Shakti is power in its most elemental form. She is the female force that powers and animates the male. If Brahma is creator of the universe, Durga is the manifestation of his creative energy. Shakti is the source of the strength of the gods. The new world of male gods not being able to hold the force of her pagan strength, divided her into three. To Vishnu she comes as Lakshmi, to Shiva as Parvati and to Brahma as Saraswati. Yet here she is, relaxed and languorous, playing with her weapons as if they were instruments. It is a lyrical, balmy composition, lush with feminine details. The artist wants to remind us that it is, indeed, in this soft, unassuming form that such potent power is to be found. We are reminded that soft is not weak. The only visual cue expressing potency is the colour red â a character by itself in this series. It is the colour of menstrual blood, of life itself. Without this feminine life giving force the gods are impotent. Thus one of the most potent and fundamental symbols of Hindu philosophy â the Shiva Lingam â male and female sexual energy joined â the source of all life.