Matrikas are the Shakti or energy which is the epitome of motherly virtues. She is also Yogmaya herself. She is that Shakti which has the dual ability to procreate as well as to nurture the creation like a mother. She is the mother goddess who nurtures all the goddesses and gods. She is believed to be everywhere and in everything in her subtle form but in her manifested form she is believed to be present in the universe ruling the eight directions which also means infinity.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, she is the source of all Shakti. All Shakti derives their energy and power from her. Just like everything in earth acquires their source energy from sun similarly all the energies of the universe acquire their Shakti from the Matrikas.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Matrika plays a very important role in tantra because of her innate ability to procreate exactly like herself. She can create another Shakti like herself. She can exactly clone herself and produce other shaktis. All the Matrikas of this universe is therefore Yogmaya. She has cloned herself subtly to many forms.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Origin story
- 3 Sapta/Asta Matrika
- 4 Matrika Varna
- 5 Matrika and Mantrayana
- 6 Matrika and Tantra
- 7 Matrika Varna and Japa Mala
- 8 Matrika Shakti and Kundalini Yoga.
- 9 Darshana of Matrika Shakti
- 10 Matrika and Feminism
As per Siddha Dharma, “Matrika” is derived from the root word Matri (मातृ) meaning mother. Matrika therefore implies epitome of motherly virtues. Since, Matrika are Shakti and goddesses, she is believed to be the Shakti who itself is the epitome of motherly virtues and secondly the protector, provider and nurturer of all Shakti’s in this universe. From them, all other Shakti’s acquire their power.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, there are two most prevalent story of the origin of Matrikas. The two stories were both revealed to the Siddhas through Maharishi Vishwamitra. He explains both stories to his disciples chronologically and the wisdom is infused into the tradition of Kaulantak Peeth through the lineage of Maharishi Vishwamitra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Matrikas were always present in their original form as Yogmaya. Yogmaya is beyond forms i.e. formless. She is also the supreme Shakti of this universe. She is the Shakti of Ishwara i.e. Mahadeva Shiva himself. Shiva is the supreme god or Ishawara and inside him resides Yogmaya. Because of Yogmaya, Shiva is considered to be Ishwara. The absence of Yogmaya Shakti from Shiva transforms the Shiva into Shava or corpse.
The “Siddha Dharma” further reveals that she was always inside Mahadeva Shiva before the creation. Since, Shiva is the god whose prime duty is to annihilate all the creations so that new creation happens. He annihilates the universe when the right time comes. But Shiva doesn’t destroy the creation of lord Brahma prematurely, he only annihilates the creation at the right required time exactly like the nature letting the flower bloom to its peak and then annihilating the flower by withering it leaving the opportunity for new flowers to bloom.
Lord Shiva, the Ishwara therefore felt that the universe after its creations needed a Shakti that nurtures the universe so that the universe blooms like a flower and then gets annihilated paving the way for new creation. He wanted the creation to be filled with three vital attributes so that the creation blooms like a flower. The three virtues were Bliss (ananda), Kala (art forms) and wisdom forms (vidhya)
He therefore takes a long breath and focuses on his “Anahata Chakra” or “Heart Chakra”, he concentrates all the Yogmaya Shakti of his heart, magnifies it and then releases the luminous energy to the universe. The released luminous energy also called “Matrika Punja” then multiplies itself to merge into every part, both gross and subtle parts of this universe. The Matrika therefore became present everywhere in the creation and the creation also became sustainable oriented. Because of Matrika, the universe is self-sustaining. The universe self sustains and self-nurtures itself until the point of annihilation. After annihilation of a creation, a new creation takes place and the same Matrikas then plays the role of sustainer and nurturer of this universe.
All the Eight Matrikas were not manifested at once but they manifested gradually. The first three Matrikas that manifested from “Matrika Punja” were Kaumari, Vaishnavi and Brahmi. Later, Shiva also manifested as Trideva. The first three Matrikas were Kaumari manifested as Parvati, Vaishnavi as Lakshmi and Saraswati as Brahmi. Later, Tri Matrika becomes Sapta Matrika and then they transformed to Ashta Matrika then to Sodash Matrika and then to thirty two main Matrikas.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, when after the first creation, the universe went into cycles of creation and annihilation, the Ishwara Shiva and Yogmaya, descended down to Himalaya in the form of Swachhanda Bhairava and Ma Kurukulla Parvati in Mount Kailasha to impart the timeless wisdoms of Agama-Nigama to the Rishi munis. They would frequently engage in conversation with each other about tantra and those talks were heard by Rishi/Munis and Siddhas. They then decode the talks and preach the inferred wisdom to the mass.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, one such talk was heard by Maharishi Vishwamitra. He heard the tantric talk of Shiva and Shakti about Matrika Shakti and he explains the talk to his disciples in the Himalaya. He reveals to his disciples that one day when Swachhanda Bhairava Shiva and Ma Aghoreshwari Kurukulla Parvati were engaged in conversation, the Devi inquires Shiva about that particular Shakti in tantra that provides Kala (art forms), ananda (bliss) and Vidhya (wisdom forms). Lord Shiva smiles and he replies that Matrika Shakti is the Shakti through which all the aforementioned virtues can be attained. He also refers it as “Matrika Vidhya”.
