ॐ Hindu Of Universe ॐ

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Shakti – The Goddess of Power
Shakti literally translates to power or might in Sanskrit. Her divine essence is venerated as the manifestation of the primordial cosmic energy. Given the association to creation (or birth) on an elemental level, Shakti is often considered feminine in form and is thus given the epithet of ‘The Great Divine Mother’.

Her mother form, also known as Adi Shakti or Adi Parashakti (‘supreme energy’) is not only equated to creation but also extolled as the bringer (or agent) of change.

In terms of Hindu mythology, Shakti is often viewed as the feminine energy reserved within Shiva. In other words, she epitomizes the creative power of Shiva (often identified as his consort and lover Parvati). As such eight other mother goddesses represent the Shakti (power) of their male counterparts.

Shakti is also worshipped as Tripura Sundari or simply Devi (goddess) – the eternal feminine entity (or even mother goddess) whose essence is found in numerous manifestations, ranging from might (Durga), and knowledge (Saraswati) to wealth (Lakshmi). To that end, the Shakta sect of Hindus regards Shakti or Devi as the Supreme Being that encompasses the feminine force of metaphysical reality.



Goddess Sati
Goddess Sati, Dakshayani (दाक्षायणी) is revered as Adi Devi, who performed Tapsya-Asctics, Penances, Chastity for thousands of years to have Lord Shiva as her husband. She took incarnation as a daughter of Daksh Prajapati.

Daksh Prajapati and his wife took birth from the toes of Lord Brahma – the creator. She is worshipped as the deity-goddess of marital felicity and longevity. She is Adi Maan Para Shakti-Durga, She immolated herself when she suffered humiliation & insult from her father, with the help of divine sacred fire, which dwelt in her with the Yog Shakti sucking the soul to the Ultimate through Yog. She reappeared as Maan Parwati to remarry Bhagwan Shiv. Dakshayani was the first consort of Bhagwan Shiv-the destroyer, the second being Parvati-the reincarnation of Sati herself.

Both these incarnations were essential to protect the demigods-deities from demons-Rakshas. Maa Sati and Maa Parvati successively played the role of bringing God to the fold of the household from asceticism, resulting in the birth of Lord Kartikaey and Shri Ganesh. Sati in due course of time emerged as a practice in which a woman immolated herself over the funeral pyre of her husband.

The Story of Goddess Sati
Daksh (Brahma’s son) performed Vrahaspati Yagy in a place called Kankhal (near Haridwar). He performed this Yagy with a desire of taking revenge on Lord Shiva. Daksh was angry because his daughter Sati (one of his 63 daughters) had married the Yogi Lord Shiv against his wishes. Daksh invited all the deities to the Yagy except for Shiv and Sati. The fact that she was not invited did not deter Sati from attending the Yagy. She had expressed her desire to attend to Shiv, who had tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually allowed her to go escorted by his Gan and Nandi Maharaj.

Lord Brahma appeared with five mouths. The fifth mouth of Bhagwan Brahma in his arrogance uttered such words which were not liked by Lord Mahesh-Shiva. He did not stop in spite of warnings. Lord Shiva was left with no alternative but to chop it off. He was named a Kapalik after this incident. Daksh unaware of his status as the third form of the Almighty insulted him. He did not appreciate Lord Shiva for his behavior and presence on cremation grounds.

Again, he was not aware of the fact that Lord Shiva himself was Yagy Purush and no Yagy-sacrifice would be complete unless un till granted by him. Daksh was warned by Lord Brahma in advance, of the consequences. Lord Vishnu too was not happy with the rudeness of Daksh. Daksh was unhappy with Lord Shiv because he did not pay him respect by standing in the conference called by him. His ego-arrogance was boundless. He considered himself to be supreme.

Sati was received coldly by her father. They were soon in the midst of a heated argument about the lack of virtues of Lord Shiv. Every passing moment made it clearer to Sati that her father was entirely incapable of appreciating the many excellent qualities of her husband.

The realization then came to Sati that this abuse was being heaped on Lord Shiva only because he had wed her; she was the cause of this dishonor to her husband. She was consumed by rage against her father and loathing for his mentality. Calling up a prayer that she may, in a future birth, be born the daughter of a father whom she could respect, Sati invoked her Yogic powers or Yogic Agni which was attained by her due to severe devotion or Puja done by her and immolated herself.

