Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(3,067 words)

The term śakti stems from the Sanskrit root śak-, “to have power to effect,” with a suffix -ktin, indicating the feminine gender. In general, the term refers to power, strength, or energy. In the religious context, Śakti stands for the Goddess (Devī), or the powers of the deities. From vedic Agni worship to later tantric emanations (see Tantra), the meaning of śakti is consistent as the divine power, inseparable from the power holder. In subsequent development, Śakti is pr…

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Timalsina, Sthaneshwar, “Śakti”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 21 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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