With Dusshera or Dashain around the corner, the importance of Devi surge particularly this season. While certain sect has always maintained their stance on the power of the Goddesses, others need a reminder of the fact that Goddesses stand for the spirituality other than wealth and even knowledge. Adi Shakti is one such concept which stands for much more than just power.
Adi Parashakti means “The Eternally Limitless Power”
As per Shaktism, Adi Parashakti appeared as Divine Pure Eternal Consciousness i.e. Shoonya Bindu, the divine zero feminine energy, which then expresses itself as Prakriti (Universal Nature). Hence Adi Parashakti is Parama Prakriti.
Goddess Lalita Tripura Sundari, the goddess of power, is considered as her Saguna Svarupa (Manifested form). That is, Lalita Tripura Sundari is the truest material form of the Goddess, possessing the three qualities (Sattva, rajas, or tamas). However, the Goddess Adi Para Shakti is also considered to be the truly supreme spirit without form (Param Atman). She is the Great Goddess, and therefore the source of all other goddesses. She is supreme and regarded as the “Absolute Truth” in Shaktism.
Origin of Adi Shakti
It is said that when there was nothing, suddenly a light emerged then that light took the form of Adi Shakti. She had three eyes, carrying Trishul, shield, mace, bow, arrow, chakra, long sword and one hand as Abhaya mudra. She looked here and there but saw nothing. After seeing nothing she took the form of Kushmanda. She was seated on a lioness. When she opened her left eye Mahakali was born. When she opened her third eye Mahasaraswati was born and when she opened her right eye Mahalakshmi was born. Before she opened her eyes she smiled a bit and from the smile, all universes were created.
The Science of Energy
Energy is the basic entity that is a base of all, as of Energy doesn’t require a base. When energy exists even after the destruction of Universe. Science named it, the Dark Energy responsible for the destruction and Vacuum Energy which creates a universe. An energy that exists even after the destruction and before creation is called ZeroEnergy or Sacred Energy. Scriptures like Devi Bhagwata Purana, four Vedas consider Kali as Dark energy which dissolute complete universe along with time. Lalita gives birth to the universe in the form of a cosmic egg which manifested universe. Ultimately, Adi Shakti herself is the Zero Energy which exists even after the destruction of the universe and before its creation.
Evidence in Vedas and other religious texts
One of the earliest evidence of reverence for the feminine aspect of God in Hindu Dharma appears in chapter 10.125 of the Rig Veda, also called the Devi Suktam hymn
I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
Thus gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in.
Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them, – each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken.
They know it not, yet I reside in the essence of the Universe. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.
I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that gods and men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman.
I bend the bow for Rudra [Shiva], that his arrow may strike, and slay the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people, I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their Inner Controller.
On the world’s summit, I bring forth sky the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean as Mother.
Thence I pervade all existing creatures, as their Inner Supreme Self, and manifest them with my body.
I created all worlds at my will, without any higher being, and permeate and dwell within them.
The eternal and infinite consciousness is I, it is my greatness dwelling in everything.
– Devi Sukta, Rigveda 10.125.3 – 10.125.8
The Vedic literature reveres various goddesses, but far less frequently than gods Indra, Agni and Soma. Yet, they are declared equivalent aspects of gender neutral Brahman, of Prajapati and Purusha. The goddesses often mentioned in the Vedic layers of text include the Ushas (dawn), Vac (speech, wisdom), Sarasvati (as a river), Prithvi (earth), Nirriti (Annihilator), Shraddha (faith, confidence).
I am Manifest Divinity, Unmanifest Divinity, and Transcendent Divinity. I am Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, as well as Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. I am the Sun and I am the Stars, and I am also the Moon. I am all animals and birds, and I am the outcast as well, and the thief. I am the low person of dreadful deeds and the great person of excellent deeds. I am Female, I am Male in the form of Shiva.
– Devi-Bhagavata Purana
Importance of Adi Shakti
Adi-shakti: mother Durga is worshipped by all tantric as Nirguna and Saguna Brahman (eternal spirit, formless and with form), and shabda Brahman (eternal sound). It is she who redeems all living beings from ignorance, evil and demonic spirits. She is Mahakali, Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati, the life force behind all acts. Gods and men worship her as consciousness, intellect, sleep, hunger, shelter, force, thirst, patience, community, modesty, contentment, regard, lustre, wealth, profession, memory, kindness, mother, contentment, illusion, etc. existing in every living being.
Followers of the Vedas worship her as param-brahman or the eternal spirit. Adi-shakti manifests in the male forms of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as their active force. According to tantra, she is the causative force which brings forth the universe. From the union of Purusha and Prakriti or Shiva and Shakti creation emerges; action results from positive and negative forces. At the root of creative force, we find Adi-shakti: Durga Devi, the universal mother. Research scholars agree that energy is the root factor of creation. By splitting the atom, modern scientists harnessed a force powerful enough to devastate the entire world in a couple of minutes. If such a vast force exists within an atom of uranium, then think what a limitless store of energy must be hidden within man, nature’s most evolved creation. If we are ever to know the great potential that lies beyond our faults and weaknesses, we must first purify our body and mind and then activate this latent force.
In order to know thyself, know thy power- the kundalini, Adi-shakti. Solicit her energy for the salvation of thy soul.