Shakti

Shakti
The divine energy
Shakti
Adi Parashakti Lalita Tripura Sundari seated over Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheswara and Parashiva
Other namesAdi Parashakti, Parvati , Mahadevi, Kali, Durga, Devi, Sati
AffiliationDevi, Para Brahman
WeaponsAll
Personal information
ConsortShiva
SiblingsVishnu

Shakti (Devanagari: शक्ति, IAST: Śakti; lit. "power, ability, strength, 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, and especially the major tradition of Hinduism, Shaktism.

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 most actively manifests herself through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.[3] Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for creation and the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force.[4][5]

In Shaktism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva and is synonymously identified with Durga or Parvati.

Evolution

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

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

The 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 goddess in most of the villages in South India. The rural people believe that Shakti is the protector of the village, the punisher of evil people, the cure of diseases, and the one who gives welfare to the village. They celebrate Shakti Jataras with great interest once a year. Some examples of Shakti incarnations are Mahalakshmi, Kamakshi, Parvati, Lalita, Bhuvaneshwari, Durga, Meenakshi, Mariamman, Yellamma, Poleramma, and Perantalamma.

One of the oldest representations of the goddess in India is in a triangular form. The Baghor stone, found in a Paleolithic context in the 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]