Adi Parashakti

Adi Parashakti (Sanskrit: आदि पराशक्ति, IAST: Ādi Parāśakti) is considered the Supreme Being in the Shaktism sect of Hinduism. She is also popularly referred to as "Parama Shakti", "Adi Shakti", "Maha Shakti", "Mahadevi", "Mahagauri", "Mahasaraswati", "Mahalakshmi", "Mahakali", Satyam Shakti or even simply as "Shakti". "Parama" means absolute, "Satya" means the Truth as per many Shakta texts.[5] The Devi-Bhagavata Purana states that Adi Parashakti is the original creator, observer and destroyer of the whole universe. It is also believed that Goddess Parvati is the complete and direct incarnation of Adi Parashakti.

Adi Parashakti
The Divine Power
Adi Parashakti (in the form of goddess Tripura Sundari) as celebrated in the Shakta texts Lalita Sahasranama and Soundarya Lahari, seated on the lap of Sadashiva who is on a throne.[1][2]
AffiliationDevi, Parvati, Sati, Para Brahman (Shaktism), Durga, Tripura Sundari
MantraOm ayeem hreem kleem shreem[4]
WeaponPasha, Angusha, Chakra, Shankh, Trishula and others


Adi Parashakti means "First Supreme-Power". आदि ādi literally means "beginning". Shakti refers to a power beyond the physical universe; the term itself comes from the root शक् śak, meaning "to be able," from PIE *ḱak-.


In the Devi Gita, it is suggested that before the incarnation of one of her Shaktis as Parvathi, 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. She is the only victor and the manifestation of victory itself. She is a manifested, un-manifested and transcendent 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.[6]

Adi Parashakti in Hinduism

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. Scriptures like Devi Bhagwata Purana, four Vedas consider Kali as Dark energy which dissolute complete universe along with time. Kushmanda gives birth to the universe in the form of cosmic egg which manifested as the universe. Ultimately, Adi shakti herself is the Zero Energy which exist even after destruction of universe and before its creation.

In Shiva Puranas

Shiva Purana says Adi Parashakti incarnated in materialistic form as Parama Prakriti/Devi Adi Parashakti from the left half of Lord Shiva i.e.Parabrahma Sadashiva or Parashiva during the beginning of the Universe. Linga Purana states that Adi Shakti brings forth the evolution of life in every Universe through the union of every Parvati and Shiva in all of the Universes. Skanda Purana and Markandeya Purana talks about Durga or Chandi as divine mother of all creation and truest material form of Adi Shakti.[7]

In Shakta Puranas

The "Devi Bhaagwata Purana" says that Shiva worshiped and meditated on Adi Parashakti for thousands of years, using the beeja mantra "Hreem". She then manifested one of her Shaktis in front of him in the form of Sidhidaatri from the left half of Lord Shiva. The Goddess Adi Parashakti is also considered to be both the truly supreme spirit without form (Param Atman) and Saguna with form. In her Saguna form she is described as the Mother of the Universe and is residing in Sarvaloka Manidweepa above all of the other Paralokas. She is the Great Goddess, and all other goddesses and even all the Gods are her various forms, says the Devi Gita from Shakti Mahabhagawata Purana.[8] In Devi Mahatmyam, Trimurti and demigods praises Adi Shakti:

Shrishti Sthiti Vinasham Shakti Bhute Sanatane

Guna Shaye (Devoid of all attributes i.e. Nirgun) Gana maye (Having all the attributes) Narayani Namaustute[9]

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 Parashakti in Sikhism

Sikhism also portrays the concept of Adi Shakti. The difference is in the philosophy. In Sikhism, Khanda, the symbol of the infinite power of God, is referred as "Adi Shakti" in Hinduism.[10] Durga or Parvati, one of the Sakthis of Adi Shakti as per Hinduism,[10] are manifestations of Adi Shakti to destroy demons as described in Chandi di Var.

Role in creation

In Srimad Devi Bhagwat Purana's 1st book and 4th chapter. Devi addressed Trimurti as follows:

"I am Adi Parashakti. 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 I am the Eternal limitless energy.

She then said: Brahma! You will be generator of the universe; the Goddess Sharada (Saraswati) is your consort, she 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 (Krishna)! 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 have created Lord Brahma, and Brahma will further create thirty three kind of gods and goddesses. My third shakthi, goddess Mahamaya, has been born from your mystic sleep. Your consort will be goddess lakshmi. Lord Vishnu, this goddess will be with you when you rule/maintain the universe. 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 God, 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, 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 lakshmi and Saraswati just my clone, partial form but due to meditation, you will surpass 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, I will perform the task of destroying evil and will incarnate as your consort". [11]

Association with other deities

Association with Navagraha or nine planets

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.

By this contrast Goddess Adi Shakti controls Nava Graha. 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 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 Matsya was incarnated
    • From Bagalamukhi, Lord Kurma was incarnated
    • From Bhairavi, Lord Varaha was incarnated
    • From Chinnamasta, Lord Narasimha was incarnated
    • From Tripurasundari, Lord Vaamana was incarnated
    • From Matangi, Lord Parashurama 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.[12]

Association with Beings (demi-gods, living beings and demons)

Goddess Mahamaya 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.

Yoga Maya

She is the one who actually creates maya on gods and teaches 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.[13]


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 Yuga, her effect is highest.[14]

The conclusion to be reached from the above-mentioned scriptures is that Parvati or Durga are the truest material forms of Adi shakti.

