Goddess Pratyangira is a Hindu Goddess, who is also known with the names of Adharvana bhadrakali, Purana Chandi, Simhi, Aagneyasthri, and Nikumbila.
She is considered as one of the most powerful deities, who is worshipped since prevedic period.
The worship of Pratyangira devi is mainly present in the southern region of India especially in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and some parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Nowadays, the worship of Goddess Pratyangira popularized all over India.
Pratyangira Devi is mainly represented in a fierce form with the face of a lion and the body of a human holding divine weapons. She is usually depicted as one seated on a lion.
Also, this Goddess is shown as a form representing the union of a Shiva and shakti.
Pratyangira Sadhana and Worship
Pratyangira Sadhana is considered as one of the popular, powerful and most difficult vidhya’s. It can be practiced either in Dakshanachara or Vamachara.
A very few people know about the actual process of sadhana. However, there are recorded literature that depicts the sadhana of this devi.
There are different forms of Pratyangira’s and about 64 Kruthyas. Upasana of each form varies and differs.
Following strict rules while doing sadhana is necessary.
A devotee can normally recite Pratyangira kavacham, stotras and mantras for the mercy of the divine Goddess.
Mantra shastras says that Pratyangira sadhana is one of the fastest and powerful among the vidyas.
It is so powerful that it can remove all the prayogas, even the ones done by sudarshanastra or karthaveeryarjuna vidyas.
Usually, the Goddess is even invoked to do good for the devotee or to destroy the enemies.
In recent time, Pratyangira homam, pujas and sadhanas are reviving back mainly in south India. At the same time, several dedicated temples are also established for worship.
Hindu Scriptures and Traditions on Pratyangira Devi
In the Shaiva tradition, the Goddess Pratyangira is mainly treated as a Krutyas. and she is also worshipped as Kali or Adarvana Bhadrakali.
In the Adarvana Veda, the details of Pratyangira devi are present within the rukhs explained by the Muni Pippalada.
Goddess Pratyangira can also be seen widely linked with Kali or the Kali sects.
Tantra shastras like sammohana depicts her as one of the 9 kalikas along with Sankarshini, Siddhakali, Sundari, Kubjika, Siddhakaralika, Mahaakhiladevesi, Sesika and Sesamantra.
The Niruttala tantra mention that this Goddess is linked with Kali-kula path of worship.
Sometimes, Pratyangira is depicted as a powerful yogini in Hindu scriptures like Mantra Mahodhadhi.
Also, the Pratyangira Devi acts as one of the presiding deity in Vimsamsa division of Rasis as per the Parasara hora shastra.
She is also prayed for the removal of Rahu graha doshas.
Stories About Goddess Pratyangira
There are several stories related to the origin of Goddess Pratyangira. One of them is related to God shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Once God Shiva asked Goddesses Parvati to take her path in destroying the enemies who are disturbing the harmony of the lokas.
In order to do that, Goddess Parvati took several furious forms like Kali and Chandi. Along with such shakti’s the form of Goddess Pratyangira is also thought to be originated.
Pratyangira Story Related to Narasimha and Sharabha
Even after killing Hiranyakashipa, Lord Narasimha still continued in his furious form and this caused imbalance in nature.
So all the devas approached God Shiva and requested him to calm down the Narasimha’s anger. So, God Shiva sent Lord Veerabhadra to do this job.
Lord Veerabhadra asked Narasimha to calm down his furious form nicely. However, there is no change in Narasimha and things didn’t went nicely, which finally led to a fight between both of them.
Seeing these acts from Narasimha, God Shiva himself entered in a devastating form called Sharabha (Sharabheshwara) a huge bird filled with several divine powers.
It scratched Narasimha and caught him with its claws and took him to the sky. Narasimha however took another form called Gandaberunda to fight back with Sharabha.
On seeing this notorious action, Goddess Shakthi got angered and created Maha Pratyangira from the wings of Sharabha that nullified the powers of Narasimha.
In this way, Maha Pratyangira was originated from the wings of Sharabha of God Shiva by the Divine Goddess command.
Pratyangira Devi and Destruction of Demons
There are other stories related to the destruction of demons that are linked to the origin of Pratyangira Devi.
Once upon a time in a war between the devas and the asuras, the asuras had used all their powers and defeated the devas.
Listening to that Lord Vishnu came into action and used his Sudarshana astra on the asuras. however, it didn’t affect the asuras as they were able to stop its powers.
Surprised by the actions of asuras, Lord Vishnu went to God Shankara and explained the situation and asked him for help.
Listening to that, God Shankara seek the action of Goddesses Shakthi. She then took a furious form and destroyed the demons, who were disturbing the balance of nature and made the lokas safe.
