There are many different sects in Hinduism,like Vaishnavism,Shaivaism and Shaktism.Some sects,like Vaishnavism and Shaivaism,have different branches like Gaudiya Vaishnavism,which glorifies Krishna and not Vishnu as the supreme lord, and Pasupata Shaivaism,which is the oldest school of Shaivaism which is followed by ascetics.Are there any branches/schools of Shaktism as well?


One of the major Tantrik scripture is called the VishnukrAntA. It has within itself several other major Tantik scriptures like Nila Tantram, Niruttara Tantram and many others.

Now, AFAIK, it's only in the Niruttara Tantram, that the Shakti Deities are classified into two groups- Sri Kula and KAli Kula.

Here are the relevant verses:

KAli tArA raktakAli bhuvana mahishamardini |
TriputA tvaritA durgA vidyA prtyangirA tathA ||
KAlikulam smakhyAtam sri kulam cha parama |
Sundari bhairavi bAlA bagala kamalApi cha ||
DhumAvati cha mAtangi vidyA swapnAvati priye |
Madhumati mahAvidyA sri kulam paribhAshitam ||


The ten Goddesses famous as being belonging to the KAli Kula (the family or group of KAli) are- KAli, TArA, RaktakAli, Bhuvaneswari, Mahishamardini, TriputA, TvaritA, DurgA, VidyA and PratyangirA. And the ten Goddesses who belong to the Sri Kula are- [TripurA] Sundari, [TripurA] Bhairavi, BAla [Tripura Sundari], Bagalamukhi, KamalA, DhumAvati, MAtangi, SwapnAvati, Madhumati and MahAvidya.

Niruttara Tantram Patala 1, Verses 6-8.

So, based on this there emerged two different sects. In the KAli Kula, the principle Deities are KAli, TArA, DurgA etc whereas in the Sri Kula they are Goddess LalitA, TripurA Bhairavi, BAlA TripurA Sundari etc.

  • Whoa are RaktakAli, TriputA, TvaritA, KamalA, SwapnAvati, Madhumati and MahAvidya? Given that they are famous, they must have at least one back story each, right?
    – user4627
    Aug 11 '17 at 10:33
  • Raktakali, Rakshakali Dakshinakali are slight variations of Goddess Kali. Triputa, Tvarita are mentioned in some other Agamas too. But they are not that well known like few of the others. Kamala is the 10th mahavidya. She is also called the Tantrik Lakshmi. I don't think i have found any other references of Swapnavati etc apart from that in the given verses. Yes, all the 10 mahavidyas have respective stories of manifestations, arrival tithis etc. I am planning to post a Q-A on this topic but i could manage it till now..@KVickneshvara
    – Rickross
    Aug 11 '17 at 17:12
  • @KVickneshvara I have answered about Goddess Bagalamukhi here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/19333/who-is-bagalamukhi/…
    – Rickross
    Aug 12 '17 at 5:22

According to Wikipedia, Shaktism or Shaktidharma (Sanskrit: Śāktaṃ, शाक्तं; lit., "doctrine of power" or "doctrine of the Goddess") is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead. Its two largest and most visible schools are :

1.Srikula (family of Sri), strongest in South India, the Srikula's best-known school is Srividya
The Srikula tradition (sampradaya) focuses worship on Devi in the form of the goddess Lalita-Tripura Sundari

2.Kalikula (family of Kali), which prevails in northern and eastern India. The main deities of Kalikula are Kali, Chandi and Durga.

The major difference between these two is Srividya largely views the Goddess as "benign [saumya] and beautiful [saundarya]" While in Kalikula's focus on "terrifying [ugra] and horrifying [ghora]" goddess forms such as Kali or Durga.

  • Thank you!However,could you give some examples of the "a nearly endless variety of beliefs and practices" as well?
    – user4627
    Sep 4 '16 at 5:43
  • 2
    @KVickneshvara This answer is more or less correct.However many feels worship of Lalita mahatripurasundari is the supreme sadhana as all Gods are worshipped thereby.One can't worship Srichakra without worshipping the Pancha Devatas (Ganapaty,Shiva,Vishnu,Ambika and Surya) as they are like guarding deities.In Kali Kula Sri Durga is the supreme deity.
    – Rickross
    Sep 4 '16 at 5:55
  • @KVickneshvara to be honest, I had no idea about the endless practices etc. I just copy-pasted the info from Wikipedia. Also, I could not found any ref. to such thing on internet. Hence I am editing that part of my post! Sep 5 '16 at 3:55
  • 1
    You're encouraged to cite some scriptural sources also instead only wikipedia.
    – Pandya
    Sep 6 '16 at 11:07
  • @Pandya Yes, I am aware of that. Its just that I could not found any for this case...and not sure if scriptures can say how many branches are there for Shaktism Sep 6 '16 at 11:29

You must log in to answer this question.