- Shakti means energy and power.
- Shakti comes from the Sanskrit roots: Shak: to be able”
- Shakti is the energy that is prevalent in the entire universe. This force represents creation and manifestation.
- Shakti embodies the feminine concept of existence and power that is present in everyone.
Triad goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati and Parvati are the feminine versions of the Trimurti.
Lakshmi represents wealth, fertility, and prosperity.
Saraswati represents learning, arts and cosmic knowledge. Parvati represents power, love, and spiritual fulfillment.
During Navaratri, people fast and offer special prayers to the following ‘9 Forms of Mother Durga.’
When Sati, Shiva’s wife, died, Shiva performed the Tandav Nritya. To stop the destruction, Vishnu’s Sudharsan Chakra cut Sati’s body. The places where pieces of Sati’s body fell are Shakti Peethas.
The Shakti Peethas are important feminine Hindu symbols. Hindus go on a Shakti Peetha pilgrimage to visit temples blessed by the divine feminine.
Prakriti (Nature) in Hindu scriptures is feminine and is represented by the Goddess.
Prakriti is the ultimate basis of the empirical universe and manifests through Purushas (souls).
Many women were instrumental in composing verses in the Vedas.
These rishikas (female rishis) are probably the world’s earliest known female poets. Rishika Vaghambrini authored important shlokas of Vedas such as Vak Suktam.
Gargi and Maitreyi were two of the most significant Indian philosophers. They were renowned Brahmavadinis (knowledge of Brahma Vidya). They had prominent discussions with Sage Yajnavalkya about atman (soul).
Gargi wrote many verses in the Rig Veda and was honored as one of the Navaratnas (9 Gems) in King Janaka’s court
Maitreyi was married to sage Yajnavalkya and continued to pursue philosophy. She symbolizes intellectual Indian women.
NOTABLE HINDU WOMEN:
Both Rani Lakshmibai, Queen of Jhansi, and Rani Chennamma, Queen of Kittur, were the first female freedom fighters to resist the British Raj and embody the essence of the divine feminine.