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SHAKTISM ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
: Śāktaḥ,; lit., "doctrine of energy, power, the Goddess") is a major tradition of Hinduism
Hinduism
, wherein the metaphysical reality is considered feminine and the Devi
Devi
(goddess) is supreme. It includes a variety of goddesses, all considered aspects of the same supreme goddess. Shaktism
Shaktism
has different sub-traditions, ranging from those focussed on gracious Lakshmi
Lakshmi
to fierce Kali
Kali
, and some Shakti
Shakti
sub-traditions associate their goddess with Shiva
Shiva
or Vishnu
Vishnu
.

The Sruti
Sruti
and Smriti
Smriti
texts of Hinduism
Hinduism
are an important historical framework of the Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition. In addition, it reveres the texts Devi
Devi
Mahatmya , the Devi-Bhagavata Purana , and Shakta Upanishads
Shakta Upanishads
such as the Devi
Devi
Upanishad
Upanishad
. The Devi
Devi
Mahatmya in particular, is considered in Shaktism
Shaktism
to be as important as the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
.

Shaktism
Shaktism
is known for its various sub-traditions of Tantra
Tantra
, as well as a galaxy of goddesses with respective systems. It consists of the Vidyapitha and Kulamārga . The pantheon of goddesses in Shaktism
Shaktism
grew after the decline of Buddhism in India
India
, wherein Hindu
Hindu
and Buddhist goddesses were combined to form the Mahavidya , a list of ten goddesses. The most common aspects of Devi
Devi
found in Shaktism
Shaktism
include Durga
Durga
, Kali
Kali
, Amba, Lakshmi
Lakshmi
, Parvati
Parvati
and Tripurasundari
Tripurasundari
. The goddess-focussed tradition is particularly popular in West Bengal
West Bengal
, Assam
Assam
, Tripura
Tripura
, Nepal
Nepal
and the neighboring regions, which it celebrates through festivals such as the Durga
Durga
puja . Shaktism's ideas have influenced Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
and Shaivism
Shaivism
traditions, with the goddess considered the Shakti
Shakti
of Vishnu
Vishnu
and Shiva
Shiva
respectively, and revered prominently in numerous Hindu
Hindu
temples and festivals.

Part of a series on

SHAKTISM

Deities ADISHAKTI (SUPREME)

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

Scriptures and texts

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

Philosophy and practices

* Maya * Yoga
Yoga
* Tantra
Tantra
* Panchamakara * Kundalini
Kundalini
* Yantra
Yantra

Schools ------------------------- VIDYA MARGAM

* Vamachara
Vamachara
* Dakshinachara

------------------------- KULA MARGAM

* Srikulam * Kalikulam * Trika * Kubjika
Kubjika

Scholars

* Bhaskararaya * Ramprasad Sen
Ramprasad Sen
* Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna
* Abhirami Bhattar

Festivals and temples

* Navaratri
Navaratri
* Durga
Durga
Puja * Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Pooja * Saraswati
Saraswati
Pooja * Teej
Teej
* Shakti
Shakti
Peetha

Hinduism
Hinduism
portal

* v * t * e

Part of a series on

HINDUISM

* Hindu
Hindu
* History

Concepts GOD / HIGHEST REALITY

* Brahman
Brahman
* Ishvara
Ishvara
* God in Hinduism
Hinduism
* God and gender

LIFE

* Atman * Maya * Karma
Karma
* Samsara
Samsara

* Purusharthas
Purusharthas

* Dharma
Dharma
* Artha
Artha
* Kama
Kama
* Moksha
Moksha

ETHICS

* Niti shastra * Yamas
Yamas
* Niyama
Niyama
* Ahimsa
Ahimsa
* Asteya
Asteya
* Aparigraha
Aparigraha
* Brahmacharya
Brahmacharya
* Satya
Satya
* Damah * Dayā * Akrodha
Akrodha
* Ārjava * Santosha
Santosha
* Tapas * Svādhyāya
Svādhyāya
* Shaucha
Shaucha
* Mitahara
Mitahara
* Dāna
Dāna

LIBERATION

* Bhakti yoga
Bhakti yoga
* Jnana yoga
Jnana yoga
* Karma
Karma
yoga

Schools SIX ASTIKA SCHOOLS

* Samkhya
Samkhya
* Yoga
Yoga
* Nyaya
Nyaya
* Vaisheshika * Mimamsa
Mimamsa

* Vedanta
Vedanta

* Advaita * Dvaita
Dvaita
* Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita

OTHER SCHOOLS

* Pasupata
Pasupata
* Saiva * Pratyabhijña * Raseśvara * Pāṇini
Pāṇini
Darśana * Charvaka

Deities TRIMURTI

* Brahma
Brahma
* Vishnu
Vishnu
* Shiva
Shiva

------------------------- OTHER MAJOR DEVIS / DEVAS

* Vedic * Indra
Indra
* Agni
Agni
* Prajapati
Prajapati
* Rudra
Rudra
* Devi
Devi
* Saraswati
Saraswati
* Ushas
Ushas
* Varuna
Varuna
* Vayu
Vayu

* Post-Vedic * Durga
Durga
* Ganesha
Ganesha
* Hanuman
Hanuman
* Kali
Kali
* Kartikeya
Kartikeya
* Krishna
Krishna
* Lakshmi
Lakshmi
* Parvati
Parvati
* Radha
Radha
* Rama
Rama
* Shakti
Shakti
* Sita
Sita

Texts SCRIPTURES VEDAS

* Rigveda
Rigveda
* Yajurveda
Yajurveda
* Samaveda
Samaveda
* Atharvaveda
Atharvaveda

DIVISIONS

* Samhita * Brahmana
Brahmana
* Aranyaka
Aranyaka
* Upanishad
Upanishad

UPANISHADS

* Rigveda: * Aitareya * Kaushitaki

* Yajurveda: * Brihadaranyaka * Isha * Taittiriya * Katha * Shvetashvatara * Maitri

* Samaveda: * Chandogya * Kena

* Atharvaveda: * Mundaka * Mandukya * Prashna

OTHER SCRIPTURES

* Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
* Agama (Hinduism)
Agama (Hinduism)

