Divine Mother, God as Mother
|Sanskrit Transliteration||Adi Parashakti|
|Affiliation||Divine Mother, Para Brahman, Mother of all Universes|
|Abode||Situated in Mount Meru, Satyaloka (Brahma's abode), Mt. Kailash (Shiva's abode) and Vaikuntha (Vishnu's abode)|
|Mantra||Aim Hreem Kleem|
According to Hindu mythology, Adi Parashakti—the Goddess, Devi—is the Supreme Being and recognized as Para Brahman. She is also known as "Parma" means supreme, "Satya" means the Truth as per many shakta texts. The Devi Bhagwata Mahapurana suggests that Adi Parashakti is the original creator, observer and destroyer of the whole universe.
As per Shaktism, Adi Parashakti appeared as Divine Pure Eternal Consciousness i.e. Shoonya Bindu or Nirgun Brahman, the divine zero feminine energy, which then expresses itself as prakriti(Universal Nature).
Hence Adi Parashakti is Parama Prakriti. Goddess Durga is the original manifested form of Mother Adi-Parashakti. Goddess Durga is Adi- Parashakti herself. Durga or Parvati, the goddess of power and beauty, is considered as her saguna svarupa (human form). That is, Parvati or Durga is the truest material form of the Goddess, possessing the three qualities (Sattva, rajas, or tamas). However, the Goddess Adi Parashakti is also considered to be 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. To bring Lord Shiva in Sansar, she took birth in human form to marry him.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Importance
- 3 Adi Parashakti in Puranas
- 4 Adi Shakti and Modern Science
- 5 Adi Parashakti And Kundalini Shakti
- 6 Association with other deities
- 6.1 Association with Trimurti as their Power/Energy
- 6.2 Association with Navagraha or the material aspects of the nine planets
- 6.3 Association with ten avatars of Lord Vishnu as MahaVidya Shakti
- 6.4 Association with Beings (demi-gods, living beings and demons) as Maya Shakti
- 7 Adi Shakti in Sikhism
- 8 Adi-Parashakti forms
- 9 Worship of Aadi Shakti
- 10 Iconography
- 11 Mythological stories
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
Adi Parashakti means "The Eternally Limitless Power". That is, she is the Power beyond this universe. She is the active energy that both creates and dissolves the entire universe. Some sacred texts state that she is the goddess Bhuvaneshvari.
In the Devi Gita, it is suggested that before incarnating as Parvati, she appeared to King Himalaya and revealed divine, eternal knowledge to him. She explained herself, in the words of the Vedas, as having neither beginning nor end. She is the only, eternal truth. The whole universe is her creation and she is the Para Brahman. She is the only victor and the manifestation of victory itself. She is a manifested (Lord Brahma), unmanifested (Lord Vishnu) and transcendent (Lord Shiva) divinity. She then displayed her scarcely seen form to him: Satyaloka was located in her forehead; the created universe were her hairs; the sun and moon were her eyes; in her ears were the four directions; the Vedas were her words; death, affection and emotion were her teeth; maya was manifested by her smile.
Adi Parashakti in Puranas
Except for Shakta Puranas, Adi Shakti has never been mentioned with the name "Adi Shakti". But indirectly, they also consider her to be supreme being.
Worshippers of Vishnu do not usually talk about Adi shakti directly but they do depict the concept of Maya and Yogmaya, Radha as Mul Prakriti. Vaishnav Scriptures like Vishnu Purana and Bhagwat Purana also don't mention her in detail since both are talking about Mahalakshmi as Radha's expansion, considering Radha as mula prakriti. On the contrary, Brahmanda Purana mentions that Adi parashakti divided herself to purusha and prakritki from single seed. The first seed gave birth to Krishna in masculine and Kali in feminine form. Because they were born from same seed hence considered as cosmic siblings. Kali then converted herself to Lalita Tripursundri, then she gave birth to two bubbles. From one bubble, there arose Vishnu, who gave birth to Lord Brahma and Gowri, who incarnated as Sati then Parvati. Second bubble was of Shiva and Radha. Radha further expanded herself to Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganga.
Adi shakti in Shaiva Puranas
Shiva Purana says Adi Parashakti incarnated in complete materialistic form as Param Prakriti from the left half of Lord Shiva. Linga Purana recommends Adi shakti's sagun swaroop i.e. Parvati assumed the form of Yoni and Shiva assumed the form of Linga and their union brings evolution of life. Skanda Purana and Markandeya Purana talks about Durga or Chandi as divine mother of all creation and truest material form of Adi Shakti. Parvati is Durga by the same above-mentioned scriptures.
