DEVIHindu Goddess of Existence
In India the Great Goddess in general is often referred to as Devi. Devi is the sum of all manifestations or forms of the Mother. All forms be they Lakshmi, Kali, or Durga are forms of Devi. As Jaganmata, or Mother of the universe, she assumes cosmic proportions, destroying evil and ever creating and dissolving universes. She is One and she is many. In some forms she is benign and gentle and in other forms she is dynamic and ferocious.
Aspects of Devi There are many ways we can view the goddess Devi: chronological, religious, or by function. There are six basic categories. Devi is first seen as cosmic force (e.g. Durga, Kali), where she destroys demonic forces that threaten world equilibrium, and creates, annihilates, and recreates the universe. Next, in her gentle, radiant dayini form (e.g. Lakshmi, Sarasvati), she is the gracious donor of boons, wealth, fortune, and success. As heroine (e.g. Sita, Draupadi, Radha) and beloved, Devi comes down to earth and provides inspiring models for earthly women. In this aspect, Devi is then seen as a local protector of villages , towns, and individual tribal peoples, where she is concerned only with local affairs. In her fifth aspect, Devi appears as semi-divine (e.g. Nagini, Sundari) force, manifesting herself through fertility spirits, and other supernatural forms. Finally, she is also represented in women saints and yoginis, who are born on earth but endowed with deep spirituality and other-worldly powers.
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