OTHER TEXTS VEDANGAS

* Shiksha
Shiksha
* Chandas * Vyakarana
Vyakarana
* Nirukta
Nirukta
* Kalpa * Jyotisha
Jyotisha

PURANAS

* Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana * BHAGAVATA PURANA * Nāradeya Purana
Nāradeya Purana
* Vāmana Purana * Matsya Purana
Matsya Purana
* Garuda Purana
Garuda Purana
* Brahma
Brahma
Purana * Brahmānda Purana
Brahmānda Purana
* Brahma
Brahma
Vaivarta Purana * Bhavishya Purana
Bhavishya Purana
* Padma Purana
Padma Purana
* Agni
Agni
Purana * Shiva
Shiva
Purana * Linga Purana
Linga Purana
* Kūrma Purana * Skanda Purana
Skanda Purana
* Varaha Purana
Varaha Purana
* Mārkandeya Purana
Mārkandeya Purana

ITIHASAS

* Ramayana
Ramayana
* Mahabharata
Mahabharata

UPAVEDAS

* Ayurveda
Ayurveda
* Dhanurveda
Dhanurveda
* Gandharvaveda
Gandharvaveda
* Sthapatyaveda
Sthapatyaveda

SHASTRAS AND SUTRAS

* Dharma
Dharma
Shastra * Artha
Artha
Śastra * Kamasutra
Kamasutra
* Brahma
Brahma
Sutras * Samkhya
Samkhya
Sutras * Mimamsa
Mimamsa
Sutras * Nyāya Sūtras
Nyāya Sūtras
* Vaiśeṣika Sūtra
Vaiśeṣika Sūtra
* Yoga
Yoga
Sutras * Pramana
Pramana
Sutras * Charaka Samhita * Sushruta Samhita * Natya Shastra * Panchatantra
Panchatantra
* Divya Prabandha
Divya Prabandha
* Tirumurai
Tirumurai
* Ramcharitmanas
Ramcharitmanas
* Yoga
Yoga
Vasistha * Swara yoga * Shiva
Shiva
Samhita * Gheranda Samhita
Gheranda Samhita
* Panchadasi
Panchadasi
* Stotra
Stotra
* Sutras

TEXT CLASSIFICATION

* Śruti
Śruti
Smriti
Smriti

* TIMELINE OF HINDU TEXTS

Practices WORSHIP

* Puja * Temple * Murti
Murti
* Bhakti
Bhakti
* Japa
Japa
* Bhajana
Bhajana
* Yajna
Yajna
* Homa * Vrata
Vrata
* Prāyaścitta
Prāyaścitta
* Tirtha * Tirthadana * Matha
Matha
* Nritta-Nritya

MEDITATION AND CHARITY

* Tapa * Dhyana * Dāna
Dāna

YOGA

* Asana
Asana
* Hatha yoga
Hatha yoga
* Jnana yoga
Jnana yoga
* Bhakti yoga
Bhakti yoga
* Karma
Karma
yoga * Raja yoga
Raja yoga

RITES OF PASSAGE

* Garbhadhana
Garbhadhana
* Pumsavana
Pumsavana
* Simantonayana
Simantonayana
* Jatakarma
Jatakarma
* Namakarana
Namakarana
* Nishkramana
Nishkramana
* Annaprashana
Annaprashana
* Chudakarana
Chudakarana
* Karnavedha
Karnavedha
* Vidyarambha
Vidyarambha
* Upanayana
Upanayana
* Keshanta
Keshanta
* Ritushuddhi
Ritushuddhi
* Samavartana
Samavartana
* Vivaha
Vivaha
* Antyeshti
Antyeshti

ASHRAMA DHARMA

* Ashrama : Brahmacharya
Brahmacharya
* Grihastha
Grihastha
* Vanaprastha
Vanaprastha
* Sannyasa
Sannyasa

FESTIVALS

* Diwali
Diwali
* Holi
Holi
* Shivaratri
Shivaratri

* Navaratri
Navaratri

* Durga
Durga
Puja * Ramlila
Ramlila
* Vijayadashami-Dussehra

* Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan
* Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi
* Vasant Panchami
Vasant Panchami
* Rama
Rama
Navami * Janmashtami
Janmashtami
* Onam
Onam
* Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti
* Kumbha Mela
Kumbha Mela
* Pongal
Pongal
* Ugadi
Ugadi

* Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi

* Bihu
Bihu
* Puthandu
Puthandu
* Vishu
Vishu

* Ratha Yatra

Gurus, saints, philosophers ANCIENT

* Agastya
Agastya
* Angiras * Aruni
Aruni
* Ashtavakra
Ashtavakra
* Atri
Atri
* Bharadwaja
Bharadwaja
* Gotama * Jamadagni
Jamadagni
* Jaimini
Jaimini
* Kanada * Kapila
Kapila
* Kashyapa
Kashyapa
* Pāṇini
Pāṇini
* Patanjali
Patanjali
* Raikva
Raikva
* Satyakama Jabala
Satyakama Jabala
* Valmiki
Valmiki
* Vashistha
Vashistha
* Vishvamitra * Vyasa
Vyasa
* Yajnavalkya
Yajnavalkya

MEDIEVAL

* Nayanars
Nayanars
* Alvars
Alvars
* Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
* Basava
Basava
* Akka Mahadevi
Akka Mahadevi
* Allama Prabhu
Allama Prabhu
* Siddheshwar * Jñāneśvar
Jñāneśvar
* Chaitanya * Gangesha Upadhyaya * Gaudapada
Gaudapada
* Gorakshanath
Gorakshanath
* Jayanta Bhatta * Kabir
Kabir
* Kumarila Bhatta * Matsyendranath
Matsyendranath
* Mahavatar Babaji
Mahavatar Babaji
* Madhusudana * Madhva * Haridasa Thakur
Haridasa Thakur
* Namdeva * Nimbarka * Prabhakara * Raghunatha Siromani * Ramanuja
Ramanuja
* Sankardev
Sankardev
* Purandara Dasa
Purandara Dasa
* Kanaka Dasa
Kanaka Dasa
* Ramprasad Sen
Ramprasad Sen
* Jagannatha Dasa * Vyasaraya * Sripadaraya
Sripadaraya
* Raghavendra Swami
Raghavendra Swami
* Gopala Dasa * Śyāma Śastri * Vedanta
Vedanta
Desika * Tyagaraja
Tyagaraja
* Tukaram
Tukaram
* Tulsidas
Tulsidas
* Vachaspati Mishra * Vallabha * Vidyaranya

