Saptamatrika - the seven mothers

Sapta Matrika

Saptamatrika, (Sanskrit: "Seven Divine Mothers") Cāmuṇḍā, sculpture in Halebid, India. [Credit: Mohonu] in Hinduism, a group of seven mother-goddesses, each of whom is the shakti, or female counterpart, of a god. They are Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani, and Chamunda, or Yami. (One text, the Varaha-Purana, states that the number eight, referred to as Yogeshvari, created from the flame from the mouth of Shiva.)

Representations of the goddesses are found in shrines throughout India, often flanked by Virabhadra (a fierce form of Shiva) on the left and the elephant-headed Ganesha on the right. Individual mothers can be identified by their weapons, ornaments, vahanas ("mountains"), and banner emblems, which are in each case the same as that of their corresponding male deities. Groups dedicated to the Saptamatrika may have been present before the 11th century; perhaps, as some scholars suggest, these were absorbed into the growing cult of Shakti (the divine creative energy personified as female).