In Hinduism, Mahadevi (Sanskrit: महादेवी, IAST: Mahādevī) or "Great Goddess" is the goddess or Devi that is the sum of all other devis – an all-encompassing female deity[1] as the consort or complement to an all-encompassing male deity (Deva) or the Ultimate Reality (Brahman) in Shaktism. Mahadevi is considered to be synonymous with Parvati, the wife of Mahadeva (Shiva) due to the strong influence of Shaivism on Shaktism.

Durga Mahisasuramardini.JPG
Mahadevi in the form of Mahishasuramardini Durga
AffiliationDevi, Adi Parashakti, Brahman, Parvati, Sati, Durga
AbodeVaries by interpretation
MantraSarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvaartha Saadhike Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayani Namostute
WeaponSword, Goad, Noose, Shield, scimitar, bow, arrow, trident, thunderbolt, bell, axe, mace
MountVaries by iconographic form
ConsortMahadeva (Shiva)

She is often identified with a specific goddess, the most common being Parvati, Durga, Adi Parashakti, Kali or Mahakali. Adi Parashakti or Mahadevi, the Supreme power, is called Durga Shakti as per Devi Mahatmya.

Mahadevi (as Tridevi) is the supreme force that creates, preserves, and destroys the universe. She is the highest intelligence referred as Brahmavidya. Mahadevi is the soul of the universe and the universe itself. She is the source of wealth, knowledge, forgiveness, peace, faith, fortitude, fame, modesty and mercy. The purans mention her as Nirguna Maheshwari Devi Mahamaya, meaning "the absolute truth", and mother of all. Along with Nirguna form Mahadevi is also mentioned as Sarguna (attributes) and Vagdevi (speech).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tracy Pintchman. Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Identities of the Hindu Great Goddess. ISBN 0-7914-5008-2.


  • Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Identities of the Hindu Great Goddess (ISBN 0-7914-5008-2) Edited by Tracy Pintchman
  • Encountering The Goddess: A Translation of the Devi-Mahatmya and a Study of Its Interpretation (ISBN 0-7914-0446-3) by Thomas B. Coburn
  • In Praise of The Goddess: The Devimahatmyam and Its Meaning (ISBN 0-89254-080-X) by Devadatta Kali
  • The Triumph of the Goddess: The Canonical Models and Theological Visions of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana (ISBN 0-7914-0363-7) by C. MacKenzie Brown
  • The Srimad Devi Bhagavatam (ISBN 81-215-0591-7) translated by Swami Vijnanananda