Shakti Meaning

śakti - शक्ति

The feminine aspect of nature known as Cosmic Vibration (1)

Shakti as Universal Creator

Shakti refers to the energy of creation at both macro-cosmic and micro-cosmic scales. (2) In relation to God, or the masculine principle beyond all vibratory creation, Shakti is the universal creative force also known as Maha Shakti. (1)

Shakti encompasses the three gunas: tamo, rajo, and sattva gunas. In the aspects of tamo and rajo gunas, she manifests outwardly as duality. The outward creativity forces one toward delusion, so Shakti in this aspect is cosmic delusion. In the aspect of sattva guna, however, Shakti inwardly orients one toward the divine. (1)

Shakti Worship

One may choose whether to manifest the outward or inward aspects of Shakti. Some people worship Shakti as Satan or Maya, the bringers of cosmic delusion. These people may attain supernatural powers in their diversity but also may lose themselves in deluded consciousness. Other people worship Shakti as Divine Mother in her tender and forgiving attitude. These people drawn by divine love will ultimately realize themselves as one with the divine. (1)

Shakti manifests outwardly as physical nature and inwardly as communion with the divine. Her energy allows human beings to sense and manifest the physical world. When energy falls habitually toward the base of the spine, it tends to express itself outwardly in emotions and actions. This energy known as kundalini also enables human beings to still themselves in meditation, when energy is awakened to rise inward and upward toward the spiritual eye. (1)

Shakti Energy in Women

The dominant feminine energy of Shakti in women allows them to either inspire or tempt men. Shakti manifests as feeling as opposed to reason in people. If a woman manifests emotions that are not centered or reasonable, then she may influence a man to act wildly or unnecessarily. But a woman may also use her emotions to motivate a man to act with reason and consciousness. In a divine partnership, as in the universe, the feminine and masculine energies may act together in harmony or discord. (1)

The Dance of Shiva and Shakti

  1. a b c d e f The Hindu Way of Awakening, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 9, “The Hindu Revelation – Part Two, Duality in the Interrelationship of the Sexes.”
  2. The Hindu Way of Awakening, by Swami Kriyananda. pp.174-175