The ENERGY of Bram-han (the Absolute and unchanging), the source of divine eternal Power, is known as Shakti, the Universal Mother. This power is the foundation and sustenance of all that exists and will come to exist.
The manefestation of the Highest Shakti in the form of Adi-Shakti is narrated in the Seventh Skandh, Chapter 31-40 of the Devi Bhagavattam.
It is said, the Devas having become devoid of their lustre due to the atrocities of the demond Tarkasur, sought refuge at the feet of Lord Vishnu. The Lord advised the Devas that only a Mother can tolerate the transgressions of her children and while she becomes lovingly indifferent in guiding you along the righteous path, she is never cruel. Seek forgiveness, attone for your wrong doing and open the doors that once more her grace may be upon you.
It is noteworthy here to say that the Lord stands at our doors waiting for us to let (Him/Her) in. But the guilt created out of our wrong doings seals this door closed and we never open our hearts to receive. If one has done wrong it is time to accept responsibility, attone for it, and Accept the circumstances as they are! When we do this guilt is removed, we forgive ourselves and the doors naturally begin to open. Just sit with yourself in silence, unclutching from every thought that comes to mind. Just imagine you are breaking the thoughts, supress them not, follow them not. You will begin to experience a new awakening.
Anyways, back to the epic....:-)
So the Devas all retired to do severe penance and oblations to the Devi SHAKTI. Having thus become pleased, the Devi appeared as brilliant as a thousand red suns, yet cool and lustrous, but the Devas could not recognise the Devi Bhagavati, and so with heads lowered in humble devotion the compassionate Devi revealled herselfin the chathur-bhuj (four armed) form. Holding the Anghusha (Noose) and the Pasha (Goad) in her upper hands and the mudras of fear not and blessings getures in her lower hands.
Thereof the Devi Adi Shakti spoke to the Devas indicating that she will take avatar as the daughter of Himavan to achieve their purpose.
Swami Paramahamsa explains that the noose is a very small tool used to control such a huge animal like the elephant. In symbolic terms, the proverbial wild elephant is the MIND, ever scattered and restless. The Pasha is our will to bring the mind under control..how you may ask...Swami says by " Unclutching".
The Pasha represents attachment. By nature our thoughts are illogical (just write down your thoughts on paper for five minutes and see how your thoughts jump helter skelter). If you add attachment to thoughts they become engrams in our biomemories. By allowing attachment to continue throughout our lives, our biomemories cause us to act in negative ways, creating our own suffering.
So Devi Adi Shakti is telling us, control the illogical mind; manage your attachment and then the blessings of the cosmos will beckon to give you greatness.
In the fourth chapter of the first Skandh of Shrimad Devi Bhagawattam, Lord Bramha having sprung from the lotus of Bhagwan Vishnu's navel, requests him to explain who it is that he (Bhagwan Vishnu) is engrossed in meditation upon. The Lord Narayan responded:
44-50. Thus hearing Brahmâ's words, Bhagavan Nârâyana spoke :-- “O Brahmân! I now speak out my mind to you; listen carefully. Though the Devas, Dânavas and men and all the Lokas know that You are the Creator, I am the Preserver and Rudra is the Destroyer, yet it is to be known that the saints, versed in the Vedas, have come to this conclusion by inference from the Vedas that the creation, preservation, and destruction are performed by the creative force, preservative force and destructive force.
The Rajasik creative force residing in you, the Sattvik preservative force residing in me, and the Tamasik destructive force residing in Rudra are the all-in-all. When these Saktis become absent, you become inert and incapable to create, I to preserve and Rudra to destroy.
O intelligent Suvrata! We all are always under that Force directly or indirectly; hear instances that you can see and infer. At the time of Pralaya, I lie down on the bed of Ananta, subservient to that Force; again I wake up in the time of creation duly under the influence of Time.
