Consonants are an important aspect of human speech. We can not imagine a human language without consonants. The ancient Rishis revered the power of consonants through the symbolism of Matrikas. There are seven Matrikas one for each group of consonants. Consonants are grouped based on the position of the tip of the tongue as they are pronounced. There are five groups of five consonants and two groups of four consonants.
Brahmi is the Matrika for the first group. She carries the energy of Brahma, the creator. The first consonant in the group is “Ka” which is also the alphabet associated with Brahma per Vedic texts. The five alphabets in this group each represent a Bhuta or a gross element. Maheshwari rules the second group which starts with the Sanskrit alphabet “Cha”. The five letters in this group each represent the subtler counterparts of the gross elements.
The Matrika for the group containing which “Ta” is Kaumari. Kaumari carries the energy of Shanmukha who rules the eyebrow center per Yogic texts. Per Sankhya system, five alphabets in this group represent the five organs of action. The fourth group containing “Tha” is ruled by Vaishnavi who carries the energy of Vishnu, the preserver of existence. The five alphabets in this set represent the five sensory organs. Varahi is the Matrika for the fifth group which starts with the vowel “Pa”. She is often represented with the face of a wild boar. Per Sankhya texts, the five alphabets in this set represent the internal faculties, namely, Ego, intellect, mind, psyche and the indweller,
The sixth group containing the soft consonants such as “Ya” is ruled by the Matrika Mahendri. She carries the energy of Indra, the ruler of the celestials. The seventh group, namely the sibilant consonant sequence which starts with “Sha” is ruled by Chamundi. The full potential of the seven Matrikas can be harnessed by applying the alphabet sounds of the Matrikas as seed Mantras during meditation and in Yagnas.
Matrika temples continue to be visited in South India because Siddhars of yore had popularized such worship. They remind us that the knowledge of the Matrikas originated at the dawn of civilization in India.