Shiva sensed this catastrophe and his rage was incomparable. He loved Sati more than anyone and would never love after her. So, he created Vir Bhadr and Bhadr Kali, or collectively Manbhadr, two ferocious creatures who wreaked havoc and mayhem on the scene of the horrific incident. Nearly all those present were indiscriminately felled overnight. Daksh himself was decapitated.

Shakti Peeths
Lord Shiva was shocked. He was full of sorrow and grief. This resulted in the carrying of Maa Sati’s body over his head and shoulder. He could not come out of the trauma. He performed the fearsome and awe-inspiring Tandav dance with Sati’s charred body over his shoulders. The demigods, deities, and Brahma Ji called upon the Almighty Lord Vishnu to restore Shiv to normalcy and calm. Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra to dismember Sati’s lifeless body, following which Shiv regained his equanimity.

Sati’s body was thus dismembered into 51 pieces that fell on earth at various places. Several different listings of these 51 holy places, known as Shakti Peeths, are available; some of these places have become major centers of pilgrimage as they are held by the Goddess-oriented Shakti sect to be particularly holy. Besides 51 main Shakti Peeths, some small Peeths like Bindu Dham came into existence which is due to Sati’s fallen blood drops.

After the night of horror, Shiva, the all-forgiving, restored all those who were slain to life and granted them his blessings. Even the abusive and culpable Daksh was restored both to life and to kingship. His severed head was substituted for that of a goat. Having learned his lesson, Daksh spent his remaining years as a devotee of Lord Shiva.

During Treta Yug, Lord Shiv went to Rishi August along with Maa Sati. The sage narrated the story of Ram to the divine couple. Shiv wanted to see Ram, but Sati was in the dark that Shri Ram was a manifestation of God. Shiv got a glimpse of Ram and was overwhelmed with love. Sati saw Shiv thrilled with love and became doubtful as to why Shiv was enchanted by a mere human being. Although Sati did not say anything, Shiv being omniscient came to know of everything. Shiv asked her to verify if she had a doubt in her mind. Maa Sati assumed the form of Mata Sita and approached Bhagwan Ram.

However, Shri Ram recognized her at once. He first introduced himself and then asked her about the absence of Lord Shiv there. Why was she roaming there in the forest alone? She could not give a proper reply and returned to Shiv in fear. She became sad and regretted doubting Shiv. When Ram realized that Sati was sad, he revealed some of his power to divert her mind. On the way, Sati saw Ram along with his brother Lakshman and Sita walking in front of her. She then turned and found them at the back.

Wherever she looked, she found Ram and various deities and all creation in him. In awe, she closed her eyes and when she again opened her eyes, everything vanished. She then returned to Shiv. Lord Shiva could not tolerate this and discarded-rejected her at once. This incident along with the absence of Nav Grah Pooja resulted in the immolation of Maa Sati in Daksh Praja Pati’s Yagy.

Dakshayani was reborn as Parvati, daughter of Himavat, the king of mountains, and his wife, Maena. This time, she was born the daughter of a father whom she could respect, a father who appreciated Shiv ardently. Naturally, Parvati sought and received Shiv as her husband. The emergence of Maa Parvati as in the incarnation of Adi Shakti & Sati turned Lord Shiv from an ascetic to a Grahasth Ashrami (householder) leading to the birth of Gan Pati and Subrahmany-Bhagwan Kartikaey.

Shakti Peeths are shrines or divine places of the Mother Goddess. These are places which are believed to have been enshrined with the presence of Shakti (holy places of cosmic power, energy, strength) due to the falling of body parts of the corpse, blood, and ornaments of Sati Devi when Bhagwan Shiva carried it and wandered throughout Ary Vart in sorrow-grief. There are 52 Shakti Peeths associated with the 52 alphabets in Sanskrit.

Adi Shakti has various incarnations including Goddess Maan Gouri, Parvati, the benevolent goddess of harmony, marital felicity, and longevity, Durga the goddess of strength and valor, and Maha Kali (dark complexioned), the goddess of destruction of the evil.



