Devi Pratyangira is the leonine Devi of the Hindu pantheon. A roopa (form) of Devi Durga Herself - which explains the simha (lion) vahana (mount) - She spews pure wrath as expressed in Her simha-mukhamandala (lion-face). It is the head of the lion She bears, and not the lioness’: the mane flies upward as if Pratyangira is aflame with wrath and the tongue protrudes from the mouth in its thirst for triumph over adharma.
In the Pratyangira murti that you see on this page, it is the part sculpted with the greatest detail. Note the sharp canines that flank the base of the tongue, the perfectly symmetrical folds of the mane, and the ferocious seven-hooded snake at the zenith of it all. In terms of beauty of features and composure of countenance, the simha beneath Pratyangira is no less. Its mane is realistic, the jaws seemingly quivering with life. The stance of its four legs conveys that the animal is ready to launch the most fatal attack upon whomever its divine mistress chooses. She wears around Her neck a garland made of the severed heads of the adharmees they have slayed so far.
Together with the kalpala (skullcup) in Her left anterior hand, these are elements of Tantra iconography and establish Pratyangira’s kinship to the wrathful Devi Kali. Interestingly, the implements in the rest of Her three hands (She is chaturbhujadharini, the one possessed of four hands) are reminiscent of the trinity of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva.
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