Creation and destruction are two essential aspects of the universe. Bhairavi embodies the principle of destruction. She represents transformation that comes with destruction, which is not necessarily negative. She is also evident in self-destructive habits, such as eating tamasic food associated with ignorance and lust. She is present in wasted semen which weakens males. Anger, jealousy, and selfish emotions strengthen Bhairavi’s presence in the world.
She is an ever present Goddess who manifest in and embodies destructive aspects of the world. This is not a negative attribute as there cannot be creation without decay. This is the process of metabolism in which life feeds on death and creation proceeds by means of transformed energy. Thus Bhairavi is also identified with Mahapralaya, the dissolution at the end of the cosmic cycle. Bhairavi also personifies light and heat that can burn away the imperfections in the soul. Bhairavi is also with other Mahavidyas in Kali Pujas.
DEPICTIONS: She is usually depicted as having red skin, three eyes, and blood smeared on her lips and breasts. She smiles softly and wears a moon on her crown. She is shown holding a book, rosary and fearful boon conferring gestures. Her child-like nature is portrayed as Bala Tripurasundari (posted earlier) which changes to a horrible appearance when she enters a battlefield. When she gives her boons as Goddess Parvathi, she is shown with a donkey vahana. The blood in Her mouth reflects demons that have succumbed in war. In the war front Her body is covered with a tiger skin and skull garland. Her right hands gesture abhaya mudra and vara mudhra.
Bhairavi holds a trident, axe and thunderbolt. As Kala Bhairavi, Her complexion is red similar to thousands of rising-sun and she wears smooth clothes while being skull-garlanded. Kala Bhairavi’s lips are maked with blood. Tripura Bhairavi has three eyes and possesses a moon in her top. She has a swag in her hand and is an embodiment of facts, bravery and boons. Present is a soft smile on her lips. Her garments are red. Her breasts are stained with blood. She wears a diadem made of precious stones. As Sampatprada Bhairavi. She is intoxicated with youthful beauty. She performs the gestures of knowledge, Jnana mudra and granting spiritual gifts and power Varada mudra. She is also Raga Bhairavi or Natabhairavi which is the root source of Bhairavi raga.
TRIPURA BHAIRAVI: Bhairavi is the primal power, Adi Shakti. Goddess Bhairavi is also worshipped in various others forms, such as Tripura Bhairavi, Chaitanya Bhairavi, Siddhh Bhairavi, Bhuvaneshwar Bhairavi, Sampadaprad Bhairavi, Kamaleshwari Bhairavi, Kaleshwari Bhairavi, Kaamershwari Bhairavi, Nitya Bhairavi, Rudra Bhairavi, Bhadra Bhairavi and Shatkuti Bhairavi. Tripura Bhairavi is the goddess of Tantric activities and the supreme terror in the three worlds depicted by the Triple Goddesses Bala Trupurasundari, Tripurasundari and Tripura Bhairavi.
The aspirant who worships Her is released from the cycle of births and deaths. As opposed to the Trinity in the Hindu pantheon, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva and their functions, Tripura Sundari represents full harmony of two fundamental and contradicting aspects being bright beauty and the terrible aspect of the divinity.
This is indeed the perfect correlation of the divine attributes Mother Kali. Notwithstanding, Bhairavi’s specific action is necessary for protection against harmful influences and for spiritual guidance. In the mortal world, this can be seen in a mother’s anger and prompt and determined actions to defend her children. No mother under the sun tolerates exterior threats to her off-springs. From another perspective Tripurasurndari represents the supreme power of speech in the Hindu tantric tradition.
TRIPURA BHAIRAVI AND KALI: Bhairavi’s name means “fierce and terrifying.” These characteristics are virtually indistinguishable from Goddess Kali. Kalarathri, meaning ‘black night’ another attribute of Kali and is linked to Bhairavi and personified as Kala-Bhairavi. As the terrifying aspect of Devi, Bhairavi is distinguished by being the consort of Bhairava, manifestation of Lord Shiva. Kala-Bhairavi is the presiding goddess for this decaying world. It is said that one who wants mastery over his or her sensual powers and desires is to venerate Goddess Kala Bhairavi.
SARASWATHI: Bhairavi is also Saraswathi, drunk with knowledge and desiring to procreate immensely in her tamasic form. Thus She is the ‘warrior’ Goddess, who with Her power of Divine speech and spiritual fire eliminates all obstacles to the unfoldment of true awareness, just as She destroyed the demon Mahishasura. However because of her knowledge, She is beyond tamas in her nirguna state. Her combination of the saguna and nirguna forms leads one to liberation. Ma Bhairavi sees very person Her lover and consumes all their sins in the fire of her knowledge of non-duality. Thus she becomes Svaha in the fire. Svaha - ‘S’ is Shakti; ‘va’ is amritham and ‘ha’ is Shiva.
TEJAS AND TAPAS: The main characteristic of Bhairavi is Her physical form which is in close connection with the manifestation of the subtle element tejas. She represents transforming heat, ‘Tapas’, and also Divine radiance, ‘Tejas’. Tapas is not just asceticism, it is a heightened aspiration that consumes all secondary interests and attachments. She is also the basic will power of life which we strive to master. When the mind is focused on blissful union with Her, it gets one-pointed. In this one-pointedness, all names and forms melt away and non-duality is perceived. An aspirant who drops him mind to become pure Ananda achieves his or her truly cosmic form.
KUNDALINI TANTRA: She dwells in the Muladhara or Root chakra, and is the same as Kundalini. Bhairavi is the low frequenct vibrations and currents which felt rather than heard in the Muladhara. She represents the surging, raging and hissing power of kundalini. She is the hidden divinity, the veiled Godhead, the dormant power, picturesquely depicted as the coiled serpent in deep sleep. That is the passive power of tapas, the immobility caused by deep sleep. She is a maddening deep joy. When She releases forth Her energy, She becomes Sundari. It is said that a yogini is a student of tantra, whereas a Bhairavi is one in yogic status.
WORSHIP: Devotees who chant mantras for Tripura Bhairavi with concentration are blessed with a successful and complete life. The mantra ‘Om Aim Hreem Shree Sundriya Namah’ overcomes all the obstacles and sufferings from their life.
Worship of Bhairavi is also done by the pancha makaras: madya, matsya, mamsa, mudra and maithuna. No himsa is implied in Bhairavi worship, only Ananda. In Madya (wine) one gets drunk with the knowledge the knowledge that you are the supreme power; Matsya (fish) you are the jeeva floating in the paramatma; Mamsa (meat) you can offer yourself to Her; Mudra are her gestures and Maithuna (union) is the spiritual level using inner consciousness. One who offers these acts of worship are said to attain siddhi. Those who understand the essential oneness gets liberated and attains jeevan mukti. Otherwise one is entangled with Her five arrows being, Shabda, Sparsha, Roopa, Rasa and Gandha and deludes them with the illusion of separateness. Om Aim Hreem Shree Sundriya Namah.
By Yogi Ananda Saraswati