Sanskrit विकृति "revolt, rebellion, change, spectre, sickness, phantom, perturbation, hostility, growth, formation, emotion, disease, development, derivative, defection, apparition, any production, alienation, agitation, abortion, changed condition, variation, modification, alteration."
In the most basic sense, vikriti is an imbalance. To understand vikriti, one must first undersand prakriti:
"Prakriti -- (Sanskrit) A compound consisting of the prepositional prefix pra, meaning "forwards" or "progression," and kriti, a noun-form from the verbal root kri, "to make" or "to do." Therefore prakriti means literally "production" or "bringing forth," "originating," and by an extension of meaning it also signifies the primordial or original state or condition or form of anything: primary, original substance. The root or parent of prakriti is mula-prakriti or root of prakriti. Prakriti is to be considered with vikriti – vikriti signifying change or an alteration of some kind, or a production or evolution from the prakriti which precedes it." - Theosophical Glossary
The Devas said :-- We bow down to Thee, the Devî and the Mahâ Devî, always obeisance to Thee! Thou art the Prakriti, and the Auspicious One; we always salute to Thee. O Mother! Thou art of a fiery colour (residing as a Red Flame in the heart of a Yogî) and burning with Asceticism and Wisdom (shedding lustre all around). Thou art specially shining everywhere as the Pure Chaitanya; worshipped by the Devas and all the Jîvas) for the rewards of their actions; We take refuge to Thee, the Durgâ, the Devî, we bow down to Thee, that can well make others cross the ocean of Samsâra; so that Thou helpest us in crossing this terrible ocean of world. Mother! The Devas have created the words (i.e., the words conveying ideas are uttered by the five Vâyus, Prâna, etc., which are called the Devas) which are of the nature of Vis'varûpa, pervading everywhere, like the Kâma Dhenu (the Heavenly Cow yielding all desires, riches, honor, food, etc.), and by which the brutes (the gods) become egotistical, O Mother! Thou art that language to us; so Thou fulfillest our desires when we praise and chant hymns to Thee. O Devî! Thou art the Night of Destruction at the end of the world; Thou art worshipped by Brahmâ; Thou art the Laksmi, the S'akti of Visnu; Thou art the Mother of Skanda; the S'aktî of S'iva; Thou art the S'aktî Sarasvatî of Brahmâ. Thou art Aditi, the Mother of the gods and Thou art Satî, the daughter of Daksa. Thus Thou art purifying the worlds in various forms and giving peace to all. We bow down to Thee. We know Thee to be the great Mahâ Laksmî; we meditate on Thee as of the nature of all the S'aktis as Bhaghavatî. O Mother! Illumine us so that we can meditate and know Thee. O Devî! Obeisance to Thee, the Virât! Obeisance to Thee, the Sûtrâtmâ, the Hiranyagarbha; obeisance to Thee, the transformed into sixteen Vikritis (or transformations). Obeisance to Thee, of the nature of Brahma. We bow down with great devotion to Thee, the Goddess of the Universe, the Creatrix of Mâyic Avidyâ (the Nescience) under whose influence this world is mistaken as the rope as a garland is mistaken for a rope and again that mistake is corrected by whose Vidyâ." -S'rîmad Devî Bhâgawatam 31
Broadly speaking, anything in manifested nature is vikriti, since all manifested things are imbalances of the three gunas (prakriti).
The most extreme case is that which is furthest from the Absolute: the hell realms (, Avitchi). That is why in esotericism, the word vikriti is often used to refer to an inversion of a psychological quality, ie. a defect, sin, vice, aggregate, all of which constitute the subconsciousness, the hell realms within us.
"The Cosmic Shakti is the collectivity (Samashti) in relation to which the Kundali in particular bodies is the Vyasti (individual) Shakti. The body is, as I have stated, a microcosm (Kshudrabrahmanda). In the living body there is, therefore, the same polarization of which I have spoken. From the Mahakundali the universe has sprung. In Her supreme form She is at rest, coiled round and one (as Cidrupini) with the Shivabindu. She is then at rest. She next uncoils Herself to manifest. Here the three coils of which thespeak are the three Gunas, and the three and a half coils to which the Kubjika alludes are Prakriti and its three Gunas together with the Vikritis." -Shakti and Shâkta by Arthur Avalon (1918)
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