The form that the Goddess took is so powerful that it even destroyed the demons who were not even controlled by the Sudarshana astra.
Looking at that form, God Shankara felt happy and said your powerful from is auspicious and is able to destroy any powers, mantras, or the vidyas. So be called Pratyangira from now on.
Descriptions of Pratyangira Devi in Ramayana
One can also find the details on Pratyangira devi as Nikumbhila in Ramayana.
Ravana’s son indrajit got a boon from the God brahma on invincibility and the Maha mantra of Goddess Pratyangira and the details of her homa.
God Brahma explained to Indrajeet that, whenever he performs the nikumbhila homa with utmost devotion, the devi will help you to win any war.
This is the reason Indrajeeth was never defeated in war.
Before his fight with the Rama and Lakshmana, Indrajit thought to perform the homam for Goddess Nikumbhila to win the war.
However, Rama who came to know about this and unparalleled powers of Goddess Nikumbhila orders Lakshmana to disturb the customs of homam, so that the homa will not be completed.
Lakshmana went with a great army and disturbed the customs of that Yagna. Which made indrajith to go to the war without fully performing the ritual.
Later he was defeated and killed in that war.
Legend Behind the Name Pratyangira
Two sages namely the Pratyangi (some say Pratya) and Angirasa meditated on the divine mother the moola Shakthi. In their meditation, they discovered a Goddess whom they never knew and looked so powerful with the faces of the lion and holding several divine weapons.
They meditated on that Goddess, pleased by their devotion, she appeared and gave the boon of being called with their names as Pratyangira.
Lalitha Sahasranamam about This Goddess
The greatness of the Goddess Pratyangira is also described in the benefits part of the Lalitha sahasranamam. Saying that whoever recites the Lalitha sahasranamam with utmost devotion will be protected by the power of Goddess Pratyangira from the effects of all the prayogas (sorcery).
Other Forms of Goddess Pratyangira
Usually, Goddess Pratyangira is mainly described in 2 forms. One, the commonly seen form of the Goddess with four hands, seated on a lion. The other one is a greater form called Maha Pratyangira devi with multiple faces of lions and numerous hands.
Several Saktha books also describe other forms like Aghora Pratyangira, Baggala Pratyangira, Lakshmi, Narayani Pratyangira, pancha-vimsatyakshari etc.
Pratyangira Mala Mantra – Pradhama Mala Mantram
Om Hreem Namah Krishna vasane, Satasahasra Himsini, Sahasra Vadane, Mahabale, Aparajithe, Pratyangirae, Parasainya paraakarma vidwamsini, Paramantrothsaadini, Sarvabhutha-damani, Sarvadevan bhandha bhandha, Sarva Vidya chindhi chindi, Kshobhaya kshobhaya, Para-yantrani spothaya spothaya, Sarva Srunkhalaan trothaya trotaya, Jwala Jwaalaa Jihve, Karala Vadane, Pratyangire Hreem Namaha
Pratyangira Gayatri Mantra
Karala vadanaya vidmahe Jwaala Jihvaya deemahi Tannah Pratyangiraa prachodayat
All the full moon days and new moon days along with the asthami thidhi’s are considered sacred for doing the Pratyangira sadhana and are believed to give benefits faster.
Along with that sacred places, doing the sadhana or japa of Pratyangira in the river bays, near estuaries, forests are considered more powerful.
Flowers to Offer
Flowers like hibiscus, shankha pushpa are considered good for worshipping Pratyangira Devi.
Iconography of Pratyangira Devi
Devi Pratyangira is usually depicted as one with four hands, the left two hands holding a trident and a damaru while the right ones holding a noose and head of a beheaded demon.
The face of the Goddess represents a lion and looks fierce for the wicked. She is depicted as three eyed and riding on a lion.
In some scriptures, she is also shown in a greater form called Maha Pratyangira
Often the Goddess Maha Pratyangira is linked with removing the effects of sorcery and witchcraft as her power in destroying such practices is unequalled with any other vidyas.
Goddess Pratyangira Temples
In the recent past, several temples had been established for this Goddesses. some of the famous temples dedicated to this Goddesses are
- Maha Pratyangira devi temple, Ayyavadi, Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu
- Maa Pratyangira kalika temple, Moranapalli, Hossur, Tamilnadu
- Sri maha Pratyangira devi – gnana muneshwara temple, Jayanagar, Bangalore
- Sri Pratyangiradevi temple, Sholinganur, chennai
- Sri Pratyangira devi temple, Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad
Along with these temple, one can also find temples dedicated for this Goddess with in the Shaiva or shaktha peetas.