Coiling of the snake – Chakra – Kundalini – Shakti
Kuṇḍalinī (“coiled one”), in yogic theory, is a primal energy, or shakti, located at the base of the spine. Different spiritual traditions teach methods of “awakening” kundalini for the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment.
The Yoga Upanishads describe Kundalini as lying “coiled” at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. In modern commentaries, Kundalini has been called an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force, or “mother energy or intelligence of complete maturation”.
Kundalini awakening is said to result in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss. This awakening involves the Kundalini physically moving up the central channel to reach within the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the head.
Many systems of yoga focus on the awakening of Kundalini through meditation, pranayama breathing, the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. In physical terms, one commonly reports the Kundalini experience to be a feeling of electric current running along the spine.
Chakra (Sanskrit cakra, “wheel”) is an energy point or node in the subtle body. Various scriptural texts and teachings present a different number of chakras. There are many chakras in the subtle human body according to the tantric texts, but there are seven chakras that are considered to be the most important ones.
Chakras are part of the subtle body, not the physical body, and as such are the meeting points of the subtle (non-physical) energy channels called nadi (nerve, blood vessel, pulse). Nadi are channels in the subtle body through which the life force (prana) (non-physical) or vital energy (non-physical) moves.
Shakti (from Sanskrit shak, “to be able”, meaning “Power” or “empowerment”), also spelt as Sakthi or Shakthi, 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.
Not only is 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 and Shaivism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva, the destroyer, recycler and regenerator of universe and all life, and is identified as Tripura Sundari or Parvati, the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion.
Parvati is the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion. She is the goddess of divine strength and power. She is the gentle and nurturing aspect of Hindu goddess Shakti. She is the mother goddess in Hinduism and has many attributes and aspects.
Along with Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity) and Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and learning), she forms the trinity of Hindu goddesses.
With Śiva, Pārvatī is a central deity in Saivism sect of Hinduism. In Hindu belief, she is the recreative energy and power of Śiva, and she is the cause of bond that connects all beings and a means of their spiritual release. In Hindu temples dedicated to her and Śiva, she is symbolically represented as argha or yoni.
Parvati is the mother of Hindu deities Ganesha and Karttikeya (“son of Kṛttikā”), the Hindu god of war. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the devas and the son of Shiva and Parvati.
The first elaborate account of Kartikeya’s origin occurs in the Mahabharata. In a complicated story, he is said to have been born from Agni and Svaha, after the latter impersonated the six of the seven wives of the Saptarishi (Seven Sages). The actual wives then become the Pleiades.
Kartikeya is said to have been born to destroy a buffalo demon (mahishasura). In later mythology, the buffalo demon became the adversary of Durga (“Invincible”), the principal form of the Goddess, also known as Devi and Shakti.
Durga the mahashakti, the form and formless, is the root cause of creation, preservation and annihilation. She is the intelligence in all beings and is referred to as Chamundhaye.
According to legend, Durga was created for the slaying of the buffalo demon Mahisasura by Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the lesser gods, who were otherwise powerless to overcome him. Embodying their collective energy (shakti), she is both derivative from the male divinities and the manifested representation of their power.
For Vaishnavas Durga is another name/form of Uma or Parvati. This is especially prevalent in the Shakta denomination within Hinduism, which worships the Goddess Devi in all her manifestations. She is Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati in her mild form; Goddess Kali and Goddess Chandi in her wrathful form.
Durga is also called Padmanabha-Sahodari and Narayani, the sister of Lord Vishnu. For Shaivas and Shaktas Durga is the wife of Shiva.
To bring back lord Shiva in Sansar, she was reborn in human form (Sati and Parvati) to marry Shiva. Durga gave birth to his first child Kartikeya. Durga Puja, held annually in her honour, is one of the great festivals of eastern India.
Durga Shakti is the original cause of all the present or past worldly occurrences. The delusion of the supreme soul is otherwise called Shakti (power). From this power, generates all forms of knowledge of the world and it is accepted as vital cause of creation, existence and destruction.
Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, or shakti. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga. The name of Kali means black one and force of time; she is therefore called the Goddess of Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation and Destruction.
Her earliest appearance is that of a destroyer principally of evil forces. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman; and recent devotional movements re-imagine Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. She is often portrayed standing or dancing on her husband, the god Shiva, who lies prostrate beneath her.
According to David Kinsley, Kāli is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess around 600 CE, and these texts “usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield.”
She is often regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, and is closely associated with him in various Puranas. The Kalika Purana depicts her as the “Adi Shakti” (Fundamental Power) and “Para Prakriti” or beyond nature.
In Norse mythology, Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. Literally “concealed place” (compare Old Norse hellir “cave, cavern”), from PIE *kel- “to cover, conceal”.
She may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali.
Ḫaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk, also known as Haik Nahapet, Hayk the Tribal Chief, the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation) was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini or Artinis of Tushpa.
His shrine was at Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”), known as Muṣaṣir (Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake), in Assyrian.
Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.
Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bow and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’.
Caelus or Coelus was a primal god of the sky in Roman myth and theology, iconography, and literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”).
The deity’s name usually appears in masculine grammatical form when he is conceived of as a male generative force, but the neuter form Caelum is also found as a divine personification.
The name of Caelus indicates that he was the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Uranus, who was of major importance in the theogonies of the Greeks.
Caelus substituted for Uranus in Latin versions of the myth of Saturn (Cronus) castrating his heavenly father, from whose severed genitals, cast upon the sea, the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) was born.