Kali Mata Durga Devi Sri Lakshmi Sri Radha Dasha Mahavidya

Jay Ambe Jagadambe

The religion followed by those who worship the Supreme
as the Divine Mother (Shakti or Devi)
in Her many forms, both gentle and fierce.
Shaktism is one of the four primary sects of Hinduism.
In philosophy and practice, Shaktism greatly resembles Saivism,
both faiths promulgating, for example,
the same ultimate goals of advaitic union with Siva, and moksha.
But Shaktas worship Shakti as the Supreme Being exclusively,
as the dynamic aspect of Divinity,
while Siva is considered solely transcendent and is not worshiped.
There are many forms of Shaktism, with endless varieties of practices
which seek to capture divine energy or power for spiritual transformation.

Satguru Shivaya Subramuniyaswami

The one who rules this world. Everything in this world is contained in HER. All
forms in the world are HER forms. All living things are part of HER.

It is Devi Adi Parashakthi who performs the tasks of the Tri-Murthys : Siva,
Vishnu ad Brahma. She is the 8 Siddhis, 7 Rishis,
Lords of the 8 directions,
11 Rudras and many more.

She is not only worshipped by men but also by the devas. She is present in
everything we see. She is represented in plants, the animals, the birds, the sea, the sky and the holy river.

She is Sakthi ( Power ) who drives this world. She is the mother of the mankind.

Devi Features
The most important features of Devi Parashakti mythology and theology is that she have two forms, namely

1. The Auspicious form

2. The Inauspicious form

Auspicious Form

As auspicious form, she manifests as Lakshmi, Parvati, Sati and Prthivi. She plays the positive roles of protection, fertility and establishment of dharmic order, cultural creativity, wifely duty and material abundance.

These encompases three aspects
a. as the granter of wisdom, learning and liberation.
Her names appear many times in the following text :
Aryastave text she is called : Mukti ( liberation ), She who speaks the language of Brahman, She who is the knowledge of Brahman.

Mahabharata : Liberator and knowledge of Brahman as well as the mother of the
vedas, Intelligence and the destroyer of ignorance and mankind fetters.

Lalitha-Sahasranama : Mahabuddhi (The great intelligence ), Vijnanabhanarupini ( She whose form is a mass of knowledge ), Prajnatnika ( She who is wisdom itself ), Pasupasavimocini ( She who release creatures from bondage )

b. as embodiment of female beauty and the exciter of desire.
Many Text describe Devi extraordinar beauty
saundaryalahari : one of the famous hymn praising the Devi.
Lalitha-Sahasranama : Ramya (the beautiful one), Kanta ( loveliness ),
Vamanayana ( she who have beautiful eyes ), Ratirupa ( she whose form is Rati )

c. as the source of food and nourishment
She is often associated with earth itself.

Lalitha-Sahasranama : Annanda ( she who gives food ), Pusti (she who gives
nourishment ), Satakasi ( she who has on hundred eyes ), Sakambhari (she who bestows vegetables ), Annapurna ( she who is full of food ), Jagaddhatri ( she who supports the world or another )

Inauspicious Form
The Devi is said to possess fierce and terrible appearance. Often these forms are associated with war, blood, destruction, death, hunger and anger.

These terrible forms arises in two context, namely
1. To maintain cosmic order
2. Asserting her power as that greater than Siva

TO maintain cosmic order
Devi often takes in fierce form when she enters into battle. As guardian of the Cosmos, she appears in a form of a great warrior, battling against Demons on behalf of the gods. Nevertheless in most text it is said that the Devi only take the fierce form when she has actually entered the battle or when she is being provoked by the insults of her enemies. The Devi transforms herself, and then multiplies into ferocious goddess or goddesses.

Devi terrible forms often betray the benigh qualities of the goddess, and it threatens the world. This action suggest the dangerous and uncontrolled facets of the goddess when she loses control.

She is described as rending her enemies limb from limb, tearng their flesh with her teeth and drinking their blood, when then intoxicates her. Thirsting for more blood or dancing drunkenly out of control, she herself becomes a threat to the cosmos and must be tamed or subdued. She can becomes dangerous to her own allies.

Asserting her power as the greater than Siva
The Mahavidyas ( the great manfestation ) played a central role in Sati's
attempt to overpower or frighten Siva, so that she may have her own way. Even though Sati played the submissive wife, she contains fearsome and independent aspects that easily overwhelmed Siva.

from Shakti Sadhana group.

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