Mother Goddess, Mother of the Universe and all Beings
Painting of Ambika by Raja Ravi Varma
WeaponDiscus, Conch Shell, Trident, Mace, Bow, Sword, Lotus Flower
MountLion or Lioness
TextsMarkendeya Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana

Ambika (Devanagari: अम्बिका, IAST: Ambikā) is generally an epithet or form of Mahadevi, the supreme goddess of Hinduism. In her iconography, she is depicted with eight arms, holding multiple weapons. In this aspect, she is regarded to be the mother of the universe as well as all beings. She is identified with the goddesses Chandi, Durga, Bhagavati, Lalitambika, Bhavani, and various others.[1]


According to the Devi Mahatmya, after the death of the asura Mahishasura at the hands of Durga, the divinities undertook a pilgrimage to the Himalayas and sang a hymn of praise dedicated to the supreme goddess. The goddess Parvati, who had come to the source of the Ganges to bathe, observed the hymn and asked the divinites to whom it was dedicated. Before they could respond, she shed her outer corporeal form to reveal her true and auspicious form, who is named Ambika.[2]

Manifestations and aspects

In the Devi Bhagavata Purana, Ambika is described to be the lineal progenitor of all other goddesses. She is worshipped with many forms and names. Her form or incarnation depends on her mood.

See also


  1. ^ Dalal, Roshen (2010). Ambika. Penguin Books. p. 18. ISBN 9780143415176. Retrieved 22 June 2016. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  2. ^ Padma, Sree (3 July 2014). Inventing and Reinventing the Goddess: Contemporary Iterations of Hindu Deities on the Move. Lexington Books. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-7391-9002-9.
  3. ^ Subhash C Biswas, India the Land of Gods, ISBN 978-1482836554, pp 331–332