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In Orissa, surprisingly the ancient practice of witchcraft has still survived in certain areas. , among the Santals of Mayurbhanj district, witchcraft is still prevalent.The Santali witches often leave behind their husbands in bed in the midst of the night to assemble in a forest.Though the term yogini is also used for mysterious females who can effect extraordinary change that is ultimately, though not always apparently, beneficial, strictly speaking, a yogini is a female yogi.She is any practitioner of tantric lore in any of its variety of kinds.From the ninth through at least the thirteenth centuries, there was an active cult of dakinis (usually called yoginis in today's India.) At least nine yogini temples have been discovered so far.The best known are the two in the state of Orissa, and the ones in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.However, most tantric texts use sexual references as a kind of code for something else.One of these centres was at the Mahamaya Temple on the banks of the sacred Bhargavi river at Hirapur, 15 km. It is one of only four examples of the roofless or "hypaethral" temple that is still standing in India. The others are at Khajuraho and at Bhedaghat near Jabalpur.) Mahamaya, the presiding deity of the Hirapur temple, is still regularly adorned with red cloth and vermilion.
This and other normally forbidden activities play a role in the worship of other, local, Indian goddesses, especially at the times of the year considered sacred to them.
Mahamaya or, Great Illusion, is also a name by which the Buddha's mother is known. The Hindi or Sanskrit name is also transliterated Heera.
This is familiar to us from Greek mythology where the name, Hera, is usually taken to mean widow, despite the fact that the queen of the Olympian gods was Zeus' lawful wife and mother to Heracles.
These are known as the Ashta Matrikas (8 Mothers.) Each of these has 8 attendants and so we arrive at the number, 64.
Each of the 64 can be further correlated to the currents or winds of the human "etheric" body, or viewed as a type of neurotic or unproductive tendency (if not balanced by the others.) However, these Matrikas, or other aspects of Devi such as the fearsome Chamundas, do not appear at the Hirapur temple.