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Thus, the all-powerful goddess in these texts is certainly worthy of devoted worship.Subsumed under the umbrella of Shakti are numerous myths dealing with specific goddesses.In the south of India, meanwhile, a cult dedicated to a figure resembling Shakti was a major aspect of Dravidian religion, and eventually came to be identified with the Puranic goddesses Parvati, Durga or Kali (Bhattacharyya 1974).While the Vedic society that superseded the Indus Valley culture was far more patriarchal than its predecessors, the Vedic literature still features a number of significant goddesses including Ushas, Prithivi, Aditi, Sarasvati, Vac, Nirrti, and Ratri.The worship of variosu forms of Shakti was not limited to India's northern kingdoms, and in south India, too, goddess worship was common. 100 ) makes repeated references to the worship of Kali and suggests the prevalence of her cult in South India, putting forth the notion that the various goddesses such as Lakshmi, Saraswati and Parvati are actually representation of one great feminine divine (Bhattacharyya 1974).With the Puranic age came the emergence of the Devi Mahatmya, a section of Markandeya Purana (third-fith centuries CE), which is centred around the goddess (or Devi).There are also number of minor ones, including Puramdhi, Parendi, Raka, and Dhisana.

In this text, the goddess is attributed theological supremacy, and is considered the provider of the primordial energy that: 1) enabled Lord Brahma to create the universe, 2) allows Vishnu to sustain it and 3) will enable Shiva to destroy it (Bhattacharyya 1974).All, however, point in some way to the supreme divine power of the feminine principle.In describing her creation, one particularly famous myth involves shows how Durga, a popular form of the goddess, saved all of humanity from destruction: The crisis began when the demon-king Rambha made love to a female buffalo, creating a son Mahishasura who possessed the ability to oscillate between human and buffalo form.In the concluding stages of the poem, the goddess reassures the gods of her immense power by granting them a boon that dictates that she will deliver the world from danger whenever it is possessed by demonic forces (Bhattacharyya 1974).Shaktism was also bolstered soon after between the fourth and the seventh centuries CE with the emergence of the class of ritual manuals known as the Tantras.

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