Shiva known as Mahadeva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme being within one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Shiva is known as "The Destroyer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is the supreme being who creates and transforms the universe. In the tradition of Hinduism called Shaktism, the Goddess, or Devi, is described as supreme, yet Shiva is revered along with Vishnu and Brahma. A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power of each, with Parvati the equal complementary partner of Shiva, he is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism. According to the Shaivism sect, the highest form of Shiva is formless, limitless and unchanging absolute Brahman, the primal Atman of the universe. There are many both fearsome depictions of Shiva. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children and Kartikeya.
In his fierce aspects, he is depicted slaying demons. Shiva is known as Adiyogi Shiva, regarded as the patron god of yoga and arts; the iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident, as his weapon, the damaru drum. He is worshipped in the aniconic form of Lingam. Shiva is a pan-Hindu deity, revered by Hindus, in India and Sri Lanka. Shiva is called as Bhramhan which can be said as Parabhramhan. Shiva means nothingness; the word shivoham means the consciousness of one individual, lord says that he is omnipotent, omnipresent, as he is present in the form of one's consciousness. In Tamil, he was called by different names other than Sivan. Nataraaja Rudra and Dhakshinamoorthy. Nataraja is the only form of Shiva worshipped in a human figure format. Elsewhere he is worshipped in Lingam figure. Pancha bootha temples are located in south India. Pancha Bhoota Stalam.
Tamil literature is enriched by Shiva devotees called 63 Nayanmars The Sanskrit word "Śiva" means, states Monier Monier-Williams, "auspicious, gracious, kind, friendly". The roots of Śiva in folk etymology are śī which means "in whom all things lie, pervasiveness" and va which means "embodiment of grace"; the word Shiva is used as an adjective in the Rig Veda, as an epithet for several Rigvedic deities, including Rudra. The term Shiva connotes "liberation, final emancipation" and "the auspicious one", this adjective sense of usage is addressed to many deities in Vedic layers of literature; the term evolved from the Vedic Rudra-Shiva to the noun Shiva in the Epics and the Puranas, as an auspicious deity, the "creator and dissolver". Sharva, sharabha presents another etymology with the Sanskrit root śarv-, which means "to injure" or "to kill", interprets the name to connote "one who can kill the forces of darkness"; the Sanskrit word śaiva means "relating to the god Shiva", this term is the Sanskrit name both for one of the principal sects of Hinduism and for a member of that sect.
It is used as an adjective to characterize certain practices, such as Shaivism. Some authors associate the name with the Tamil word śivappu meaning "red", noting that Shiva is linked to the Sun and that Rudra is called Babhru in the Rigveda; the Vishnu sahasranama interprets Shiva to have multiple meanings: "The Pure One", "the One, not affected by three Guṇas of Prakṛti". Shiva is known by many names such as Viswanatha, Mahandeo, Mahesha, Shankara, Rudra, Trilochana, Neelakanta, Subhankara and Ghrneshwar; the highest reverence for Shiva in Shaivism is reflected in his epithets Mahādeva, Maheśvara, Parameśvara. Sahasranama are medieval Indian texts that list a thousand names derived from aspects and epithets of a deity. There are at least eight different versions of the Shiva Sahasranama, devotional hymns listing many names of Shiva; the version appearing in Book 13 of the Mahabharata provides one such list. Shiva has Dasha-Sahasranamas that are found in the Mahanyasa; the Shri Rudram Chamakam known as the Śatarudriya, is a devotional hymn to Shiva hailing him by many names.
The Shiva-related tradition is a major part of Hinduism, found all over India, Sri Lanka, Bali. Scholars have interpreted early prehistoric paintings at the Bhimbetka rock shelters, carbon dated to be from pre-10,000 BCE period, as Shiva dancing, Shiva's trident, his mount Nandi. Rock paintings from Bhimbetka, depicting a figure with a trishul, have been described as Nataraja by Erwin Neumayer, who dates them to the mesolithic. Of several Indus valley seals that show animals, one seal that has attracted attention shows a large central figure, either horned or wearing a horned headdress and ithyphallic, seated in a posture reminiscent of the Lotus position, surrounded by animals; this figure was named by early excavators of Mohenjo-daro as Pashupati (Lord of Animals, Sansk
The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term means tradition or "that which has come down", the Agama texts describe cosmology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires; these canonical texts are in Tamil. The three main branches of Agama texts are those of Shaivism, Shaktism; the Agamic traditions are sometimes called Tantrism, although the term "Tantra" is used to refer to Shakta Agamas. The Agama literature is voluminous, includes 28 Shaiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas, 108 Vaishnava Agamas, numerous Upa-Agamas; the origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear. Some are Vedic and others non-Vedic. Agama traditions include Yoga and Self Realization concepts, some include Kundalini Yoga and philosophies ranging from Dvaita to Advaita; some suggest that these are others as pre-Vedic compositions. Epigraphical and archaeological evidence suggests that Agama texts were in existence by about middle of the 1st millennium CE, in the Pallava dynasty era.
