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  • Manju Sadarangani


Updated: Feb 10, 2021



The Divine Feminine Series

24 x 24

Acrylic & Gold Leaf on Canvas

(December, 2020)

Adishakti means the first supreme-energy. In the Vedas, she is described as having neither beginning nor end, the only, eternal truth. She is a manifested, un-manifested and transcendent divinity. Adishakti is represented here in the verdant green of the Anahata chakra, the seat of compassion, balance, serenity. She is bathed in the purples, violets and magentas of the Ajna and Sahasrara chakras. She is wisdom, intuition and enlightenment.

Underlying Kundalini yoga is the principle of an energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine until it is activated. Vedantic culture specifically describes this energy as a force or power associated with the divine feminine, the formless aspect of the Goddess. The Devisukta is the most studied hymn of the Rigveda and it emphatically declares the ultimate reality is a goddess:

“I have created all worlds at my will without being urged by any higher Being, and dwell within them. I permeate the earth and heaven, and all created entities with my greatness and dwell in them as eternal and infinite consciousness.”

Adishakti is the eternal and infinite consciousness engulfing earth and heaven, and all forms of bliss and non-bliss, knowledge and ignorance come from her.

And yet, all the iconography I find represents female divinity as either hot consort, loving-giving-wish-granting-indulgent-mother, or angry destroying avenging trope. I have historically dug the blood curdling Kali (bring on the Kali Kauvtham!), however I am getting a little tired of the value of women coming from our procreative ability, utility as objects of pleasure, or as founts of extreme emotion. Where is the representation of female wisdom, of meditative, enlightened divinity?

Thus, the Divine Feminine series, and the calm meditative blissful Adishakti.

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