Shakti worship or worshipping the female energy forms a very primitive practice of Hinduism. The archaeological excavations of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa have enough evidences to substantiate that the female worship cult has existed in India for more than 5,000 years.
So, what does the Shakti cult worship? What is or rather who is Adi Shakti? Why is She worshipped? There are many question which arises in a person's mind when it comes to worshipping the female Goddesses in Hinduism. So, let us find a few answers here.
Firstly, Adi Shakti means the 'first power'. It is the primitive power which resides in every human being. This power is feminine in aspect. It is the embodiment of creativity, balance and completion. Shakti is a concept or the personification of the divine feminine creative power which gives life all the living beings in the universe.
Secondly, Shakti is responsible for creation and is the agent of all changes that take place in the universe. Adi Shakti is a mysterious psychospiritual force which exists in all beings in the form of Kundalini Shakti. It is independent yet interdependent with the universe.
So, who is Adi Shakti in Her true form and why do people worship Her? Let us find out.
Adi Shakti- Feminine Power
According to the Hindu theology, all women are the manifestations of Adi Shakti. This is because women have the power of creation and without women it would be difficult to sustain life on Earth. Adi Shakti is worshipped in the form of Devi Durga as nirguna (formless) and saguna (with form). She is the source of sustenance for all the beings on Earth who emerge from Her and go back into Her.
Shakti & Shiva
Adi Shakti manifests Herself in the saguna form when She unites with Shiva. She is the source from which Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are said to have originated. Adi Shakti (Prakriti) unites with Shiva (Purusha) to start the process of creation. She is the feminine half of Shiva which helps Him to maintain the balance of universe.
Adi Shakti Resides Within Humans
Adi Shakti or the cosmic energy resides within the humans. This source of energy lies hidden inside the human since birth and it needs to be activated to realise its immense power. The tantras, yoga , spiritual discourses are all directed towards awakening this hidden energy of an individual.
The mantra is said to be the key to unlock the hidden Shakti in ourselves. The mantra is as follows:
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!
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
The Shakti Cult
The worshippers of Shakti are the ones who believe that Adi Shakti is the Supreme Brahman itself. All the other forms which exists in the universe have originated from the divine energy. They worship the feminine energy along with Shiva, who is the masculine unit of divinity.
Thus, Shaktism believes that woman is the creator of the universe, the universe is her form. A woman is the foundation of the world, she is the true form of the body.
Food For Thought
It is quite strange that in a country where the basis of sustenance of life is said to be a woman, is the same country where to be born as a woman is a curse in itself. Isn't it time for some good deal introspection for all of us?
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