Hinduism is the only major religion in the world which emphasises the worship of God in the form of the female divinity, popularly known as 'Adi Shakti - the Mother Goddess', representing the very essence of life and love. The Mother Goddess is worshipped in various forms - as the Universal Mother, Uma/Parvati/Gauri as the consort of Shiva; Lakshmi as the consort of Vishnu and also as the goddess of wealth and prosperity; Saraswati as the consort of Brahma and also as the goddess of learning; Durga as the destroyer of all evil forces, etc. There are also traditions of worshipping the various manifestations of the Mother Goddess in groups - Nava Durga, Asta Lakshmi, Sapta Matrikas, Asta Siddhis, Dasha Maha Vidya, etc.
Apart from these popular forms, the Devi manifests in many dimensions - as Kaali, the purveyor of time, representing Kriya Shakti - the power of Action; as Lalita, the beautiful goddess of the three worlds, representing Jnana Shakti - the power of knowledge; as Bhuvaneswari, the Queen of the Universe, representing Iccha Shakti - the power of Desire; as Maha Maya - the great seductress, as Moola Prakriti - the primordial nature, etc. Again as 'Nature' she represents both its benign and ferocious aspects - in her 'Saumya' and 'Raudra' forms. In villages throughout India, She is also worshipped as the 'Grama-Devata' - the village protector.
All this has led to the development of a rich and complex theology around the female divinity (Goddess as the highest principle, underlying all creation). Shaaktism considers Shakti as the motive force behind all action and existence in this phenomenal world. Shaakta Sidhanta encompasses nearly a wide variety of views and beliefs, some of them involving the highest forms of philosophical speculation. This book presents a bird's eye view of all these issues in order to give the reader a general understanding about Adi Shakti - the Mother Goddess.