti worship. It is customary to chant this mantra when chanting the Devi Mahatmya. She is supposed to live in a place called Mahakal, which is close to Kailasa.[5]

Named after the goddess is the city of Chandigarh (literally: 'fort of Chandi'), the joint capital of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana.


Chandika is an avatar of Durga. The three principal forms of Durga worshipped are Mahagauri, Chandika and Aparajita. Of these, Chandika has two forms called Chandi and Chamunda who is created by the goddess Kaushiki for killing demons Chanda and Munda.[1][6][better source needed]

She is known as the supreme goddess Mahishasuramardini or Durga who slayed the demon Mahishasura. She has been affiliated with and also considered as Katyayini, Kaushiki or Ambika who killed Shumbha, Nishumbha and their fellow demons.[7] "The great Goddess was born from the energies of the male divinities when the devas became impotent in the long-drawn-out battle with the asuras. All the energies of the Gods became united and became supernova, throwing out flames in all directions. Then that unique light, pervading the Three Worlds with its lustre, combined into one, and became a female form."[8][page needed]

"Devi projected overwhelming omnipotence. The three-eyed goddess was adorned with the crescent moon. Her multiple arms held auspicious weapons and emblems, jewels and ornaments, garments and utensils, garlands and rosaries of beads, all offered by the gods. With her golden body blazing with the splendour of a thousand suns, seated on her lion vehicle, Chandi is one of the most spectacular of all personifications of Cosmic energy."[9]

In other scriptures, Chandi is portrayed as "assisting" Kali in her battle with the demon Raktabīja. Chandi wounded him, but a new demon sprang up from every drop of his blood that fell on the ground. By drinking Raktabīja's blood before it could reach the ground, Kali enabled Chandi to first destroy the armies of demons and finally kill Raktabīja himself.[10] In Skanda Purana, this story is retold and another story of Mahakali killing demons Chanda and Munda is added.[11] Authors Chitralekha Singh and Prem Nath says, "Narada Purana describes the powerful forms of Lakshmi as Durga, Kali, Bhadrakali, Chandi, Maheshwari, Lakshmi, Vaishnavi and Andreye". Also, she is the one who purified Halahal (during Samudra Manthan) into Ambrosio (Amrit).[12]

Chandi Homa (Havan)[edit]

Chandi Homa is one of the most popular Homas in Hindu religion. It is performed across India during various festivals, especially during the Navaratri. Chandi Homa is performed by reciting verses from the Durga Sapthasathi and offering oblations into the sacrificial fire. It could also be accompanied by the Navakshari Mantra. Kumari Puja, Suvasini Puja also form a part of the ritual.[13][page needed]


A Burmese portrayal of Chandi (Sandi Dewi).

The dhyana sloka preceding the Middle episode of Devi Mahatmya the iconographic details are given. The Goddess is described as having vermilion complexion, eighteen arms bearing string of beads, battle axe, mace, arrow, thunderbolt, lotus, bow, water-pot, cudgel, lance, sword, shield, conch, bell, wine-cup, trident, noose and the discus (sudarsana). She has a complexion of coral and is seated on a lotus.[14] In some temples the images of Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati are kept separately. The Goddess is also portrayed as four armed in many temples.

In folklore of Bengal[edit]

Chandi is one of the most popular folk deities in Bengal, and a number of poems and literary compositions in Bengali called Chandi Mangala Kavyas were written from 13th century to early 19th century.[15] These had the effect of merging the local folk and tribal goddesses with mainstream Hinduism. The Mangal kavyas often associate Chandi with goddess Kali or Kalika[16] and recognise her as a consort of Shiva and mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya, which are characteristics of goddesses like Parvati and Durga.[17] The concept of Chandi as the supreme Goddess also underwent a change. The worship of the goddess became heterogeneous in nature.

Chandi is associated with good fortune. Her auspicious forms like Mangal Chandi, Sankat Mangal Chandi, Rana Chandi bestow joy, riches, children, good hunting and victory in battles while other forms like Olai Chandi cure diseases like cholera, plague and cattle diseases.[18]

These are almost all village and tribal Goddesses with the name of the village or tribe being added onto the name Chandi. The most important of these Goddesses is Mongol Chandi who is worshipped in the entire state and also in Assam. Here the word "Mongol" means auspicious or benign.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Durga". Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  2. ^ "saptashatI". 28 December 2008. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016.
  3. ^ Coburn 1991, p. 134.
  4. ^ Coburn 1984.
  5. ^ Gopal 1990, p. 81.
  6. ^ "kAtyAyanI". 13 July 2012. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019.
  7. ^ Ramachander, P.R. (27 May 2008). "Goddess Parvathi" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2012.
  8. ^ Beane 1977.
  9. ^ Mookerjee 1988, p. 49.
  10. ^ Wilkins 1882, pp. 255–257.
  11. ^ Wilkins 1882, p. 260.
  12. ^ Singh & Nath 2001, p. 20.
  13. ^ Brown 1990.
  14. ^ Sankaranarayanan 2001, p. 148.
  15. ^ Stefon, Matt. "Chandi". Ancient Religions and Mythology. Britannica. Retrieved 5 February 2024.
  16. ^ McDaniel 2004, p. 21.
  17. ^ McDaniel 2004, pp. 149–150.
  18. ^ McDaniel 2003, pp. 9–11.
  19. ^ Manna 1993, pp. 100–110.


External links[edit]

  • Mandal, Paresh Chandra (18 September 2021). "Chandi". Banglapedia. Retrieved 5 February 2024.