10 Feb Shakti Energy
Shakti energy is a special type of energy specifically linked to the Hindu religion and tantric practices, and as the name implies, Shaktism, a special sect of Hinduism. In Sanskrit, it actually means “power” and the root of the word comes from the verb for “to act”.
According to Hindu beliefs, the cosmic energy of the universe can be divided into two main forms, a masculine and feminine that remain in a balance between each other.
The masculine is personified by the god Shiva and the feminine by the goddess Shakti. Both energies can be found simultaneously in people. The two energies both have different qualities. For example, the masculine is more stable and unchanging with a focus on awareness, whereas the female shakti energy is more fluid and flexible with a focus on creativity and emotion. She is thought to be the creator and destroyer of the world.
It is also claimed that she is the link between one’s mind, body, and soul. The concept of the feminine energy or manifestation as a counter to the masculine is a common theme in Hinduism, as nearly every masculine god in the Hindu pantheon has a feminine consort. In a way, the masculine has no power without the feminine, because Shakti is power itself. The masculine just harnesses and uses the power.
Origin of Concept
It is unclear exactly when Shakti first developed, but one of the first written mentions was about 3,500 hundred years ago in the Rigvedas, however, there may have been physical representations dating back as far as 9000 BCE of a triangle form thought to symbolize a vulva. It can be argued that this was worshipped as a yantra, or mystical diagram.
It has been claimed by scholars that this is in fact a symbol of the female goddess. Despite being worshipped for such a long time, the full scale development of Shaktism did not take place until Medieval times and now how grown to have an extremely large following.
Uses of Shakti Energy
The physical manifestation of Shakti, the goddess Shakti, sometimes called Adi Parashakti, is the basis of one of the main sects of the Hindu Religion, Shaktism. It is especially popular in the North-eastern Indian states of Assam and Bengal. In general, all feminine deities are considered various incarnations of Shakti, or she’s simply called Devi, or goddess.
Shakti Energy: The Feminine Power
Women in Hindu culture are often thought to be human manifestations of this power. Therefore, it can be argued that this gives women a certain level of respect in cultures that have a deep focus on this belief. This could be argued as one of the reasons why women may hold a high status in Indian culture. Even in ancient times, there were female priests and philosophers and it is argued that this comes directly from the idea of femininity being a form of power.
The Serpent Power
In one of its forms, kundalini energy or serpent energy, it lays coiled around the base of our spine. Through different yogas, meditations, exercises, mantra, and breathing exercises, this energy can be unleashed and pulled up through our sushumna channels and brought to its peak at the crown chakra (sahasrara). Once this happens, one often finds themselves in a very pleasurable state called samadhi, where one can let go of their ego and reach full awareness of their true selves. From this point, one can bring their consciousness to other planes connected to the different chakras.
There are some claims that people can use kundalini energy to achieve mystical superhuman powers, but these may just be exaggerations. The most compelling use of this energy is for healing. Though many new age types are exalting its powers to heal a wide variety of ailments, there have been some legitimate studies that show that kundalini energy can be helpful in the treatment of addictions and for breaking bad habits. It is unclear from the studies how much of this effect is specifically due to this energy or just a meditation or yoga routine in general, it still remains a fascinating area of future study.
Harnessing and Building Shakti Energy
One is alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodhana. The basic method is to sit comfortably on the ground and to breath in and out through alternate nostrils, using the thumb of the right hand to close the right nostril and the index and middle fingers of the same hand to close the left nostril. This method is thought to induce relaxation, stimulate energy in the root chakra and third eye chakras, and increase awareness.
It is argued that a loss of Shakti energy can manifest itself as illness, stress, or a general feeling of being drained. Therefore, it’s important to find activities that maintain one’s Shakti energy, such as having alone time, seeking out silent moments, and spending time in nature.
Some claim that Shakti energy grows within people over time and becomes stronger through a regular yoga or meditation practice. When one begins to be aware of the energy growing with them, they can often describe this as a pleasurable experience, leading to a stronger lust for life and better appreciation of sensory experiences.
Like many Eastern traditions, especially from the Indian sub-continent, this concept has been adopted into numerous new age philosophies. Some believe that our bodies, minds, and spirit are all connected though 18 pathways called the Shakti Circuit. Opening this can be empowering and liberating and can cause one to develop similar feelings as described above.
Shakti Energy in the West Indies
The use of Shakti energy is not limited to India or new age thinkers. A lot of Hindu thoughts became exported to the West Indies and Caribbean through trading lanes. Shakti temples exist on many of the islands and they can be of sizes ranging from just shacks to more elaborate buildings. An intermediary will channel the energy of the goddess through them and transmit it to those in need of healing. Such practices can include brushing the patients with neem fronds. They are also encouraged to give confession and afterwards receive advice on how to proceed with full devotion. Even spectators have been known to receive secondary power from the rituals that can be seen as quite cathartic.
14 Sources +
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- The Concept of Shakti: Hinduism as a Liberating Force for Women – http://www.adishakti.org/
- Caribbean Healing Traditions: Implications for Health and Mental Health – https://books.google.hu/
- Rigveda – https://en.wikipedia.org/
- Shakti: The Power Within You – https://kripalu.org/
- The Complete Yoga Book: The Yoga of Breathing, Posture and Meditation – https://www.amazon.co.uk/
- The Power of Shakti: 18 Pathways to Ignite the Energy of the Divine Woman – https://www.amazon.com/
- Early Hinduism (2nd century BCE–4th century CE) – https://www.britannica.com/
- Shaktism – https://www.britannica.com/
- An upper palaeolithic shrine in India? – https://www.cambridge.org/
- Introduction to Kundalini: The Yoga of Awareness – https://www.huffpost.com/
- An Introduction to Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques That Are Specific for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders – https://www.liebertpub.com/
- Evaluation of a Residential Kundalini Yoga Lifestyle Pilot Program for Addiction in India – https://www.tandfonline.com/
- Shiva and Shakti: The Divine Energies Within Us All – https://www.yogapedia.com/
- 4 Steps to Making Your Shakti Shimmer – https://www.yogapedia.com/