MODERN

* Aurobindo * Coomaraswamy * Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Bhaktivinoda Thakur
* Chinmayananda
Chinmayananda
* Dayananda Saraswati
Saraswati
* Mahesh Yogi * Krishnananda Saraswati
Saraswati
* Narayana Guru
Narayana Guru
* Prabhupada * Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna
* Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi
* Radhakrishnan * Sarasvati * Sivananda * U. G. Krishnamurti * Sai Baba * Vivekananda * Nigamananda * Yogananda * Ramachandra Dattatrya Ranade
Ramachandra Dattatrya Ranade
* Tibbetibaba
Tibbetibaba
* Trailanga
Trailanga

Other topics

* Balinese Hinduism
Hinduism
* Calendar * Criticism * Denominations * Iconography * Mythology * Nationalism ( Hindutva
Hindutva
) * Persecution * Pilgrimage sites

* Hinduism
Hinduism
and Jainism
Jainism
/ and Judaism

* Hinduism
Hinduism
by country

* Glossary of Hinduism
Hinduism
terms * Hinduism
Hinduism
portal

* v * t * e

CONTENTS

* 1 Origins and history

* 2 Theology

* 2.1 Devi
Devi
Gita * 2.2 Tantra
Tantra

* 3 Principal deities

* 4 Tantric traditions

* 4.1 Vidyāpīṭha * 4.2 Kulamārga

* 5 Worship

* 5.1 Srikula: family of Sri
Sri
* 5.2 Kalikula: family of Kali
Kali

* 5.3 Festivals

* 5.3.1 Navratri
Navratri
* 5.3.2 Vasant Panchami
Vasant Panchami
* 5.3.3 Diwali
Diwali
and others

* 5.4 Animal sacrifice

* 6 Shaktism
Shaktism
versus other Hindu
Hindu
traditions * 7 Demography

* 8 Temples and influence

* 8.1 Buddhism * 8.2 Jainism
Jainism
* 8.3 Sikhism * 8.4 Other ancient religions

* 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 Sources * 13 External links

ORIGINS AND HISTORY

One of the earliest evidence of reverence for the feminine aspect of God in Hinduism
Hinduism
appears in chapter 10.125 of the Rig Veda
Rig Veda
, also called the Devi
Devi
Suktam hymn:

I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship. Thus gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in. Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them, – each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken. They know it not, yet I reside in the essence of the Universe. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it. I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that gods and men alike shall welcome. I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman. I bend the bow for Rudra
Rudra
, that his arrow may strike, and slay the hater of devotion. I rouse and order battle for the people, I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their Inner Controller. On the world's summit I bring forth sky the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean as Mother. Thence I pervade all existing creatures, as their Inner Supreme Self, and manifest them with my body. I created all worlds at my will, without any higher being, and permeate and dwell within them. The eternal and infinite consciousness is I, it is my greatness dwelling in everything.

Devi
Devi
Sukta, Rigveda
Rigveda
10.125.3 – 10.125.8,

The Vedic literature reveres various goddesses, but far less frequently than gods Indra
Indra
, Agni
Agni
and Soma . Yet, they are declared equivalent aspects of gender neutral Brahman
Brahman
, of Prajapati
Prajapati
and Purusha . The goddesses often mentioned in the Vedic layers of text include the Ushas
Ushas
(dawn), Vac (speech, wisdom), Sarasvati (as river), Prithivi (earth), Nirriti (annihilator), Shraddha (faith, confidence). Goddesses such as Uma appear in the Upanishads
Upanishads
as another aspect of Brahman
Brahman
and the knower of ultimate knowledge, such as in section 3 and 4 of the ancient Kena Upanishad
Upanishad
.

Hymns to goddesses are in the ancient Hindu
Hindu
epic Mahabharata, particularly in the later (100 to 300 CE) added Harivamsa section of it. The archaeological and textual evidence implies, states Thomas Coburn, that the Goddess had become as much a part of the Hindu tradition, as God, by about the third or fourth century. The literature on Shakti
Shakti
theology grew in ancient India, climaxing in one of the most important texts of Shaktism
Shaktism
called the Devi
Devi
Mahatmya. This text, states C. Mackenzie Brown – a professor of Religion, is both a culmination of centuries of Indian ideas about the divine feminine, as well as a foundation for the literature and spirituality focussed on the feminine transcendence in centuries that followed. The Devi-Mahatmya is not the earliest literary fragment attesting to the existence of devotion to a goddess figure, states Thomas B. Coburn – a professor of Religious Studies, but "it is surely the earliest in which the object of worship is conceptualized as Goddess, with a capital G".

Other important texts of Shaktism
Shaktism
include the Shakta Upanishads
Shakta Upanishads
, as well as Shakta-oriented Upa Puranic literature such as the Devi
Devi
Purana and Kalika Purana , the Lalita Sahasranama (from the Brahmanda Purana ). The Tripura
Tripura
Upanishad
Upanishad
is historically the most complete introduction to Shakta Tantrism, distilling into its 16 verses almost every important topic in Shakta Tantra
Tantra
tradition. Along with the Tripura
Tripura
Upanishad, the Tripuratapini Upanishad
Upanishad
has attracted scholarly bhasya (commentary) in the second half of 2nd-millennium, such as by Bhaskararaya , and by Ramanand. These texts link the Shakti
Shakti
Tantra tradition as a Vedic attribute, however this link has been contested by scholars.

THEOLOGY

In Shakta theology, the feminine and masculine are interdependent realities, represented with Ardhanarishvara
Ardhanarishvara
icon. Left: A 5th century art work representing this idea at the Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves
; Right: a painting of Ardhanarishvara.

Shaktas conceive the Goddess as the supreme, ultimate, eternal reality of all existence, or same as the Brahman
Brahman
concept of Hinduism. She is considered to be simultaneously the source of all creation, its embodiment and the energy that animates and governs it, and that into which everything will ultimately dissolve. According to V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar – a professor of Indian history, in Shaktism theology " Brahman
Brahman
is static Shakti
Shakti
and Shakti
Shakti
is dynamic Brahman."