Role in creation
In Srimad Devi Bhagwat Purana's 1st book and 4th chapter. Devi ordered and instructed Trimurti as follows:
"I am Adi Parashakti, goddess Bhuvaneshvari. I am the owner of this universe. I am the Absolute Reality. I am dynamic in feminine form and static in masculine form. You have appeared to govern the universe through my energy. You are the masculine form of Absolute Reality, while I am the feminine form of that Reality. I am beyond form, beyond everything, and all the powers of God are contained within me. You must know that that I am the Eternal limitless energy.
She then said: Brahma! You will be generator of the universe; the Goddess Sharada (saraswati)is your consort, my form by which I will be recognized as the goddess of wisdom and the primeval sound. Lord Brahma, this goddess will be with you when you create the universe.
She continued: Lord Narayana! You are the Supreme, Immortal Spirit. You are formless, yet you take form. I assign you to be the preserver of the universe. You will take a different incarnations in order to save this universe's inhabitants. Oh Narayana! You are the Supreme of all the deities with form. You have created Lord Brahma, and Brahma will further create three hundred thirty million other gods and goddesses. My Great Power, goddess Mahakali, has been born from your mystic sleep. You are the Paramatman. Your consort will be goddess Shri, who is none other than the incarnation of my light, as without light, one can neither see nor be seen. When life evolves, you will take the form of Vishnu, the one who will perform the task of observing and preserving this universe.
At Last she instructed: Oh Lord Rudra, the Great Lord, you are the personification of time, which is above all. You will perform the task of destroying and regenerating this universe. When you are formless absolute, time stands still. It is due to my power that you become dynamic and are capable of bringing about the destruction and regeneration of this universe. Your consort is goddess Mahakali, Mahakali is myself , my full form , where laxmi and saraswati just my clone, partial form but due to meditation, you will transcend all my forms. It is then that I will incarnate from your left half in my manifested form. This form will be my truest manifested form. Lord Shiva, she will perform the task of destroying evil and will be your consort. Aum Shakti is used to describe the name of the goddess when she is without attributes. It is hence to consider Adi Shakti as supreme primordial energy. If we analyze all the sacred texts of Indian legends then it is legitimate to consider Adi parashakti as supreme being.
Adi Shakti in Shakta Puranas
The "Devi Bhagwat Purana" says that Shiva worshiped and meditated on Adishakti for thousands of years, using the beej mantra "Kleem". She then incarnated in front of him in the form of Sidhidaatri as such she appeared from the left half of Lord Shiva. The same purana mentions Parvati, the goddess of power and beauty, who is considered her Sagun Swaroop (human form). That is to say Parvati is seen as the truest material form of the Goddess, possessing the three qualities (Sattva, rajas, or tamas). The Goddess Adi Parashakti is also considered to be the truly supreme spirit without form (Param Atman). She is the Great Goddess, and all other goddesses and even all the gods are her various forms, says the Parvati Gita from Shakti Mahabhagwat Purana.
The conclusion to be reached from the above-mentioned scriptures is that Parvati or Durga are the truest material forms of Adi shakti. However Adi shakti is non different Nirguna Brahman, the truly supreme spirit without form.
In Devi Mahatmaye, Trimurti and demigods praises Adi shakti:
Shrishti Sthiti Vnasaham Shakti Bhute Sanatane
Guna Shaye (Devoid of all attributes i.e. Nirgun) Gana maye (Having all the attributes) Narayani Namaustute
Meaning: We bow to the first female (Narayani), The eternal energy who creates, sustains and destroys all the elements i.e. tatva and the one who is truly supreme spirit (Nirgun) at the time who encapsulate all the attributes for Generation, Observation and Destruction.
Adi Shakti and Modern Science
The concept of Adi shakti is very much similar to the modern discoveries in the field of Modern science and technology. Energy is basic entity that is base of all, as of Energy doesn't require a base. This is what when energy exist even after destruction of Universe. Science named it, the Dark Energy responsible for destruction and Vacuum Energy which creates universe. An energy that exist even after destruction and before creation is called Zero Energy or Sacred Energy or Supreme Intelliegence. 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 cosmic egg which later got banged to create manifested universe. Ultimately, Adi shakti her self is the Zero Energy which exist even after destruction of universe and before its creation.