Devi then inquires the lord that Matrika means mother so how can Matrika impart those virtues. Lord Shiva smiles and he replies that Devi because of her own Maya is not able to infer herself as the source of all Matrikas. He further reveals to her that she herself multiplied and manifested into various forms so that they could occupy all the eight directions and then nurture the whole creation. Along with the eight Matrikas, Shiva also manifests into his eight Bhairava forms.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, there are only seven Matrika principally but for convenience Ashta Matrika is used. The seven Matrika or “Sapta Matrika” was formed from Yogmaya herself Maharishi Vishwamitra reveals the seven Matrikas to his disciples exactly like Shiva had revealed.
- Brahmi (Saraswati)
- Maaheshwari (Parvati)
- Indrayani or Aindri
- Vaishnavi (Lakshmi)
- Maha Lakshmi
But because of Vaishnavi and Maha Lakshmi being the same shakti of lord Vishnu into two different forms, they both are considered to be one therefore the Sapta Matrika is sometimes confused with Ashta Matrika. The Kaumari and Maaheswari are also the same forms of Devi Parvati but they differ in their functional aspect so they have been categorized as two distinct Shakti. The total Matrikas are seven in numbers but referred to as Ashta Matrika.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Vaishnavi Matrika is given such importance because of Ma Vaishno. She is the only living goddess in the earth who is waiting for Kalki avatara. Because she is believed to be present in this earth, in the Himalaya, Ma Vaishno is given special status and her existence cannot be denied. Therefore she and Mahalakshmi being the same Shakti is still considered separate Matrika because of the physical presence of Ma Vaishno in empirical world.
The Matrika Varna or Varna Matrika is the manifestations of Matrika goddess in the various forms of nada (sound). There are all together 51 Matrikas but one of the sound of Varna Matrika is the shoonya sound so only 50 Matrikas are considered. The 50 Varna Matrikas are the fifty alphabets of the Sanskrit language. The Swara Varna and Vyanjana Varna collectively constitute the Matrika Varna. They are also called “Varna Mala” that we study in our kindergarten years in India and Nepal.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, when lord Shiva was explaining the origin of Matrika Varna, he revealed her that he first manifested as naada (sound). From that naada, two naada manifests Swara Varna and Vyanjana Varna. Both sounds are the manifestation of Matrika Shakti. From Ashta Matrika, the 51 sounds manifests. The 16 sounds from अ to अ: is Swara Varna while the alphabets क to ह are Vyanjana Varna.
- अ वर्ग- अ toअ: – Lakshmi
- क वर्ग – Brahmi (Saraswati)
- च वर्ग – Maaheshwari (Parvati)
- ट वर्ग – Kaumari
- त वर्ग – Vaishnavi
- प वर्ग – Varahi
- य वर्ग – Aindri
- श वर्ग – Chamunda
Matrika and Mantrayana
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Mantrayana path is path of mantras for the perfection of human life. The whole Mantrayana is based on the Matrika Varnas. Mantrayana is totally the path of naada to reach Ishwara.
The mantrayana prescribes the chanting of mantra to reach the naada or Ishwara himself. It is the path from Swara Varna and Vyanjana Varna to the eternal naada “OM”.
The 51 or 50 Matrikas are the beej or the base for root mantras. From the beej mantras other mantras are also formed. The Matrika Shakti work with themselves to create new sounds.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, even the Matras or alphabets are not complete on its own. They require both Shiva and Shakti to form an alphabet. For eg, alphabet क is formed by combining (क् + अ). The root sound is the incomplete क् which is Shiva because it is non-divisible but when the अ alphabet is added to it, it becomes the full and complete sound (क).
When the word (क) is suffixed with alphabet (अं) it becomes (कं) beej mantra. Furthermore, the combinations of Matras create a word and then word gives a meaning. For instance, (क + ल + म = कलम) from the alphabets of क, ल, म the word कलम (pen) is formed. Similarly, the combination of other Matrikas produces other words. From the combination of words, a paragraph is formed and it also gives diverse meanings. From combination of paragraphs, an essay, stories, memoirs are formed.
The whole journey of an alphabet to a scripture or a book is nothing but the play of Matrikas. Just like the creation takes place from Shiva and from Shiva, Shaktis are formed. From Shakti the sun, moon, earth etc are formed. From the sun’s impact upon the soil, plants are formed and from plants, fruits are formed. The Foods then provide energy to the humans and the creation moves forward. Similarly, the journey of alphabet to the whole scriptures is the multiplication and reproduction of Matrikas.
Therefore, Matrikas are epitome of motherly virtues because they can procreate, reproduce and can multiply. Similarly, the Matrika Varnas are epitome of Matrika Shakti because they can reproduce and multiply like the Matrikas.
Matrika and Tantra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Matrika is the base of Tantra. If Matrikas are absent from Tantra, the tantra becomes obsolete. It is exactly like Shakti being absent from Shiva. When Shakti is absent from Shiva, Shiva becomes a corpse. If Matrikas are absent from Tantra, the tantra becomes lifeless exactly like a corpse.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the 51 Matrika Varna corresponds to the 51 Shakti Peeth of Tantra. Altogether, Siddha Dharma believes that there are 108 Matrikas. The classifications of the Matrikas are
Para Apara Matrika
The Para Apara Matrika are those Matrika Varnas which are audible and which we can easily cognate. The 51 Matrika Varna which is empirical because of the ears, falls under Para Apara Matrika. Therefore, there are 51 Shakti Peeth of Tantra which represents the 51 Varna Matrikas.
Paratpara Varna Matrika
The Paratpara Varna Matrika are those remaning 57 Matrika Varnas which are inaudible sounds to the ears and is non-empirical in nature because they are beyond the cognition of our senses. They have their existence and they exist in this universe and also in our anahata chakra in inaudible form. The 57 Varna Matrika are also the remaining hidden Shakti Peeth.
Matrika Varna and Japa Mala
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the japa mala or the mantra chanting rosary is also of 108 in number or 109 including the Sumeru. The Sumeru bead serves as the symbol to partition the beads so as to correctly infer the completion of 108 beads while chanting. The beads of the japa mala are 108 in numbers because each bead represents Matrika Varna.
The “Siddha Dharma” also portrays tantric gods and goddesses wearing garland of skulls. The garland consists of 108 skulls which also signify 108 Matrika. The 108 skull garland represents the mastery over all Matrika Varna and also the Ashta Matrikas.
Matrika Shakti and Kundalini Yoga.
As per “Siddha Dharma” views on Kundalini Yoga, there are seven chakras in our body. Every chakra represents respective numbers of Matrika Varna. For instance, Mooladhara chakra represents 4 Matrika Varnas while Agya Chakra has 2 Matrika Varnas. The whole Matrika Varnas is centered in the Sahastrahar chakra. The sahastrahar or crown chakra encompasses all 108 Matrika Varna. So, in Kundalini Sadhana the 51 audible Matrika Varna is used in the mantras to awaken the chakra.
Darshana of Matrika Shakti
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the whole darshana of Matrika Shakti centers around the word “Matritwa” or Motherliness. Matritwa consists of two features or virtues.
- Nurture and nourishment
The Matrikas with the above two virtues is the main darshana of Matrika Shaktis. The above virtues are also their modus operandi.
Matrika and Feminism
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Matrika Shakti is the epitome of Feminism while its corresponding Bhairava is the epitome of masculinity. But the Feminism of the Siddhas is the oriental feminism or the Siddha Dharma’s feminism and not to be confused with the western feminism. The Siddhas feminism is the Shakti centric feminism but yet they hold the view that Shiva = Shakti and both are incomplete without each other. Both are no different from each other and there exists no battle between the sexes for supremacy. Shiva and Shakti are considered to be one and the same but functionally they are different. Shiva is the passive entity while the Shakti is the active one.
Everything in the universe that is empirical is Shakti and the essence of Shakti that lies hidden is Shiva. The Shiva’s essence is Shakti and that of Shakti is Shiva. Shakti is empirical while Shiva is metaphysical in nature.
Since, both Shiva and Shakti are the same. Matrika Shakti is the essence of their corresponding Bhairavas. For eg, Vaishnavi Matrika is the essence of Lord Vishnu similarly Lord Vishnu is the essence of Vaishnavi Matrika.