Shaktism
Shaktism
views the Devi
Devi
as the source, essence and substance of everything in creation. Its texts such as the Devi-Bhagavata Purana states:

I am Manifest Divinity, Unmanifest Divinity, and Transcendent Divinity. I am Brahma
Brahma
, Vishnu
Vishnu
and Shiva
Shiva
, as well as Saraswati
Saraswati
, Lakshmi
Lakshmi
and Parvati
Parvati
. I am the Sun and I am the Stars, and I am also the Moon. I am all animals and birds, and I am the outcaste as well, and the thief. I am the low person of dreadful deeds, and the great person of excellent deeds. I am Female, I am Male in the form of Shiva.

Shaktism's focus on the Divine Feminine does not imply a rejection of masculine. It rejects male-female, soul-body, transcendent-immanent dualism, considering nature as divine. Devi
Devi
is considered to be the cosmos itself – she is the embodiment of energy, matter and soul, the motivating force behind all action and existence in the material universe. Yet in Shaktism, states C. MacKenzie Brown, the masculine and the feminine are aspects of the divine, transcendent reality. In Hindu
Hindu
iconography, the cosmic dynamic of masculine-feminine interdependence and equivalence, is expressed in the half-Shakti, half- Shiva
Shiva
deity known as Ardhanari
Ardhanari
.

The philosophical premises in many Shakta texts, states June McDaniel – a professor of Religious Studies, is syncretism of Samkhya
Samkhya
and Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
schools of Hindu
Hindu
philosophy , called Shaktadavaitavada (literally, the path of nondualistic Shakti).

DEVI GITA

The seventh book of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana presents the theology of Shaktism. This book is called Devi
Devi
Gita, or the "Song of the Goddess". The Goddess explains she is the Brahman
Brahman
that created the world, asserting the Advaita premise that spiritual liberation occurs when one fully comprehends the identity of one's soul and the Brahman. This knowledge, asserts the Goddess, comes from detaching self from the world and meditating on one's own soul.

The Devi
Devi
Gita, like the Bhagavad Gita, is a condensed philosophical treatise. It presents the divine female as a powerful and compassionate creator, pervader and protector of the universe. She is presented in the opening chapter of the Devi
Devi
Gita as the benign and beautiful world-mother, called Bhuvaneshvari
Bhuvaneshvari
(literally, ruler of the universe). Thereafter, the text presents its theological and philosophical teachings. THE SOUL AND THE GODDESS

transcends, the distinction of name and named, beyond all dualities. It is whole, infinite being, consciousness and bliss . One should meditate on that reality, within the flaming light of consciousness. Fixing the mind upon me, as the Goddess transcending all space and time, One quickly merges with me by realizing, the oneness of the soul and Brahman
Brahman
. — Devi
Devi
Gita, Transl: Lynn Foulston, Stuart Abbott Devibhagavata Purana, Book 7

The Devi
Devi
Gita describes the Devi
Devi
(or Goddess) as "universal, cosmic energy" resident within each individual. It thus weaves in the terminology of Samkhya
Samkhya
school of Hindu
Hindu
philosophy . The text is suffused with Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
ideas, wherein nonduality is emphasized, all dualities are declared as incorrect, and interconnected oneness of all living being's soul with Brahman
Brahman
is held as the liberating knowledge. However, adds Tracy Pintchman – a professor of Religious Studies and Hinduism, Devi
Devi
Gita incorporates Tantric ideas giving the Devi
Devi
a form and motherly character rather than the gender-neutral concept of Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta.

TANTRA

Sub-traditions of Shaktism
Shaktism
include "Tantra", which refers to techniques, practices and ritual grammar involving mantra , yantra , nyasa, mudra and certain elements of traditional kundalini yoga , typically practiced under the guidance of a qualified guru after due initiation (diksha ) and oral instruction to supplement various written sources. There has been a historic debate between Shakta theologians on whether its tantric practices are Vedic or non-Vedic.

The roots of Shakta Tantrism are unclear, probably ancient and independent of the Vedic tradition of Hinduism. The interaction between Vedic and Tantric traditions trace back to at least the sixth century, and the surge in Tantra
Tantra
tradition developments during the late medieval period, states Geoffrey Samuel, were a means to confront and cope with Islamic invasions and political instability in and after 14th-century CE.

PRINCIPAL DEITIES

A 9th-century Durga
Durga
Shakti
Shakti
idol, victorious over demon Mahishasura, in Indonesia
Indonesia
.

Shaktas approach the Devi
Devi
in many forms; however, they are all considered to be but diverse aspects of the one supreme goddess. The primary Devi
Devi
form worshiped by a Shakta devotee is his or her ishta-devi , that is a personally selected Devi. The selection of this deity can depend on many factors, such as family tradition, regional practice, guru lineage and personal resonance.

Some forms of the goddess are widely known in the Hindu
Hindu
world. The common goddesses of Shaktism, popular in the Hindu
Hindu
thought at least by about mid 1st-millennium CE, include Durga, Kali, Amba, Tripurasundari, Lakshmi
Lakshmi
(and her avatars such as Radha, Sita), Saraswati
Saraswati
and Parvati
Parvati
(Uma). The rarer forms of Devi
Devi
found among tantric Shakta are the Mahavidyas, particularly Tara, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Kamala and Buvaneshwari. Other major goddess groups include the Sapta- Matrika
Matrika
("Seven Little Mothers"), "who are the energies of different major gods, and described as assisting the great Shakta Devi
Devi
in her fight with demons", and the 64 Yoginis .

TANTRIC TRADITIONS

VIDYāPīṭHA

The Vidyāpīṭha is subdivided into Vāmatantras, Yāmalatantras, and Śaktitantras.

KULAMāRGA

The Kulamārga preserves some of the distinctive features of the Kāpālika tradition, from which it is derived. It is subdivided into four subcategories of texts based on the goddesses Kuleśvarī, Kubjikā, Kālī
Kālī
and Tripurasundarī respectively. The Trika texts are closely related to the Kuleśvarī texts and can be considered as part of the Kulamārga.