Adi Parashakti And Kundalini Shakti
As we all know that, God lies in all beings in both dynamic and inactive aspect. Inactive aspect of God is Supreme Soul and Active aspect of God is Adi Parashakti. In all living beings God's both activated and Inactivated form lies i.e. God is Omnipresent. As inactive form, God is there as Soul within us and in activated form God is there as Kundalini Shakti, which is epithet of Adi Parashakti.
Kundalini Shakti is basic source of energy in all Living Beings. It is basic source of all powers we use in daily lives. Meditating on kundalini, will bring not only fortune but also can control its emotions and maya.
Association with other deities
Association with Trimurti as their Power/Energy
In Devi Purana, It is written that when different sages were asking the great sage Suta, who have listened the Purana from Lord Krishna himself, that if all the puranas like Shiv Purana, Vishnu Puranas etc. claims that if Trimuti are eternal and nobody is superior to them in this Brahmanda (World) and also that trinity is oneness and oneness is trinity then Please tell us who is Adi Parashakti, whom you are talking about? How she took birth? When she was born. please tell us!
Suta Said There is no one who can answer you this. Since Brahma, Narada and other eternal sages are bewildered by these questions. Some people worship Lord Vishnu having all the powers and the one who is omnipresent. And some claiming Lord Shiva with half body of Parvati is supreme. In Vedas it is written that worship of Sun is the best. They name highest soul Surya as Paramatama. Others claiming that Lord Vishnu is actual expression of all the deities. The Great Brahmins provide three proves called perception, inference, and verbal testimony. But some other Brahmins added 4th proof to them that is resemblance. Another intelligent pandit added fifth proof called circumstances, presumption, implication at last two authors added two more proves called Sakshi and Aitijya. But Vedanta said that Supreme Being and main source of Universe can not be analyzed through these proves. One should have sure reason to claim. All are claiming and repeating one name directly or indirectly i.e. Shakti or Energy. Who is actually omnipresent in all beings. Shakti is there in Highest "Vishnu" to lowest "Insect". If Krishna or Shiva are sarva shaktimaan, then presence of Shakti is first that makes them sarva shaktimaan, hence both Shiva and Vishnu are not base. Shakti is actual Base. We Worship because of energy, we walk because of shakti, we do all the activities because of shakti. So How can "Creation/Preservation/Destruction" be done without shakti. Shakti is required to get a soul into a body, Shakti is required to sustain soul to live, Shakti is required to destroy/release from a Body. Even if Kundalini Shakti be deprived from Lord Shiva then He will be a Corpse. 
Adi Shakti is regarded as the one who can control all the nine planets. She divides herself to Material Shakti i.e. Durga who splits herself to operate nine planets to maintain cosmic order, Vidya Shakti i.e. Kali as source for 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Maya Shakti, to delude the beings to illusion and also promotes the beings to Ultimate God. As Durga Shakti She is the one who splits herself to NavaDurga provides direction and energy to all planets.
- Sun is Governed by Kushmanda Shakti.
- Mahagauri operates Rahu.
- Kaalratri governs Shani.
- Ketu is governed by Goddess Sidhidhaatri.
- Provider of Knowledge i.e. Bhrasapati is governed by Goddess Katyayini
- Provider of All Fortunes i.e. Mangal is governed by Goddess Brahmacharini
- The effect of moon is overcome by Goddess Shailputri
- Budh Planet is governed by Goddess Skandmata
- Shukra Planet is operated by Goddess Chandraghanta
By this contrast Goddess Adi Shakti controls Nava Greh. Worshipping the nine goddess in Navaratri or Nine nights of mataji, saves you from dangerous effects of planets.
Association with ten avatars of Lord Vishnu as MahaVidya Shakti
As told above, Adi Shakti has divided herself to Material Shakti (Durga or Parvati), Kali (Vidya Shakti) and Yog Maya (as Mayashakti). As Vidya Shakti she splits herself to 10 kinds of eternal knowledge also known as 10 Mahavidya. The ten goddesses are known as wisdom goddesses. As per tantras these ten goddesses are original source of ten incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
- From Dhumavati, Lord Mastsya was incarnated
- From BaglaMukhi, Lord Kurma was incarnated
- From Bhairavi, Lord Varaha was incarnated
- From Chinnamasta, Lord Narsingh was incarnated
- From TripurSundari, Lord Vaamna was incarnated
- from Matangi, Lord Parshurama was incarnated
- From Tara, Lord Rama was incarnated
- From Kali, Lord Krishna was incarnated
- From Kamala, Lord Buddha was incarnated
- From Bhuvaneshvari, Lord Kalki will be incarnated
The information is sourced from Sri Devi Bhagwata Mahapurana.
