Matrika Symbolism

Carving representing the seven Matrikas, their Vahana carriers and their weapons.

Consonants are an important aspect of human speech. Certainly, 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. In summary, a consonant appears in a group according to the position of the tip of the tongue during pronunciation. 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”. This alphabet belongs to Brahma per Vedic texts. In addition, 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.

Matrika and Ego

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. Vaishnavi rules the fourth group containing “Tha”. She carries the energy of Vishnu, the preserver of existence. In addition, 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.

Harnessing the power of Matrikas

The sixth group containing the soft consonants such as “Ya”. Besides, the Matrika Mahendri rules over this group. She carries the energy of Indra, the ruler of the celestials. The seventh group, namely the sibilant consonant sequence starts with “Sha”. Besides, Chamundi rules over this group. One can harness the full potential of the seven Matrikas by applying the alphabet sounds of the Matrikas as seed Mantras. These are applied 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.

Matrikas represent the consonant sounds. Then, what represents the vowel sounds?

Matrikas are the assistants of the divine mother. Consonants have no existence without vowels in human speech. The vowels are aspects of the divine mother and her counter part, namely, the divine being. Siddhar Agasthiyar explains this aspect of Matrika symbolism in his text.

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