The numerous deities found south of the Himalayan Mountains are a result of an outgrowth of ancient animistic practices (as found throughout the planet), stemming from a time before the fall of man (nadi androgynous Adam-Lilith Kadmon) where humanity stood with it's original siddha abilities. Hence, original man was quite psychic with the ability to commune with different aspects of nature, such as freshwater sources that were a requirement for civilization (Ganges, Saraswati, Nile, etc.). Such abilities were continued and are still found through shamanic practices throughout the world.
The ability to commune with external environment in oneness is predicated on human consciousness' natural ability, which has been hindered by significant belief systems energetically lingering within the light-body chakra system, and further embellished by and through consistent distractions that keep adepts engaging samsara as opposed to bringing their awareness away from samsara, into the depths of one's own psyche. Oneness, is found through engaging one's own subconscious. Know thyself.
The Fall and Rise of Man (Enlightenment):
The fall of man is described in qabalistic terms as the seven (7) sephirot below the supernal triad within the qabalist tree of life. The adept attempting to return to conscious wholeness, or Adam-Eve before the fall, would be all adepts facing the delusions of their consciousness (subconsciousness/daath) at the seventh (7) sephirot of tiphareth/thagirion looking upwards on the tree of life/death. Such practice is to bring the adept into the crown of the supernal triad, Kether, which is defined by qabalists as "divine presence". Such matches the definition of Brahman, as described by Eastern yogis who blow-out (Nirvana) all world of forms (Samsara), where the only human description of this conscious space is typically described as Sat (you still feel like you exist), Chit (you're still aware), and Ananda-Grace (the bliss found in dropping the duality of the monkey-mind, and just breathing into the moment).
Through the yogas, puranas, and the feared and often prohibited tantras (same as western grimoires in diving deep into the primal aspects of the subconsious typically hidden through cognitive dissonance), we have teachings the were meant to provide a holistic approach for adepts to climb the tree of life/death (Brahma/Shiva) through traditions that are known as yoga. Yoga meaning to yoke, are teachings to harness the animal vessel-body with higher consciousness, or to make the vessel a clear vessel outside of limiting-belief systems for pure spirit. Hence, the inspired avatar. Such would entail humanities return to what the monkey-mind psychology (ego) would label as deification, the state of consciousness before the fall, reunification with the supernal triad, or enlightenment as described in the tantras (Saivism texts).
Enlightenment as defined in the tantras is a state of consciousness known as turiya, or to be awake within the three (3) states of consciousness: 1. awake; 2. sleep; and 3. deep sleep. This is achieved by and through clarity of pristine-awareness, clarity from the plague of thoughts and emotions that keep the adept glued to samsara. The byproduct of such practice is the unification of consciousness found through oneness in engaging the subconscious, or the old adage, "Know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe and the gods".
To define the fallen, well, such would be one's own consciousness/spirit littered with the pull of thought-forms (egregores), which also alters the emotional-body creating denser lower chakra emotions that can be bottled up within the fallen, should the fallen choose to place such thought-forms into the "back of the mind". The fallen further attaches to such thought-forms by crafting numerous belief systems around such concepts and ideologies, which places the fallen into the trap of "identities". Identities from a liberated perspective is lila or divine play as the adept is able to "let-go", where for the fallen, identities can become a heavy attachment (gender, race, nationality, politics, etc.) creating further attachment to samsara, creating more thought-forms (dualist positive/negative), creating an egoic-shell on the tree of life, qliphoth. Moreover, such thought-forms (egregores) are linked with astral-energies (star-beings) as the fallen adept in the first (1st) sephirot of Malkuth begins to glimpse the astral realms of the second (2nd) sephirot Yesod/Gamaliel, showing a link with thoughts and manifest objective five (5) sensory reality. Thoughts create reality, or "as within so without". Attachment to these egregores creates a reality akin to Determinist philosophy, where the animal-vessel is controlled by thought-forms and identifications with thought-forms creating habits that create filters on the way objective reality is perceived, handled, and determined, also known as Karma.
In other words, the enlightened have simply lightened-up their consciousness, or brought light to all aspects of one's own consciousness, which is the One consciousness.
Wheel of Samsara (Ego Controlling the Human Animal Vessel):
The masculine is defined as divine consciousness, or the occult Divine Will, where we consciously choose to shine our light (Shiva). It is Ganesha with his one-pointed tusk and the ability to remove all other obstacles in his way by his mere stature. The feminine is divine energy, or the occult Vital Life Force, where we are provided with infinity (thoughts-emotions) for us to consciously provide our energy (Shakti). It is Kartikeya with his third-eye peacock feather showing the ability to perceive all perspectives (light/dark) to display the beautiful dance of samsara.
