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Brahmari Devi is the goddess of Black bees, hornets and wasps

Is she an incarnation of Parvati? Which Puranas mention about Brahmari Devi? Why did Devi ma take this incarnation?

1 Answer 1


The story of Bhramari Devi is found in the Devi Purana Book 10, Chapter 13. As per the story, there was an Asura named Aruna who performed a very tough penance, and asked the following boon from Brahmaji:

O Lord! Grant me such a boon, as is practicable, that my death shall not be caused by any war, nor by any arms or weapons, nor by any man or any woman, by any biped or quadruped or any combination of two and grant me such a boon, such a large army as I can conquer the Devas.

Thereafter he approaches the devatas for war, being fearful of which they pray to the Devi who appears before them:

Thus, a long interval passed, when one day the World Mother, the Auspicious Devī appeared before them... Those male and female bees singing incessantly all round Her the Hrīmkāra Mantra (the First Vibration of Force), kotis of black bees surrounded Her. The All-auspicious Bhagavatī, praised by all the Vedas, Who is all in all, composed of all, Who is all good, the Mother of all, Omniscient, the Protectress of all, was adorned fully with dress.

From the above we can see that the Devi herself appeared, surrounded by bees. It wasn’t any specific incarnation or different Devi other than Shakti herself. Since she was surrounded by bees all around, she was called as Bhramari Devi.

Note: Here it is important to note that the significance of the bees is to counter the boon given to the Asura Aruna that no biped or quadruped could kill him. Bees have six feet and do not fit in the creatures against whom immunity was granted to Aruna.

The Devi then decides to finish off the daityas for which she sends a host of those bees to completely cover and befuddle them:

Then the Bhagavatī Bhrāmarī Devī sent out all sorts of black bees, hornets, etc., from Her sides, front and forepart. Innumerable lines of black bees then were generated and they joined themselves with those that got out of the Devī’s hands and thus they covered the whole earth. Thus countless bees began to emit from all sides like locusts. The sky was overcast with the bees; and the earth was covered with darkness. The sky, mountain peaks, trees, forests all became filled with bees and the spectacle presented a grand dismal sight. Then the black bees began to tear asunder the breasts of the Daityas as the bees bite those who destroy their beehives. Thus the Daityas could not use their weapons nor could they fight nor exchange any words. Nothing they could do; they had no help but to die. The Daityas remained in the same state where they were and in that state they wondered and died. No one could talk with another. Thus the principal Daityas died within an instant. Thus completing their destruction, the bees came back to the Devī.

Thereafter gracing the devatas in this manner, the devi disappears from the scene.

So Bhramari is not an incarnation or separate deity but the same Devi Parvati surrounded by bees. Her story is found in Devi Purana and such a form was taken for relieving the devatas from the danger of Arunasura.

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