WORSHIP

Shaktism
Shaktism
encompasses a nearly endless variety of beliefs and practices – from primitive animism to philosophical speculation of the highest order – that seek to access the Shakti
Shakti
(Divine Energy or Power) that is believed to be the Devi's nature and form. Its two largest and most visible schools are the Srikula (family of Sri
Sri
), strongest in South India
South India
, and the Kalikula (family of Kali
Kali
), which prevails in northern and eastern India.

SRIKULA: FAMILY OF SRI

Sri
Sri
Lalita- Tripurasundari
Tripurasundari
enthroned with her left foot upon the Sri
Sri
Chakra , holding her traditional symbols, the sugarcane bow, flower arrows, noose and goad.

The Srikula (family of Sri) tradition (sampradaya ) focuses worship on Devi
Devi
in the form of the goddess Lalita- Tripura
Tripura
Sundari , who is regarded as the Great Goddess (Mahadevi). Rooted in first-millennium Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir Valley, Srikula became a force in South India
South India
no later than the seventh century, and is today the prevalent form of Shaktism
Shaktism
practiced in South Indian regions such as Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
, Karnataka
Karnataka
, Kerala
Kerala
, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
and Tamil areas of Sri
Sri
Lanka .

The Srikula's best-known school is Srividya , "one of Shakta Tantrism's most influential and theologically sophisticated movements." Its central symbol, the Sri
Sri
Chakra , is probably the most famous visual image in all of Hindu
Hindu
Tantric tradition. Its literature and practice is perhaps more systematic than that of any other Shakta sect.

Srividya largely views the Goddess as "benign and beautiful " (in contrast to Kalikula's focus on "terrifying and horrifying " goddess forms such as Kali
Kali
or Durga). In Srikula practice, moreover, every aspect of the Goddess – whether malignant or gentle – is identified with Lalita.

Srikula adepts most often worship Lalita using the abstract Sri Chakra yantra , which is regarded as her subtle form. The Sri
Sri
Chakra can be visually rendered either as a two-dimensional diagram (whether drawn temporarily as part of the worship ritual, or permanently engraved in metal) or in the three-dimensional, pyramidal form known as the Sri
Sri
Meru. It is not uncommon to find a Sri
Sri
Chakra or Sri
Sri
Meru installed in South Indian temples, because – as modern practitioners assert – "there is no disputing that this is the highest form of Devi
Devi
and that some of the practice can be done openly. But what you see in the temples is not the srichakra worship you see when it is done privately."

The Srividya paramparas can be further broadly subdivided into two streams, the Kaula
Kaula
(a vamamarga practice) and the Samaya (a dakshinamarga practice). The Kaula
Kaula
or Kaulachara, first appeared as a coherent ritual system in the 8th century in central India, and its most revered theorist is the 18th-century philosopher Bhaskararaya , widely considered "the best exponent of Shakta philosophy."

The Samaya or Samayacharya finds its roots in the work of the 16th-century commentator Lakshmidhara, and is "fiercely puritanical attempts to reform Tantric practice in ways that bring it in line with high-caste brahmanical norms." Many Samaya practitioners explicitly deny being either Shakta or Tantric, though scholars argues that their cult remains technically both. The Samaya- Kaula
Kaula
division marks "an old dispute within Hindu
Hindu
Tantrism," and one that is vigorously debated to this day.

KALIKULA: FAMILY OF KALI

Kali
Kali
in her Dakshina
Dakshina
Kali
Kali
form

The Kalikula (family of Kali) form of Shaktism
Shaktism
is most dominant in Nepal
Nepal
, northern and eastern India, and is most widely prevalent in West Bengal
West Bengal
, Assam
Assam
, Bihar
Bihar
and Odisha
Odisha
, as well as parts of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
and some parts of Kerala
Kerala
. Kalikula lineages focus upon the Devi
Devi
as the source of wisdom (vidya) and liberation (moksha ). They generally stand "in opposition to the brahmanic tradition," which they view as "overly conservative and denying the experiential part of religion."

The main deities of Kalikula are Kali, Chandi
Chandi
and Durga. Other goddesses that enjoy veneration are Tara and all the other Mahavidyas as well as regional goddesses such as Manasa
Manasa
, the snake goddess, and Sitala , the smallpox goddess – all of them, again, considered aspects of the Divine Mother.

In Nepal
Nepal
devi is mainly worshipped as Kali, Bhawani, Matrika
Matrika
and Navadurga
Navadurga
.There are many shakti peeth in Nepal
Nepal
including the main shakti peeth Guhyeshwari Temple
Guhyeshwari Temple
of Guhyeshwari Devi
Devi
also called as Guhekali Bhagawati on the bank of holy Bagmati
Bagmati
river. She is one of the important deity in kalikula. Two major centers of Shaktism
Shaktism
in West Bengal
Bengal
are Kalighat in Calcutta
Calcutta
and Tarapith
Tarapith
in Birbhum district
Birbhum district
. In Calcutta, emphasis is on devotion (bhakti) to the goddess as Kali:

She is "the loving mother who protects her children and whose fierceness guards them. She is outwardly frightening – with dark skin, pointed teeth, and a necklace of skulls – but inwardly beautiful. She can guarantee a good rebirth or great religious insight, and her worship is often communal – especially at festivals, such as Kali
Kali
Puja and Durga
Durga
Puja . Worship may involve contemplation of the devotee's union with or love of the goddess, visualization of her form, chanting mantras, prayer before her image or yantra, and giving offerings."

At Tarapith, Devi's manifestation as Tara ("She Who Saves") or Ugratara ("Fierce Tara") is ascendant, as the goddess who gives liberation (kaivalyadayini). The forms of sadhana performed here are more yogic and tantric than devotional, and they often involve sitting alone at the ground, surrounded by ash and bone. There are shamanic elements associated with the Tarapith
Tarapith
tradition, including "conquest of the goddess', exorcism, trance, and control of spirits."

The philosophical and devotional underpinning of all such ritual, however, remains a pervasive vision of the Devi
Devi
as supreme, absolute divinity. As expressed by the nineteenth-century saint Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna
, one of the most influential figures in modern Bengali Shaktism:

Kali
Kali
is none other than Brahman. That which is called Brahman
Brahman
is really Kali. She is the Primal Energy. When that Energy remains inactive, I call It Brahman, and when It creates, preserves, or destroys, I call It Shakti
Shakti
or Kali. What you call Brahman
Brahman
I call Kali. Brahman
Brahman
and Kali
Kali
are not different. They are like fire and its power to burn: if one thinks of fire one must think of its power to burn. If one recognizes Kali
Kali
one must also recognize Brahman; again, if one recognizes Brahman
Brahman
one must recognize Kali. Brahman
Brahman
and Its Power are identical. It is Brahman
Brahman
whom I address as Shakti
Shakti
or Kali.

