The province, therefore, now consists of the five British divisions of Jubbulpore, Nerbudda, Nagpur, Chhattisgarh and Berar, which are divided into the twenty-two districts of Saugor, Damoh, Jubbulpore, Mandla, Seoni, Narsinghpur, Hoshangabad, Nimar, Betul, Chhindwara, Wardha, Nagpur, Chanda, Bhandara, Balaghat, Raipur, Bilaspur, Amraoti, Akola, Ellichpur, Buldana and Wun; and the fifteen tributary states of Makrai, Bastar, Kanker, Nandgaon, Kairagarh, Chhuikhadan, Kawardha, Sakti, Raigarh, Sarangarh, Chang Bhakar, Korea, Sirguja, Udaipur and Jashpur.
It was probably also during this period that the female element was first definitely admitted to a prominent place amongst the divine objects of sectarian worship, in the shape of the wives of the principal gods viewed as their sakti, or female energy, theoretically identified with the Maya, or cosmic Illusion, of the idealistic Vedanta, and the Prakriti, or plastic matter, of the materialistic Sankhya philosophy, as the primary source of mundane things.
To the same tendency doubtless is due the gradual decline and ultimate discontinuance of animal sacrifices by all sects except the extreme branch of Sakti-worshippers.
The Saktas, as we have seen, are worshippers of the sakti, or the female principle as a primary factor in the creation and reproduction of the universe.
And as each of the principal gods is supposed to have associated with him his own particular sakti, as an indispensable complement enabling him to properly perform his cosmic functions, adherents of this persuasion might be expected to be recruited from all sects.
The theory of the god and his Sakti as cosmic principles is perhaps already foreshadowed in the Vedic couple of Heaven and Earth, whilst in the speculative treatises of the later Vedic period, as well as in the post-Vedic Brahmanical writings, the assumption of the self-existent being dividing himself into a male and a female half usually forms the starting-point of cosmic evolution.'
A special feature of the Sakti cult is the use of obscure Vedic mantras, often changed so as to be quite meaningless and on that very account deemed the more efficacious for the acquisition of superhuman powers; as well as of mystic letters and syllables called bija (germ), of magic circles (chakra) and diagrams (yantra), and of amulets of various materials inscribed with formulae of fancied mysterious import.