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SAKTHI means strength, power, feminine energy, it is the feminine manifestation of the divine. The veneration of the various forms of  Shakti  it is widespread in India.

In Tantra the feminine aspect of divine reality represents knowledge in the sense of wisdom ( vidya in Sanskrit).

True Goddess worship involves knowledge, it is not simply outward worship, rather it is an intimate worship similar to meditation. Meditation on the Goddess is a form of spiritual inquiry, a tool for acquiring true knowledge, understood as an integral understanding of reality. It is not the adulation of feminine forms and qualities. Accessing higher knowledge means entering the body of the Goddess and being spiritually reborn. Getting in touch with the Divine Mother and having a personal relationship with her powers allows us to discover the stages of our personal inner transformation.

Dasha Mahavidya means "Ten Great Knowledge" . The Goddesses reveal the internal mechanism of the universe and the psyche. They represent the deepest truths, the truths hidden by our attachment to external forms. Their messages are intoxicating and frightening, representing life itself, but always instructive, especially if one consciously seeks to transcend the ordinary dimension.

The first clear reference to the Ten Goddesses of Wisdom is found in the Shiva Purana . From the Vedas to the Tantras there is an unbroken line of mantric and meditative teachings that place the Goddess at the center.

The Goddess, who represents creation at all levels, possesses this same diversification expressed in her Ten Forms of Wisdom ( Dasha Mahavidya ), and in their different functions:

Kali :  the Goddess of transformation

“Om: Victorious, beneficial and auspicious Kali, you who carry a skull, you are liberation, forgiveness, peace, support of all things, divine and ancestral offering. Tributes to you! Be victorious, O Goddess that all passions destroy! Be victorious, you who eliminate the pains of all beings! Be victorious, all-pervading Goddess. Like the dark night of time, homages to You! " - VI Mahatmya, Argala Stotra 1-2, Markandeya Purana

Tara :  the Salvific Word

“You who are the mistress of the word, the climbing vine that satisfies the desires of the devotee, you who arrange the fulfillment of every undertaking, adorned everywhere with perfect prose and poetry, you who grant fulfillment. You who have three eyes, like the blue lotus flower in bloom, who are an ocean of mercy, please pour your grace on our vision, like an immortal rain of blessings. " - Eight Verses in praise of Tara, (Tarashtakam) 2

Tripura Sundari :  the beauty of the Three Worlds

“She whose eyes are like blooming lotus flowers, who is dark as an autumn cloud laden with rain - we take refuge in Shiva's wife, who possesses three eyes, Tripura Sundari, the Goddess of beauty of the three worlds. She who dwells in a forest of bliss, whose ornaments sparkle of gold, who wears a necklace of splendid pearls, whose mouth is wet with wine, which bestows supreme compassion. She who has immense eyes and travels free throughout the world - we take refuge in Shiva's wife, who has three eyes, Tripura Sundari, the Goddess of beauty of the three worlds. " - Shankaracarya, Tripura Sundari Stotra

Bhuvaneshvari :  the Queen of the Universe

"Among the thousands of Shaktis who, retaining the wealth of perfected perfections, play in the three worlds, Tu Bhuvaneshvari, Queen of the Worlds, have the power of vision that transcends their own full powers, being you creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. . " - Ganapati Muni, Uma Sahasram 7.3

Bhairavi :  the Warrior Goddess

“She who has the color of Fire, resplendent with the fiery power of Tapas, hidden within the fruit of actions, I take refuge in her, the Goddess Durga. Tributes to the wonderful savior who grants liberation. Fire, free us and make us new as we go through the pains that lead to healing. Be for us a vast and prosperous city that brings peace and happiness to the progeny of creative work. Fire, Knower of all births, like a boat that crosses the sea, lead us to overcome all difficulties. Like the sun, chanting with the mind, awaken as the protector of our being " -Mahanarayana Upanishad, Durga Sukta 2-4

Chinnamasta :  the Consciousness beyond the mind

“His hands have no arms, his mouth has no face. She is the eye of the blind. Without hand she models, without mind she knows, without eye she sees. It is the supreme hand of the hand, the marvelous consciousness of the mind, the eye at the origin of the eye. Although his head is severed, it is the support of life. Though its appearance is frightening, it bestows peace. Although she is only a girl, she makes us strong. "

