The Pratyangira aspect of the Divine has been a bit of a secret for most of these past ages. Many believed that direct experience with this energy was reserved for Saints and Rishis. Seeing Pratyangira in any form was considered an enormous blessing, and an indication that you were in similar company. Pratyangira comes from a deep, deep place within the Divine Mother; an area simply known as the Void. In the Void there are no thoughts of fear, or pain, or loss, or want, or time, or even space… just the warmth of the Mother’s love. As Pratyangira energy manifests, it’s often a very swift and sometimes ferocious current. Many of the Saints who’ve seen it’s energetic expression have described it as half lion and half human. The lion head is that of a male and the body is that of a female, representing the union of Shiva and Shakti. In her full form, she is humongous, with 1008 heads (symbolically representing the 1008-petalled Sahasrara Chakra, the universal chakra of the cosmic energy) and 2016 hands, riding majestically on a chariot pulled by 4 lions (representing the 4 Vedas), carrying many swords for removing obstacles. The jaws of so many lions makes it very powerful for destroying negative karmas, and a great blessing for anyone on a spiritual path. However, such a current can be understandably rough, so it’s wise to approach with respect and some consideration of what our heart is asking for. Two Rishis in the ancient times, Pratyangira and Angiras, in their deep meditation, discovered this goddess through her Moola Mantra in the ethereal waves of the sound current. And though this Mother is nameless, she honored these Rishis by giving the blessings to be named after them. She has hence been known as Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi. The beejaksharam (seed letter) of her Mantra is ksham (bliss). Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi is all powerful and secretly protects devotees and others. She is always by the side of Her devotees. She is within each and every being in all planes of existence, and there to be awakened within.
As told in Markandeya Purana: In the beginning of the Satya yuga, the Lord Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu, killed the unruly King Hiranyakashipu by tearing up his body and drinking his blood. Because of the anger in Hiranyakashipu's body and the malicious effects of human blood, Narasimha was drunk on rage and could not be stopped. To calm him down with the power of compassion, Lord Shiva came down as Sarabeswara, a bird-animal-human hybrid. Upon seeing this, Lord Narasimha created Ganda-Berunda, a two headed-bird that was Sarabeswara's opposite. Upon seeing this, Sarabeshwara turned into Bhairava (Shiva's fierce form) and created Goddesses Pratyangira from his third eye. Prathyangira ate the bird, displaying rage the like of which the gods had never seen before. They praised her as she calmed Narasimha down by sitting on his lap. Some believe that in ancient time when two rishis, Prathiyangira and Angiras, were meditating discovered a goddess through a Moola Mantram who was nameless. Later she privileged the rishis by naming her after them and hence she was called as Prathiyangara Devi. Narasimhika is another name of hers. 'Naran' means human and 'Simha' means lion, so she got named thus as she appears with a lion's face and a human body. It is believed that when Narashimhika shakes her mane, she shambles the stars in the universe. Prathiyangara Devi is considered to be a powerful repellent of the influences generated by witch-craft. In Sri Chakra worship, she protects her devotees against all odds and guides them along the right path. She is enveloped as bliss in the letter "Ksham".