Saptamatrikas are a group of seven powerful Hindu Goddesses who are always depicted together. Since they are always depicted as a heptad, they are called Sapta matrikas. They assume importance for assisting the Devi in fighting the demons.Most of the sapta matrikas are said to be the feminine energies of Gods who helped the Goddess in killing the demons.
There are many legends associated with the origin of sapta matrikas and according to Devi Mahatmya, the Saptamatrikas emerge as shaktis from the bodies of Brahma , vishnu, shiva, skanda, indra and they appear similar to the gods in their feminine forms. They assist the Durga in killing the demons Shumbh and Nishumbh.
The Saptamatrikas are listed below:
- Brahmani: Said to have emerged out of the shakti of Lord Brahma. She is depicted as having a rosary, kamandalu in her hands and riding on a swan. She is said to destroy the pride aspect in the devotee.
- Vaishnavi: Said to have emerged out of the shakti of Lord Vishnu. She is depicted as having four hands holding a shankha and chakra in her two hands and with the other two hands she gestures the abhaya and varada mudra. It is believed that she would destroy the aspect of greed in the devotee.
- Maheshwari: Said to have emerged out of the shakti of Lord Shiva. She is depicted as riding on nandi and holding a trident and damarukam with her hands just like Lord Shiva. She dispells greed in the devotee.
- Indrani: She is believed to have emerged out of the shakti of Lord Indra and rides an elephant and is armed with a thunderbolt and is seen with a lot of ornaments. Worshipping her is believed to bring in a lot of materialistic wealth.
- Kaumari: Said to have emerged out of the shakti of Lord Skanda , she is seen riding on a peacock and holds a spear and axe . She would dispell the quality of bad temper in devotee.
- Varahi: Said to have emerged out of the shakti of Varaha who is the boar headed form of Vishnu, she is said to dispell the quality of lust in the individual.
- Chamunda: She is believed to have emerged out of the Shakti Devi herself and is considered most powerful among all the saptamatrikas. Worshipping her would get protection from all the evil spirits and the devotee would always be protected.