Excerpts from ‘Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses’
by Dr. David Frawley
Published by Motilal Banarsidas Publishers Private Ltd., Delhi



The meaning

Shakti is the Goddess or cosmic feminine force and is generally translated as power. Whereas the God or cosmic masculine force is worshipped as SHIVA, meaning peace. SHAKTI is the power of peace. It is not power born of violence or aggression. It is power born in passivity, in silence of mind, the energy which comes forth from the void, like life that comes forth from the womb. SHAKTI is not power which is asserted against something, but a power that enlivens everything from within.



In the Shiva-Shakti concept the male is passive and the female is active. Whereas in Buddhist thought the male (Upaya or skill) is active and the female is passive. (prajna or Wisdom). In the Vaishnava tradition Vishnu or Krishna (Consciousness or love), the male force is active, whereas LAXMI or RADHA (beauty or devotion), the female force is passive. However, SHAKTI is the power of wisdom and devotion. SHIVA is the passivity of the will, which accomplishes all things without itself moving. Whether the male or female are active or passive is thus a matter of different roles and levels, not of any fundamental difference between these formulations.



One's own power

In addition, SHAKTI is not an external power but one's own power. To worship the SHAKTI is to take back one's own power, which is to recognize the power of one's own consciousness , the womb in which the energy of enlightenment is born.

SHAKTI is the descent of Divine Grace, which is the power of peace.

Woman has the power and potency to create new life. She has the energy of beauty, delight and creativity. This transformative power of the Divine Mother is the SHAKTI that works behind all changes in the universe.

And brings the human beings to the greatest transformation, which is enlightenment. Our purpose is to energize that SHAKTI dormant within us. By unfolding all the different levels of rhythms of her movement, as she naturally seeks her native abode in the supreme.


The Goddess Speaks

I create the Father of the universe On the summit of the world. My origin is within the cosmic waters, In the universal sea. From there I extend to all the worlds and touch the ridge of Heaven. I blow like the wind Setting in motion all the universe. Far beyond Heaven and beyond this earth extends my greatness. - Vak Ambhrini Rig Veda X.125.7-8

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