Scholars note that some passages in the Hindu Agama texts appear to repudiate the authority of the Vedas, while other passages assert that their precepts reveal the true spirit of the Vedas. The Agamas literary genre may be found in Śramaṇic traditions. Bali Hindu tradition is called Agama Hindu Dharma in Indonesia. Āgāma is derived from the verb root गम meaning "to go" and the preposition आ meaning "toward" and refers to scriptures as "that which has come down". Agama means "tradition", refers to precepts and doctrines that have come down as tradition. Agama, states Dhavamony, is a "generic name of religious texts which are at the basis of Hinduism and which are divided into Vaishnava Agamas, Saiva Agamas, Sakta Agamas. Agamas, states Rajeshwari Ghose, teach a system of spirituality involving ritual worship and ethical personal conduct through precepts of a god; the means of worship in the Agamic religions differs from the Vedic form. While the Vedic form of yajna requires no idols and shrines, the Agamic religions are based on idols with puja as a means of worship.
Symbols and temples are a necessary part of the Agamic practice, while non-theistic paths are alternative means of Vedic practice. Action and will drive Agama precepts. This, does not mean that Agamas and Vedas are opposed, according to medieval-era Hindu theologians. Tirumular, for example, explained their link as follows: "the Vedas are the path, the Agamas are the horse"; each Agama consists of four parts: Jnana pada called Vidya pada – consists of doctrine, the philosophical and spiritual knowledge, knowledge of reality and liberation. Yoga pada – precepts on yoga, the physical and mental discipline. Kriya pada – consists of rules for rituals, construction of temples; this code is analogous in the Buddhist text of Sadhanamala. Charya pada – lays down rules of conduct, of worship, observances of religious rites, rituals and prayaschittas; the Agamas state three requirements for a place of pilgrimage: Sthala and Murti. Sthala refers to the place of the temple, Tīrtha is the temple tank, Murti refers to the image of god.
Elaborate rules are laid out in the Agamas for Silpa describing the quality requirements of the places where temples are to be built, the kind of images to be installed, the materials from which they are to be made, their dimensions, air circulation, lighting in the temple complex, etc. The Manasara and Silpasara are some of the works dealing with these rules; the rituals followed in worship services each day at the temple follow rules laid out in the Agamas. The Agama texts of Hinduism present a diverse range of philosophies, ranging from theistic dualism to absolute monism; this diversity of views was acknowledged in Chapter 36 of Tantraloka by the 10th-century scholar Abhinavagupta. In Shaivism alone, there are ten dualistic Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism Agama texts, sixty-four monism Agama texts; the Bhairava Shastras are monistic. A similar breadth of diverse views is present in Vaishnava Agamas as well; the Agama texts of Shaiva and Vaishnava schools are premised on existence of Atman and the existence of an Ultimate Reality.