FESTIVALS

Shaktas celebrate most major Hindu
Hindu
festivals, as well as a huge variety of local, temple- or deity-specific observances. A few of the more important events are listed below:

Navratri

Main article: Navratri
Navratri

The most important Shakta festival is Navratri
Navratri
(lit., "Festival of Nine Nights"), also known as " Sharad
Sharad
Navratri" because it falls during the Hindu
Hindu
month of Sharad
Sharad
(October/November). This festival – often taken together with the following tenth day, known as Dusshera or Vijayadashami – celebrates the goddess Durga's victory over a series of powerful demons described in the Devi
Devi
Mahatmya . In Bengal
Bengal
, the last four days of Navaratri
Navaratri
are called Durga
Durga
Puja , and mark one episode in particular: Durga's iconic slaying of Mahishasura
Mahishasura
(lit., the "Buffalo Demon").

While Hindus of all denominations celebrate the autumn Navratri festival, Shaktas also celebrate two additional Navratris – one in the spring and one in the summer. The spring festival is known as Vasanta Navaratri
Navaratri
or Chaitra
Chaitra
Navatri, and celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra
Chaitra
(March/April). Srividya lineages dedicate this festival to Devi's form as the goddess Lalita . The summer festival is called Ashada Navaratri, as it is held during the Hindu
Hindu
month of Ashadha (June/July). The Vaishno Devi
Devi
temple in Jammu
Jammu
, with Vaishno Devi
Devi
considered an aspect of Durga, celebrates Navaratri. Ashada Navaratri, on the other hand, is considered particularly auspicious for devotees of the boar-headed goddess Varahi
Varahi
, one of the seven Matrikas
Matrikas
named in the Devi
Devi
Mahatmya.

Vasant Panchami

Main article: Saraswati
Saraswati
Pooja

Fifth day of Magha Gupta Navratri
Navratri
is very important for all branches of Shakta-pantha. Specially in Vindhyachal mahashakti peetham, thousands of chandipatha and other secret rituals performed this day to please Aadishakti. This is the festival of union of Shakti
Shakti
the "Festival of Lights"), a major Hindu
Hindu
holiday celebrated across India and in Nepal
Nepal
as Tihar. In North India, Diwali
Diwali
marks the beginning of the traditional New Year, and is held on the night of the new moon in the Hindu
Hindu
month of Kartik (usually October or November). Shaktas (and many non-Shaktas) celebrate it as another Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Puja, placing small oil lamps outside their homes and praying for the goddess's blessings. Diwali
Diwali
coincides with the celebration of Kali
Kali
Puja, popular in Bengal, and some Shakta traditions focus their worship on Devi
Devi
as Kali rather than Lakshmi. A gopuram (tower) of the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a Shakta temple at Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
India
, which was nominated in the " New Seven Wonders of the World
New Seven Wonders of the World
" competition in 2004.

Jagaddhatri Puja is celebrated on the last four days of the Navaratis, following Kali
Kali
Puja. It is very similar to Durga
Durga
Puja in its details and observance, and is especially popular in Bengal
Bengal
and some other parts of Eastern India. Gauri Puja is performed on the fifth day after Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi
, during Ganesha
Ganesha
Puja in Western India, to celebrate the arrival of Gauri , Mother of Ganesha
Ganesha
where she brings her son back home.

Major Shakta temple festivals are Meenakshi Kalyanam and Ambubachi Mela . The Meenakshi Kalyanam is a part of the Chithirai Thiruvizha festival in Madurai
Madurai
around April/May, one of the largest festivals in South India, celebrating the wedding of goddess Meenakshi (Parvati) and Shiva. The festival is one where both the Vaishnava and Shaiva communities join the celebrations, because Vishnu
Vishnu
gives away his sister Meenakshi in marriage to Shiva. Ambubachi Mela
Ambubachi Mela
or Ameti is a celebration of the menstruation of the goddess, by hundreds of thousands of devotees, in a festival held in June/July (during the monsoon season) at Kamakhya Temple
Kamakhya Temple
, Guwahati, Assam. Here the Devi
Devi
is worshiped in the form of a yoni -like stone, and the site is one of Shakta Pitha or pilgrimage sites in Shaktism.

ANIMAL SACRIFICE

In Shaktism
Shaktism
mythology, Durga
Durga
slays an evil buffalo demon (left, 18th century statue). Right: A buffalo about to be sacrificed by a villager during Durga
Durga
puja festival. The buffalo sacrifice practice, however, is rare in contemporary India.

Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition practices animal sacrifice to revere goddesses such as Kali
Kali
in many parts of India
India
but particularly in the eastern states of India
India
and Nepal. This is either an actual animal, or a vegetal or sweet dish substitute considered equivalent to the animal. In many cases, Shaktism
Shaktism
devotees consider animal sacrifice distasteful, practice alternate means of expressing devotion while respecting the views of others in their tradition.

In Nepal, West Bengal, Odisha
Odisha
and Assam, animal sacrifices are performed at Shakti
Shakti
temples, particular to mark the legend of goddess Durga
Durga
slaying the buffalo demon. This involves slaying of a goat , chicken or a male water buffalo . This practice is rare among Hindus, outside this region.

In Bengal, animal sacrifice follows the guidelines in texts such as Mahanirvana Tantra
Tantra
are followed in selecting the animal, then a priest offers a prayer to the animal, then recites the Gayatri Mantra
Mantra
in its ear before killing it. The meat of the sacrificed animal is then eaten by the Shakta devotee.

In Nepal, animal sacrifice en masse occurs during the three-day-long Gadhimai festival . In 2009 it was speculated that more than 250,000 animals were sacrificed during this event.

In Odisha, during the Bali Jatra , Shaktism
Shaktism
devotees sacrifice male goats to the goddess Samaleswari
Samaleswari
in her temple in Sambalpur
Sambalpur
, Orissa.

