topic posted Wed, June 18, 2008 - 9:31 AM by  Grihastha
Can anyone tell me anything about Matangi?

As a Mahavidya she is an aspect of Maa, but can one approach Kali through Matangi or for the purposes of Bhakti are Maa and Matangi one and the same? (Maa is everything, but for the purposes of devotion/meditation, what is the right approach?)

Information about Matangi is particularly complicated and contradictory, but I do understand that She is regarded as particularly difficult to approach. Is this all much too dangerous, I wonder? But all of a sudden I'm very powerfully drawn to Her.
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  • Unsu...

    Re: Matangi

    Wed, June 18, 2008 - 1:42 PM
    > for the purposes of devotion/meditation, what is the right approach?
    Whichever one floats your boat the best.
    • Re: Matangi

      Wed, June 18, 2008 - 2:07 PM
      "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law'" as the modern Naths say - much more sensible use for a Crowleyism. Thanks, Jody.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Matangi

        Wed, June 18, 2008 - 2:18 PM
        While I can't say I'm down with much of Crowleyism, I can say I believe all spiritual effect to be a function of belief and sincerity. Ramakrishna did too when he said, "Bhakti is the easiest path." No doubt you could find many practicing tantrikas who would blanche at the idea you can make it up as you go, especially concerning Matangi, the one of the most fierce of the Mahavidyas. But it's likely those folks believe in an actual, supernatural Matangi who might spank somebody who didn't approach Her according to the proscribed rituals. The thing is, if you look at those rituals by region, they all differ some, and some may differ greatly. Yet they all appear to work for those who practice them in their native geosocial context. It leaves one with a couple different models. One is that Matangi will accept approved practices by region, forgiving those of region X for doing Y, while allowing those in region Y to do X. Or, perhaps Matangi is a cultural institution that functions as an arbitrary focus for devotion, meaning She's going to accept whatever you offer Her, provided it was with sincere devotion, the real engine in any devotional practice, imo.
        • Re: Matangi

          Wed, June 18, 2008 - 4:25 PM
          For the first time I have the merest idea - the amoeba regarding the galaxy - of what Ramakrishna was teaching. Having studied gnostic sects I came to the conclusion some time ago that gnosis and sincerity are, if not mutually exclusive, at least discouraging to each other. It probably isn't a coincidence that the most sincere gnostics - their sincerity and belief would have been recognized by Ramakrishna, William Blake and their brothers and sisters - were the ones the Church and Establishment found most dangerous. The obscure hermetics were always too bogged down in text and ritual to pose much of a threat.

          That's not to diss tantra by any means, I should add. As hermetic religions go - and as a searcher for what I know - KNOW - lies just beyond the edge of everyday experience, I've always been a gnostic - tanra provides many, many escape clauses for those who don't believe that salvation lies either in the library or the religious accessories store. Thank Maa for that!
          • Re: Matangi

            Wed, June 18, 2008 - 6:04 PM
            I realized I probably insulted practically everybody with that last bit. I'm especially prone to let books and information for its own sake get in the way of actual belief, but I owe all of my knowledge to books that I've read and - more particularly - that others have read for me. Besides, I'll need (another) sub-prime mortgage to pay for the stuff that's in my Amazon shopping cart.

            I love the traditions and the deep, deep well of time behind the teachings of Tantra. I've also just stumbled into the sweet, sweet grove of bhakti, and I'm feeling as drunk as a bee in a rosebush.

            Om shanti! Shanti! Shanti!!
  • Re: Matangi

    Wed, June 18, 2008 - 6:58 PM
    Matangi means, The Lady Who puts all the parts into frenzy (matonati angaah ya). According to the core of Tantra, "one who can realize and experience the oneness as well as the separateness of the five elemental existence is an accomplished one" (Shivasutra). The five elements are together life and differentially the essential parts that make a life. Matangi is the other name of Ma in the aspect of yoga-accomplishment. In vamachara / kulachara Tantric Sex or sahajoli mudra practice that leads finally to transcend all desires through the bliss of joining 'Earth and Sky' reaches a sadhaka to the siddha realm of realizing the oneness and the separateness as one. This realisation according to the Shaiva-Shakta tradition is termed as Dvaitaadvaita/Dual-Nondual Equality, while in Buddhist Tantra as Voidness.