The Story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva
The Divine Love Story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva: A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice. Deep within the folds of ancient Hindu mythology lies an extraordinary love story that has captivated hearts for centuries. It is a tale steeped in devotion, sacrifice, and divine union—a testament to the boundless power of love itself. Allow us to transport you back in time as we unravel the enchanting narrative of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva, tracing their celestial journey filled with passion, tragedy, and ultimately, eternal companionship. Brace yourself for a mesmerizing account that will leave you awestruck by their unyielding commitment and undying affection—an immortal tale that continues to blaze brightly even in modern times.
When we think of divine love, we often think of a story like that of Romeo and Juliet. But the divine love story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva is one that is much more devotional and sacrificial. Mata Sati was the daughter of Daksha, a powerful ruler. She was married to Lord Shiva, but her father disapproved of the match. When Daksha held a grand yagna (fire sacrifice), he did not invite Lord Shiva or Mata Sati. However, Mata Sati went to the yagna uninvited. At the yagna, Daksha insulted Lord Shiva, which led Mata Sati to immolate herself in the fire. When Lord Shiva heard of his wife’s death, he was distraught with grief. He picked up her body and started roaming the earth with it. The gods worried that if Lord Shiva continued this destructive path, he would destroy everything. So they sent Vasishtha to pacify him. Vasishtha was successful in calming Lord Shiva down and persuading him to give up Mata Sati’s body. However, even after giving up her body, Lord Shiva could not forget Mata Sati. He continued to grieve for her and wandered around aimlessly. The gods feared that if this continued, then there would be no one left to protect the world from evil forces. So they convinced Parvati, daughter of Himavat(the king of the Himalayas.
The Story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva
The story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva is a tale of devotion and sacrifice. Mata Sati was the daughter of Daksha, a powerful king who ruled over the land of Bharata. She was deeply in love with Lord Shiva, and she was willing to do anything to be with him. One day, Daksha organised a grand yajna (fire ritual) and invited all the deities to attend except for Lord Shiva. When Mata Sati learnt of this, she was outraged and confronted her father. However, Daksha refused to change his mind and insulted Lord Shiva further. This caused Mata Sati to jump into the sacrificial fire out of anger and frustration. When Lord Shiva learned of what had happened, he was so enraged that he destroyed Daksha’s kingdom. He then took Mata Sati’s body in his arms and danced the tandava (a fierce dance of destruction). The other deities were terrified by Lord Shiva’s power and begged him to stop. Mata Sati’s body eventually burned up completely, but her pure love for Lord Shiva remained unchanged. Even in death, she had accomplished her goal of being with him forever.
The Symbolism in the Mythology
The Puranas are full of stories and mythology which contain intricate symbolism and meanings. The story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva is one such story which is rich in symbolism and teaches us many important lessons. Mata Sati was the daughter of Daksha, a powerful ruler. She was married to Shiva, the destroyer god. However, her father did not approve of her husband and often ridiculed him. This led to a great rift between the two families. Mata Sati was very devoted to her husband and loved him deeply. One day, she decided to visit her father’s kingdom despite knowing that he would not welcome her warmly. As she had predicted, her father insulted her husband in front of everyone. Enraged by this, Mata Sati took her own life by jumping into the sacrificial fire. When Shiva learned of his wife’s death, he was heartbroken. He picked up her body and started dancing around with it in a fit of rage. The other gods were worried that he would destroy everything in his path so they sent Vishnu to calm him down. Vishnu cut off Mata Sati’s body into pieces with his Sudarshana Chakra but even that could not stop Shiva’s rage. He continued dancing until all the pieces of Mata Sati’s body had been burnt to ashes. When Shiva calmed down, he realized that Mata Sati had sacrificed herself for him out of love and devotion.
Role of Devotion in the Story
The Story of Mata Sati and Lord ShivaIn the story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva, devotion plays a key role in the characters’ actions and motivations. For example, Mata Sati is devoted to her husband Lord Shiva, even after he gives her up for another woman. This unyielding devotion eventually leads to her sacrificial death, which in turn allows her to be reborn as Parvati – another devotee of Lord Shiva. Similarly, Lord Shiva is also driven by his devotional love for Mata Sati, which leads him to mourn her death deeply and eventually accept her as his wife once again.
Lord Shiva & Mata Sati Story
Without devotion, neither of these characters would be driven to perform the actions that they do in the story. It is their all-consuming love and belief in one another that allows them to overcome any obstacle, no matter how difficult. In this way, the story showcases the power of true devotion and its ability to transcend anything else in the world.
Impact of Self Sacrifice on Society as Reflected in the Tale.
People who are self- sacrificing often go unnoticed in society. Their contributions may be small, but the effects of their actions are far-reaching. The story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva is one example of the power of self- sacrifice. In this tale, Mata Sati sacrificed her life to save her husband from an evil demon. Her act of selflessness had a profound impact on society, as it showed that love and devotion can triumph over evil. This story is a reminder that we all have the potential to make a difference in the world, no matter how small our actions may seem.
Discussion on Love and Relationship Conclave Motifs Found in this Mythological Tale.
While there are many interpretations of the ancient Hindu mythological story of the love between Mata Sati and Lord Shiva, one of the most interesting aspects is the discussion on the conclave motifs found within it. There are a few key points that are often debated when it comes to the story of Mata Sati and Lord Shiva. Firstly, why did Mata Sati sacrifice herself? Secondly, what does her self-immolation represent? And thirdly, what does the story teach us about relationships? When it comes to Mata Sati’s sacrifice, there are a few different theories. One belief is that she did it out of love for Lord Shiva. She was so devoted to him that she was willing to give up her life in order to be with him in the afterlife. Another theory is that she sacrificed herself in order to save her husband from being cursed by her father, Daksha. Regardless of the reason behind her sacrifice, it is clear that she did it out of extreme love and devotion for Lord Shiva. Mata Sati’s self-immolation also has a deep meaning. In Hinduism, fire is seen as a purifying force. By sacrificing herself in this way, Mata Sati was able to cleanse herself of all impurities and negativity. This act also represented her total dedication to Lord Shiva. She was so devoted to him that she was willing to die for him.



