Why is goddess Durga Bala called

What is the meaning of the goddess Radha in Shaktism?

RAdhA is not a deity of Shaktism. She belongs to Vaishnavism, where she is worshiped together with Krishna.

In Shaktism the main deities are 1. The Dasa MahAvidyAs (who are worshiped mainly according to Tantras) and 2. Goddess DurgA and her forms such as the Nava-DurgAs (who are worshiped according to PurAnic methods). This group also includes goddess Gauri, AmbikA, AnnapurnA.

Goddess MahAkAli and Shodashi are probably the only exceptions who are worshiped according to both Tantric and Puran methods.

For example, the goddess DurgA is worshiped mainly by PurAnic methods mentioned in Devi BhAgavatam, KAlikA PurAna, and Nandikeswara PurAna.

With that said, RAdhA is mentioned in two Tantra texts under the MahAvidyAs. In the Nila Tantram (which is part of the VishnukrAntA) we find:

TAvattantre bhedabuddhi stavadeva prithak kriyA |
Harihare bhedabudhir jAyate jagadambike ||
KarAlavadanakAli srimad ekajatA shivA |
Shodashi bhairvai bhinnA bhinna cha bhuvaneswari ||
ChinnA bhinna annapurna cha bhinnA cha bagalamukhi |
MAtangi kamalA bhinnA bhinnA vAni cha rAdhikA ||

NilA Tantram 22.9-11.

In these verses, Lord Shiva says that the methods of worship followed by different SAdhakas are different as long as Bhedabuddhi (sense of duality) remains. During such phases, the SAdhaka sees all the deities mentioned (such as Hari, Hara, KAli, TArA, Shodashi, Bhuvaneswari, Bhairavi, AnnapurnA etc.) as different.

In any case, what is important for us is that even RAdhA (or RAdhikA) is mentioned in the list together with the MahAvidyA deities. It is also mentioned in Sammohana Tantram.

But she is still a Vaishnava deity.

In RAdhA Tantram, which deals with her in detail, she is mentioned as Amsha (part) of the Supreme Goddess Tripura as well as Duti (emissary).

Sri rAdhA tripura duti (RAdhA Tantram, Patala 7 verse)

From this answer we also get to know the two main branches of Shaktism, namely Sri Kula and KAli Kula. And RAdhA is not on either of these lists.

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 known to belong 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 belonging to 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 RAdhA or RAdhikA belongs to Vaishnavism and not to Shaktism.



Whatever mantras are on Radha, they are in NArada PancharAtra, which are texts of Vaishnavism. None of the Sri Kula Tantras (such as JyAnArnava, TantrarAja, YoginiHridaya, VAmAkeswara etc.) give RAdhA mantras. None of the Kali Kula Tantras (like GuhyakAli, ShyAma Rahasya etc.) do not give them either. None of the so-called TArA Kula Tantras (such as Nila Tantram, TArA Rahasya, etc.). On what basis should we include them in Shaktism? It is also empirically verifiable that she is worshiped only in Vaishnavism and not outside of it.


I am sorry, but I cannot tell from your answer that Radha is not a Shakta goddess. Her answer shows various quotations from Shkata Purana that support the idea that Radha is a Shakta goddess. Even if your quote from the Niruttara Tantram shows that Radha is not a goddess in either branch, it does not necessarily mean that Radha is not a Shakta goddess, since goddesses like Swapnavati and Madhumati, despite their being, are not actually mentioned that much worshiped there. So is there other evidence that Radha is not a Shakta goddess?

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal

I feel the same Her answer contains various references in which Radha is recognized as a goddess. My question also gives a hint of a Shakta Purana. It would be wrong to assume that she is not a Shakta goddess. We can perhaps sum up that she is a little goddess in Shaktism, but to say that she is just a goddess in Vaishnavism would be wrong according to all the references shared.

Rick ross

Since goddesses like Swapnavati and Madhumati are not worshiped that much either - there are hundreds of such goddesses in Shaktism who are not worshiped much but are still part of it (in Krama). But Radha is not. While it is difficult to prove, it is not always possible to prove a negative. See the empirical evidence, Radha is worshiped elsewhere in Vaishnavism. All goddesses are also part of the Supreme Goddess Lalita. Just like Sarswati and Lakshmi, there are two eyes here. But that doesn't make Lakshmi a Shakta deity, for example. She is just a Vaishnava deity. @ Vick

Rick ross

We can perhaps sum up that she is a little goddess in Shaktism, but to say that she is just a goddess in Vaishnavism would be wrong according to all of the references shared - no, it won't be wrong. She is not worshiped at all in Shaktism. And that's a fact. She is only worshiped together with Krishna in Vaishnavism. As I said before, the 10 Mahavidya deities + Durga and their forms are the only deities of Shaktism. And yes, there are many little deities in Shaktism whose worship is also important, but Radha is not one of them. @ Dr.VineetAggarwal

Rick ross

@ Vick Shaktism is with that Married consort of Lord Shiva . The goddesses worshiped in this sect are all consorts of Lord Shivas of one form or another. For example, even Kamala, who is called Tantrik Lakshmi, has Sadashiva and not Vishnu as wife. Lakshmi, Radha, on the other hand, are consorts of Lord Vishnu or his forms. And Lord Vishnu's consort has no sect of her own dedicated to her. So he only belongs to Vaishnavism. It's actually very easy to understand.