    Matangi is Green Tara according to Vajrayana Tantra. She is the accomplishment of spontaneity that which is known as 'jivanamuktata', Being but Nothing. Thus she is called the Mother of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. She is the Wisdom of Life in Bliss. She transmutes the poison of irritation into the the bliss of celebration. She has both peaceful (dakshinachara) and wrathful (vamachara) aspects. Siddhas call their shakti / consort as Matangi. If you read the charya songs of the navanatha-chaurashisiddha order you will find a number of songs on Matangi.

    Matangi in Shaiva-Shakta tradition of South India is known as Shivakami, The Passion Of Shiva. In that tradition she is the consort of Nataraja, probably a historical princess deified. The Buddhist history acclaims Her as one of the consorts of Swayambhunatha alias Padmasambhava. He was consorted with Her in the form of Padmanritteshwar and the Nateshwari school of the Natha tradition comes from that union.

    Matangi is generally regarded as the consort of the Natha Avadhuta.

    This is my hymn to Matangi:


    Evergreen adolescent throned in heart
    Knows no limit in virgin romance,
    Cares no rule while she rules
    In the kingdom of enchantment.
    She sings her lyrics of dreamland words,
    From her book of carefree wisdom, she holds,
    Caring strokes she plays her veena,
    The Buddha-bodied instrument.
    She wears the green of bewilderment,
    The spring blossoms of the forest-mood,
    Fixing the pure Mind-Crescent on her top-knot
    She teaches Life, the experience.
    Love is her eternal composition,

    Attachment her divine game,
    Her legacy is spontaneity,
    She is Matangi, the Enchantress!
    • Re: Matangi

      Wed, June 18, 2008 - 8:12 PM
      Thank you, Kulavadhuta Satpurananda. Matonati angaah ya! The Enchantress, yes!

      I know of the tradition that she was Parvati in the guise of an outcaste dancing girl, and that she was the daughter of Matanga. She is considered a combined aspect of Kali and Saraswati in some sense, yes? Where, though, does her connection with defilement and pollution fit in - her aspect as Ucchista Chandali? I love the fact that she is the deity of thought made speech, in that the purity of thought is defiled by its transmutation into human speech, but is that what principally connects her with pollution (in contrast to Saraswati), and is that why she is characterized as a fierce deity?
      • Re: Matangi

        Thu, June 19, 2008 - 8:17 PM
        Kali means consumer of time, samadhi. Saraswati means the flow of speech. In this sense Matangi is the combination of both though She differs from Vedic Saraswati. Rigveda suktas being believed to be revealed at the bank of one of the seven Sindhu rivers, the river was mystically named as Sarswati. Tantric Saraswati is the flow of Idanadi which is responsible in a realizer to reveal. Chandali is the name of the frontal nadi that flows Kundalini energy from the tip of the tongue to the tip of the genital. When this nadi is practiced to flow upstream, the sexual energy is transmuted into spiritual energy by pulling the vindu up. To flow this Chandali nadi upstream one has to get empowered by the Guru in the oral traditional experiential instruction. Because you need the Guru to give you His/Her sadhana left-over energy to condition that path, this is called Ucchista Chandali sadhana. This is why the sadhaka is also called uttarasadhaka or the follow up practitioner. Such a sadhaka can only inherit the lineage to become the next Guru. Inheritence is tantric code is called uchhishta or left over to the next. Why this nadi is called Chandalini? As the chandala or the funeral worker turns the dead body into ashes similarly the practice of the frontal-central nadi flowing up stream vanquishes the form of identity living in the mind of the yogi even after enlightenment. This is why this energy is personified in a form of The Goddess in the role of a funeral worker. When by Khechari mudra the tongue tip is fixed to the end-nerve of pituitary, the cerebral fluid flows through different sections of mouth and reaches in time every part of the body to reach the sadhaka in a state of bliss as if flying in sky. The empowerment in the alchemical standards of Tantra to reach this state is also rendered by the process of drinking the ambrosia made from the khechari juice of the Guru. This is also why She The Energy Of Bliss is called Ucchishta Chandalini.