The texts differ in the relation between the two. Some assert the dualistic philosophy of the individual soul and Ultimate Reality being different, while others state a Oneness between the two. Kashmir Shaiva Agamas posit absolute oneness, God is within man, God is within every being, God is present everywhere in the world including all non-living beings, there is no spiritual difference between life, matter and God; the parallel group among Vaishnavas are the Shuddhadvaitins. Scholars from both schools have written treatises ranging from dualism to monism. For example, Shivagrayogin has emphasized the non-difference or unity of being, rea
Maheshwara murtas are forms of Shiva revered in the Shivagamas of southern Shaiva Siddhanta sect of Saivism. It is counted to twenty five. Sritattvanidhi calls these as Panchavimsatilīlāmūrti; these forms are based on Puranas and Ithihasa in which Shiva's divine play is explained with different stories. Most of these forms are present in South Indian temples as main deities of sanctum or sculptures and reliefs in the outer walls of Shiva temples. Hindu iconography on Shiva is well developed in middle age all over India with his various divine plays described in Purana- ithihasas. Shivagamas tells devotees to worship these forms for distinct purposes. There are so many numbers of these forms available. Most prevalent is twenty five maheshwara murtams or Panchavimsati murtams mentioned in Shivagamas and sixty four shiva murtams; the common list believed. Shiva 25 Maheshwara murtams Pictures of 64 forms of Shiva
The Inchagiri Sampradaya known as Nimbargi Sampradaya, is a lineage of Hindu Navnath c.q. Lingayat teachers from Maharashtra, started by Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj, it is inspired by Deshastha Brahmin Sant Mat teachers as Dnyaneshwar and Samarth Ramdas. The Inchagiri Sampradaya has become well-known throughout the western world due to the popularity of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj; the mythological origins of the Inchagiri Sampradaya are ascribed to Adiguru Shri Dattatreya. He initiated the Navanaths, the Holy Nine Gurus, the Navanath Sampraday. One of those Navnaths was the 7th or 8th Navnath. Revanath settled on the Siddhgiri hill for ascetic practice, living on whatever the jungle, gave him, he became famous as Kaadhsiddheshwar, "the one who attained supreme realization in a forest". Revananath is considered to have established the Kaadsiddheshwar temple and math called Kaadsiddheshwar Peeth. in the 7th century CE. Other accounts mention a history of "more than 1300 years", the 14th century CE, when a Lingayat Priest established a Shivling at the hill, which became Kaneri Math, nowadays called Siddhagiri Math, It is located on Siddhagiri hill in Kanheri village, Karveer tehsil, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra state, India.
The Siddhagiri Math was established around the Moola-Kaadsiddheswar Shiva temple in the Shaiva-Lingayat tradition. It is a vast campus with the central Shiva temple. In the 12th century the Math came under the influence of Basaveshwar, who established the Lingayat tradition of south India, it is the main Kuldaivat of the Lingayat Shaiva community, its influence exceeding to most of the districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, to some places in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Part of Siddhagiri Math is the "Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum", a wax museum dedicated to Gandhi's ideal of rural life, it was established by the 27th Mathadhipati, H. H. Adrushya Kadsiddheshwar Swami Ji. Revanath initiated Sant Dnyaneshwar. Known as Sant Jñāneshwar or Jñanadeva and as Kadasiddha or Kad-Siddheshwar Maharaj. Dnyaneshwar was a 13th-century Maharashtrian Hindu saint, poet and yogi of the Nath tradition whose works Bhavartha Deepika, Amrutanubhav are considered to be milestones in Marathi literature. According to Shirvaikar, Dnyaneshwar was initiated into the Nath by his older brother Nivrutti, born in 1273.
In a state of extreme distress Vithalpant went to Triambakeshwar with his family for performing worship at the Shiva temple. Triambakeshwar is luminary lingas of Lord Shiva. While they had gone for performing pradakshina of the temple one night they encountered a ferocious tiger The members of the family ran helter skelter and were dispersed. Nivrutti wandered into a cave in the Anjani mountain where Gahininath, one of the nine Naths was staying for some time, he was attracted towards Nivrutti and in spite of his young age initiated him into Nath sect by initiation of nath panthi'soham sadhana', combination of yoga and dnyana, instructing him to propagate devotion to Shri Krishna. That is; the matter of excommunication did not affect this because the Nath sect does not bother about caste system and though it may be observed it is ignored in spiritual matters. In 1287 Nivrutti initiated his younger brother: Nivrutinath initiated Dnyanadeo into the Nath sect and instructed him to write a commentary on Gita.
