The Shakti Initiative is an online clearinghouse showcasing Hindu teachings about and by women, the contributions of Hindu women throughout history, and the role both women and men play in bringing to fruition solutions that are grounded in Hindu teachings to address critical contemporary issues.
Hindus understand the Divine to be both masculine and feminine, as well as neither. Divine energy, shakti, manifests and is worshiped as the Goddess(es) and is seen to be complementary and not in competition with divine masculine powers which manifest as God(s). These magnificent, awe-inspiring feminine manifestations — at once fierce and compassionate, scary and loving, and powerful and gentle — work hand in hand with their equally awe-inspiring male consorts towards upholding dharma (cosmic order), demonstrating for us mere mortals the ideal and strength of symbiotic existence.
In the material realm, the individual soul is eternal and genderless, but when manifested in human form, it takes on in varying degrees both feminine and masculine characteristics. One oft recited prayer reminds us of where the Divine can be honored in our daily lives in our mother and our father: Matru devo bhava pitru devo bhava.
Whether mundane or ethereal, internal or societal, when both the feminine and masculine principles are in balance, we all share in the potential of functioning as a blissful whole.