Sakti, the Divine Mother Goddess being very important Member of the Hindu Pantheon, commands much respect and worship in India. Saktism influenced the Indian art also in a great respect from first century A.D. ownership-till present day, we find a good number of sculptures of goddesses, the earliest sculpture of the Goddess Durga was found from Mohanzodaro and Harappa, now present in Museum six statues of Kushan Age, preserved in Mathura Museum.
In the concept of Sakti we find a Happy. blending of two elements, one emprical and the other is speculative on the empirical side, the idea of Sakti is associated with the idea of cosmogony.
The present study deals with the intriging problems Pertaning to Saktism. The book present the manifold aspects of this important branch of Indian religion. The idea of Sakti based on 'upanisadic philosophy and propagated by Advaita Vedant including samkara, reaches its hightes culminations in the Tantras where Sakti is identified with Brahman.
Author has a deeper understanding of the subject, sincerity and sublimity in his treatment, the conception of the earth mother is as varied as the degrees of culture attained by separated communities of mankind. So far Indian agricultural myths are concerned we may begin with the earth Goddess of Harappan Culture.
Forth conception of the godhead analogues to that of the Sakti conception of the Goddess, we should travel beyond the countries dominate by the Vedic Aryans. In the Sakta Scheme of Cosmological evolution, the unmanifested Prakriti alone existed before creation.
1. Prof. Pushpendra Kumar, Retired as Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Delhi University, Delhi in the year 2001.
2. First Class first and Gold Medalist in MA. (Sanskrit) Delhi University, Delhi 1958.
3. Ph. D. in Sanskrit in 1967 from Delhi University.
4. Commonwealth scholar and Post-doctoral fellow, London University. London 1970-72 worked on Tara cult. 5. Visited many European countries viz, France, Italy, West Germany, Australia, Holland, Switzerland and Nepal, for higher studies and lectures. 6. Principal Shri Lal Bhadur Shastri Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Delhi 1972-74.
7. Fellow of Royal Asiatic society of Great Britain since 1971. 8. Author of 40 Books and 75 Research
9. In the year 2000 was honored by the President of India by the certificate of Honor for scholarship in Sashit & excellence.
10. General editor on various topics of the Purana Vidya Series, Chief editor U.G.C. Major Research Project on the Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Inscription in 7vols. & Hindu Dharma Shastra 8 vols.
11. (1) Received Delhi Sanskrit Academic Award 1997. (ii)Received award of Sampoornand Sanskrit University and other Institutions.
Saktism is the worship of Sakti or the female principle, the primary factor in the creation and reproduction of the universe. The term Sakti represents female divinity in general and stands for the energising power of some divinity in particular. Sakti, generally, as Siva's spouse is worshipped in many incarnations, of which Devi, Durga and Kat are the best known.
A true Sakta adores her with a view to the acquisition of supernatural faculties through her blessing. Saktism is considered to be an off-spring of Saivism by the many scholars, but it is in fact an independent of the female principle, with some relation to Saivism. From the historical point of view Saktism seems to be a combination of Aryan religion with some Non-Aryan beliefs.
The Saktism produced profound influence on general Indian thought and culture. For the conception of God-head analosus to that of the Sakta conception of the Goddess we should travel beyond the countries dominated by the Vedic Aryans. In the Sakta scheme of creative evolution, the unmanifested Prakriti alone existed before creation. She wished to be create and as a Mother she created Brahma, Visnu and Śiva out her own body. The goddesses lists Ambika, Aparna, Bhadra Kali, Durga, Gauri, Kali, Kaushiki, Uma, Saraswati etc. were Saivite affiliation, but leter on they all had been Identified with the supreme goddess of the Saktas.
Śrī is generally identified with Laksmi, which is an historical reality. She is the wife of Visnu and is also connected with Indra and kubera. She is been worshipped all over India as independent deity or as wife of Vişnu from the earliest times.
In the and other ancient literature the superiority of the goddess is culminated in the form of Brahman, the Ultimate Reality. She is conceived of as the power of Brahman and is also identified with Brahman.
There is one fundamental belief in Hinduism about the all-pervading and all-transcending realities, which is the source and support of everything. Which is the source and support by the Saktas in the form of Sakti. The non-dualistic character of the Male (Siva) and the female (Sakti) herself assumes the two forms of Siva and Sakti. Though the cult of Sakti is highly influenced by the Tantras, yet the Saktism of the Puranas is comparatively simple in nature, and owing to its ceremonial and Daksinacări character the cult was very popular among the masses in the ancient period and still it is a very popular cult in India. Saktism has made a very significant contribution towards the religious intergration in those time of religious biogotism as she was conceived of both, as a Vaisnavi for the Vaisnavas and a Saivi Sakti for the Saivas.
Like the Vaisnava faith, Saktism also laid much emphasis on devotion (Bhakti) as the only means to realise the Absolute ie., Para Sakti. This is the only cult which assures the votaries, the protection from the natural calamities and dangers, and as well as the procurement of worldly luxuries and happiness; lastly it helps them in obtaining the identification with the ultimate Reality.
But in the entire Sakta literature very little emphasis has been laid on the static aspect of the Absolute. It is the dynamic aspect of godhead - the active manifestation of a deity in the form of Divine Energy, with which the Saktas are directly concerned. The Saktas have transformed the Impersonal Absolute into a personal divinity - the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Sakti, or a Divine mother - the source, support and end of the entire empirical universe.
Thus, we can conclude that Saktism has been evidently prevalent in all the ages of our history, but became remarkably popular in the epico-Puranic period, i.e., Ist to 12th cent. A.D. and it is still enjoying a wide respect in all the sections of the society throughout the length and breadth of the country. I hope the study will certainly be fascinating and useful for all.
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