The Rajput
Rajput
of Rajasthan
Rajasthan
worship their weapons and horses on Navratri , and formerly offered a sacrifice of a goat to a goddess revered as Kuldevi – a practice that continues in some places. The ritual requires slaying of the animal with a single stroke. In the past this ritual was considered a rite of passage into manhood and readiness as a warrior. The ritual is directed by a priest. The Kuldevi among these Rajput
Rajput
communities is a warrior-pativrata guardian goddess, with local legends tracing reverence for her during Rajput-Muslim wars.

Animal Sacrifice of a buffalo or goat, particularly during smallpox epidemics, has been practiced in parts of South India. The sacrificed animal is dedicated to a goddess, and is probably related to the myth of goddess Kali
Kali
in Andhra Pradesh, but in Karnataka, the typical goddess is Renuka
Renuka
. According to Alf Hiltebeitel – a professor of Religions, History and Human Sciences, these ritual animal sacrifices, with some differences, mirrors goddess-related ritual animal sacrifice found in Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh
epic and in texts of Egyptian, Minoan and Greek sources.

In the 19th-century through the early 20th-century, Indian laborers were shipped by the British Empire
British Empire
into colonial mining and plantations operations in the Indian ocean and the Caribbean regions. These included significant number of Shakta devotees. While instances of Shakta animal sacrifice during Kali
Kali
puja in the Caribbean islands were recorded between 1850s to 1920s, these were relatively uncommon when compared to other rituals such as temple prayers, community dancing and fire walking.

SHAKTISM VERSUS OTHER HINDU TRADITIONS

"The Hindoo Goddess Karle", an illustration from Dr. Scudder's Tales for Little Readers About the Heathen, by Dr. John Scudder (London, 1849).

Shaktism
Shaktism
has at times been dismissed as a superstitious, black magic-infested practice that hardly qualifies as a true religion at all. A representative criticism of this sort issued from an Indian scholar in the 1920s:

The Tantras
Tantras
are the Bible of Shaktism, identifying all Force with the female principle in nature and teaching an undue adoration of the wives of Shiva
Shiva
and Vishnu
Vishnu
to the neglect of their male counterparts. It is certain that a vast number of the inhabitants of India
India
are guided in their daily life by Tantrik teaching, and are in bondage to the gross superstitions inculcated in these writings. And indeed it can scarcely be doubted that Shaktism
Shaktism
is Hinduism
Hinduism
arrived at its worst and most corrupt stage of development."

The tantra practices are secretive, subject to speculations and criticism. Scholars variously attribute such criticism to ignorance, misunderstanding or sectarian bias on the part of some observers, as well as unscrupulous practices by some Shaktas. These are some of the reasons many Hindus question the relevance and historicity of Tantra to their tradition.

Beyond tantra, the Shakta sub-traditions subscribe to various philosophies, are similar in some aspects and differ in others. These traditions compare with Shaivism, Shaktism
Shaktism
and Smartism as follows:

Comparison of Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
with other traditions

VAISHNAVA TRADITIONS SHAIVA TRADITIONS SHAKTA TRADITIONS SMARTA TRADITIONS REFERENCES

Scriptural authority Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads

Supreme deity god Vishnu god Shiva goddess Devi None

Creator Vishnu Shiva Devi Brahman
Brahman
principle

Avatar
Avatar
Key concept Minor Significant Minor

Monastic life Accepts Recommends Accepts Recommends

Rituals, Bhakti
Bhakti
Affirms Optional Affirms Optional

Ahimsa
Ahimsa
and Vegetarianism Affirms Optional Optional Recommends, Optional

Free will
Free will
, Maya , Karma
Karma
Affirms Affirms Affirms Affirms

Metaphysics Brahman
Brahman
(Vishnu) and Atman (Soul, Self) Brahman
Brahman
(Shiva), Atman Brahman
Brahman
(Devi), Atman Brahman, Atman

Epistemology
Epistemology
( Pramana
Pramana
) 1. Perception 2. Inference 3. Reliable testimony 1. Perception 2. Inference 3. Reliable testimony 4. Self-evident 1. Perception 2. Inference 3. Reliable testimony 1. Perception 2. Inference 3. Comparison and analogy 4. Postulation, derivation 5. Negative/cognitive proof 6. Reliable testimony

Philosophy Dvaita, qualified advaita, advaita Dvaita, qualified advaita, advaita Shakti-advaita Advaita

Salvation ( Soteriology
Soteriology
) Videhamukti, Yoga, champions householder life Jivanmukta, Shiva
Shiva
is soul, Yoga, champions monastic life Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga Jivanmukta, Advaita, Yoga, champions monastic life

DEMOGRAPHY

There is no census data available on demographic history or trends for Shaktism
Shaktism
or other traditions within Hinduism. Estimates vary on the relative number of adherents in Shaktism
Shaktism
compared to other traditions of Hinduism. According to a 2010 estimate by Johnson and Grim, the Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition is the smaller group with about 30 million or 3.2% of Hindus. In contrast, Galvin Flood states that Shaivism
Shaivism
and Shaktism
Shaktism
traditions are difficult to separate, as many Shaiva Hindus revere the goddess Shakti
Shakti
regularly. The denominations of Hinduism, states Julius Lipner, are unlike those found in major religions of the world, because Hindu
Hindu
denominations are fuzzy with individuals revering gods and goddesses henotheistically , with many Shaiva and Vaishnava adherents recognizing Sri
Sri
(Lakshmi), Parvati, Saraswati
Saraswati
and other aspects of the goddess Devi. Similarly, Shakta Hindus revere Shiva
Shiva
and goddesses such as Parvati
Parvati
(such as Durga, Radha, Sita
Sita
and others) and Saraswati
Saraswati
important in Shaiva and Vaishnava traditions.

TEMPLES AND INFLUENCE

Further information: List of Shakti
Shakti
Temples and Shakti
Shakti
Peethas JWALA JI KANYAKUMARI MANASAROVAR PURI KOLKATA GUWAHATI The map depicts location of Shakti
Shakti
Peethas in South Asia, major (blue) and minor (red) .

Shakta temples are found all over South Asia. Many towns, villages and geographic landmarks are named for various forms of the Devi. Major pilgrimage sites of Shaktism
Shaktism
are called " Shakti
Shakti
Peethas ", literally "Seats of the Devi". These vary from four to fifty one.

