Devi Adi Parashakti

Parashakti or Adi Parashakti is a deity concept that occupies a prominent place in the common Shakteya Hindu texts. Devi Adi Parashakti is conceptualized as the Supreme Soul in feminine form. The Shakteya Bhagwati worship started from the concept that woman is the basis of creation. It can be seen that women are given a lot of importance in Shakti Puja. Here, feminine is considered as a symbol of strength. It is also considered by some to be a sign of an era in which women gained the upper hand in society.

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According to the Devi Mahabhagavatam, Devi Adi Parashakti, the mother of the world, is the root cause of all the creation, condition and destruction of this universe. These three aspects of Parashakti are Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva . The Shakteyas also assert that this trio derived from the Sattvic, Rajasa and Tamasa qualities of Parashakti. The Devi Bhagavatam proclaims that all other deity conceptions, avatars and life forms are derived from the root Adi Parashakti. Parashakti is the all-pervading and all-knowing energy in Devi Mahatmya. “Bhuvaneshwari” is actually presented in Devi Mahatmya as the embodiment of Adi Parashakti.

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The famous name “Mahamaya” belongs to Bhagwati. Parashakti has forms like Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Sri Parvati, Mahasaraswati. These three bhavas are conceptualized as will-power, kriya (action)-power, and knowledge-power. These are interpreted as motivation to do right actions.

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The word “para” is used in the sense of being beyond all. The word “Adi” is used because God is the cause of everything in the beginning. The word “Shakti” also refers to great strength. The simple meaning of the word Adi Parashakti is “great primordial energy”. Devi Adi Parashakti has names like Vaishnavi, Parameshwari, Jagadambika and Durga.

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Lalitha Tripura Sundari is the wife of Lord Shiva who is Parabrahmamurthy and Adi Deva. The universe was created by the Panchabhutas (the five elements) and Shiva-sat as Ardhanarishvara Shakti. Shiva and Shakti have five faces (creation, status, destruction, blessing and disappearance) – Panchakrityam.

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Sati (Sattvika Swarupini) was born in the lotus flower in the form of the daughter of first Daksha and Prasuti. Later, Devi Adishakti was born as the daughter of Himavan and Menavati with the name Sri Parvati (Prakriti). She became Shiva’s wife again.

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Devi Adi Parashakti, which is Shiva Shakti, has three aspects. Parvati (Sattvika Bhava) awakens the Sattvika Bhava and speaks of Anna, Abhaya and Aishwarya as Gnanambika. Durga (Rajasa Bhava) destroys the vices in man and makes virtue important. Kali {Mahakali , Bhadrakali} (Tamasa Bhava) destroys the evil forces in man and promotes good fortune. Therefore, Kalaratri Bhava has another name as Shubhakari. 

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Lalita Tripurasundari is described in 1000 names in the precious text, Lalita Sahasranama that occurs in Brahmanda Purana.

In Sri Mahadevi Bhagavatam, Lalita Sahasranama, Lalita Trisati and Sankaracharya’s Soundaryalahari, Adi Parashakti is described as Siva Shaktaikyarupini. Mahadevi is the power that always resides in the body of Mahadeva.

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In Devi Mahatmya, Bhagwati, the Adi Parashakti, manifests the Swatika, Rajasa and Tamasa aspects of the Goddess in Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali forms. Moreover, this primordial force is worshipped as Navadurgas, namely, 1. Shailaputri, 2. Brahmacharini, 3. Chandrakhanda, 4. Kushmanda, 5. Skanda Mata, 6. Karthyaani, 7. Kalaratri, 8. Mahagauri, 9. Siddhidhatri etc. that are in nine bhavas. The same force is also worshipped as 7 mothers, called the Sapta Matas and also as 8 Lakshmis called the Ashtalakshmis.

2 responses to “Devi Adi Parashakti”

  1. […] word Devi is derived from Div dhatu in Sanskrit, that has 2 meanings: to lighten up, and to play. So Devi […]

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  2. […] Sahasranamam is a puranic stotra containing a thousand epithets or names of Adiparashakti. This is an important stotra of the Shakta sampradaya. It is unique in that no name is […]

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