Mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms) or Dasha-Mahavidyas are a group of ten aspects of the Divine Mother or Goddess Shakthi in Hinduism.
The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the gentle at the other.
The development of Mahavidyas represents an important turning point in the history of Shaktism as it marks the rise of Bhakti aspect in Shaktism, which reached its zenith in 1700 CE. First sprung forth in the post-Puranic age, around 6th century C.E., it was a new theistic movement in which the supreme being was envisioned as female. A fact epitomized by texts like Devi-Bhagavata Purana, especially its last nine chapters (31-40) of the seventh skandha, which are known as the Devi Gita, and soon became central texts of Shaktism.
The name Mahavidyas comes from the Sanskrit roots, with maha meaning 'great' and vidya meaning, 'revelation, manifestation, knowledge, or wisdom.
1. Kali – The ultimate form of Brahman, "Devourer of Time" (Supreme Deity of Kalikula systems)
2. Tara – The Goddess as Guide and Protector, or Who Saves.Who offers the ultimate knowledge which gives salvation (also known as Neel Saraswati).
3. Tripura Sundari (Shodashi) – The Goddess Who is "Beautiful in the Three Worlds" (Supreme Deity of Srikula systems); the "Tantric Parvati" or the "Moksha Mukta".
4. Bhuvaneshvari – The Goddess as World Mother, or Whose Body is the Cosmos
5. Bhairavi – The Fierce Goddess
6. Chhinnamasta – The self-decapitated Goddess
7. Dhumavati – The Widow Goddess, or the Goddess of death.
8. Bagalamukhi – The Goddess Who Paralyzes Enemies
9. Matangi – the Prime Minister of Lalita (in Srikula systems)
10. Kamala – The Lotus Goddess; the "Tantric Lakshmi"