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Shakti
Shakti
(Devanagari: शक्ति, IAST: Śakti; .lit “power, ability, strength, might, effort, energy, capability”[1]), is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe[2] in Hinduism
Hinduism
and Shaktism. Shakti
Shakti
is the concept or personification of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as “The Great Divine Mother” in Hinduism. As a mother, she is known as “Adi Shakti” or “Adi Parashakti”. On the earthly plane, Shakti
Shakti
most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.[3] Hindus believe that Shakti
Shakti
is both responsible for creation and the agent of all change. Shakti
Shakti
is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini
Kundalini
Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force.[4][5] In Shaktism, Shakti
Shakti
is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva
Shiva
and is synonymously identified with Tripura Sundari
Tripura Sundari
or Parvati.

Contents

1 Evolution 2 Shaktism

2.1 Adi Parashakti 2.2 Smarta
Smarta
Advaita

3 Shakti
Shakti
Peethas 4 Bhajans and mantras 5 See also 6 Notes 7 Further reading 8 External links

Evolution[edit]

Part of a series on

Shaktism

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Adishakti (Supreme)

Shakti Shiva Devi Parvati Durga Matrika Mahavidya Lalita Navadurga Yoginis Kali Lakshmi Saraswati More

Scriptures and texts

Tantras Vedas Upanishads Shakta
Shakta
Upanishads Devi
Devi
Bhagavatam Devi
Devi
Mahatmyam Devi
Devi
Upanishad Lalita Sahasranamam Soundarya Lahari Abhirami Anthadhi

Philosophy and practices

Maya Yoga Tantra Panchamakara Kundalini Yantra

Schools

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Vamachara Dakshinachara

Kula margam

Srikulam Kalikulam Trika Kubjika

Scholars

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Festivals and temples

Navaratri Durga
Durga
Puja Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Puja Kali
Kali
Puja Saraswati
Saraswati
Puja Teej Shakti
Shakti
Peetha

Hinduism
Hinduism
portal

v t e

David Kinsley mentions the "shakti" of Lord Indra's as Sachi (Indrani), meaning power.[6] Indrani
Indrani
is part of a group of seven or eight mother goddesses called the Matrikas
Matrikas
(Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kumari, Varahi
Varahi
and Chamundi
Chamundi
or Narasimhi, who are considered shaktis of major Hindu
Hindu
gods (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, Skanda, Varaha/ Yama
Yama
and Narasimha
Narasimha
respectively).

The goddess Manasa
Manasa
in a dense jungle landscape with a cobra and a swan.

The Shakti
Shakti
goddess is also known as Amma (meaning 'mother') in south India, especially in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. There are many temples devoted to various incarnations of the Shakti
Shakti
goddess in most of the villages in South India. The rural people believe that Shakti
Shakti
is the protector of the village, the punisher of evil people, the curer of diseases, and the one who gives welfare to the village. They celebrate Shakti Jataras with great interest once a year. Some examples of incarnations are Ganga, Yamuna
Yamuna
, Kamakshi, Kanakadurga, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati , Meenakshi, Manasa, Mariamman, Yellamma, Poleramma, Gangamma and Perantalamma. It is believed that the cosmic grand design is theoretically a triangular structure of equal sides. The three points of the triangle or the "trine structure of macrocosmic system" are occupied by three ultimate manifestations of the trinity: Brahma, Vishnu
Vishnu
and Rudra. The central point or the ultimate gravitational presence of the trine structure is occupied by "Shakti" which is self-born, and is unable to be created or destroyed by any other existence in the cosmos which motivates the trinity from the ultimate center. This ultimate indestructible gravity known as "Shakti" in its three transformative forms (Tridevi) is connected to the trinity separately. She is connected to Brahma
Brahma
through her creative motherly form with Rajas Guna; to Rudra
Rudra
through her destructive elderly form with Tamas Guna and to Vishnu
Vishnu
through her neutral meditating form through her Sattva Guna. Brahma, by the grace of her creative force creates. Rudra, by the strength of her destructive force destroys. Vishnu, by the unbiased intellectual force sustains. One of the oldest representations of the goddess in India is in a triangular form. The Baghor stone, found in a Paleolithic
Paleolithic
context in the Son River
Son River
valley and dating to 9,000-8,000 years BCE,[7] is considered an early example of a yantra.[8] Kenoyer, part of the team that excavated the stone, considered that it was highly probable that the stone is associated with Shakti.[9] Shaktism[edit]