Devi Sati – A Tale of Passion and Honour

Indian mythology abounds with several stories of Gods and Goddesses and their avatars or manifestations; each for a particular purpose; in order to teach devotees a lesson in story form. While most of the Devi/Devata stories seem merely entertaining and regale us with various anecdotes, there are those who are fierce, passionate and self-determined beyond imagination. One such story is that of Devi Sati. This month, we bring you the tale of Goddess Sati and how she came to be.

Sati, also known as Dakshayani, is a Hindu Goddess of longevity and marital felicity. An aspect of Parvati or Goddess Adi Shakti, Dakshayani is the first consort of Lord Shiva. Sati is known to be extremely fiery, with a frightening temper. However, she is also loving and extremely benevolent by nature.

According to Hindu legend, both Sati and Parvati are aspects of the Devi, who helped Shiva come away from his ascetic isolation and involve himself in Samsara (the material world). Sati is famous (and sometimes, rather infamous) for the fact that she immolated herself in the sacrificial fire, when she saw that her husband was being humiliated. So intense was her love, loyalty and passion for her husband, that she could not tolerate to live on when he was being belittled by her own father.

Even today, the controversial practice of Sati is followed in several parts of rural India – herein, a Hindu widow jumps into her husband’s funeral pyre, as a final act of commitment and loyalty towards her husband. This she does, in order to uphold her own honor and that of her husband and his family as well.
The Story of Goddess Sati
Queen Prasuti and her husband, King Daksha, had a desire to beget a daughter. They approached Daksha’s father, Lord Brahma, for advice and he asked them to meditate on Goddess Adi Parashakti. The couple immediately donned ochre robes and left the palace, in order to appease the all-powerful Devi. Traveling deep into the forest, they located a suitable spot and started meditating on the deity. They braved harsh weather conditions and quietly sat in meditation, not minding even the wild animals in the forest.

After testing them for a long time, Devi Adi Parashakti appeared before them, in an effulgent form, with a thousand hands, holding infinite weapons. She was draped in a blood red sari and was bedecked in ornaments carved intricately, studded with gems; wearing a gold armor, a crown. The Devi was pleased with the couple’s devotion and granted them any boon they desired from her.