        Today most of the tantric practices have lost the oral experiential standards and sadhakas also confine themselves into the practice of mere rituals and mythological knowledge of visualizations! Most of the people who talk about Tantra do have seldom knowledge about the practical meanings behind the twilight language terms to keep the science not getting corrupted in wrong hands.

        Matanga is primordially a Jaina deity signifying biss of Yoga. Her consort was known as Siddhaiki, the spirit of all accomplishments. In Later Agama era the Shaivites started recognising Matanga as an aspect of Shiva and Siddhaiki as none but Parvati. Matanga sits on a white elephant symbolic of the pure identity. Thus Siddhaiki has turned somehow into Matangi with different iconographical styles in later Shaiva-Shakta traditions.

        There is no question of pollution of speech with Matangi. The Avadhutas are in the folk habit of teaching people with intense words, specially slangs, to inculcate the oral teachings into the mind of the disciples and thus The speech of The Avadhuta Gurus are also known as Matangi of the wrathful form. In Kaula Rahasyapuja She is described as thus:

        Aum Aing Gloung kledini /
        -ahankara-mana-buddhi-shrotra-twak-chakshu-rasana-ghrana-tiroshkarininm /
        kuru kuru thhah thhah Swaha //

        -- Oh! Expansion- Wisdom-Clearity rendering One (Matangi) who has sucked our defilements
        One Who is the embodiment of all words(expressions) of all sentient beings,
        One Who is the embodiment of Guru's rebukes (slang and wrathful words) to cleanse the five senses, mind, intellect and ego of the practitioners in animosity of ignorance,
        Do so, do so, such such as the fire of Wisdom.

        Because the defilements of the disciple would not get cleansed without the fierce speech and attitude of the Guru, His Wisdom Of Bliss, Matangi is also fierce!
        • Re: Matangi

          Fri, June 20, 2008 - 9:01 AM
          Many thanks for sharing your knowledge.

          Does anyone practice Matangi/Chandalini bhakti exclusively, or is She worshipped with Kali and/or the Mahavidyas, by the way? Are there any sampradayas that focus just on Matangi?
          • Re: Matangi

            Sat, June 21, 2008 - 1:22 AM
            Chandalini is not by any means a bhakti related practice.
            Matangi is practiced in the group of Dasamahavidyas.
            I have heard that in Kanchi Kamakoti there are Matangi practitioners along bhakti path.
            In Srividyakrama Matangi is practiced in a developed state, see Nityotsava by Bhashkararaya.
            In Vajrayana all grihasthas worship Green Tara with bhakti as their sole benefactress.
            Avadhutas call Her their consort.
  • Re: Matangi

    Wed, June 18, 2008 - 11:34 PM
    >>Can anyone tell me anything about Matangi?

    Here is some interesting info on her
    • Re: Matangi

      Thu, June 19, 2008 - 7:56 AM
      That site is an excellent resource. That article was my big eye-opener, in fact. There isn't a huge amount more on line - has good info on the Mahavidyas but not much detail about Matangi. Also lots of stuff telling people without diksha NOT to meddle with Her mantras, which they considerately give just so you know what not to meddle with...
      • Unsu...

