Devi, Shakti, Divine Feminine, The Mother,
West and East, Hindu, European, Chinese

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Tantra     Yoga

Sarasvati    Lakshmi     Tara     Sophia 

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Research by
Michael P. Garofalo
Valley Spirit Yoga, Red Bluff, California





Goddess Studies
Bibliography, Links, Guides, Resources


Advice for Living the Good Life

Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands Website

Cloud Hands Blog.  By Mike Garofalo.  Online since 2005.  A blog with reflections, notes, suggestions, bibliographies, references, questions and answers, links and quotations about Gardening, Yoga, Mysticism, Walking, Tai Chi, Chi Kung and The Eight Ways.      

The Good Life




Goddess Inspirations


June 1, 2012
Maha Devi Shakti: Lakshmi, Druga, Kali, Parvati, The Mother 


    "Shakti (Devanagari: शक्ति) from Sanskrit shak – "to be able", meaning sacred force or empowerment – is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism.  Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as 'The Great Divine Mother' in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.   Not only is the Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force. Shakti exists in a state of svātantrya, dependence on no-one, being interdependent with the entire universe.  In Shaktism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being.  However, in other Hindu traditions of Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Shakti embodies the active feminine energy Prakriti of Purusha, who is Vishnu in Vaishnavism or Shiva in Shaivism.  Vishnu's female counterpart is called Lakshmi, with Parvati being the female half of Shiva."
Shakti - Wikipedia



"Tantric philosophy also teaches that everything is to be experienced playfully, yet with awareness and a sense of sacredness in every gesture, every sensory perception, and every action. The path of Tantra is a spiritual one, which includes and appreciates the experience of our sexuality and sensuality as a conscious meditation, as a flowing together of the physical, erotic and cosmic energies.  If you were a devoted student of tantric philosophy, you would go through an extensive program of physical, sexual and mental exercises to heighten your sensory awareness."
-   Tantric Philosophy, White Lotus East 



Maha Devi            Kali   



"In the Shaivite tradition, the god's companions (kaulas) are described as a troupe of freakish, adventurous delinquent and wild young people, who prowl in the night, shouting in the storm, singling, dancing and ceaselessly playing outrageous tricks on sages and gods. They are called Ganas, the 'vagabonds', corresponding to the Cretan Korybantes and the Celtic Korrigans (fairies' sons). Like the Sileni and Satyrs, some of them have goat's or bird's feet.  The Ganas mock the rules of ethics and social order. The personify the joy of living, courage and imagination, which are all youthful values. They live in harmony with nature and oppose the destructive ambition of the city and the deceitful moralism which both hides and expresses it.  These delinquents of heaven are always there to restore true values and to assist the 'god-mad' who are persecuted and mocked by the powerful. They personify everything which is feared by and displeases bourgeois society and which is contrary to the good morale of a well-policed city and its palliative concepts.'
-   Shri Alain Daniélou, Shiva and Dionysus (reprinted as Gods of Love and Ecstasy), p. 99



    "Shaktism (Sanskrit: Śāktaṃ, शाक्तं; lit., 'doctrine of power' or 'doctrine of the Goddess') is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead. It is, along with Shaivism and Vaisnavism, one of the primary schools of devotional Hinduism. 
    Shaktism regards Devī (lit., 'the Goddess') as the Supreme Brahman itself, the "one without a second", with all other forms of divinity, female or male, considered to be merely her diverse manifestations. In the details of its philosophy and practice, Shaktism resembles Shaivism. However, Shaktas (Sanskrit: Śākta, शाक्त), practitioners of Shaktism, focus most or all worship on Shakti, as the dynamic feminine aspect of the Supreme Divine. Shiva, the masculine aspect of divinity, is considered solely transcendent, and his worship is usually relegated to an auxiliary role.
    The roots of Shaktism penetrate deep into India's prehistory. From the Goddess's earliest known appearance in Indian paleolithic settlements more than 22,000 years ago, through the refinement of her cult in the Indus Valley Civilization, her partial eclipse during the Vedic period, and her subsequent resurfacing and expansion in the classical Sanskrit tradition, it has been suggested that, in many ways, "the history of the Hindu tradition can be seen as a reemergence of the feminine."
    Over the course of its history, Shaktism has inspired great works of Sanskrit literature and Hindu philosophy, and it continues to strongly influence popular Hinduism today. Shaktism is practiced throughout the Indian subcontinent and beyond, in numerous forms, both Tantric and non-Tantric; however, its two largest and most visible schools are the Srikula (lit., family of Sri), strongest in South India, and the Kalikula (family of Kali), which prevails in northern and eastern India."






Kundalini Shakti Bhakti Mantra

Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo!  Primal Shakti, I bow to Thee!

Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo!  All Encompassing Shakti, I bow to Thee!

Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Namo Namo!  That through which Divine Creates, I bow to Thee!

Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo!  Creative Power of the Kundalini, Mother of all Mother Power, To Thee I bow!


Tantric Prayer

Obeisance to Her
Who is Pure Being, Consciousness, Bliss;
As Power,
Who Exists in the Forms of Time and Space
And All This is Therein,
Who is the Divine Illuminatrix in All Beings. 




