Devī (; Sanskrit: देवी) is the Sanskrit word for ‘goddess’; the masculine form is deva

Devi and deva mean ‘heavenly, divine, anything of excellence’, and are also gender-specific terms for a deity in Hinduism

The concept and reverence for goddesses appears in the Vedas, which were composed around the 3rd millennium BC

However, they do not play a vital role in that era

Goddesses such as Lakshmi, Parvati, Durga, Saraswati, Sita, Radha and Kali have continued to be revered in the modern era

The medieval era Puranas witness a major expansion in mythology and literature associated with Devi, with texts such as the Devi Mahatmya, wherein she manifests as the ultimate truth and supreme power

She has inspired the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism

Further, Devi and her primary form Parvati is viewed as central in the Hindu traditions of Shaktism and Shaivism