Thus we have a unique situation of a fourteen-year-old Guru instructing his twelve-year-old disciple to write something which has become the hope of humanity. Dnyaneshwar died at the young age of 21. Different accounts of the founding of the Nimbargi Sampradaya by Nimbargi Maharaj, the alternate name of the Inchegeri Sampradaya, are to be found. According to several accounts, in 1820 Kadasiddha, or "Almighty "Kadsiddeshwar", appeared as a vision to Sri Gurulingajangam Maharaj" known as "Nimbargi Maharaj". According to a different account, the 22nd or 24th Shri Samarth Muppin Kaadsiddheswar Maharaj initiated Nimbargi Maharaj. According to Frydman, Kadasiddha initiated both Lingajangam Maharaj and Bhausahib Maharaj, "entrusted to their care his Ashram". Accordong to Cathy Boucher, Nimbargi Maharaj's guru was called "Guru Juangam Maharaj", she mentions "a yogi who gave a mantra and told him to meditate on it". Nimbargi belonged to a Nellawai sub-caste of the Lingayat caste. According to Boucher, It is significant that some of the founders of the Navnath Sampradaya are Lingayat or Virasaiva because this was a revolutionary movement, allowing people of all walks of life, both sexes to find Shiva immanent within themselves.
Part of this democratizing movement, I believe, is a reaction of Western India's contact with Islam, which embraces people of all class and gender. The iconoclasm, at the heart of Virasaivism comes down to us in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as something we can relate to; the breaking down of taboos, of certain parts of India's spiritual structure makes it possible for us as modern people to partake of these teachings. We do not have to be practicing Hindus, in the traditional sense, in order to hear it; this attitude was most evident in the Satsang room of Sri Nisargaddatta Maharaj. Nimbargi practiced for 36 years, meanwhile living as a householder, was awakened when he was 67; until his death, at the age of 95, he "initiated people and lived the life of a Jivanmukta". According to Kotnis, Bhausaheb Maharj was looked upon as the reincarnation of Sant Tukara
Ganesha known as Ganapati, Vinayaka or by numerous other names, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali and Nepal. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists. Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom; as the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of ceremonies. Ganesha is invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits. Ganesha emerged as a deity as early as the 2nd century CE, but most by the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period, although He inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu mythology identifies him as the restored son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions.
In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesha is the supreme deity. The principal texts on Ganesha include the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. Brahma Purana and Brahmanda Purana are other two Puranic genre encyclopedic texts that deal with Ganesha. Ganesha has been ascribed many other epithets, including Ganapati and Vighneshvara; the Hindu title of respect Shri is added before his name. The name Ganesha is a Sanskrit compound, joining the words gana, meaning a group, multitude, or categorical system and isha, meaning lord or master; the word gaṇa when associated with Ganesha is taken to refer to the gaṇas, a troop of semi-divine beings that form part of the retinue of Shiva, Ganesha's father. The term more means a category, community, association, or corporation; some commentators interpret the name "Lord of the Gaṇas" to mean "Lord of Hosts" or "Lord of created categories", such as the elements. Ganapati, a synonym for Ganesha, is a compound composed of gaṇa, meaning "group", pati, meaning "ruler" or "lord".
Though the earliest mention of the word Ganapati is found in hymn 2.23.1 of the 2nd-millennium BCE Rigveda, it is however uncertain that the Vedic term referred to Ganesha. The Amarakosha, an early Sanskrit lexicon, lists eight synonyms of Ganesha: Vinayaka, Vighnarāja, Dvaimātura, Gaṇādhipa, Heramba and Gajanana. Vinayaka is a common name for Ganesha that appears in Buddhist Tantras; this name is reflected in the naming of the eight famous Ganesha temples in Maharashtra known as the Ashtavinayak. The names Vighnesha and Vighneshvara refers to his primary function in Hinduism as the master and remover of obstacles. A prominent name for Ganesha in the Tamil language is Pillaiyar. A. K. Narain differentiates these terms by saying that pillai means a "child" while pillaiyar means a "noble child", he adds that the words pallu and pell in the Dravidian family of languages signify "tooth or tusk" "elephant tooth or tusk". Anita Raina Thapan notes that the root word pille in the name Pillaiyar might have meant "the young of the elephant", because the Pali word pillaka means "a young elephant".
In the Burmese language, Ganesha is known as Maha Peinne, derived from Pali Mahā Wināyaka. The widespread name of Ganesha in Thailand is Phra Phikanet; the earliest images and mention of Ganesha names as a major deity in present-day Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam date from the 7th- and 8th-centuries, these mirror Indian examples of the 5th century or earlier. In Sri Lankan Singhala Buddhist areas, he is known as Gana deviyo, revered along with Buddha, Vishnu and others. Ganesha is a popular figure in Indian art. Unlike those of some deities, representations of Ganesha show wide variations and distinct patterns changing over time, he may be portrayed standing, heroically taking action against demons, playing with his family as a boy, or sitting down on an elevated seat, or engaging in a range of contemporary situations. Ganesha images were prevalent in many parts of India by the 6th century; the 13th-century statue pictured is typical of Ganesha statuary from 900–1200, after Ganesha had been well-established as an independent deity with his own sect.
