Daśa Mahāvidyā दश महाविद्या

9. मातङ्गी Mātaṅgī

Mātaṅgī is the penultimate of Mahāvidyā-s. She is said to be superior to Goddess Sarasvatī, as Mātaṅgī is in charge of vaikharī, the final stage of sound, at the time of delivery, in the form of speech. Śyāmalādaṇḍakam, one of the finest compositions of great poet Kālidāsa, calls her as Śyāmala. Lalitā Sahasranāma (10) mentions about Śyāmala.

माता मरकतश्यामा मातङ्गी मदशालिनी॥

mātā marakataśyāmā mātaṅgī madaśālinī || (verse 3 of Śyāmalādaṇḍakam)

This means “Mother, who is dark as emerald (gemstone), who is the daughter of sage Mātaṅga is rapturous………”

Going with this interpretation, it can be assumed that she is either Goddess Sarasvatī or superior to her, as she represents vaikharī (Vaikharī is the fourth and final form of sound in its evolution.  This is the state wherein the sound is heard.  This is called vaikharī because the sound is produced by a modified form of prāṇa called vaikharī.  This is the stage which is called aparā or non-supreme stage in the evolution of sound, where there exists fully developed materialization, combined with time and space, the components of māyā.  In fact the theory of evolution of speech, purely depends upon the materialistic treatment of prāṇa or life energy.  The whispering sound in the stage of madhyama, fully transforms into speech and delivered in the form of vaikhari.  It is said that will (icchā) forms the basis of speech to finally merge with consciousness. The other three stages of sound are parā, paśyantī and madhyamā; the last one being vaikharī). The important difference between Sarasvatī and Mātaṅgī is, former is related to materialistic and Scriptural knowledge, whereas Mātaṅgī gives inner knowledge to know the Self. In other words, Mātaṅgī dissolves all dyads and triads leading to unveiling of māyā. She also imparts the highest spiritual knowledge “nothing is good and nothing is bad” as Brahman is omnipresent. Since she is considered as Śyāmala, she also controls all mantras.

There are several opinions about Mātaṅgī’s origin. There are some references in Buddhism about Mātaṅgī. There is a reference wherein Buddha annihilated her lust and later on she became one of the prime followers of Buddha and the story continues.

Shiva and Pārvatī and Lakṣmī and Viṣṇu were sharing food items and while doing so, some items fell on the ground. From these fallen items arose a beautiful woman and sought prasāda (literally prasāda means clearness, brightness, purity, etc apart from the commonly known meaning of offering food to gods. Therefore, it is imperative that while preparing prasāda, cleanliness is insisted). Left over of prasāda is known as ucchiṣṭa (उच्छिष्ट). Ucchiṣṭa also means left, rejected, stale, one who has still the remains of food in the mouth or hands, one who has not washed his hands and mouth and therefore is considered impure. In ucchiṣṭa Gaṇapati worship, offerings are made like this. Hence he is called Ucchiṣṭa Gaṇapati. Shiva and Pārvatī and Lakṣmī and Viṣṇu offered their ucchiṣṭa to this maiden, on her pleading with them to give their ucchiṣṭa. Shiva, granted her a boon saying that whoever worships her with your mantra, will have their desires fulfilled. After this boon, she is Ucchiṣṭa Mātaṅgī and in her mantra, ucchiṣṭa is also included.

There is another story. Pārvatī sought Shiva’s permission to go to her parent’s house. Shiva disgruntledly gave her permission and told her that He would come in person to take her back, if she is delayed. But Pārvatī did not return within the time stipulated and Shiva went to her place disguised in the form of an ornament seller. After having sold some shell ornaments to her, Shiva asked sexual favour from her. Though Pārvatī went into peak of rage, she immediately came to know that this person was only Shiva. Then she agreed and took a different form and began to dance and Shiva asked her who she was. She said that she was the daughter of a caṇḍāla and during their conjugation, Shiva also attained the form of a caṇḍāla and only at this point of time, Shiva recognised that the lady was his wife Pārvatī. After their union, Pārvatī prayed to Shiva that her caṇḍālinī (this present form) will be remembered as Ucchiṣṭa Caṇḍālinī (this forms part of her mantra) and that she should be worshiped first and only later Shiva be worshiped. This is followed even today in Madurai Mīnākṣī Sundareśvara temple.

There is another version. Mātaṅga (also known as Mātaṁga; he is described as serpent demon) observed severe tapas (religious austerity, bodily mortification, penance, severe meditation, special observance). As a result of his penance, Parāśakti appeared before him and from Her powerful looks, Kālī appeared and Kālī turned green in complexion and with this form of Kālī, Mātaṅga is said to have attained powers to control all the living beings of this universe.

The ideal form to worship her is her sitting posture on a lotus with four hands, in which she holds pāśa (noose), trident, a lotus flower and varadha and chin mudra in a single hand. She is clad in red garments and she is green in complexion. Sometimes, she is described with a parrot and a veena.

HER MANTRAS:

Version 1

ॐ ह्रीं ऐं श्रीं  नमो भगवति उच्छिष्टचाण्डालि  श्री मातङ्गेश्वरि सर्वजनवशंकरि स्वाहा ॥

om hrīṁ aiṁ śrīṁ  namo bhagavati ucchiṣṭacāṇḍāli  śrī mātaṅgeśvari sarvajanavaśaṁkari svāhā ॥

Version 2

ॐ ह्रीं क्लीं हुं मातङ्ग्यै फट् स्वाहा ॥

om hrīṁ klīṁ huṁ mātaṅgyai phaṭ svāhā

Version 3 (known as sumukhi mantra)

ॐ उच्छिष्टचाण्डालिनि सुमुकि देवि महापिशाचिनि ह्रीं ठः ठः ठः ॥

om ucchiṣṭacāṇḍālini sumuki devi mahāpiśācini hrīṁ ṭhaḥ ṭhaḥ ṭhaḥ ॥

Version 4

ॐ ऐं नमः उच्छिष्ट चाण्डालि मातङ्गि सर्ववशङ्करि स्वाहा॥

om aiṁ namaḥ ucchiṣṭa cāṇḍāli mātaṅgi sarvavaśaṅkari svāhā ||

Version 5

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं सौः ऐं ज्येष्ठ मातङ्गि नमामि उच्छिष्टचाण्डालिनि त्रैलोक्य वशंकरि स्वाहा ॥

om aiṁ hrīṁ klīṁ sauḥ aiṁ jyeṣṭha mātaṅgi namāmi ucchiṣṭacāṇḍālini trailokya vaśaṁkari svāahā  ॥

Other Important Articles:

Mataṅgi mantra japa

Variations of Matangi Mantra