Adi-shakti: Durga Devi - Genesis of Energy

A.K. Goswami, Nadiya

You are in all aspects
The entire universe is manifest in you
Oh universal mother, at thy feet I bow.
Shakti Tatiya

Shakti pooja or worship of the mother goddess has always been very popular throughout history. Archaeological excavations of the Indus Valley civilisation, Harrappa and Mohenjodaro amply substantiate the prevalence and importance of shakti pooja more than 5,000 years ago. Research into the chronological development of civilisation shows that man realised the necessity of energy and strength for survival and self-protection, collectively and individually in the daily pursuit of life. Through energy and strength he gained respect, honour and acclaim in society. Energy dispelled the darkness of ignorance and opened wide the door to vast realms of knowledge and many dormant faculties. With energy and knowledge man achieved success in all material and spiritual endeavours.

Energy is life; without it all animate beings are dead. Since the dawn of creation man has been seeking the source of this energy. The wise men of old realised its significance and sought to benefit mankind by discovering the pathway to this mysterious power. They were tantric sadhakas, proficient in yoga and well disciplined. Having purified themselves physically, mentally and spiritually with yogic kriyas, they were able to activate this immense energy force hidden within them. With great determination they faced rigorous hardships over long periods of time and were ultimately successful in gaining access to the vast, unknown world of spiritual knowledge. These selfless rishis and sages made invaluable contributions to the human race such as the Baiganic (scientific) Tantra, Yoga Shastras, Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads.

By cultivating this power they reached the highest level of spiritual perfection and established a direct communion with Adi-shakti: Durga Devi, the mother goddess. She manifested through, them and appeared in material form whenever required. They perceived her existence everywhere in all animate and inanimate beings. In states of spiritual vision they saw that it was she who created, sustained and destroyed all existing things, so they worshipped her as mother. It is she who conceives everything in her womb and infuses all with life. She rears her creation with great affection like a mother and later comes again as wife and daughter. For amusement she turns this worldly life into an illusive net of transitory comforts and pleasures. Man, whom she endowed with consciousness, wisdom, intellect and power of decision, has the capacity to discriminate and remain detached. But usually he gets caught in her net of illusive pleasure which drags him down into misery. Ultimately on hearing his painful cry, she appears again to salvage him from her worldly snares. For this reason she is called Vishnumaya (illusion of Lord Vishnu). Fortunate are those who are not misled by this illusion and live as her dedicated sons and daughters. They are jivanmuktas (liberated souls).

According to Hindu theology, all women are living manifestations of Adi-shakti, thus they are treated with high regard. Adi-shakti: mother Durga is worshipped by all tantrics as nirguna and saguna brahman (eternal spirit, formless and with form), and shabda Brahman (eternal sound). It is she who redeems all living beings from ignorance, evil and demonic spirits. She is Mahakali, Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati, the life force behind all acts. Gods and men worship her as consciousness, intellect, sleep, hunger, shelter, force, thirst, patience, community, modesty, contentment, regard, lustre, wealth, profession, memory, kindness, mother, contentment, illusion, etc. existing in every living being. Followers of the Vedas worship her as param-brahman or the eternal spirit. Adi-shakti manifests in the male forms of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as their active force. According to tantra she is the causative force which brings forth the universe. From the union of purusha and prakriti or Shiva and Shakti creation emerges; action results from positive and negative forces. At the root of creative force, we find Adi-shakti: Durga Devi, the universal mother. Research scholars agree that energy is the root factor of creation. By splitting the atom, modern scientists harnessed a force powerful enough to devastate the entire world in a couple of minutes. If such a vast force exists within an atom of uranium, then think what a limitless store of energy must be hidden within man, nature's most evolved creation. If we are ever to know the great potential that lies beyond our faults and weaknesses, we must first purify our body and mind and then activate this latent force.

In order to know thyself, know thy power - the kundalini, Adi-shakti. Solicit her energy for salvation of thy soul.