This example features some of Ganesha's common iconographic elements. A identical statue has been dated between 973–1200 by Paul Martin-Dubost, another similar statue is dated c. 12th century by Pratapaditya Pal. Ganesha has the head of a big belly; this statue has four arms, common in depictions of Ganesha. He holds his own broken tusk in his lower-right hand and holds a delicacy, which he samples with his trunk, in his lower-left hand; the motif of Ganesha turning his trunk to his left to taste a sweet in his lower-left hand is a archaic feature. A more primitive statue in one of the Ellora Caves with this general form has been dated to the 7th century. Details of the other hands are difficult to make out on the statue shown. In the standa
Nath called as Natha, are a Shaivist sub-tradition within Hinduism. A medieval movement, it combined ideas from Buddhism and Yoga traditions in India; the Naths have been a confederation of devotees who consider Adinatha, or Shiva, as their first lord or guru, with varying lists of additional lords. Of these, the 9th or 10th century Matsyendranath and the ideas and organization developed by Gorakshanath are important, thus Gorakhnath was originator of "Nath Panth. Nath tradition has extensive Shaivism-related theological literature of its own, most of, traceable to 11th century CE or later. However, its roots are in far more ancient Siddha tradition. A notable aspect of Nath tradition practice have been its refinements and use of Yoga Hatha Yoga, to transform one's body into a sahaja siddha state of awakened self’s identity with absolute reality. An accomplished guru, yoga and spiritual guide, is considered essential, they have been known for their esoteric and heterodox practices, their unconventional ways challenged all orthodox premises, exploring dark and shunned practices of society as a means to understanding theology and gaining inner powers.
They formed monastic organisations, itinerant groups that walked great distances to sacred sites and festivals such as the Kumbh Mela as a part of their spiritual practice. The Nath have a large settled householder tradition in parallel to its monastic groups; some of them metamorphosed into warrior ascetics during the Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent. The Nath tradition was influenced by other Indian traditions such as Advaita Vedanta monism, in turn influenced it as well as movements within Vaishnavism and Bhakti movement saints such as Kabir and Namdev; the Sanskrit word nātha नाथ means "lord, master". The related Sanskrit term Adi Natha means first or original Lord, is a synonym for Shiva, the founder of the Nāthas. Initiation into the Nātha sampradaya includes receiving a name ending in -nath; the term ‘’Nath’’ is a neologism for the Shaivism tradition now known by that name. Before the 18th century they were called Yogi. However, during the colonial rule, the term "Yogi/Jogi" was used with derision and classified by British India census as a “low status caste".
In the 20th century, the community began to use the alternate term Nath instead in their public relations, while continuing to use their historical term of “yogi or jogi” to refer to each other within the community. The term Nath or Natha, with the meaning of lord, is a term found in Vaishnavism and in Jainism; the term yogi or jogi is not limited to Natha subtradition, has been used in Indian culture for anyone, devoted to yoga. Some memoirs by travelers such as those by the Italian traveler Varthema refer to the Nath Yogi people they met, phonetically as Ioghes. Nath are a sub-tradition within Shaivism, who trace their lineage to nine Nath gurus, starting with Shiva as the first, or ‘’Adinatha’’; the list of the remaining eight is somewhat inconsistent between the regions Nath sampradaya is found, but consists of c. 9th century Matsyendranatha and c. 12th century Gorakhshanatha along with six more. The other six vary between Buddhist texts such as Abhyadattasri, Hindu texts such as Varnaratnakara and Hathapradipika.
