From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Brahmacāriṇī literally means ‘unmarried or celibate lady’.
- Out of the innumerable forms of Śakti (the Divine Mother) mentioned in the tāntric works, Brahmacāriṇī is an aspect of Durgā. She is pictured as having two arms carrying the rosary and a holy pot. She is one of the Navadurgās or nine aspects of Durgā.
- The word brahmācāriṇī may also refer to a girl who had undergone the upanayana ceremony and was studying the Vedas, which custom seems to have existed in the earlier Vedic period.
- In the modern context, it can refer to an unmarried woman in general, and a woman observing lifelong celibacy in particular.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore