In the Devi Mahatmyam of Màrkandeya Purana, the glories and prowess of Shakti areexemplified and chanted. She is called
(Supreme Immeasurable Power which no other power could counter),
(Cosmic Slumber or Night wherethere is no creation),
(Cosmic Illusion Power which makes the universe possible, the Cause of all causes).Her Nature is considered as uncreated, original. Her Form is embodied as theuniverse, which she pervades and sustains. Her Function is to accomplish the purposeof the Devas, the cosmic forces acting in accordance with Cosmic Design. Her abodeis
, that is, She is Active Power dwelling in the seeing of Supreme Being, the One who remains after dissolution of everything (haram) byShakti. During cosmic dissolution, She assumes the Power of Cosmic Absoption or Deep Sleep (
) overpowering the awareness of the Supreme Being andduring cosmic actualisation (day of Brahmà), She is
, the All-pervadingCosmic Power. She is the Shakti which activates the Supreme Being’s will for cosmicmanifestation and She is the Shakti which symbolically puts the Supreme Being tosleep. Such is the significance of
. Everything happens through Her, theCosmic Power, or the Energy Aspect of the Life. It has been said that without Shakti,Being is impotent and without Being, Shakti is barren.To illustrate Shakti’s power and significance, the Chandee relates three main episodes:the slaying of Madhu/Kaitabha, the destruction of Mahishàsura, and the elimination of Shumbha/Nishumbha.