        Re: Matangi

        Mon, June 23, 2008 - 6:55 AM
        Isn't there also a connection between Matangi and Meenakshi? Who is also green and carries a parrot?
        • Re: Matangi

          Mon, June 23, 2008 - 9:18 AM
          I dont think there is an explicit connection. For one Meenakshi is the daughter of the king of Madurai ( an incarnation)and a form of Parvati. Matangi is part of the dasa mahavidyas(not an incarnation) and is explicitly said to be a chandala. Other than being shaktis, these are rather big differences from an ancient Indian perspective.
          • Re: Matangi

            Mon, June 23, 2008 - 11:19 AM
            That's interesting. I believe that some hymns to Meenakshi mention Matangi, but I haven't checked yet. Meenakshi is green and has parrots as companions, but she isn't a fierce deity like Matangi, and she certainly isn't a chandala. I do need to get those hymns, though, by Nithyasree Mahadevan ('Ksetra Madurai') - they're lovely!
            • Unsu...

              Re: Matangi

              Wed, June 25, 2008 - 7:44 AM
              "she isn't a fierce deity like Matangi"

              But didn't Meenakshi conquer all of India? She sounds pretty fierce to me!
              • Re: Matangi

                Wed, June 25, 2008 - 8:04 AM
                "But didn't Meenakshi conquer all of India? She sounds pretty fierce to me!"

                Fair enough!

                And you're right, Meenakshi and Matangi are close. I see Her as Chandalini, though, who at least in outward appearance is very different. Doesn't mean I wouldn't love to spend time at Madurai, on the other hand...
        • Re: Matangi

          Wed, June 25, 2008 - 12:07 AM
          Yes, you are right Jason. Even if iconographically they are not exactly the same but Meenakshi is the human embodiment of Matangi or Matangi-avatarika. Priciples of Tantra as well as historical figures in Tantrik world gets through the process of deification as a tradition.
          • Re: Matangi

            Wed, June 25, 2008 - 8:06 AM

            How did you portray Matangi when you painted the Mahavidyas?
            • Re: Matangi

              Sun, June 29, 2008 - 8:06 PM
              Just evoked Her in my heart and asked Her to reveal Herself in form and then my compositional mind worked with my hands.
              • Re: Matangi

                Mon, June 30, 2008 - 4:10 AM
                Did you portray her as Matangi or as Chandalini, and what iconography did you use (it isn't posted anywhere on the Web, is it, by any chance)?

                Meanwhile I'm going to (try to) paint Her myself, for my altar, but I don't think my painterly skills are really up to the job, and that's being positive!
                • Re: Matangi

                  Mon, June 30, 2008 - 8:55 AM
                  i did a painting of matangi on silk, you can see it on my website.
                  click on paintings ( the first gallery) and then you can click on her to make it bigger.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Matangi

                    Mon, June 30, 2008 - 1:11 PM
                    Mavis, your painting is very lovely - there's a real balance of serenity and tension.

                    If (and this also applies to Ryan's new thread) you were to paint Chandalini, how would you depict Her?
                    • Re: Matangi

                      Wed, July 2, 2008 - 5:49 PM
                      according to this description, if this is correct, i would paint her like this:
                      Matangi has many forms. Often she is dipicted as Green or Blue, and holds a Veena (lute), Knife and a Skull. Other times she is seated on a corpse, holding a skull and a bowl of blood, with dishevelled hair - representing the personification of Ucchishtha the leavings of sacrifice. This is her Ucchishtha-chandali form.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Matangi

                    Tue, July 1, 2008 - 1:11 AM
                    Mavis- your painting is very nice..
                • Re: Matangi

                  Tue, July 1, 2008 - 8:37 AM
                  In my Dasamahavidya series paintings that has been presented in the slide for my iconography lecture in the seminar teaching of Royal Gallery Of NSW, Sydney 2006 and in the private collection of Mrs Michal Armstrong of Sydney, I have followed the regular iconography of Matangi of Bengali tantra heritage. Network print of some of those paintings has been presented in tribe by "Mai". I am soon posting the whole series in this tribes photo album. They are painted in the Vishnupuri style of 15th Cen. Bengal in my personal composition.

