Unique Attributes : Divine mother, strength, compassion, energy, power
Shakti Peeths : 51 Shakti peeths in India, Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan. E.g. Katyani Devi, Mansa Devi, Naina
Devi, Vaishno Devi etc.
Forms of Shakti : Parvati, Sati, Durga, Kali, Uma, Kamakshi,
Consort : Shiva / Vishnu / Brahma
Shakti in Hindu belief is the all encompassing divine mother who is the
supreme feminine being and it is from her that other forms of goddesses
take birth. Shakti literally means energy and power and it is she who is
the original force behind the creation and sustenance of the Universe.
She is the Shakti behind the trinity of Gods and their avatars as their
consorts. There are varied forms she acquires in keeping with the
situation. At one point she becomes Durga or Kali acquiring a deadly and
ferocious form to end the reign of demons from earth. In a friction of
second she turns into Gauri or Kamakshi the ever enduring figure of
motherly love and compassion.
Shakti as the underlying force of the entire Universe is generally
referred to as Devi which is derived from the Sanskrit root 'div'
meaning to shine. The Mahadevi or Shakti is the supreme cosmic being who
despite the destruction of everything is the one which is going to
remain. She is the Universal creator, destroyer, sustainer and mother
all in one. Without her consent nothing in this world can function. As
mentioned above every god in Hindu belief has his Shakti and without her
he has no power.
Shakti is known to have taken birth in her nine forms which all have
different attributes. In some Hindu mythological accounts there is
variation and it is believed that the Devi Shakti was married only to
Lord Shiva with their birth over successive years. The nine forms of
Devi Shakti are as follows - Sati, Parvati, Gayatri, Rudrani, Narayani,
Chamunda, Ganga, Laxmi and Kali. There are fifty one Shakti peeths
across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka where Shakti is
worshipped in different forms. These Shakti peeths are believed to be
the places where Devi Sati's parts fell after she gave up herself in the
holy fire. Shakti is the primeval source of energy and is the ultimate
personification of the feminine divine aspect.