Shaktism is a religion that worships the Shakti or Devi the Hindu Divine Mother and appears in Indian Culture from the earliest days of Indian history. It was considered a cult in the Indus Valley Civilization, was overshadowed during the Vedic period and reappeared during Sankrit time.

It should be noted that many consider the history of the Hindu tradition can be seen as a reemergence of the feminine. It reached what it is today during the Gupta Age (300-700 CE) and continued to grow.

The religion as we know it began with the literature of the Vedic Age; further evolved during the formative period of the Hindu epics; reached its full flower during the Gupta Age (300-700 CE), and continued to expand and develop thereafter.

The most important text is the Devi Mahatmya, composed some 1,600 years ago. Here the various mythic, cultic and theological elements relating to diverse female divinities were brought together in what has been called the 'crystallization of the Goddess tradition.

Other important texts include the Lalita Sahasranama, the Devi Gita, Adi Shankara's Saundaryalahari and the Tantras.

The roots of Shaktism can be seen in a Harappan goddess figurine dated. 3000 BCE.

Thousands of female statuettes dated as early as 5500 BCE have been recovered at Mehrgarh, one of the most important Neolithic sites in world archeology, and a precursor to the great Indus Valley Civilization.

These and other archaeological discoveries compellingly suggest that "the principles of Tantrism, the philosophical Samkhya, the practice of yoga, and present-day Shaktism are among the living features of later Hindu religion traced directly to this pre-Vedic source.

As these philosophies and rituals evolved in the northern reaches of the subcontinent, additional layers of Goddess-focused tradition were expanding outward from the sophisticated Dravidian civilizations of the south.

The "cult of the Female Principle was a major aspect of Dravidian religion," Bhattacharyya notes. "The concept of Shakti was an integral part of their religion and their female deities eventually came to be identified with the Puranic Parvati, Durga or Kali. The cult of the Sapta Matrika, or Seven Divine Mothers, which is an integral part of the Shakta religion, may also be of Dravidian inspiration

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