- Ganapati Muni, Prachanda Chandika 9-11, 14

Dhumavati :  the Spirit of the Grandmother

“Perceived as the Void, as the evaporated form of consciousness, when all sleeping beings are dissolved in the supreme Brahman, having devoured the entire universe, the seer poets call it the most glorious and the oldest, Dhumavati. She exists, in creatures immersed in the illusion of the world, in the forms of sleep, lack of memory, illusion and dullness, but for yogis she is the power that destroys thought, Samadhi itself. " - Ganapati Muni, Uma Sahasram 38.13-14

Bagalamukhi :  the Hypnotic Power of the Goddess

"O Mother, the power to stop everything, in the microcosm and the macrocosm, is your single great power of Bagala" - Ganapati Muni, Sahasram 38.17

Matangi :  the Annunciation of the Divine Word

“Mother Matangi, your skin has the dark color of emerald, you who dwell in the forest of bliss, full of joy, lay your gentle gaze on us. Victory to Matanga's daughter, who has the color of a dark lotus flower, victory to the nectar of all songs, victory to her who loves her playful parrot. " - Shyamaladandakam 3-4

Kamalamika :  the Lotus Goddess of Joy (the Tantric Lakshmi)

“We love  Lakshmi, which has the nature of supreme peace and the splendor of pure gold, the form of which is radiant, adorned with fine gold ornaments. We adore Lashmi holding a golden chalice and a golden lotus flower; her hands bestow gold, and she is the original power, the Mother of all, who abides eternally by Vishnu's side. "

- Lakshmi Dhyanam

Taken from "Tantra Yoga" - David Frawley

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The term Kaula is formed by Kula = Shakti and Akula = Shiva. Kaula is the relationship between Kula and Akula, i.e. the harmonious union of Shiva and Shakti.

The Kularnava Tantra is one of the most important texts of the Kaula tradition, it is considered an authority in Tantric literature. The book, which is worthy of careful study by those who want to understand the principles and practice of the tantric way, is presented in the form of a dialogue between the Lord of yoga, Shiva, and his Shakti, the Mother of the universe. The  Kularnava Tantra  it is dedicated to the higher aspect of Shiva, called Ardhanarishvara. This aspect brings together Shiva and Shakti in a single form, and represents the union of the male and female principles,  ida  And  pingala  (ha-tha). Each chapter is called  ullasa  or bliss, referring to the divine nectar enjoyed by those who participate in the union of Shiva and Shakti.

Tantra is a guide to spiritual liberation 'without the limits and constraints' of social religiosity. The meaning of the texts may seem obvious at first glance, but most of them use  a language that must be interpreted, lived and realized at different levels of consciousness. According to tradition, everything has a physical, subtle and transcendent meaning, and the Devi with His  Maya  it can be confusing or enlightening. It is said that the non-pure person, with an animal mentality (pashu), is predisposed to misunderstand the meaning of the texts. The understanding of the hermetic language of the texts is found by going to the root of tantric philosophy, in the practice of Yoga in which it is realized that there is no Shiva without Shakti, because true yoga is the realization of the unity of all things.

Tantra seeks to harmonize the rights of the Spirit with those of Matter. The underlying principle of Tantra is not to reject anything of what God has created, to use every means to raise human consciousness to the Divine. It exhorts man to be aware of the rare privilege that has been granted to him, namely human birth, in which becoming aware of himself offers him the possibility to choose between stagnation and the rapid realization of his own divinity. He is admonished not to get lost in the whirlwinds of transitory excitements and pleasures, and he is also warned of the many false paths that abound in this world.

Orally transmitted in the long uninterrupted chain of sacred tradition, the Kaula doctrine is the supreme one, the most protected from the gaze of the wicked and those who do not have the necessary requisites, it is the most secret way. Not everyone can access Kaula knowledge; before its truth can be revealed, it is necessary to have matured some conditions, in which one gets rid of the deforming elements of ignorance and the ego. Kaula knowledge reveals itself to those who have purified their conscience, to those who are calm, active in the ways of the spirit, to those who are endowed with humility, to those who are devoted to truth.

Taken from "Kularnava Tantra" The way of Ecstasy

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