Some Shakta temples are also found in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
, the Americas
Americas
, Europe
Europe
, Australia
Australia
and elsewhere. Examples in the United States include the Kali
Kali
Mandir in Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Beach, California
; and Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam , a Srividya temple in rural Rush, New York .

Some feminists and participants in New Age
New Age
spirituality who are attracted to goddess worship", suggest Shaktism
Shaktism
is a "symbol of wholeness and healing, associated especially with repressed female power and sexuality." However, these are adaptions and do not share Shakta theology.

BUDDHISM

There has been a significant sharing of ideas, ritual grammar and concepts between Tantric Buddhism ( Vajrayana
Vajrayana
tradition) found in Nepal and Tibet and the Tantric Shakta tradition of Hinduism. Both movements cherish female deities, view the female creativity as the power behind the universe, and the feminine as the ontological primary. According to Miranda Shaw, "the confluence of Buddhism and Shaktism
Shaktism
is such that Tantric Buddhism could properly be called Shakta Buddhism".

The Buddhist
Buddhist
Aurangabad Caves
Aurangabad Caves
about 100 kilometers from the Ajanta Caves , dated to the 6th to 7th-century CE, show Buddhist
Buddhist
Matrikas (mother goddesses of Shaktism) next to the Buddha. Other goddesses in these caves include Durga. The goddess iconography in these Buddhist caves is close, but not identical to the Hindu
Hindu
Shakta tradition. The "seven goddess mothers" are found in other Buddhist
Buddhist
caves and literature, such as their discussion in the Buddhist
Buddhist
text Manjusrimulakalpa and Vairocanabhisambodhi. Matrika
Matrika
– mother goddesses – are found in both Shakta- Hinduism
Hinduism
and Vajrayana-Buddhism.

JAINISM

In Jainism
Jainism
, ideas similar to Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition are found, such as the Vidyadevis and the Shasanadevis.

SIKHISM

The secondary scripture of Sikhs, Dasam Granth attributed to Guru Gobind Singh , includes numerous sections on Shakta goddesses, particularly Chandi
Chandi
– the fierce warrior form of the Hindu
Hindu
goddess. According to Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh – a professor of Religious Studies, the stories about goddess Durga
Durga
in the Dasam Granth are reworkings of ancient Shakti
Shakti
mythologies. A significant part of this Sikh scripture is based on the teachings in the Shakta text Devi Mahatmya found in the Markandeya Purana
Markandeya Purana
of Hinduism.

OTHER ANCIENT RELIGIONS

Some Westerners believe that many central concepts of Shaktism
Shaktism
– including aspects of kundalini yoga as well as goddess worship – were once "common to the Hindu, Chaldean , Greek and Roman civilizations," but were largely superseded in the West, as well as the Near and Middle East, with the rise of the Abrahamic religions :

Of these four great ancient civilizations, working knowledge of the inner forces of enlightenment has survived on a mass scale only in India. Only in India
India
has the inner tradition of the Goddess endured. This is the reason the teachings of India
India
are so precious. They offer us a glimpse of what our own ancient wisdom must have been. The Indians have preserved our lost heritage. Today it is up to us to locate and restore the tradition of the living Goddess. We would do well to begin our search in India, where for not one moment in all of human history have the children of the living Goddess forgotten their Divine Mother. —  Linda Johnsen

SEE ALSO

* Hecate
Hecate
– the Greek goddess of magic, ghosts, and necromancy * Palden Lhamo
Palden Lhamo
– the fierce Buddhist
Buddhist
guardian goddess found in Tibet, and the goddess of war in Mongolia * Shaivism
Shaivism
* Smarta Tradition
Smarta Tradition
* Tridevi
Tridevi
* Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
* Hindu
Hindu
sects

NOTES

* ^ Srimad Devi
Devi
Bhagavatam, VII.33.13-15, cited in Brown 1991 * ^ ह्रीम् is pronounced as hrīm, it is a tantric mantra beej, and it identifies a "Shakti". * ^ A senior member of Guru
Guru
Mandali, Madurai, November 1984, cited in Brooks 1992.

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C Klaus K. Klostermaier (2010). Survey of Hinduism, A: Third Edition. State University of New York Press. pp. 30, 114–116, 233–245. ISBN 978-0-7914-8011-3 . * ^ A B C Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, pp. 174–176, ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0 * ^ Thomas Coburn (2002), Devī-Māhātmya: The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0557-6 , pages 1–23 * ^ A B C D E F J. Gordon Melton; Martin Baumann (2010). Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, 2nd Edition. ABC-CLIO. pp. 2600–2602. ISBN 978-1-59884-204-3 . * ^ A B Shaktism, Encyclopædia Britannica (2015) * ^ Yudit Kornberg Greenberg (2008). Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions. ABC-CLIO. pp. 254–256. ISBN 978-1-85109-980-1 . * ^ Constance Jones; James Ryan (2014). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 399. ISBN 978-0816054589 . * ^ Rocher, Ludo (1986). The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 193. ISBN 978-3447025225 . * ^ Katherine Anne Harper; Robert L. Brown (2012). The Roots of Tantra. State University of New York Press. pp. 48, 117, 40–53. ISBN 978-0-7914-8890-4 . * ^ Sanderson, Alexis. "The Śaiva Literature." Journal of Indological Studies (Kyoto), Nos. 24 for Sanskrit
Sanskrit
original see: ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं १०.१२५ * ^ Paul Deussen (1980). Sixty Upaniṣads of the Veda, Part 1. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 207–208, 211–213 verses 14–28. ISBN 978-81-208-1468-4 . * ^ Charles Johnston, Kena Upanishad
Upanishad
in The Mukhya Upanishads: Books of Hidden Wisdom, (1920–1931), The Mukhya Upanishads, Kshetra Books, ISBN 978-1-4959-4653-0 (Reprinted in 2014), Archive of Kena Upanishad
Upanishad
- Part 3 as published in Theosophical Quarterly, pages 229–232 * ^ A B NB Saxena (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theology (Editors: Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Sheila Briggs). Oxford University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-19-927388-1 . * ^ Coburn 2002 , p. 7. * ^ Coburn 1991 , p. 16. * ^ Krishna
Krishna
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