The Wheel of Samsara is essentially the adept shifting between three (3) aspects of conscious, or Divine Will. The first (1st) aspect is the Creator God, known as Brahma the Generator who is the adept who must attempt to create using the wisdom found through the energy of Saraswati. The second (2nd) aspect is the Manager God, known as Vishnu the Operator who is the adept who must attempt to maintain harmony (yin/yang) found through the energy of Lakshmi ("Sri" Sodashi). The (3rd) third aspect is the Destroyer God, known as Shiva the corrosion of time who is the adept who destroys the current moment to return to Creator God found though the energy of the "all forms of love for all forms within creation" of Parvati (Babalon; Unlimited-Unconditional Whore for All That Is, All States of Consciousness). Such provides the psychological background of the adept as they gravitate around thought-forms and emotional complements that manifest in the adepts' relative reality (time-space continuum) as the Generator, Operator, and Destroyer, or the adepts egoic-self as God. (Jiva-Atma).
Mastery of Samsara (Become a Living Avatar):
The goal the adept must strive for, as explained by Siddha Patanjali, is Samadhi, or the state of having thought-forms and attachments to Samsara blown-out, or Nirvana. To blow-out the flame of egoic-creation through the psychology of the analytical investigative monkey-mind for the lingering "divine presence" felt within the clarity of the moment, is to "let go" of psychological demands and allow the "grace" of aligning oneself with the current moment for its virginal pristine state of purity. Such allows the feeling of ananda-grace to arise, as one takes a deep breath and relaxes into the moment, letting the psychological investigative egoic-self cease the cycle of Generator, Operator, and Destroyer. To allow oneself a complete relaxing breath into the virginal moment undefined by the egoic monkey-mind, is to allow the feeling of ananda to align the adept to his or her highest timeline, one's Krysted Timeline.
This is where Abrahamic/Hindu Traditions may diverge from Qliphoth/Tantrik Traditions in certain aspects in achieving Kether-Brahman, where Abrahamic traditions invoke the Creator aspects of the Tetragrammeton and energetic aspects of Angelic minions preferring patriarchal leanings. Such is similar to the current Vaishnava aspects of Hinduism, which do not worship Brahma or the creator aspects, but typically worship Vishnu and his handle of the energy of abundance. Qliphoth/Tantrik traditions see the delusion that is samsara and the monkey-mind imprints and its forthcoming butterfly-effect, where the transcendent masks of Shiva are utilized to obtain moksha (liberation from thought-forms; egregores; samsara). While many are attached to samsara and worship thereof by and through the Generator, Operator, and Destroyer construct, Tantriks have found the G-O-D construct to simply be the lila (divine play) of the fourth (4th) aspect of consciousness, the deluder known as Maheshwara (All That Is; Demiurge). Hence, to be free of the deluder, the adept often takes on the role as Hero (Heruka) and use Divine Will as the fifth (5th) aspect of consciousness as SadaShiva with five (5) heads moving the Divine Will vibrationally upwards into higher Energies, aiming not only for the height of heaven as his consort is Sri Sodashi, the height of Mt. Meru, the pinnacle of the Sri Yantra, but liberation from samsara for the state of "Divine Presence" found through un-gluing consciousness from all images and dissolving all identity bubbles that filter manifestation.
In order to attain such pristine states, where the adept is not only mentally clear, but emotionally pristine to view the moment "as is" without conceptions allowing a higher consciousness to flow and move unhindered, numerous practices have arisen around the global pantheon, where those practices with significant efficacy have been pushed underground as they threatened elitists religious institutions and also carry psychological pitfalls for the untrained. Hence, true witch-hunts and feared indigenous Ghost Dances plague our written history, particularly with sovereign individuals owning their power in opposition to manipulative dominance under hierarchical institutions. Nonetheless, since ancient times, mystery schools (pretty much all Greek philosophers, as unknown to your typical historian), occult practitioners, and even major religions (though secretive) all kept with esoteric practices, all holding similar symbolic and archetypal meaning. At the root of such teachings and traditions, has been the increasing of the kundalini force found coiled within the sacral-lower dantien, or essentially the energy-battery powerhouse within the true Temple of God, the human animal vessel capable of holding multidimensional consciousness, or Oneness (Purusha), the Holy Spirit.