                  I have not painted Chandali yet.

                  She has been represented in the name of Samaya Tara, search Tara (Buddhism)
                  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

      • Re: Matangi

        Mon, August 4, 2008 - 1:52 AM
        A Samaya school of Sri Vidya's veiw on Matangi (the Shakti Sadhana site link given earlier presents the Kaula school):

        Matangi - The Utterance of the Divine Word

        Mata literally means "a thought" or "an opinion." Matangi is thus the Goddess power which has entered into thought or the mind. She is the word as the embodiment of thought. She also relates to the ear and our ability to listen, which is the origin of true understanding that forms powerful thoughts. Matangi bestows knowledge, talent and expertise. She is the Goddess of the spoken word and of any outward articulation of inner knowledge, including all forms of art, music and dance. Matangi relates to Sarasvati, the Goddess of wisdom and the consort of Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Matangi, like Sarasvati, plays a Veena and rules over music or audible sound in general, not just the spoken word. She is the manifest form of song. Like Sarasvati she is symbolized by the rain cloud and by the thunder, as well as by the rivers pouring into the sea. She is the vibratory sound, Nada, that flows in the subtle channels, Nadis, down through our entire body and mind.

        However, Matangi and Sarasvati are a little different. Matangi is the form of Sarasvati directed towards inner knowledge. She is her dark, mystic, ecstatic or wild form. Sarasvati is often a Goddess of only ordinary learning, art and culture. Matangi rules over the extraordinary, which takes us beyond the bounds of the conventional. Matangi is an outcast or artist who goes against the norms of society, while Sarasvati represents the knowledge and virtue of the Brahmin or learned class which never departs from propriety. Matangi is that portion of Sarasvati which is allied with the transforming energy of Kali.

        The guru (spiritual teacher) instructs us through the spoken word. Hence his vehicle among the Goddess is Matangi. Matangi represents the teachings of the guru and the tradition. She represents the continuity of spiritual instruction in the world. By honoring her we also honor the guru. Those seeking to teach others, particularly to communicate to the masses of people, should seek the grace of Matangi.

        According to the Upanishads the essence of the human being is speech. What we express through speech is the final product of all that we take into ourselves in life. This ultimate residue and representation of who we are through speech is Matangi. This, however, is not ordinary or casual speech, but the deepest expression of our hearts. The Divine Word has power, feeling, and passion, which is not mere human emotion but Divine bliss. The Divine Word is not merely a theoretical or practical statement but an effusion of energy and delight. This joy is another aspect of Matangi. Matangi is thus a wild, playful and ecstatic Goddess.

        Matangi represents the ministerial power of the Goddess. She is the counselor to Rajarajeshvari or Tripura Sundari, the Supreme Queen of the universe. As such she is called Mantrini and has power over all mantras, particularly in their vocalization and articulation. She gives us the ability to communicate with all the other Gods and Goddesses through the power of the mantra. In fact she rules over all forms of knowledge, counseling and teaching. Those seeking proficiency in these areas should honor Matangi.

        Matangi is dark emerald green in color, the color of deep knowledge and profound life-energy, which is also the color of the planet Mercury that governs intelligence. She plays the Veena, a stringed instrument like a sitar, which shows her musical and vibratory power. She is beautiful and carries various weapons with which to fascinate and subdue us. In this regard she has the same ornaments and weapons as Sundari. She is often said to have a parrot in her hands, which represents the powers of speech as inherent in nature. She its on a throne made of gems.
  • Re: Matangi

    Mon, July 7, 2008 - 8:24 AM
    One more question: does anybody here know, or know where to find, the 108 names of Matangi?

    I've found the 108 names of Chinnamasta ( if anyone's interested, but Matangi is proving more difficult, at least online. Hopefully the names/mantras are in one of the Mahavidya books I have on order...

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