Illustrated introduction to Hinduism, £9.99
Height: 39.400 cm
Width: 73.000 cm
Asia OA 1880-230
Room 33: Asia
Relief sandstone panel depicting the Saptamatrika
From central India, 10th century AD
The seven mother goddesses
Reliefs of the seven mother goddesses (matrika) are usually placed as a lintel above a side entrance to a Hindu temple. The identity of the seven was essentially fixed by the fifth century AD, though there are minor regional variations.
exception of one, each goddess derives her name and attributes from
the male god who she personifies. Brahmani (the second figure from
the left) has four heads like
The ancient cult of goddess worship is linked with primeval ideas of fertility, generation and the earth. Collectively, they are known as Devi, the great goddess, who is simultaneously powerful, fierce, seductive and gentle. In this relief every alternate goddess carries a child in her lap.