Sri Guru Amritananda Natha Saraswati, performing the Navavarana Puja, an important ritual in Srividya Tantric Shaktism, at the Sahasrakshi Meru Temple at Devipuram, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Shaktism
Shaktism
regards Devi
Devi
(lit., "the Goddess") as the Supreme Brahman itself with all other forms of divinity considered to be merely Her diverse manifestations. In the details of its philosophy and practice, Shaktism
Shaktism
resembles Shaivism. However, Shaktas (Sanskrit: Śakta, शक्त), practitioners of Shaktism, focus most or all worship on Shakti, as the dynamic feminine aspect of the Supreme Divine. Shiva, the masculine aspect of divinity, is considered solely transcendent, and Shiva's worship is usually secondary.[10]

From Devi-Mahatmya: By you this universe is borne, By you this world is created, Oh Devi, by you it is protected.[11]

From Shaktisangama Tantra: Woman is the creator of the universe, the universe is her form; woman is the foundation of the world, she is the true form of the body. In woman is the form of all things, of all that lives and moves in the world. There is no jewel rarer than woman, no condition superior to that of a woman.[citation needed]

Adi Parashakti[edit] Main article: Adi Parashakti Adi Parashakti, whose material manifestation is Tripura Sundari, is a Hindu
Hindu
concept of the Ultimate Shakti
Shakti
or Mahashakti, the ultimate power inherent in all Creation. This is especially prevalent in the Shakta denomination within Hinduism, which worships the Goddess Devi
Devi
in all her manifestations. Her human or Shakti
Shakti
swaroop/form, Parvati
Parvati
was married to Shiva, while her knowledge/gyan swaroop form, Saraswati weds Lord Brahma
Brahma
and wealth/Dhan swaroop form, Lakshmi
Lakshmi
becomes the consort of Lord Vishnu. Smarta
Smarta
Advaita[edit] In the Smarta
Smarta
Advaita
Advaita
sect of Hinduism, Shakti
Shakti
is considered to be one of five equal bona fide personal forms of God in the panchadeva system advocated by Adi Shankara.[12] Shakti
Shakti
Peethas[edit] Main article: Shakti
Shakti
Peetha According to some schools, there are four Adi Shakti
Adi Shakti
Pitha and 51 Shakti
Shakti
centers of worship located in South Asia (four Adi Shakti
Adi Shakti
Pitha are also part of 51 Shakti
Shakti
pithas but they are four major parts of Devi
Devi
Sati's body. So, they are adi shakti pithas). They can be found in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tibet and Pakistan. These are called Shakti
Shakti
Peethas. The list of locations varies. A commonly accepted list of Shakti
Shakti
Peethas and their temple complexes includes:

Hinglaj
Hinglaj
Mataji Balochistan Jwalaji (Himachal) Tara Tarini (Brahmapur, Odisha) Katyayani
Katyayani
(Chattarpur, Delhi) Bhadrakali
Bhadrakali
(Kodungallur, Kerala) Kamakhya
Kamakhya
(Assam) Kali
Kali
at Kalighat
Kalighat
(Kolkata, West Bengal) Naina Devi
Devi
(Himachal) Guhyeshwari Temple
Guhyeshwari Temple
Devi
Devi
(Kathmandu, Nepal) Ambaji
Ambaji
(Gujarat) Vishalakshi Temple
Vishalakshi Temple
(Varanasi) Chandranath Temple
Chandranath Temple
(Sitakunda, Bangladesh)

Other pithas in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
are:

Tuljapur
Tuljapur
(Jagdamba) Kolhapur
Kolhapur
(Mahalaxmi) vani- Nashik
Nashik
(Saptashrungi) Mahurgadh (Renukamata)

Bhajans and mantras[edit] There are many ancient Shakti
Shakti
devotional songs and vibrational chants in the Hindu
Hindu
and Sikh traditions (found in Sarbloh Granth). The recitation of the Sanskrit mantras is commonly used to call upon the Divine Mother. Kundalini-Shakti- Bhakti
Bhakti
Mantra

Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo! Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo! Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Namo Namo! Kundalini
Kundalini
Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo!

