saptamatrika
   The saptamatrika (sapta, seven; matrika, mothers) are a grouping of seven goddesses found in the VEDAS, and possibly cited on seals of the ancient INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION. They are worshipped in both India and Nepal and have their own iconog-raphy. Their names only appear in the post-Vedic period. Six of the seven are considered wives of Hindu gods, as reflected in their names: Brah-mani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, and Indrani are married, respectively, to BRAHMA, SHIVA, Kumara (KARTTIKEYA), VISHNU, VARAHA, and INDRA. CHAMUNDA, the seventh, is most often seen as a form of DURGA.
   Further reading: Shivaji K. Panikkar, Saptamatrka Worship and Sculptures: An Iconological Interpretation of Conflicts and Resolutions in the Storied Brahmanical Icons (New Delhi: D. K. Printworld, 1997).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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