Start Encyclopedia69 Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
dictionary -  encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   




  Sakti (or Shakti, Sanskrit for ‘power’) is the feminine element or creative force in God, the means by which he is immanent in the world. Originally this force was depicted in anthropomorphic terms as the god\'s consort (Uma; Parvati; Kali) and relates to Shiva, or to the male deity being venerated in a particular temple, as a shaft of sunlight does to the Sun. In popular form it merged with the ancient worship of the mother goddess. In the Sakta cults, the female power is worshipped rather than the male Shiva, who is felt to be too remote from this world, in his perfect yogic trance, to be able to hear human prayers. (The principle is somewhat similar to the appeal of the Virgin Mary in Christianity, as a mediating force more accessible than God or Christ.)

Sakta families often worship the mother goddess in her fearsome form as Durga (‘Inaccessible’), as Kali (‘the black one’, originally a tribal goddess of pre-Brahmanic times, though attempts have been made to link kali (‘black’, a Dravidian word), with the Sanskrit word for time, thus producing the idea of the controller of time, death), or as Candi (‘the fierce one’). But she is really the mother defending her vulnerable children. As the consort of Shiva she is shown as a young and beautiful woman. She is also worshipped in the yoni, female counterpart of the lingam. She is Mata, ‘mother’, and Mahadevi, ‘the great goddess’, often popularly referred to just as Devi, ‘the goddess’. EMJ

Further reading Narendra Bhattacharyya, A History of the Sakta Religion.



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>
Saiva Siddhanta


Other Terms : Social Stratification | Thremmatology | Deficit Spending
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About |
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us