While searching about Goddesses associated with various handicrafts, I came to know about Goddess Kubjika. She is associated with the potter community and is the prime goddess of pottery. Initially, I thought she is a local village goddess worshipped primarily in Nepal and Almora, India.
After a bit of research, made me realize that she is a powerful Tantric goddess who is one of the many manifestations of Kali and Adishakti. But to my surprise, I have never heard about her and or seen her image in most of the Tantric literature that I have come across.
Her name means a woman with hunchback or curve. Kubjika is also Kundalini who is coiled together and is residing in a bent over form in the body of Sadhaka. She often appears in three forms: a girl, a young woman, and an old woman. I think this again symbolizes the opening or unfolding or awakening of Kundalini.
There is a popular myth around her ‘bent over’ form. Once she was sitting to worship the union of God and the Goddess. She contracted her body when God appeared and held her hand. Hence, getting the name Kubjika.
Her consort is Navātman, a form of Bhairava and also an essential mantra in Saiva tradition.
References to Kubjika can be found in two documents: Kubjikamatatantra and the Satsahasra-Kulalikamnaya. Kubjika is mainly mentioned in Pascimamnaya amnaya in Kulagama scriptures belonging to Kaula tradition within Shaivism.
One of the presiding deities for 72 Nabhas Mayukhas mentioned in Saundraya Lahiri, a Sanskrit text devoted to Mother Goddess is Kubjikaa. Agni Purana touches upon the worship of Kubjika by paying obeisance to Aghora. It gives mantra for the worship and says that worship of Kubjika is known to the acquisition of all knowledge and masteries of skills.
Dyczkowski, M. S. has done excellent research on Goddess and written various articles and books on the same. He writes that Goddess is worshipped in secrecy by Newar people in Kathmandu. In his book, The Canon of the Saivagama and the Kubjika Tantras of the western Kaula tradition’, he writes “Kubjika is a Supreme Goddess or ParaDevi who is the divine light of the consciousness that shines in the center of the brilliant radiance that is perceived by the enlightened yogis.”
She is the great mother and is pure bliss. She resides beyond mind and is the source of the divine power of the Shiva.
Though at this stage, I can’t say why and how the worship of this Goddess came to an end in India. But she is undoubtedly the gateway to the immense ancient and hidden knowledge of Tantra.