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For other uses, see Shakti (disambiguation).

Shakthi redirects here. For the cinematographer, see
Shakthi (cinematographer).
Sakthi redirects here. For the 1980 lm, see Sakthi

great interest once a year. Some examples of incarnations are Ganga Ma, Aarti, Kamakshi Ma, Kanakadurga
Ma, Mahalakshmi Ma, Meenatchi ma, Manasa Ma,
Mariamman, Yellamma, Poleramma, Gangamma and

Shakti (Sanskrit pronunciation: [kt]) (Devanagari:

; from Sanskrit shak, to be able), meaning
Power or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to
move through the entire universe in Hinduism.[1] Shakti
is the concept, or personication, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as 'The Great Divine
Mother' in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most
actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its
potential, unmanifest form.[2]
Not only is Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the
agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as
liberation, its most signicant form being the Kundalini
Shakti,[3] a mysterious psychospiritual force.[4] Shakti exists in a state of svtantrya, dependence on no one, being
interdependent with the entire universe.
In Shaktism and Shaivism, Shakti is worshipped as the
Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine
energy of Shiva and is identied as Tripura Sundari or


The goddess Manasa in a dense jungle landscape with a cobra

and a swan.

David Kinsley mentions the shakti of Lord Indras as

Sachi (Indrani), meaning power.[5] Indrani is part of
a group of seven or eight mother goddesses called the
Matrikas (Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, 2 Shakti/Parvati/Shakti Peethas
Kumari, Varahi and Chamunda and/or Narasimhi), who
are considered shaktis of major Hindu gods (Brahma, Main article: Shakti Peethas
Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, Skanda, Varaha/Yama and Devi
and Narasimha respectively).
According to some schools, there are four Adi Shakti
The Shakti goddess is also known as Amman (mean- Pith and 51 important centres of Shakti worship loing 'mother') in south India, especially in the states of cated in the Indian sub-continent. They can be found
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, and Andhra in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tibet and
Pradesh. There are many temples devoted to various in- Pakistan. These are called Shakti Peethas. The
carnations of the Shakti goddess in most of the villages list of locations varies. A commonly accepted list
in South India. The rural people believe that Shakti is of Shakti peethas and their famous temple comthe protector of the village, the punisher of evil peo- plexes includes: Jwalaji (Himachal), Tara Tarini
ple, the curer of diseases, and the one who gives wel- (Brahmapur, Odisha), Katyayani (Chattarpur, Delhi),
fare to the village. They celebrate Shakti Jataras with Kamakhya (Assam), Kali at Kalighat (Kolkata, West


Bengal), Naina Devi (Himachal), Guhyeshwari Temple

Devi (Kathmandu, Nepal),Ambaji (Gujarat), Vishalakshi
Temple (Varanasi). Other pithas in Maharashtra are
Tuljapur (Jagdamba), Kolhapur (Mahalaxmi), vaniNashik (Saptashrungi) and Mahurgadh (Renukamata).

Sarbloh Granth). The recitation of the Sanskrit bij mantra

MA is commonly used to call upon the Divine Mother,
the Shakti, as well as the Moon.
Kundalini-Shakti-Bhakti Mantra
Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo
Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti,
Namo Namo!
Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum
Bhagvati, Namo Namo!
Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo
Primal Shakti, I bow to Thee!
All-Encompassing Shakti, I bow to Thee!
That through which Divine Creates, I bow to
Creative Power of the Kundalini, Mother of all
Mother Power, To Thee I Bow![6]

Hindu Goddess, Saraswati

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 Bhakti mantra,
God clears the way. This is not a religion, it is a reality.
Woman is not born to suer, and woman needs her own
When India and Indian women knew this mantra, it
dwelt in the land of milk and honey.

Adi Parashakti

~ Yogi Bhajan (Harbhajan Singh)[7]

Main article: Adi parashakti

5 Shaktism
Adi parashakti, whose material manifestation is Tripura
Sundari is a Hindu concept of the Ultimate 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 in all
Her manifestations. Her human or Shakti swaroop/form
was married to Shiva, while her knowledge/gyan swaroop
form weds Lord Brahma and wealth/Dhan swaroop form
becomes the consort of Lord Vishnu. Parvati gave birth
to his rst child called Kartikeya.

Bhajans and Mantras

There are many ancient Shakti devotional songs and vibrational chants in the Hindu and Sikh traditions (found in

Shaktism regards 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 resembles Saivism. However, Shaktas (Sanskrit: akta, ), 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 Shivas worship is generally
relegated to an auxiliary role.[8]
from Devi-Mahatmya By you this universe is borne, By you this
world is created, Oh Devi, by you it is protected.

9 Standard representation
The yupiu Shakti has a unicode representation of
U+262C () on the miscellaneous symbols table. This
symbol is also known as the khanda used in Sikhism.

10 See also

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.

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.

Smarta Advaita

In the Smarta Advaita sect of Hinduism, Shakti is considered to be one of ve equal bonade personal forms
of God in the panchadeva system advocated by Adi

Shakti force: Devi Prakriti

Devi prakriti (a shakti) in the context of shaktis as forces

unies kundalini, kriya, ichha, para, jnana, and mantrika
shaktis. Each is in a chakra.


Ichha-shakti is a Sanskrit term translating to willpower. It is used as a technical subdivision of Shakti

in Shaktism.
Helena Petrona Blavatsky in her The Secret Doctrine
(1888) also introduces the concept of Ichha Shakti":
Its most ordinary manifestation is the generation of certain nerve currents which set in motion such muscles as are required for the accomplishment of the desired object.[10]

11 Notes
[1] Sacred Sanskrit words, p.111
[2] Tiwari, Path of Practice, p. 55
[3] The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, p.270
[4] The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, p.162
[5] Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the
Hindu Tradition by David Kinsley page 17, minor vedic
[6] Yogi Bhajan as quoted in the Conscious Pregnancy Yoga
Teachers Manual by Tarn Tarn Kaur, Espanola, New
Mexico p. 79
[7] Yogi Bhajan as quoted in the Conscious Pregnancy Yoga
Teachers Manual by Tarn Tarn Kaur, Espanola, New
[8] Subramuniyaswami, p. 1211.
[9] http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/
[10] Helena Petrona Blavatsky (1893 - 1897), The Secret Doctrine, London Theosophical Pub. House, 1893-97, ISBN
0-900588-74-8. p 292 - 293.

12 Further reading
Shakti and Shakta, by John Woodroe, Published by
Forgotten Books, 1910. ISBN 1-60620-145-X.
Hymns to the Goddess, Translated by John George
Woodroe, Ellen Elizabeth (Grimson) Woodroe,
Published by Forgotten Books, 1952 (org 1913).
ISBN 1-60620-146-8.
Hymn to Kali: Karpuradi Stotra, by Sir John
Woodroe. Published by Forgotten Books. 1922.
ISBN 1-60620-147-6.
McDaniel, June (2004). Oering 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
Womans Book of Ayurvedic Healing, Motilal Banarsidass Press, 2002
Shakti: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Womens
Empowerment in India/edited by Ranjana Harish
and V. Bharathi Harishankar. New Delhi, Rawat,
2003, ISBN 81-7033-793-3.


External links

Shakti: Listing of usage in Puranic literature

Kanaka Durgamma Temple Ocial Website



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