The most common remaining Nath gurus include Caurangi, Carpatha, Kanhapa and Bhartrihari. The Nath tradition was not a new movement, but one evolutionary phase of a old Siddha tradition of India; the Siddha tradition explored Yoga, with the premise that human existence is a psycho-chemical process that can be perfected by a right combination of psychological and physical techniques, thereby empowering one to a state of highest spirituality, living in prime condition ad libitum, dying when one so desires into a calm, blissful transcendental state. The term siddha means "perfect", this premise was not limited to Siddha tradition but was shared by others such as the Rasayana school of Ayurveda. According to Mallinson, "the majority of the early textual and epigraphic references to Matsyendra and Goraksa are from the Deccan region and elsewhere in peninsular India; the oldest iconography of Nath-like yogis is found in the Konkan region. The Vijayanagara Empire artworks include them, as do texts from a region now known as Maharashtra, northern Karnataka and Kerala.
The Chinese traveller, named Ma Huan, visited a part of the western coast of India, wrote a memoir, he mentions the Nath Yogis. The oldest texts of the Nath tradition that describe pilgrimage sites include predominantly sites in the Deccan region and the eastern states of India, with hardly any mention of north, northwest or south India; this Community Also Can Be Found In Some Parts Of Rajasthan But These Are Normal Like Other Castes, Considered As Other Blove Caste. Gorakhshanatha is traditionally credited with founding the tradition of renunciate ascetics, but the earliest textual references about the Nath ascetic order as an organized entity, that have survived into the modern era, are from the 17th century. Before the 17th century, while a mention of the Nath sampradaya as a monastic institution is missing, extensive isolated mentions about the Nath Shaiva people are found in inscriptions and temple iconography from earlier centuries. In the Deccan region, only since the 18th century according to Mallison, Dattatreya has been traditionally included as a Nath guru as a part of Vishnu-Shiva syncretism.
According to others, Dattatreya has been the revered as the Adi-Guru (First
Shakti is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism and 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 manifests herself through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is present in males in its potential, unmanifest form. Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for 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. In Shaktism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva and is synonymously identified with Tripura Sundari or Parvati. David Kinsley mentions the "shakti" of Lord Indra's as Sachi. Indrani is part of a group of seven or eight mother goddesses called the Matrikas, who are considered shaktis of major Hindu gods.
The Shakti goddess is known as Amma in south India in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala 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 curer of diseases, 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, Parvati, Bhuvaneshwari, Meenakshi, Yellamma 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, is considered an early example of a yantra. Kenoyer, part of the team that excavated the stone, considered that it was probable that the stone is associated with Shakti. Shaktism regards Devi as the Supreme Brahman itself with all other forms of divinity considered to be Her diverse manifestations.
In the details of its philosophy and practice, Shaktism resembles Shaivism. However, 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 transcendent, Shiva's worship is secondary. From Devi-Mahatmya: By you this universe is borne, By you this world is created, Oh Devi, by you it is protected. From Shaktisangama Tantra: Woman is the creator of the universe, the universe is her form. 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. Adi Parashakti, whose material manifestation is Parvati and Tripura Sundari, is a Hindu concept of the Ultimate Shakti or Mahashakti, the ultimate power inherent in all Creation; this is prevalent in the Shakta denomination within Hinduism, which worships the Goddess Devi in all her manifestations. Her human or Shakti Svarūpa, was married to Shiva, while her Gyān Svarūpa, weds Brahma and her Dhan Svarūpa, becomes the consort of Vishnu.
In the Smarta Advaita sect of Hinduism, Shakti is considered to be one of five equal personal forms of God in the panchadeva system advocated by Adi Shankara. According to some schools, there are four Adi Shakti Pitha and 51 Shakti centers of worship located in South Asia, they can be found in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. These are called Shakti Peethas; the list of locations varies. A accepted list of Shakti Peethas and their temple complexes includes: Hinglaj Mataji Balochistan Jwalaji Tara Tarini Katyayani Bhadrakali Kamakhya Kali at Kalighat Naina Devi Temple Guhyeshwari Temple Devi Ambaji Vishalakshi Temple Chandranath Temple Other pithas in Maharashtra are: Tuljapur Kolhapur vani-Nashik Mahurgadh There are many ancient Shakti devotional songs and vibrational chants in the Hindu and Sikh traditions; the recitation of the Sanskrit mantras is used to call upon the Divine Mother. Kundalini-Shakti-Bhakti Mantra Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo! Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo!
Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Namo Namo! Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo! Translation: Primal Shakti, I bow to Thee! All-Encompassing Shakti, I bow to Thee! That through which Divine Creates, I bow to Thee! Creative Power of the Kundalini, Mother of all Mother Power, To Thee I Bow!"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 real