Prayer to Maha Devi Lakshmi




"I bow to you, O Mother of All Worlds, O Lotus Born, O Four-Armed Giver of Boons.  
Gently floating on the Shatki Seas, sitting firmly on the Heart of Vishnu.
O Maha Devi, sitting on a pink lotus, thank you for letting us see Your Beauty, elegance, exquisiteness, perfection.
Thank You for showering our soils with abundant rain, and for the millions of petals, flowers, fruits, seeds, nuts. 
Praised be you, Loving Devi, shimmering in golden adornments and wearing a splendid red silk gown.  
You are Shakti, Siddhi, Svadha, Svaha, Sudha.
You are the purifier of this world.
You are the evening, the night, the light, the darkness.
You are Glory, ecstasy, joyfulness, intelligence, and devotion.
You are Sarasvati. 
You are Maha Devi Lakshmi. 
You celebrate with us and You bring to us flowers, baskets of delicious food, a golden pot of coins,
sacred plants, your beauty, your smile, the world as it is right now.   
You are the Knower of Great Truths, the Watcher of the Here and Now. 
O Auspicious One, you fathom the Secret Knowledge and are Supra-Insightful, Supra-Intuitive, Supra-Genius.
You are the Science of the Self, O Devi, and you are the giver of the Fruit of Freedom (Mukti).
Logic, the knowledge of all Vedas, worldly knowledge, and Raja Neeti are all yours.
You are fully filled and are present everywhere in this world within and without your ideal, grandiose, or fierce forms. 
O Devi, who other than You could reside in the Hart of the Him who is the real form of all Yajyas, who is
contemplated by all Gods and Yogis.
O Devi, when you give up these entire Three Worlds, this entire creation goes to destruction, and then You Yourself choose to play with possibilities of an alternative world, compelled to give life anther spin again and again through dozens of Kali Yugas.   
By your grace only, a person gets a Wife, Husband, daughter, son, house, family, prosperity, peace and friends.
Those upon whom You, O Devi, bestow your kindness, they are so favored with good health, prosperity, safety, peace, and happiness.   
You are the Mother of these entire worlds, and the Goddess of Gods. 
Vishnu and You, O Mother, are present everywhere in this moving and unmoving creation. 
Please favor us with continued work, good health, wealth, home, farm, animals, enjoyables, clean water, and food. 
O Vishnu-Vaksha-Stal-Vaasini, help keep us Loving relations with our Wife, Husband, daughter, son, parents, family, spiritual community, alter-egos and friends. 
O Devi, Protect our valuables, books, art, jewelry, personal belongings, and home life.   
O Pure One, your presence moves us to now celebrate purity, kindness, truthfulness, and goodness. 
You help us, O Devi, to become admirable, virtuous, brave, fortunate, full of goodness, and intelligent.
O Devi, even Sri Brahma Ji is not capable of praising Your greatness.
Thus, Maha Devi Lakshmi, may You be satisfied with us and don't ever leave us."
-  Adapted by Mike Garofalo from Lakshmi Prayers, Celestial Timings


June 1, 2012
Maha Devi Shakti: Lakshmi, Druga, Kali, Parvati, The Mother 






"May my insight be unobstructed!  May my knowledge prosper in textbooks, verses, magic books, doctrinal books, and poems.  So be it: mahaprabhave hili hili mili mili.  May it go forth for me by the power of the blessed goddess Sarasvati!  Karate keyure keyurabati hili mili hili mili hili hili."

A mantra (dharani) and petitionary prayer in honor of the Goddess Sarasvati from the Golden Radiance Scripture, circa 400 CE. 

Translated by Miranda Shaw, PhD.  

Buddhist Goddesses of India  By Miranda Shaw.  Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 2006.  Bibliography, notes, index, 571 pages.  ISBN:  0691127581.  VSCL.   Sarasvati mantra on p. 238.  For anyone interested in Buddhist and Hindu Goddesses of India, this scholarly book is an outstanding resource and very stylishly presented. 

Sarasvati (pronounced sah RAS wah TEE) is the Hindu and Buddhist Goddess who is the patron of students, scholars, speakers, musicians, poets, singers, artists, worshipers, and magicians.  Her iconographic images typically include a beautiful woman, with a lustrous white moonglow coloring, and she is holding a stringed instrument, a book, and a rosary.  She is surrounded by flowers, shown near a river or lake, and accompanied by a large bird (a swan, duck, or peacock).  Her main holiday is on the vernal equinox. She is the focus of Sanskrit alphabet rituals.  

"One will become learned in all scholarly treatises.
One will have no problem writing, debating, or teaching.
Any who pursues the five sciences (grammar, logic, art, medicine, and metaphysics),
Clarity of mind, mental stability,
A pleasant voice, and the ability to gladden others
Should practice Sarasvati."
Buddhist Goddesses of India, p. 242

Sarasvati should be the patron Goddess of bloggers.  










Sophia: The Feminine Face of God: Nine Heart Paths to Healing and Abundance  By Karen Speerstra.  Nine Heart Paths to Healing and Abundance.  Studio City, California, Michael Wise Productions, 2011.  Index, bibliography, 340 pages.  ISBN: 9781611250046.  VSCL. 

Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God  By Caitlin Matthews.  New Revised Edition.  Wheaton, Illinois, Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House, 2001.  Index, bibliography, notes, 430 pages.  ISBN:  0835608018.  VSCL. 













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