Devi: The Great Goddess
Devi (in Sanskrit and in English)
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Who is Devi
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Mohra of Devi. Lent by a private collection.
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Manifestations of Devi
Manifestations of Devi are celebrated and worshiped throughout India. While there are gods and goddesses universally worshiped in India, nearly every Hindu community has its own specific deity to whom they specially relate. Usually that deity is a goddess as it is always a female deity who protects a village or town and it inhabitants.
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Goddess on a swing. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
The traditional Western formulation of the Hindu trinity in which Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva is the destroyer, observes the Hindu world on the Judeo-Christian model. Brahma is of lesser significance as he cannot act until Vishnu gives him authority to do so. The three dynamic deities are Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi, each of whom encompasses all three divine functions of creation, preservation, and destruction.
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| Who is Devi | Aspects of Devi | Interpreting Devi | Tantric Devi | Sackler Homepage | Acknowledgements |

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
All presented material is copyright © Smithsonian Institution, 1999 except where otherwise noted.