Sixty-four YOGINIS

  • By Dr Suruchi Pande
  • January 30 2019
Chausath Yogini Mandir Bedaghat, Jabalpur

Yoginis are holy women with yogic powers or female attendants of Shiva or Durga. Commonly it is believed that eight yoginis exist, namely Mangala, Pingala, Dhanya, Bhramari, Bhadrika, Ulka, Siddhi, and Sankata.

The philosophy of the concept of yogini is based on the concept of Sapta Matrikas, seven Mother goddesses. Sixty-four yoginis symbolise the multiplication of these values. The symbology involves references to sixteen kalas or phases that are constituted by the mind, five gross elements, and ten sense organs. The moon has sixteen phases out of which fifteen are visible and one is invisible. There is a group of sixteen eternal goddesses. There are sixteen siddhis or attainments or supernatural powers.

The circle of sixty-four yoginis symbolises the continuation of life. It is a never-ending circle – a spiritual symbol named ‘mandala’. Yogini Temples are always circular in design.

All yogini images are beautiful and have unique attires, hairstyles, and ornaments.

Left to right is Narmada, Yamuna and Yogini at 64 Yogini Mandir, Hirapur Odisha.

Read about Goddess Parvati as the Major Deity in Yogic Sadhana, Important Temples in India of 64 Yoginis, The Yogini Cult, Characteristics Features of the Names of Yoginis, Unique Features of Yogini Temple, Hirapur in Odisha, Symbology about Yoginis and Their Mounts.

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Author is a Vice Chairperson, Ela Foundation, Pune, India.

To see pictures of Yogini Temples

1 Chausath Yogini Mandir, Bedaghat Jabalpur

2 Yogini Temple Hirapur near Bhubaneshwar

This article was first published in the January 2019 issue (titled ‘Thoughts on Yoga’) of Prabuddha Bharata, monthly journal of The Ramakrishna Order started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896. This article is courtesy and copyright Prabuddha Bharata. I have been reading the Prabuddha Bharata for years and found it enlightening. Cost is Rs 180/ for one year, Rs 475/ for three years, Rs 2100/ for twenty years. To subscribe

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