Shakti Tattva

Definition - What does Shakti Tattva mean?

Shakti tattva is one of the five pure tattvas, which are elements or principles of reality according to Indian philosophy. These tattvas lay the foundations for understanding the nature of the absolute and the universe, especially in Samkhya and Shaivita teachings. As such they can be seen as the steps to moksha or liberation.

Shakti means the the feminine aspect of divine energy especially in its deity form, while tattva is a Sanskrit word for "thatness", "principle" or "reality."

Yogapedia explains Shakti Tattva

Shakti tattva is, like all five of the pure tattvas or suddha tattvas, considered pure because it was directly created by Shiva himself. It is a level of pure and infinite bliss, as it holds the power in which the absolute can experience the joy of its own existence.

Before it is paired with Shakti tattva, Shiva tattva remains in a state of pure consciousness, without any desire, action or knowledge.

The pairing of Shiva and Shakti tattvas is the second of five successive phases that occur in the cosmic process of creation. The union of Shiva and Shakti is necessary for this process, and it instigates the creation of all the tattvas below it.

After the pairing, Shiva-Shakti creates an omniscience which is constantly active. It has two properties, jnana and kriya.

There are either 25 or 36 tattvas in total, depending on the scripture, but the total five suddha tattvas are:

  1. Shiva

  2. Shakti

  3. Sadakhya

  4. Isvara

  5. Suddha vidya

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