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HINDUISM

DEVI

The first form in which the consciousness manifested was Adi Shakti, Gayatri or power. From her emerged everything else. Once the universe was created there was a need for super forces or energies to look after the governance of the world. To perform this role Adi Shakti manifested herself into the trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

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Since the dawn of civilisation, when the primitive men lived in a matriarchal society, the worship of divine mother came into practice. The universal mother is familier to us all from the ancient written records of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and India. She manifest herself in many historical religions of the world, including the most ancient living tradition of Hinduism. Even in the early church the Holy spirit was experienced as feminine, as seen from the writings from some church fathers. In early Judaism, the figure of wisdom is experienced as feminine and the theology of "Shakina" and other references to Isaiah as to the motherhood of God are well known. Lter on as civilisation progressed, the matriarchal pattern gradually faded out. Consequently, there was a change in the concept of God as such; the fatherhood of God was established. But the mother worship persisted simultaneously, and subsequently, a synthetic harmony was developed by the Hindu religion; the people worshipped Sita and Rama; Radha and Krishna together. Now, in today's world there is a new realization to view God as the mother.

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Devi is synonymous with Shakti or the Divine Power that manifests, sustains and transforms the universe as the one unifying Force of Existence. In fact, worship of Devi is not sectarian, it does not belong to any cult. By Drive or Shakti we mean the presupposition of all forms of existential power, the

power of knowledge, of omniscience. These powers are the glorious attributes of God—you may call Him Vishnu or Siva or as you like. In other words, Shakti is the very possibility of the Absolute’s appearing as many, of God’s causing this universe. Shakti and Shakta are one; the power and the one who possesses the power cannot be separated; God and Shakti are like fire and heat of fire.

Devi-worship or Shakti-worship is therefore worship of God’s glory, of God’s greatness and supremacy. It is adoration of the Almighty.


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