Daksha told the Goddess about their long-time desire and asked her for a daughter. The Devi granted them the boon, saying that she herself would be born to them. But additionally, she warned them that if she were ever to be insulted in any way, she would immediately take her original form, disown everyone and leave their lives forever. Daksha and Prasuti agreed to the Devi’s conditions and, happy to have been granted their boon, returned to the palace.
As per the boon, Adi Parashakti took human birth and was born to Daksha and Prasuti. This is why she is known as Dakshayani – Daksha’s daughter. Brahma had so designed that Sati should grow up and marry Lord Shiva. It was also Adi Parashakti’s own will to bring Shiva out of his penance. Even as a child, Sati adored Shiva and would love to hear stories and legends associated with him. Sage Narada would often come to the palace and regale her with stories of Shiva. As time went by, Sati’s devotion for Shiva grew by leaps and bounds and she had decided that she would marry only him. She received several proposals from rich and valiant princes, but she had eyes only for the Lord of Kailash, the God of Gods, Mahadeva.

Sati Wins over Shiva
In order to win over the ascetic Shiva, Sati left the comforts of the palace and bade goodbye to her parents. Walking into the forest, she decided to give up herself to severe austerities and the constant worship of Lord Shiva. Going deeper into meditation, she started by renouncing food and water. At one point of time, she would eat just one leaf per day. Then she gave up even that. Her mother visited her in the forest and tried to coax her to eat, but she refused to touch a morsel. This abstinence gave her the name Uma. She also decided to do away with her clothing. She braved the harsh cold and lashing rains in this condition, continuing to meditate only on her Lord. This earned her the name Aparna.
Her penance finally bore fruit. Realizing the extent of her devotion to him, Shiva decided to manifest in front of her. Acceding to her wishes, he agreed to take her as his bride. Sati was happy beyond belief and then returned to her palace, awaiting the day when Shiva would come and take her away with him.


Sati’s arrogant father Daksha, though, was far less than pleased by this turn of events. He was a staunch Vaishnavite (devotee of Vishnu) and could not bear the fact the fact that his favorite daughter was to wed someone lowly (in his opinion) such as Shiva. In any case, Sati was firm on her decision to marry Shiva. She became his wife and then left for Kailash to be with her husband. Daksha, in the meantime, could not reconcile to the fact that Shiva was his son-in-law. Hence, he decided to excommunicate his daughter from the rest of the family.
Daksha Insults Sati and Shiva
Soon after the wedding, Daksha organized a grand yagna (sacrificial ritual) at his palace, where he invited all Kings, princes, Gods and Goddessees to attend. He, however, decided not to invite Sati or Shiva. He was still unhappy about his daughter getting married to who he thought was his arch enemy and so, he planned to insult them both.

On learning about the yagna, Sati begged Shiva to go with her. Shiva refused to give in to her wishes. An upset Sati was determined to attend the grand event and, defying Shiva’s wishes, left alone to her father’s kingdom. Shiva had warned her against going there, knowing she would be insulted and humiliated. However, when Sati would not listen to what he had to say, he sent his own troops to escort her there.

On seeing her arrive at the yagna, Daksha was furious and started shouting and yelling at her, hurling insults at her and Shiva. He made it very clear that neither she nor her husband were ever welcome there. Sati tried to speak with her father and placate him, relating what a wonderful husband Shiva was and how happy their marriage was. However, Daksha turned a deaf ear to all this and just kept shouting at her and humiliating her and Shiva in front of one and all present there.

Finally, Sati could take it no more. She had warned Daksha and Prasuti in the past, before she was born to them, that she would desert them if she was insulted in any way. Accordingly, she flew into a rage and took the form of Goddess Adi Parashakti. Her family and the kings, saints, sages, Gods and Goddesses present there were frightened by her terrible form. She introduced herself to Daksha, saying that she was the Eternal Power and stated that she would be giving up her mortal life by jumping into the sacrificial fire. She further cursed Daksha that he would be destroyed by her husband, Shiva. Thus saying, she entered the sacred fire and ended her own human life.
Shiva Destroys All

Learning about all that happened at Daksha’s palace; also deeply saddened by Sati’s death; an enraged and grief-stricken Shiva entered the location of the yagna and rendered the terrible Tandava, the Dance of Destruction. His dance activated the negative cosmic energy to the extent of destroying everything around.

