Several beliefs in Indian tradition have laid the foundation for some of the earliest Indian philosophies and schools of thought: one of these being that the world is constructed and renewed through the play of creation and destruction, and through this continuous cycle of cohesion and disintegration, dynamic energy is created. This primordial, creative force that gives rise to universes is known as ‘Shakti’, and since the dawn of creation, humans have wondered about this eternal energy.
Shakti, the Feminine Principle, is considered to be the primordial cosmic energy.
Representing the creative principle of existence, Shakti is envisioned as feminine, but manifested through God’s consort. She is regarded as more powerful, creative and continuously productive than her male counterpart. Shakti (Prakriti) is the energy of Brahman that creates, sustains and destroys the phenomenological world.
On every plane of creation, Shakti manifests itself into all forms of matter.
This power is witnessed in all phenomena of life. She is responsible for the growth of all nature. She is the inherent movement of all things. Manifest as the affective ability of all the forces of nature, she is the heat of fire, the brilliance of the sun, the very life force of all living beings. In us, she is seen as the power of intelligence, compassion and divine love.
Different forms reflect a particular aspect of Shakti, which are called upon for specific purposes.
On delving deep into understanding Shakti, we discover that her different forms vary with people, cultures and customs. Some forms embody the maternal and are evoked for prosperity and protection, some embody the powerful warrior and are evoked for success and victory. Some are identified with nature, and some are the personifications of art, literature and culture.
Witnessed in all phenomena of life, absolute bliss is her essential nature.
This power or energy of life also exists within us as the force within the breath - ‘Prana Shakti’. This force consists of three aspects: ‘Iccha Shakti‘ (energy of will or desire), ‘Jnana Shakti‘ (energy of knowledge) and ‘Kriya Shakti’ (energy of action). For any activity we undertake, these three aspects are indispensable.
Shakti | The Collection
For us at Tilfi, Shakti is the creative force that runs through all our endeavours. The artistic spirit that unites our community, gives us the strength and resilience to carry on, even in the face of difficulty to continue producing enduring objects of art, which make the world a more beautiful, aesthetic, joyful place.
Our new collection, Shakti, comes at a time when the world needs to celebrate inner strength and creativity.
Shakti is our interpretation of the immanent and transcendent, divine feminine energy. Expressed through our handwoven textiles, employing a meticulous interplay of silk and zari, ourdrapes delicately scintillate and transform in movement and light. These are luminous tissue sarees that embrace yet liberate, embody strength and sensuality, and capture creativity, vitality and effortless grace. It is an expression of form and formlessness, of the divine feminine that cannot be seen but rather experienced and felt.
Shakti | The Interpretations
The meeting of art and artistry.
As a celebration of creativity and artistic expression, we invited some of India’s finest classical dancers and choreographers to portray their interpretations of Shakti. Witness the mesmerising explorations by these immensely talented personas.
Inspired by the immortal words and vision of a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry, Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, Meenakshi Srinivasan conceived Shakti as an awakening of the divine within oneself. Through the medium of Bharatnatyam, she portrays Shakti as the cause of all things and the light that nurtures life in all its forms. Shakti is further perceived as the power that protects the earth and the great expanse of the sky. Shakti is ‘all that is’.
Meenakshi in a Grey-Yellow Pure Katan Silk Tissue Banarasi Handloom Saree from our Shakti collection.
Bijayini interprets Shakti as part of her 'Let's Sit & Dance Initiative' through Aharya Abhinaya; when objects other than the body & text/music/rhythm are used to enhance the essence of the narrative.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
"I believe everyone should be able to dance. The altered experience of inner joy & freedom that dancing provides should be accessible to all. The most physically challenging part of dance is the work on the legs. But dance is much more than the work with the legs. So here it is, a session of dance for all. No more wishing you could dance because you can dance."
Bijayani embodies and venerates Shakti through physical movements (Angika) adorned in a white saree with a third eye painted on her forehead and a fire and smoke offering, all symbolic of Bengali traditions associated with Durga Puja.
Shakti is conceived as absolutely auspicious, radiating power and energy. She is the force of all creation, preservation and destruction. As the power in all beings, she eternally dwells in and controls the senses and desires born of them. Shakti is the nurturing female principle of supreme virtues.
Bijayini in a White Pure Ektara Silk Tissue Banarasi Handloom Saree from our Shakti collection.⠀
Savitha's piece draws inspiration from flamenco - the duality and allure of power and sensuality. In traditional Indian dance, Shakti is an overt expression. Here, it is an implicit expression.
"‘Shakti’ - Sensuality and strength, the duality of movement and stillness, vitality and fluidity - my dance was inspired by the weave of the Tilfi silk saree…Shakti, the feminine energy in this form glorifies the woman and her eternal resilience."
Savitha in a Light Blue-White Pure Ektara Silk Tissue Banarasi Handloom Saree from our Shakti collection.⠀
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