The creation, preservation, and dissolution of the universe are functions generally ascribed respectively to the gods Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. In keeping with the Śākta point of view, the Devīmāhātmya claims that these powers belong to the Devī alone.
Periodically created, sustained, and dissolved, this world or universe is referred to here by two common Sanskrit words. Each tells us something about the nature of the universe. Jagat, already discussed (—> 1.59–64), derives from a verbal root meaning “to go” and reveals the world as the realm of motion, life, and activity. Viśva (“all”), possibly from a root meaning “to pervade,” carries the idea of inclusiveness and immensity, similar to the idea of wholeness and boundlessness evoked by the name of the Ṛgvedic goddess Aditi. Together jagat and viśva express the immense and ever-changing phenomenon of existence, played out against the immutable backdrop of pure being.