Adi Parashakti Forms

Lalita tripurasundari is the form of Devi Adi-Shakti who is the ultimate god. Lalita Tripurasundari holds a sugarcane bow, flower arrows, noose, and goad. She came down from her loka above this Brahmanda to destroy Bhandasura and now is living on the top of Maha Meru mountain. Her abode is pictorially represented as Sri Chakra. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva of this Brahmanda are her subordinates and cannot function without her power. Thus, she is considered the supreme Goddess and primary deity in Shaktism as she is the nearest representative of Adi Parashakti. Whatever deity one is worshiping, ultimately, they are worshiping Adi Parashakti. In her gentle, loving, and motherly form, she is Lalita, Parvati, Lakshmi, saraswati, Gauri and so on; Goddess Kali, Durga and Goddess Chandi in her wrathful form. She took various incarnations over a period of time for upholding Dharma, collectively called the Tridevi:

As per the yogis of the highest order, she is the power who resides in the Kundalini in the form of Amba, she is 31/2 coil in size and when the Kundalini is raised from the sacrum bone of every human being by a highly realized soul whose kundalini is also awakened then she rises through the back bone of the human opening all chakras mooladhara, Swadisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddi, Agnya and finally through sahasrara chakras and connects the soul to the all pervading power (or collective consciousness) of the divine

On the three nadis, Ida (Left channel- Tamo guna), Pingala (Right channel-Rajo Guna) and Sushumna (central channel-Sattva guna), the kundalini passes through the central channel balancing all the left and right channel

  • Kali is the third part of Goddess Adi Para Shakti. She is the goddess of power, spiritual fulfillment, time, 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 Maha Vishnu slay the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. It is she who also slew Shumbha and Nishumbha in the form of Durga, who are symbols of ignorance. She is also same as Yogmaya also known as Tamsi Devi and Chandi Devi as per Durga Saptashati. She wears red or black and presides over the Tamas Guna. When Kali is formless, she becomes the sound of Kreem. In her gentler form as Durga, she becomes the sound of Kleem.


Shaktas claim that it is assumed that indirectly or directly, everybody worships her. When, someone is utilizing his/her energy in positive aspects of life then they are worshiping her. Hypothetically Shaktas assume, since, she is absolute Energy, so when one knows how to raise his/her inner energy and knows how to balance that energy for daily work then ultimately, they are worshiping her. To balance Energy for day-to-day life, people worship their personal gods/God as per their religion, enlighten candles and lamps at home, do good work for society and much more. All these activities either energize them or serve as methods to gain motivation.[15]

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.[16]

Though core shakta people believe in direct worship of Adi Shakti through dhyan, Meditation and Samadhi, Tantra, Sri chakra and traditional deity worship. While worshiping her through yoga, Samadhi or through Tantra, one needs proper adherent guru, who himself or herself must know all the rules and rituals.[17] If someone who doesn't have proper guru, then one can also worship her by singing her praise.


Adi Parashakti's appearance is described in the Kalika Purana, the Markandeya Purana-Devi Mahatmya,the Brahmanda Purana-Lalita Sahasranama, and the Devi Bhagavata Purana. According to the Devi Bhagavata Purana, Devi gita. The Goddess once invited the Trimurti to her celestial abode. The Trimurti saw the goddess sitting on a jeweled seat in a throne. 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. She carries the surya mudra, pasha, ankusha and lotus. They then realized that she was the energy responsible for creating, preserving, and destroying the whole universe.

According to the Devi Bhagwat Purana, Adishakti is Tridevi – the equal half and eternal beloved consort of Trimurti (the three aspects of Godhead).

See also


  1. Vasantānanta (Swami.), Nā Irāmaccantiraṉ (1993). Sri Lalita Sahasranamam: Nama-wise Commentary in English with Text in Sanskrit. p. 358.
  2. Śaṅkarācārya; Tapasyananda (Swami.); , Lakṣmīdhara (1987). Saundarya-lahari of Sri Sankaracarya: with text and translation, and notes based on Lakṣmīdhara's commentary. Sri Ramakrishna Math. p. 70.
  3. Sitaramiah, Pavani (1993). Sri Kalahasti Easwara Mahima. Pavani Sitaramiah. p. 90.
  4. Swami Narayanananda (1960). The Primal Power in Man: The Kundalini Shakti. Health Research Books. p. 50. ISBN 9780787306311.
  5. Srimad Devi Bhagwatam, Devi Gita, Brahmand Purana,
  6. "The Devi Gita index". Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  7. Shiva Mahapurana | Gitapress Gorakhpur
  8. Sri Bhagwati Gita | Devi Gita | Sri Parvati Gita – Scribd |
  9. Matri – Dhyan – Anandamayi Ma |
  10. "Divine Mother".
  11. "Hindu Purana - Creation of Universe - Daily News Watch – An Effort to Unite India". DailyNewsWatch. 26 February 2014. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  12. dus-mahavidyas.pdf,,
  13. The Heart of Hinduism: The Eastern Path to Freedom, Empowerment and Illumination. Stephen Knapp. 2005. ISBN 9780595350759. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  14. Srimad Bhagwata Purana
  15. "Why are Gaudiya Vaishnavas so Intolerant?". Arjunananda Gauranga Maharaj. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  16. "Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Meditation". swami vivekananda quotes. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  17. "Shakti Worship and Sri Ramakrishna". Swami Prabhananda. Retrieved 15 December 2014.


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