Association with Beings (demi-gods, living beings and demons) as Maya Shakti
Goddess Adi Shakti lastly splits up as Maya, Mahamaya and Yogmaya. It is she who actually creates three kinds of Maya such that One subordinate another. In this respect, we have Yogmaya, Mahamaya and Maya.
She is the one who actually creates maya on gods and teach them what to do and what not to do so that they can be connected to ultimate GOD. She helped Lord Mahavishnu slay the demons Madhu and Kaitabha to save the world. Moreover, she is also the one that who takes Lord Vishnu to mystic Sleep hence called Yog Nindra of Lord Narayana. It is required by yogis, sages and bhaktas so that they can be connected to GOD.
She is the goddess that destroys the upfold of illusion. She is the one that creates and destroys maya. She is controlled by Yogmaya and hence subordinate to YogMaya and senior to Maya. She emerges as seven mothers to destroy evil forces of Shumbha and Nishumbha, Being Chamunda one of them. She is required to gain physical strength, health, satvik attributes and demotes anger, greed and arrogance.
She is the one who delude living beings from GOD and takes any being to the world of illusion. She promotes greed, anger, and arrogance. It is assumed that in the Age of Kali Yug. Her effect is highest.
The conclusion to be reached from the above-mentioned scriptures is that Parvati or Durga are the truest material forms of Adi shakti. However Adi shakti is non different Nirguna Brahman, the truly supreme spirit without form.
Adi Shakti in Sikhism
Sikhism also portrays the concept of Adi Shakti. Difference is in the philosophy. In Sikhism, Khanda, the symbol of infinite Power of GOD is referred as "Adi Shakti", so ultimately GOD is Adi Shakti. Basic theology is same, but they never depict Adi shakti as Female, though they agree on the feminine attributes of Adi shakti. Being female and having feminine attributes are same. Durga or Parvati, who is said to be truest materialistic form of Adi Shakti as per Hinduism, are manifestations of Adi Shakti to destroy demons as said in Chandi di Var. Adi shakti, possessing female attributes also known as Bhagauti, expresses herself as Durga or Parvati, the most powerful deity in Hinduism.
Sikh Meditation quote praising Adishakti:
AdiShakti AdiShakti AdiShakti Namo Sarab Shakti Sarab Shakti Sarab Shakti Namo Namo,
Prithum Bhagauti Prithum Bhagauti, Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti Namo Namo
- Durga or ''Parvati, Sati is the original manifested form of Mother Adi-Parashakti. She is Adi- Parashakti herself who is Energy of ultimate GOD or Para Brahman. The Devi Gita declares her to be the greatest Goddess. Thus, She is considered the supreme Goddess and primary deity in Shaktism, occupying a place similar to Lord Krishna in Vaishnavism. Whatever deity one is worshiping, ultimately, they are worshiping her. She is every other goddess. She is Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati in her mild form; Goddess Kali and Goddess Chandi in her wrathful form.
- Mahasaraswati is the first partial expansion of Goddess Adi Parshakti. She represents the Sattva Guna and is the shakti(not consort) of Lord Brahma. She is the goddess of wisdom, creation, and learning. She is the source of all of the arts. It is she who slew Sumbha and Nisumbha, who are symbols of ignorance. She was created from the body of Mother Parvati and is the embodiment of her hard work, spirituality and devotion. She is also known as Ambika Devi as per Durga Saptashati. She wears yellow clothes when she takes form. When she is without form, she becomes the Primordial Sound.
- Mahalakshmi is the second partial expansion of Goddess Adi Parshakti. She is the goddess of the material world and its preservation. She also brings good fortune and spiritual satisfaction. She is the shakti(not consort) of Lord Narayana and is the bestower of all wealth and pleasure. She wears red Cloth. She was born from Goddess Parvati's mind and later took birth as Katyayani. She is also known as Chandi Devi as per Durga Saptashati. Mother Mahalakshmi is the primary deity of the Raja Guna. When she is formless, she becomes light.