51-54. I am always subservient to that Maha Shakti; (under Her command) I am engaged in Tapasyâ for a long time;
In the eighth chapter of the first Skandh on the question of "Who is to be worshipped?", the following narration occurs:
"The wise persons say, and it is also stated in the Purânas, that the Prime Force is present in Brahmâ as the Creative Force; is present in Hari as the Preservative Force; is present in Hara as the Destructive Force; is present in Kurma (tortoise) and in Ananta (the thousand headed Snake) as the earth supporting Force; is present in fire as the Burning Force, is present in air as the moving Force, and so is present everywhere in various manifestations of forces.
31-51: In this whole Universe, whoever he may be, all are incapable of any action if he be deprived of his force; what more than this, if S'iva be deprived of Kula Kundalinî S'aktî, He becomes a lifeless corpse; O great ascetic Risis! She is present everywhere thus in every thing in this universe from the highest Brahmâ to the lowermost blade of grass, all moving and non-moving things. Verily everything becomes quite inert, if deprived of force; whether in conquering one's enemies, or in going from one place to another or in eating -- one finds oneself quite incapable, if deprived of force.
Thus the omnipresent S'aktî, the wise call by the name of Brahmâ. Those who are verily intelligent should always worship Her in various ways and determine thoroughly the reality of Her by every means. In Visnu there is the Sattviki S'aktî; then He can preserve; otherwise He is quite useless; so in Brahmâ there is Rajasi S'aktî and He creates; otherwise He is quite useless; in S'iva, there is Tamasi S'aktî and He destroys; else He is quite useless.
Thus, arguing again and again in one's mind, everyone should come to know that the Highest Âdya S'aktî by Her mere will creates and preserves this Universe and She it is who destroys again in time the whole Brahmânda, moving and non moving; no one is capable to do his respective work be he Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes'var, Indra, Fire, Sun, Varuna or any other person whatsoever; verily all the Devas perform the respective actions by the use of this Adya S'aktî.
That She alone is present in cause and effect and is doing every action, and be witnessed vividly. The intelligent ones call that S'aktî twofold; one is Sagunâ and the other is Nirgunâ. The people, attached to the senses and the objects, worship the Sagunâ aspect, and those who are not so attached worship the Nirguna aspect.
That conscious S'aktî is the Lady of the fourfold aims of life, religion, wealth, desires, and liberation. When She is worshipped according to due rules, She awards all sorts of desires. The worldly persons, charmed by the Mâyâ of this world, do not know Her at all; some persons know a little and charm others; whereas some stupid and dull-headed pundits, impelled by Kali, start sects of heretics, Pâsandas for the sustenance of their own bellies.
O highly fortunate Munis! In no other Yugas were found acts as prevalent (as) in this Kali Yuga, based on various different opinions and altogether beyond the pale of the Vedic injunctions. Behold again, if Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes'a be the supreme Deities, then why do these three Devas meditate on another One beyond speech, beyond mind and practise, for years, hard austerities; and why do they perform Yajñas (sacrifices) for their success in creation, preservation, and destruction?
They know, verily, the Highest Supreme Being, Brahmâni Devî S'aktî eternal, constant and therefore they meditate Her always in their minds. Therefore the wise man, knowing this firmly, should serve in every way the Highest S'aktî.
O Munis! This is the settled conclusion of all the Sâstras. I have heard of this great hidden secret from Bhagavân Krisna Dvaipâyan. He heard it from Nârada, and Nârada heard it from his own father Brahmâ. Brahmâ heard this from Vishnu.
O Munis it is well that the wise even should not hear or think anything to the contrary from other sources; they should with their concentrated heart serve the Brahmâ Sanâtanî S'aktî. It is clearly witnessed in this world that if there be any substance wherein this conscious S'aktî does not exist, that becomes inert, quite useless for any purpose. So know this fully that it is the Highest Divine Mother of the Universe that is playing here, residing in every being.
Thus ended the eighth chapter of the first Skandha on deciding who is to be worshipped in the Mahapurâna Sri Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Vedavyâsa."