Many Puranas reference the separation of Shiva and Adishakti in order to create the universe. Adishakti then took many forms (Sati, Parvati, etc.) and each time married Shiva, so they can be united once again. If both entities are so powerful, why did they have to separate in order to create? Why is it that destruction doesn't take place when they unite? Please list any references that support your answer.

  • The ultimate reality is prakāshvimarsaya. Prakāsh is I aspect which is also knows as Shivā. Vimarsaya is 'This' aspect known as Shakti. On absolute level 'I' & 'This' are inseparable & present as undivided unity. During course of manifestation 'I' & 'This' aspect of ultimate reality which is prakāshvimarsaya, must be divided. Māyātattva along with its Kankukas separates 'I' & 'This' on the plane of duality for manifestation. In course of manifestation & under influence of Māyātattva 'I' becomes Purusha & 'This' becomes Prakriti. That's why Shiva has to separate from Shakti for creation. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 16:40
  • And destruction of False perception takes place when they unite. Now, subtility manifests into gross, so these events seem to happen in gross level as well. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 16:42
  • Because in the beginning of time, there was only the single parabramha which split into Shiva and Shakti to start creation. The parabramha had to create from itself. There was no external raw material.
    – user1195
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 13:55

3 Answers 3


Here is basically what i can think of the reasons of separation of Shiva and Shakti for the sake of creation .

Para Shiva+Para Shakti=Parabrahman ,loosely speaking.Actually these two are inseparable entities too.(And that is why we worship the formless Shakti Vishita Parabrahman in the form of a Shiva lingam).

According to Gandharva Tantram,Chapter 40,Verse 4:

NAnyorVidyate Vedo YA Shaktihi Sa Shivo Druvam .

Who is Shakti is Shiva.This is the eternal truth.

Now,this Parabrahman does not have attributes like sex etc.So It is neither a male,nor a female not even a Kliva(Napunsak).

Naiva Stree PumAnesha Na ChaivAyam Napunsakaha.

[Brahman] is neither male,nor female not even a napunsaka.

SwetASwataRopanishat 5-10

Similarly, the Agama Shastras also say:

Neyam Yoshinna Cha PumAn Na Shando Na Jaro Smrito .

[That is] basically neither a female,nor a male and not even a Jara(Napunsak).

But, the act of creation needs a female and a male form.Which is basically why Parabrahman separated itself into Purusha(Shiva) and Prakriti(Shakti).

Now,some Scriptures say that Adishakti creates, from herself the male form(Sadashiva or Kameswara), to continue the act of creation.

For example, the Brahmanda Purana says :

The Lalita Parameshwari so manifested, created a male form from within Herself. His name was Kameshwara................She extended Herself in both male and female forms and continued the process of creation.

Similarly ,the Mahanirvana Tantram describes Adi Shakti creating the male form Sadashiva and all other Gods like Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesha etc from herself:

Sadashiva Uvacha:

TwamAdyA SarvaVidyAnAmasnAkamapi Janambhuhu| Twam JAnAsi Jagath Sarvam Na TwAm JAnAti Kaschana||

All Vidyas(Knowledge) and we all are created from you only. You know everything but nobody knows you.

Mahanirvana Tantram,Chapter 4,Verse 12.

But,there can be verily some other Scriptures as well, which describe the same process from a different perspective.Like Shiva creating Shakti from himself etc.But in any case,the reason for separation is still the same and that is to achieve the objective of creation(Srishti).

However,it is to be noted,that,as per Agama shastras,ShivaShakti is twofold -Saguna(with attributes) and Nirguna(without attributes) , just like Saguna and Nirguna Brahman .

So,its the Saguna Shiva Shakti that separates to create.

ShivaShaktirdvida Devi ! NirguA SagunApi Cha |

NirgunA JyotishAm Brindam Param Brahmasanatani||

Hey Devi ! Shiva Shakti is two types-Nirguna and Saguna.Nirguna [ShivaShakti] is Prabrahmamayi SanAtani(the illumionous and the eternal one).

Niruttara Tantram,Chapter 2.