In India, Goddesses have been synchronized into the concept of Energy (Prana, Chi, Re-Chi, Shaktipat, Hands-On-Healing, Etc.) which is often associated with the Kundalini flame that dances/flares like a serpent up the spine purging or programming the thought-forms egregores immersed within one's chakra field. In the Saiva tradition, where Shiva is the adepts own consciousness (Atma), mastery of consciousness can be done through harnessing the energy of the Kundalini, as Shiva was initiated and guided by his Inner-Guru Kali (Inner Black Flame Kundalini), and Padmasambhava was initiated and guided by his Inner-Guru Chinnamasta (Vajrayogini Kundalini). As found through the Saiva tradition, harnessing one's own Divine Will, and the ability to use the Kundalini to harness cosmic energies (infinite potential), allows the adept to manifest an external reality mirroring the inner fertilized grounds, "as within, so without".
However, most of India chooses to work within the Vaishnava paradigm (belief-systems), where Goddess Lakshmi or Saraswati are chosen over Parvati or Parvati's tantrik masks. Nonetheless, like in the Qlipothic tradition requiring the initiation of Goddess Lilith, an unfallen entity who spoke/chanted the name of God, is required to work with the subconscious aspects of the psyche, where the adept will need assistance and guidance navigating everything that is kept hidden from one's common awareness. An adept may learn things about themselves never known, as layers are peeled away, showing unresolved-issues including prior lifetimes, or desires requiring fulfillment for soul-growth in order to find transcendence (as well as enjoy to the fullest in the pristine moment, with the ability to let-go for the next). Hence, as an initiator and guide, it is typically those that choose a Wrathful aspect of Kundalini Goddesses that begin to awaken to multidimensional oneness, where the energy of Wrath holds the ability to flush other intense emotions within the body, such as anger, hate, depressions, etc (lower chakra issues). Wrath forces shock and awe allowing the Kundalini flame to still the egoic monkey-mind and flush out harsh energies (tamas; gunas) from one's autonomic nervous system leaving one's central nervous system significantly lighter. Such can be found with working with the harsh Wrathful aspects of Kali as Smashan Kali (cemetery), where such practices are typically done away from society while the adept purges harsh (tamas) freeing up their flight or fight response in addition to removal from the energy of fear. At tantriks have discovered, when it comes to "Black" magick, you fight fire with fire, where the adept must be forged to plunge within the depths of the collective subconscious including much that is held in collective cognitive dissonance.
With regards to working with Lakshmi or Saraswati, it is important that Ganesha (Parvati's Son) remove all obstacles, as the practices are quite egoic in nature, where such adepts typically seek samsaric assistance. Such can be an issue in gluing an adept further into samsara, where an adept will never seek the Truth of the formless, if they are deluded by the world of forms plagued with gorgeous artwork and abundance. Nonetheless, to work with Wrathful Shakti to purge the subconscious (egregores), these Goddesses and others found throughout India can be used to, not necessarily to program (more like "color-in"), but help you bring you to the truth and beauty of an avatar self that has always been underneath the human ego. Much of the attached egregores can be experienced and transcended within the psyche, through the use of astral projection techniques, or can be brought into material experience by harnessing such astral energies. Therefore, invoking Shakti without Self-Realization as the ultimate goal, can become quite egoic further immersing the adept in samsara and creating further shell-husks (qliphoth) on the tree of life.
Moreover, invoking Lakshmi or Saraswati with Self-Realization, or the purity of consciousness, is to be the avatar within samsara, or Vishnu, who like Sri Krishna, worked with the harmony (yin/yang) of a childlike playful nature, where the height of abundance, beauty, art, heaven, etc., is reserved for those who have climbed up the tree of life/death and have managed to bring consciousness back down from Kether to Malkuth. Hence, Self-Realization meets Self-Actualization.
Therefore, like most religions when viewed alongside with its esoterica (light/dark), Hinduism provide a model for the adept to gain clarity of consciousness (Divine Will-Shiva), and use such clarity to invoke/evoke certain thoughts-emotions egregores (Divine Energy-Shakti), to manifest the adepts objective material sensory reality, or E=mc^2 (Energy and Light interact to manifest Mass). As energy is never destroyed, it is also never created, hence, dissolution of the egoic monkey-mind G-O-D model, for the Self-Realization and Self-Actualization of Divine Presence. Divine Presence, to simply be and exist within the virginally-pure thoughtless moment that heightens the senses, is not an act of man, but a human vessel harnessing the harmony of G.O.D. Simply, "Be and It Is".
Combining my love of philosophy, mythology, and the occult in pushing my abilities to work with such "permission slips" for my own Ascension. As I have discovered, true power is found in the ability to walk each other home as mirrors. This is where the inner stairwell becomes the inner sanctuary.
Virtue is the Religion of Siddhas" -Jivanmukti