Later, he pulled out a couple of locks of his hair and threw them on the ground. From one lock arose Veerabhadra, Shiva’s destructive incarnation. He was dark and frightful, having eight hands, each holding a weapon. From the second lock of hair arose Bhadrakali, a dark and extremely violent incarnation of the Supreme Goddess. She had a terrible form with eighteen hands, each holding weapons such as the trident, discus, spear, mace, dagger, sword, vajra, conch, bow and arrow and so on.

Veerabhadra and Bhadrakali were a couple, working in tandem to destroy everything in sight. They were collectively known as Manbhadra. They were assisted by eight other Goddesses, namely, Chamundai, Ishaani, Mundamardini, Bhadra, Kali, Katyayani, Vaishnavi and Twarita. The angry Shiva ordered them to start the process of destruction.

This is how each of the terrible Goddesses appeared:

1. Kali manifested with four hands, holding a trident, sword, severed demon head and a drinking vessel.

2. Katyayani, who was riding a lion, had four hands, holding a trident, sword, lotus and the other hand indicating a gesture of destruction.

3. Chamundai had sixteen hands, holding a trident, sword, discus, conch, scimitar, mace, skull mace, snake, drum, battle-axe, shield, bow, arrow, spear, vajra (thunderbolt), drinking vessel, thunderbolt, and severed demon head.

4. Bhadra had eight hands, holding a sword, hook, trident, discus, conch, battle-axe, drinking vessel and vajra.

5. Vaishnavi had six hands, holding a sword, lotus, bow and arrow, discus, conch and mace.

6. Mundamardini had two hands, holding a sword and drinking vessel.

7. Ishaani had eight hands, holding a trident, spear, mace, sword, bow and arrow, scimitar and battle-axe.

8. Twarita had eight hands, each holding weapons such as the trident, mace, sword, discus, conch, arrow and shield. This terrible Goddess also rode a lion.

Daksha was decapitated by Veerabhadra and Bhadrakali. The other eight Goddesses felled all of Daksha and Bhrigu’s armies, Gods, saints and all the others present there. This horrific destruction continued all night, after which Shiva finally relented and restored all that was destroyed and brought back to life all those he had slain. He even brought Daksha back to life and restored his kingdom. Shiva then substituted Daksha’s decapitated head with that of a goat. Daksha was humbled by both Shiva’s show of strength as well as his grace. He completely changed and became an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.
In the meantime, a totally grief-stricken Shiva, carried Sati’s charred body on his shoulder and roamed all around the world with it. According to one legend, Vishnu dismembered Sati’s body, cutting it into 51 pieces, with his Sudarshan Chakra (discus). He named each one of them Shakti Peethas. As Vishnu continued cutting them, they fell onto the earth, scattering across different parts of India. Each of these body parts was a manifestation of the Supreme Deity, Adi Parashakti. Shiva, who later regained his equanimity, incarnated as Lord Bhairava, in order to complete the huge task of protecting and preserving each one of these Peethas.

Several of these holy Shakti Peethas have now become major places of pilgrimage, pulling in scores of devotees all the year through. These centers are considered particularly sacred by the Shaktas (sects who consider Goddess Sakthi as the Supreme Godhead). Some other minor Shakti Peethas too, such as Bindudham, have become famous, as they are supposed to have emerged in the places where the Devi’s blood drops fell onto the earth.
After this task was completed successfully, Sati was reborn as Parvati, the daughter of Himavan, King of the Mountains, and his wife Menavati. In this incarnation, Parvati’s father, unlike Daksha, was already an ardent devotee of Shiva. Right from childhood, Parvati grew to adore and love Shiva and was always devoted to his worship. In due course of time, she married Shiva again; then giving birth to the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha and the spear-wielding Lord Kartikeya.

The Shakti Peethas in Detail
As mentioned above, the Shakti Peethas are places of worship dedicated to Goddess Shakti or Sati, the Sacred Feminine in Hindu philosophy. She is also the main deity for those in the Shakta sect. These sacred Peethas are strewn all over the Indian subcontinent.