- Mahakali is the third partial expansion of Goddess Adi Parshakti. She is the goddess of spiritual fulfillment as well as presiding over the destruction of the universe. She gives salvation to mankind. She is the shakti and consort of Lord Shiva. She helped Lord Mahavishnu slay the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. She was born from the eyes of Mahavishnu as YogMaya. Mahakali is same as Yogmaya also known as Tamsi Devi as per Durga Saptashati. Mother Mahakali wears blue and presides over the Tamas Guna. When she is formless, she becomes heat.
Various incarnations of Adi Parashakti
- Parvati or Complete Incarnation of Adishakti
Worship of Aadi Shakti
Shaktas claim that It is assumed that Indirectly or directly, Everyone worship her. When, someone is utilizing his/her energy in positive aspects of life then we are worshiping her. Hypothetically Shaktas assume, since, she is absolute Energy, so when we know how to raise our inner energy and knows how to make a balance that energy for our daily work then ultimately, we are worshiping her. To balance Energy for day to day life, people worship there personal gods/God as per their religion, enlighten candles and lamps at home, do good work for society and many more. All these activities either energize them or these activities are method to gain motivation.
Many scholars like Swami Vivekananda prefers meditation as best practice to stop mental impurities as he said Holy meditation helps to burn out all mental impurities and claims that to know one's own energy is best method to worship Divine Mother.
Though core shakta people believe in direct worship of Adi Shakti through dhyan and Smadhi, Tantra and traditional deity worship. While worshiping her through yoga, smadhi, or through Tantra, one needs proper adherent guru, who himself or herself must know all the rules and rituals. If someone who doesn't have proper guru, then one can also worship her mere by singing praise or "aarti" of her and enlightening lamp of "clarified butter" or oil.
Aarti of Adi Shakti
The aarti of Aadi Shakti in Hindi Script is given by
जय आदि शक्ति, मईया जय आदि शक्ति, अखंड ब्रह्माण्ड बनाया, शक्ति रूप धरी ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
प्रथम रूप भुवनेश्वरी, शिव विष्णु प्रगटायो, रचना पालन संघार, तुम कारज दीनो, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
द्वित्य रूप माँ ललिता, शिव की शक्ति बानी , त्रिपुर सुंदरी नामो, जग में हुआ विख्याति, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
तृत्य रूप माँ शारदा, शक्ति ब्राह्मणी भजे, मात्तांगी रूप तू धारी, ज्ञान कला दीनो, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
चत्तुर रूप माँ कमला, धन वैभव प्रदायनी, विष्णु की वैष्णवी शक्ति, लक्ष्मी नारायणी, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
पंचम रूप माँ भैरवी, माँ भूतादिक संगे, सर्व भयभंजनी, माँ जगत कारिणी, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
षष्ठी तू बगलामुखी, माँ सकंटहरणी, पीताम्बर पीतासन, पीत भोजन करनी, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
सप्तम रूप माँ तारा, बाघम्बर धारिणी, योग सीधी प्रदायनी, अतुल तेज धारी, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
अषटम रूप छिनमस्तिका, चिंता मुक्त कीजो, काम क्रोध की भंजनी, माँ चिन्तपुरनी, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
नवमी माँ धूमावती, मोह माया मर्दिनी, कलयुग की तुम दमनी, माँ स्वछंदरी, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
दशम रूप माँ काली, परम ब्रह्म परमेश्वरी ॥ मुक्ति शांति प्रदायनी, माँ जगदीश्वरी ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
उत्तर की कौमारी, दखन की दखयानी, पूरब की महाकाली, पश्चिम की भवानी, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
आदि शक्ति की आरती जो प्राणी गाये, कहत शिवानंद स्वनि, मुक्ति शक्ति पावे, ॐ जय आदि शक्ति ॥
Adi Parashakti's appearance is described in the Kalika Purana, the Lalita Sahasranama, and the Devi Bhagavata Purana. According to the Devi Bhagavata Purana, the Goddess once invited the Trimurti to her celestial abode. The Trimurti saw the goddess sitting on a jeweled seat in a chariot drawn by seven lions. Her face contained the radiance of millions of stars and her celestial beauty was so great that the Trimurti were not able to look at her. They then realized that she was the energy responsible for creating, preserving, and destroying the whole universe.
According to Devi Bhagwat Purana, Adishakti is tridevi - Parvati, Lakshmi, Saraswati - the equal half and eternal beloved consort of trimurti (the three aspects of Godhead). It is her energy that governs this universe. Out of the three, Parvati is her primary form.
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