Saraswati is one of the main goddesses in the pantheon of Hinduism. She is the daughter of Lord Brahma, who was created as the goddess of knowledge. However, there is another form of her that not many people know about. It is the tantric forim of Devi Saraswati, also known as Matangi.

Are Saraswati and Matangi The Same Goddess?

Saraswati and Matangi have similar characteristics, with minor differences. For example, they are both depicted playing the veena (a classical musical instrument), but their skin complexity are different.

SaraswatiTantric Saraswati
Skin ComplexionFairGreen
VehicleWhite SwanIndian Ringneck Parrot
ClothWhite SareeRed Saree

Goddess Saraswati has a fair skin color, while her tantric form – Matangi has a greenish skin tone. Saraswati wears a white colored saree, whereas her tantric form is shown either in partially naked or with red saree.

As the goddess of knowledge and art, Devi Saraswati, governs and represents the essence of learning and speech, while her tantric form embodies the esoteric aspect of “self-enlightenment”. 

Vedantic vs. Tantric Aspect Of Goddess

The tantric aspect of hindu goddesses do not fall under the mainstream beliefs of vedanta and its philosophy. However, vedanta do see tantrism as a legitimate way of seeking spirituality. Despite their differences, both spiritual paths show mutual respect. Many people, even within Hinduism, often get puzzled by the concept of worshiping and performing rituals for the same goddess in various ways.

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They also wonder why there are so many forms of what is essentially the same goddess, and what the difference is between the normal Saraswati and her tantric form?  The primary distinction between the vedantic version of goddesses and their associated tantric forms is how they respond to their devotees’ prayers.

The spiritual aspects of hinduism can be divided into two broad categories: vedantic and tantric. They both practice hinduism, but their approaches to spirituality are quite different. 

The mainstream hindu society worships Saraswati in the vedantic manner, which differs greatly from the tantric ritual performed to please the same goddess. Furthermore, the intention of worshiping tantric Saraswati (aka, Matangi) is diametrically opposed to the hindu society’s standard accepted ideology.

The practices of tantrism are centered on gaining supernatural power. In other words, these esoteric practices are designed to acquire instant godly power, whereas traditional vedantic style of worshiping focuses solely on gaining the divine blessing.

In vedanta philosophy goddess Saraswati is shown and embraced purity, cleanliness both physically and mentaly. But in her tantric form, she doesn’t care about cleanliness. 

Tantric Saraswati, and Her Story

The tantric form of Devi Saraswati, also known as Matangi, is the 9th member of Dasha Mahavidya, where Adi Shakti projected her various divine qualities through ten different goddesses. Essentially, all forms of Dasha Mahavidyas descended from Goddess Parvati. She is the divine consort of Lord Shiva.

In esoteric tantrism, Goddess Matangi is shown seated on a jewel-encrusted crown. She is depicted as a 16 years old girl, with fully developed breasts and a slim waist. She has four hands, each one holding a noose, a mace, an ax, and a hook. She is the most kind-hearted goddess of the Dasha Mahavidya and is said to be easily pleased.

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She is also sometimes seen sitting on a corpse, holding a skull and a bowl of blood as well as having untidy long curly hair. Tantra sadhak, or devotees of this goddess, believe that tantric Saraswati bestows magical abilities through which one can easily attract others.