Lajja Gauri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
6th century Lajja Gauri relief from Madhya Pradesh

Lajjā Gaurī is a lotus-headed Hindu goddess associated with abundance, fertility and sexuality, sometimes euphemistically described as Lajja ("modesty"). She is sometimes shown in a birthing posture, but without outward signs of pregnancy.[1]


Early depictions of Lajja Gauri in Shaktism were found in the Indus Valley seals,[2] though her later depiction dates to the 1st-3rd centuries, and her worship is prevalent in the Deccan, a region of the Indian subcontinent.


Her fertility aspect is emphasized by symbolic representation of the genitals, Yoni or the Womb, as blooming Lotus flower denoting blooming youth in some cases and in others through a simple yet detailed depiction of an exposed vulva. Added to the fact that she is sitting in a squatting position (malasana) with legs open, as in during childbirth, in some cases, the right foot is placed on a platform to facilitate full opening. She is invoked for abundant crops (vegetative fertility) and good progeny. A blossoming lotus replaces her head and neck, an icon often used in Tantra. The seven Chakras of human energy anatomy are often depicted as blossoming lotuses, and the Goddess is often depicted in her Sri Yantra as a Yoni, shown as a simplified triangle at the centre. This is a feature present in all the Kohbar Mithila Paintings which are worshipped by newly weds in a Maithil Wedding.

Further, most fertility goddesses of the Ancient world are similarly shown headless, while giving prominent focus to the genitals.[3] The arms of the goddess are bent upwards, each holding a lotus stem, held at the level of the head again depicted by the matured lotus flower.

Owing to an absence of verifiable text in Vedic traditions on the iconography, she doesn’t seem to hold any exalted position in Hindu pantheon, despite her strong presence throughout India, especially in the tribal region of Bastar in Central India and downwards to the South. The goddess is sometimes called Lajja Gauri, interpreted by some as the Innocent Creatrix, the Creator deity[4] or at times simply "Headless Goddess", or Aditi Uttanapada [2] by modern archeologist, academicians and Indologists.[2]

The majority of the terracotta figurines were carved in the Gupta and post-Gupta periods.[2]


Icons of Lajja Gauri have been found in different villages, and local people identify her with other goddesses such as Aditi, Adya Shakti, Renuka and Yallamma.[5] A notable sculpture of her dating 150 - 300 CE was found at Amravati (now kept at State Museum, Chennai),[6] Tribal areas of Central India, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, where the town of Badami, known for the Badami Cave Temples, has a sculpture of the deity preserved at the local Archeological Museum, originally found in Naganatha Temple, Naganathakolla, Bijapur District,[7] and has an extant temple dedicated to the goddess in Badami Chalukya Architecture, within the town precincts dating to Chalukya Empire which flourished around 6th century AD.[8] Maithili people worship Lajja Gauri during the marriage.She is an integral part of the Kohbar Mithila Painting which is kept in the nuptial chamber of newly weds.

Another arguable interpretation by Dr. Ramachandra C. Dhere in his book entitled, Lajja Gauri is that Lanja/Lanjika means 'naked', reminds us of the geographical area in Konkan (Maharashtra), called Lanja.

Further reading[edit]

  • Forms of the Goddess Lajja Gauri in Indian Art, by Bolon, Carol Radcliffe. 1992. ISBN 978-0-271-00761-8.
  • The Universal Mother, by Shanti Lal Nagar. Published by Atma Ram & Sons, 1989. ISBN 81-7043-113-1. Chapter 18: The Mother Goddess as Aditi/Lajja Gauri. Page 200
  • Nasim Khan, M. (2002)Lajja Gauri Seals and related antiquities from Kashmir Smast, Gandhara, South Asian studies, British Academy, London, ROYAUME-UNI (Revue). ISSN 0266-6030. 2002, vol. 18, pp. 83–90.
  • "Sacred Display: Divine and Magical Female Figures of Eurasia." Miriam Robbins Dexter and Victor H. Mair. Amherst, New York: Cambria Press, 2010

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lotus-Headed Fertility Goddess Lajja Gauri". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accessed 24 June 2018
  2. ^ a b c d Aditi Uttanapada (Lajja Gauri): Creatrix and Regenrator Images of Indian Goddesses: Myths, Meanings, and Models, by Madhu Bazaz Wangu. Published by Abhinav Publications, 2003. ISBN 81-7017-416-3. Page 84-86.
  3. ^ Iconography Of The Goddesses
  4. ^ Book Review Forms of the Goddess Lajja Gauri in Indian Art, by Carol Radcliffe Bolon. 1992. ISBN 978-0-271-00761-8.
  5. ^ Chapter one:Left Halves The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine, by Devdutt Pattanaik. Published by Inner Traditions / Bear & Company, 2000. ISBN 0-89281-807-7. Page 4.
  6. ^ George Abraham (1990-01-01). "sculpture of Lajja-Gauri". Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  7. ^ Badami Travel Archived 2008-12-09 at the Wayback Machine Karnataka Travel.
  8. ^ "The Lajja-Gouri Temple inside the Badami". 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2013-03-14.

External links[edit]