Goddess Pratyangira, also called Narasimhi, is a fierce aspected
form of Durga. She has the body of a woman and the face of a lion.
Various stories from the Puranas associate her with the Narasimha
avatar of Lord Vishnu. In the traditions of Shakti, goddess Pratyangira is
the Siddhilakshmi. In the traditions of Durga, she is the Purna Chandi, or
the fiery destructive power of the Brahman. The Atharva Veda proclaims
her as the Atharvana Bhadrakali, the goddess of magical spells. A
famous story in Ramayana tells of Indrajit, son of Ravana and a
legendary warrior, performing a ritual worship of goddess Pratyangira. A
ritual that if completed would have made him invincible. Hanuman
himself had to interfere and disrupt Indrajit’s yajna to prevent this from
This beautiful brass depiction of the lion-headed goddess shows
her riding a lion. A tall flaming crown adorns her head below the parasol
of a five-headed snake’s hood.
She has four arms that hold a trident, a
serpent-noose, a hand-drum, and a human skull. A garland of skulls
adorn her neck. She is believed to be a powerful repellent of the malign
influence of witchcraft.
Because of her tantric associations, worship of Pratyangira, in full
tantric tradition, is restricted and should be performed only under a
Siddha guru proficient in Tantra. It is said that any act performed by
invoking Pratyangira, especially the dark ones, like killing and subduing,
are impossible to retract once initiated. Her worship is considered
particularly effective for eliminating the influence of evil forces and is
often performed during Amavasya, or the new moon night.
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