People of the Goddess

“Shakta” is a generic term for Indian traditions that honour the all-pervading feminine power (Shakti) and her many aspects and forms (shaktis).

Shaktas picture their Goddess in various ways, and address her by various names. For instance, some picture her as a lion-rider with a fair complexion, and call her Durga. Others picture her as a blue-black dancer, and call her Kali.

Durga and Kali as allies in battle.
Original drawing based on Devi Mahatmya chapter 8. © Colin Robinson 1995.

The word “shakta” is applied not only to persons, but also to sacred places - the shakta pithas - and to texts. It is used both for writings of the tantric class - shakta tantras - and devotional poetry - shakta padavali.

Certainly there are many differences between different forms of the shakta darshana or vision. Yet the word shakta itself implies that the differences aren’t the whole story...

For beautifully presented information about shakta religion, go to

Shakti Sadhana

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