Now in Shakti Sangama Tantram,Sundari Khanda :

Shiva says:

SaivAham Pumrupena Stree RupenAhameva Hi|

AvAbhyAm Nahi Bhedohasti BhedstvaJyAnasambhavam ||

Devi is me in the form of Purusha and I am Devi in the form of Devi(Shakti).There are no differences between us.Whatever differences are imagined is only due to ignorance(Avidya/Ajnyana).

Similarly,the VAmekaswara Tantram states:

Tripura Trividha Devi BrahmAvishnIshSvarupini .

Devi says to Shiva:

You are not different from me.You are me .Even Brahma and Vishnu are me only.


So,it can also be said,that this so called separation of Shiva Shakti actually does not happen but happens only in Maya.

BTW, the Vedas also have the similar concept in the form of Purusha and Viraja.Will try to add these details later.

  • It is actually difficult to explain the reason. Shiva Purana says Shakti gave her energy to Brahma to create females. But Shakti in nirakara mingled with Shiva. But She is present in Nirakara form even after giving portion to Brahman and Durga Devi was born as Sati. So, we can only call it as their leela.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 10:46
  • @TheDestroyer Yes without doubt its difficult to explain.
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 13:11
  • @Rockross I've explained above from Trikā perspective. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 19:57
  • @Seeker Yes,what i have said is also basically the same..
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 8:32
  • he is asking about creation while separation of shiva shakti. not about who is what gender. @Rickross Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 13:31

I think that in order to create the universe Lord Brahma needed power. So he meditated Goddess of supreme energy or Adi Para Shakti. That's why mother Adi Shakti and Mahadeva had to be separated from each other. And that's the reason she left her Siddhidatri form and took her energy form and immersed herself to create the universe. Because at that time she had no body she incarnated as a human girl name Sati in Daksha Prajapati's house and married Shiva. And you all know the remaining story.

  • 1
    I think Sati Devi was not human. She was a daughter of Prajapati. Add some sources to support what you have said. Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 12:29

First of all...Vedic Hindu Gods are Metaphoric representation of Supreme Truths like The Cosmos, Eternal Energy, Elements, Stages of matter, Nature etc..

So Understanding the literal meaning & Relation is necessary..

  • Para-bhrahma = Highest Supreme (There Exists nothing Before/Beyond it)
  • Aadi-shakthi = First Energy (Eternal Limitless Energy)

    • Gouri = White form of Shakthi(Energy)
    • Kali = Dark form of Shakthi(Energy)
  • Panjabhootha = 5 Elements (Solid,Liquid,Gas,Fire,Emptiness/Aether) (Created from Shakthi & everything existing is a combination of these basic elements)

  • Bhrahma = Beginning

    Partner : Saraswathi = Knowledge/Sound (Learning Follows since Birth)

  • Vishnu = Existence

    Partner : Lakshmi = Wealth/Resource (Wealth/Resource is inevitable for better Existence/Life)

  • Shiva = Non-Existence or End

    Partner : Shakthi = Energy (Everything existing is a form of Energy & When it Ends, it joins Siva)

Sathi/Parvati(Incarnation of Shakthi) is wife of Shankar/Rudra(who resides in Kailasa & is incarnation of Siva)

Literally means.. In the Beginning, Energy & Emptiness separated, creating the Existing universe..!!

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism StackExchange! You should cite some sources. Also note that scientific speculation is not endorsed here.
    – Pandya
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 15:56
  • OP asks reason for Shiva-Shakti separation. But your answer doesn't explain why they separated.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 16:17
  • Question: Many Puranas reference the separation of Shiva and Adishakti in order to create the universe... Why did Siva and Aadishakti have to separate to create the universe? Answer : Puranas says > In the Beginning, Energy & Emptiness separated, creating the Existing universe..!! There is no scientific speculations here... i just gave the literal translation of his question... Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 17:15
  • @RomeroArakkal you should add explanation for why did they have to separate to create universe.
    – Pandya
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 1:54
  • @Pandya !!!? What do you mean by separated..?? Please read my reply first... As i said Vedic Gods are Metaphoric representations... & not human beings to plan for their separation... When the ancient sages/scholars say "Energy & Emptiness separated and universe came into existence" its their theory of " HOW the Universe was Created.." ... There might be stories/myths on WHY it happened... but i don't think anybody can give an Exact reason.. its like asking "why Big-bang" rather than "how".. Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 7:55

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