MAHĀDEVĪ THE GREAT MOTHER – Serpent Power by Arthur Avalon

Some worship predominantly the masculine or right side, of the conjoint male and female figure (Ardhanārīśvara).

Some, the Śāktas, predominantly worship the left, and call Her Mother, for She is the Great Mother, the Mahādevī who conceives, bears, and nourishes the universe sprung from Her womb (Yoni).

This is so because She is the active aspect of Consciousness, imagining (Sṛṣṭikalpā) the world to be, according to the impressions (Saṃskāra) derived from enjoyment and suffering in former worlds.

The quiescent Śiva-aspect is by its definition inert. It is because of this that the Devī is in the Tantras symbolically represented as being above the body of Śiva, who lies under Her like a corpse (Śava).

As the Kubjika Tantra states, it is not Brahmā, Vishnu and Rudra, who create, maintain and destroy but their Śaktis, Brahmāni, Vaiṣṇavī and Rudrānī.

Activity is the nature of Prakriti. For the same reason the female form is represented in sexual union as being above (Viparīta) the male.

When the Devi stands above Śiva, the symbolism also denotes (particularly in the case of Kālī) the liberating aspect of the Mother.

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