Bhairavi is a Hindu goddess associated with the Mahavidyas. She is the consort of Bhairava.[2][3]

Tripura Bhairavi
Goddess of Kundalini[1]
Member of The Ten Mahavidyas
An image of Goddess Bhairavi, Lithograph Print, circa 1880s of Bengal
AffiliationParvati, Mahavidya , Adishakti, Shivasakthi and Mahakali
MantraOm Has'm Hasakar'm Has'm Bhai ,Ravi Namo Namah


The name Bhairavi means "Terror" or "awe-inspiring". She is the Fifth of ten Mahavidyas. She is also called Tripurabhairavi. "Tri" means three, "Pura" means fortress, castle, city, town, etc. Tripura convey three different stages of consciousness i.e active, dream and deep sleep. She is in the form of all triads and once these triads are transcended, the Brahman is attained. In other words, once we have her grace, we can realize Shiva consciousness. Hence She is called Tripurabhairavi.[4][5]

Her dhyana shloka in the Devi Mahatmya describes her form. She is seated on a lotus with four hands, one with a book, one with rosary beads, one with abhaya mudra and another with varada mundra. She wears red garments and wears a garland of severed heads around her neck. She has three eyes and her head is adorned with a crescent moon. In another form she is carrying a sword and a cup containing blood and other two hands showing abhaya and varada mudras. She is also depicted as sitting on Shiva, which is more predominant in tantric worship. She is also depicted as a queen, closely resembling Rajarajeswari.[6]

Tripurabhairavī is set to be residing in muladhara chakra. Her mantra consists of three letters and they all form an inverted triangle in the centre of muladhara chakra. She is the creator in muladhara chakra in the form of kamarupa, which consists of three dots forming an inverted triangle, from which all triads are born, which ultimately leads to the creation of this universe. The innermost triangle of muladhara chakra is known as kamarupa. The three points of triangle have three bijaksara's (sacred letters) and the three bijaksara's connected to each other by the sides of the triangle and each of these sides represent iccha sakthi, jnana sakthi and kriya sakti or the Divine will, Divine knowledge and Divine action. Tripura Sundari and Tripura Bhairavi are closely associated but different. Tripura Bhairavi is posited as the latent energy whereas Tripura Sundarī who causes this latent energy to actualize and moves this energy upwards towards higher chakra's till Sahasrara Chakra.[7]


Bhairavi controls the changes taking place in the universe. The Mahavidyas represent the role of Adiparasakthi in the world, where Kali represents destruction and Tripura Sundari represents creation, Bhuvaneshwari symbolizes the sustainability of the created universe and Kamala represents prosperity and evolution. The other Mahāvidyas display the various processes that take place during the period of the universe. In this continuous cycle of creation and destruction, Bhairavi represents knowledge and civilization, she symbolizes the modifications of universe by mankind, the progress of humans and detailed studies.


Bhairavi is also a title for a female adept in Kundalini, Tantra. A yogini is a student of Tantra or an aspirant. A Bhairavi is one who has succeeded. So the one who has achieved the state of Bhairavi, is beyond the fear of death and therefore awesome.[8] She also rules Mangal.

Bhairavi is the consort of Bhairava according to the Puranas and Tantras.

She is also called as Shubhankari and Durga, which means that she is the doer of auspicious deeds to her devotees who are her children, which means she is a good mother. She also favors violence, punishment and bloodshed to those who are irreligious and cruel, which also means that she is the Mother of all violence to them. She is said to be seen as violent and terrible but is a benign Mother to her children.[9][10]

See also


  1. David Frawley, Inner Tantric Yoga, Lotus Press, 2008, page 163-164
  2. Johnson, W. J (2009). "A Dictionary of Hinduism". Oxford Reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780198610250.001.0001. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  3. Visuvalingam, Queen Elizabeth (2003). "Bhairava". Oxford Reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/OBO/9780195399318-0019. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  4. Erndl, Kathleen M. “Rapist or Bodyguard, Demon or Devotee: Images of Bhairo in the Mythology and Cult of Vaiṣṇo Devī.” In Criminal Gods and Demon Devotees: Essays on the Guardians of Popular Hinduism. Edited by Alf Hiltebeitel, 239–250. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989
  5. Sukul, Kubernath. Vārānasī Vaibhava. Patna, India: Bihar Rastrabhasa Parisad, 1977
  6. Johnson W. J (2009). A Dictionary of Hinduism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198610250.
  7. Ravi V. "Tripura Bhairavi". Mahavidyas. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  8. Kundalini Aghora II by Robert E. Svoboda Chapter, Eight Immortals, Page 212


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