Translation:

Primal Shakti, I bow to Thee! All-Encompassing Shakti, I bow to Thee! That through which Divine Creates, I bow to Thee! Creative Power of the Kundalini, Mother of all Mother Power, To Thee I Bow![13]

"Merge in the Maha Shakti. This is enough to take away your misfortune. This will carve out of you a woman. Woman needs her own Shakti, not anybody else will do it... When a woman chants the Kundalini
Kundalini
Bhakti
Bhakti
mantra, God clears the way. This is not a religion, it is a reality. Woman is not born to suffer, and woman needs her own power."

~ Yogi Bhajan (Harbhajan Singh)[14]

See also[edit]

Devi Tridevi Essence–energies distinction

Notes[edit]

^ Williams, Monier. "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary". faculty.washington.edu. śaktí f. power, ability, strength, might, effort, energy, capability  ^ Sacred Sanskrit words, p.111 ^ Tiwari, Path of Practice, p. 55 ^ The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, p.162 ^ The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, p.270 ^ Hindu
Hindu
Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Tradition by David Kinsley page 17, minor vedic Goddesses ^ Insoll, Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology Timothy; Insoll, Timothy (2002-09-11). Archaeology and World Religion. Routledge. p. 36. ISBN 9781134597987.  ^ Harper, Katherine Anne; Brown, Robert L. (2012-02-01). Roots of Tantra, The. SUNY Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780791488904.  ^ Kenoyer, J. M.; Clark, J. D.; Pal, J. N.; Sharma, G. R. (1983-07-01). "An upper palaeolithic shrine in India?". Antiquity. 57 (220): 93. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00055253. ISSN 0003-598X.  ^ Subramuniyaswami, p. 1211. ^ Klostermaier, Klaus K. (1989). A Survey of Hinduism. NY, NY: State University of New York. pp. 261 (fn 1 p 473).  ^ http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/dws/dws_mandala-02.html ^ Yogi Bhajan as quoted in the Conscious Pregnancy Yoga
Yoga
Teacher's Manual by Tarn Tarn Kaur, Espanola, New Mexico p. 79 ^ Yogi Bhajan as quoted in the Conscious Pregnancy Yoga
Yoga
Teacher's Manual by Tarn Tarn Kaur, Espanola, New Mexico

Further reading[edit]

Shakti
Shakti
and Shakta, by John Woodroffe, Published by Forgotten Books, 1910. ISBN 1-60620-145-X. Hymns to the Goddess, Translated by John George Woodroffe, Ellen Elizabeth (Grimson) Woodroffe, Published by Forgotten Books, 1952 (org 1913). ISBN 1-60620-146-8. Hymn to Kali: Karpuradi Stotra, by Sir John Woodroffe. Published by Forgotten Books. 1922. ISBN 1-60620-147-6. McDaniel, June (2004). Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal. New York: Oxford University Press.  Datta, Reema and Lowitz, Lisa. Sacred Sanskrit Words, Stonebridge Press, Berkeley, 2005. Feuerstein, Georg. The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, Shambhala Publications, Boston, 2000 Shaw, Miranda. Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1994 Tiwari, Bri. Maya. The Path of Practice: A Woman's Book of Ayurvedic Healing, Motilal Banarsidass Press, 2002 Shakti: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Women’s Empowerment in India/edited by Ranjana Harish and V. Bharathi Harishankar. New Delhi, Rawat, 2003, ISBN 81-7033-793-3.

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Shakti

Shakti: Listing of usage in Puranic literature Kanaka Durgamma Temple Official Website

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