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Pratyangira Atharvana Maha Badrakali
Goddess of Ultimate Destructive Power,Removes Black Magic origin from Atharvaveda.
AffiliationAdi Parashakti, Associated with Goddess Parvati.
WeaponTrishula (trident), damaru (drum), kapala, pasha (rope/snake rope)
MountSimha (lion)
ConsortLord Shiva

Prathyangira (Sanskrit: प्रत्यङ्गिरा; Prathyaṅgirā) — also called Narasimhi or Narashimhika — is a Hindu Goddess associated with Shakti. She is a form of Adi Parashakti and is the consort of Sharabha. She is described as a goddess with a male lion’s face[1] and a female human body . She holds the combined destructive power of Vishnu, Shiva and Devi Parvati . This combination of lion and human forms represents the balance of good and evil.

Incarnation of Adiparasakthi[edit]

As told in Markandeya Purana and Shiva Purana, in the beginning of the Satya yuga, the Lord Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu, killed the unruly King Hiranyakashipu by tearing up his body and drinking his blood. Because of the anger in Hiranyakashipu's body and blood Lord Narsimha drunk on rage and could not be stopped. To calm him down, Lord Shiva came down as Sharabha, a bird-animal-human hybrid. Upon seeing this, Lord Narasimha created Gandaberunda, a two headed bird to fight against Sarabeswara. These two beings fought a long time terrorising the world without reaching a solution. Seeing this Parvati invoked Pratyangira. Pratyangira appeared before these fighting beings and roared. When she roared, the terrified Sarabeswara and Gandaberund stopped their fight. Pratyangira had the combined power of Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti she was more powerful than any of them.

In another version in ancient times when two Rishis, Prathiyangira and Angiras, were meditating they re-discovered a Goddess through a Moola Mantra who was nameless. Later She privileged the rishis by naming Herself after them and hence She was called as Prathyangira Devi. Narasimhi is another name of Hers. 'Nara' means human and 'Simha' means lion, so She got named thus as She appears with a lion's face and a human body.

The term Prati means reverse and Angiras means attacking. Thus, devi Pratyangira is the one who reverses any black magic attacks. In temples of south India, She is also eulogized as Atharvana Bhadrakali as the She is considered the ruling Goddess of the Atharva Veda, the scripture which contains spells to conjure and cure.[2][3]

Adiparasakthi at an earlier time during the war between her and Bhandasura gave two boons to Pratyangira that the protection offered by Pratyangira is invincible and no god even Adiparasakthi herself cannot overcome it. Also when invoked for offensive purposes Pratyangira give invincibility and sure victory to her devotee. Thus Pratyangira is a very popular deity among Kshatriyas the warrior caste. She is often described as the ultimate Goddess to be worshipped for defensive and offensive power.


In some images she is shown as dark complexioned, terrible in aspect, having a lion's face with reddened eyes and riding a lion or wearing black garments, she wears a garland of human skulls; her hair strands on end, and she holds a trident, a serpent in the form of a noose, a hand-drum and a skull in her four hands. She is associated with Sharabha and she has a variant form, Atharvana-Bhadra-Kali. She is considered to be a powerful repellent of the influences generated by witchcraft and is said to have the power to punish anyone doing Adharma be it Brahma, Vishnu or Siva. It is said that when Narashimhika shakes her Lion's Mane, she throws the stars into disarray.[4][5]

In Hindu Epics[edit]

The Pratyangira yantra.

Prathyangira is also mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Indrajit was performing "Nikumbala yaga" (a sacred ritual to worship Prathyangira)[6] while Rama and his soldiers were waging war in Lanka. Hanuman came down to stop this ritual because he knew that if Indrajit completed it, he would become invincible.


Tantra classifies deities as Shanta (calm), Ugra (wrathful), Prachanda (horrifying), Ghora (terrifying) and Teevra (ferocious). Pratyangira is considered as a teevra murti. Pratyangira worship is strictly prohibited for people who have namesake Bhakti . Pratyangira worship is only done by the guidance of a Guru who is proficient in Tantra.[7]

Worships dedicated to Pratyangira is performed at many places for the welfare of the people and for eliminating the influences of evil forces. In some temples Pratyangira Devi Homam (Havan) is performed on days of Amavasya.[8]

Eight kinds of acts.[edit]

Like all Tantric deities, she can be invoked for the eight kinds of acts usually performed. They are appeacing, growth, increasing, attracting, sudueing, dissention reppelling and killing. Detailed information is found as to what kind of materials are to be used for the respective aim, and the number of recitations to be performed. It is further said that any act performed invoking this deity, especially the bad ones like killing and suduing, it is impossible to retract it even when the doer wishes.[9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Steinberg (2012). In the land of temples: Notes from a South Indian pilgrimage. p. 32. "It is a temple to Maha Pratyangira, a particularly ferocious manifestation of the goddess in which she has the head of a lion.
  2. ^ Max Muller The Hymns of the Atharva-Veda: The Sacred Books of the East V42
  3. ^ Teun Goudriaan Maya: Divine And Human
  4. ^ Max Muller The Hymns of the Atharva-Veda: The Sacred Books of the East V42
  5. ^ Benoytosh Bhattacharyya THE INDIAN BUDDHIST ICONOGRAPHY
  6. ^ "Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi: The Goddess to Counter Black Magic". Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  7. ^ Ajit Mookerjee KALI Brill Archive 1988
  8. ^ "Pratyangira Devi Homa". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  9. ^ Max Muller The Hymns of the Atharva-Veda: The Sacred Books of the East V42
  10. ^ Teun Goudriaan Maya: Divine And Human

External links[edit]