The Legend of the Shakti Peethas
Legend has it that Lord Brahma conducted a yagna to please Shakti and Shiva. Shakti emerged, as a separate entity from Shiva, in order to help Brahma create the Universe. Once that was done, Brahma decided to give back Shakti to Shiva. He therefore asked his son Daksha to perform yagnas to obtain Shakti, with a view to finally getting her reunited with Shiva. In accordance with his father’s wishes, Daksha performed those yagnas and was graced by Shakti, who was born to him as Sati.

Unfortunately, Brahma had been cursed by Shiva, because the former had lied to him. According to the curse, his fifth head would be cut off in front of Shiva. Due to this, Daksha ended up hating Shiva and so, he refused to let Sati marry him. Sati, however, was determined that she would marry only Shiva and had her will. This further incensed Daksha, who insulted both Sati and Shiva at his yagna, thereby resulting in the ensuing destruction and the resultant installation of the Shakti Peethas, as mentioned above.

In each of these sacred places, Shakti is accompanied by her consort, Lord Bhairava, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Shakti, a manifestation of the Supreme Adi Parashakti, is sometimes considered to be the Mother of the Trimurti (the Divine Trinity).

The story of Sati holds immense significance in Hindu mythology, literature, art and culture. It led to the existence of the Shakti Peethas and the strong emergence of the Shakta cult. Sati is also a precursor to the emergence of Parvati as a grihastashrami (householder) and the mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya.
Four Adi Shakti Peethas
Some of the major religious treatises such as the Shiva Purana, Devi Bhagavata, Kalika Purana and Astashakti talk of four major Shakti Peethas. These centers include Bimala (Pada Khanda – inside the Puri Jagannath temple, Odisha), Tara Tarini (Sthana Khanda – near Berhampur, Odisha), Kamakhya Temple (Yoni Khanda – near Guwahati, Assam), Dakhina Kalika (Mukha Khanda – at Kolkata, West Bengal).
The 51 Shakti Peethas
Apart from these major centers, there are 51 Shakti Peethas recognized by all religious texts. These 51 Shakti Peethas link to the 51 alphabets in the Sanskrit language. Temple locations, however, vary from text to text. Some treatises state that the body parts were sprinkled all over India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tibet, Bhutan and Pakistan.

The list of 51 Shakti Peethas are as follows:

1. Amarnath Jammu and Kashmir Throat
2. Attahas West Bengal Lips
3. Bahula West Bengal Left Arm
4. Bakreshwar West Bengal Between the Eyebrows
5. Bhairavparvat Madhya Pradesh Elbow
6. Bhabanipur Bangladesh Left Anklet
7. Chinnamastika Himachal Pradesh Feet
8. Gandaki Nepal Temple
9. Bhadrakali Maharashtra Chin
10. Hinglaj or Hingula Pakistan Brahmarandhra
11. Jayanti Meghalaya Left Thigh
12. Jessoreswari Bangladesh Palms and Soles
13. Jwalaji Himachal Pradsesh Tongue
14. Kalipeeth West Bengal Right Toes
15. Kalmadhav Madhya Pradesh Left Buttock
16. Kamgiri Assam Genitals
17. Kankalitala West Bengal Bones
18. Kanyashram Tamil Nadu Back
19. Karnat Himachal Pradesh Both Ears
20. Kireet West Bengal Crown
21. Anandamayee West Bengal Right Shoulder
22. Bhramari West Bengal Left Leg
23. Manas Tibet Right Hand
24. Manibandh Rajasthan Wrists
25. Mithila Nepal Left Shoulder
26. Nainativu Sri Lanka Silambu or Anklets
27. Near Pashupatinath Nepal Both Knees
28. Chandranath Hill Bangladesh Right Arm
29. Panchsagar Uttarakhand Lower Teeth
30. Prabhas Gujarat Stomach
31. Prayag Uttar Pradesh Finger
32. Kurukshetra Haryana Ankle Bone
33. Ramgiri Uttar Pradesh Right Breast
34. Sainthia West Bengal Necklace
35. Sarvashail Andhra Pradesh Cheeks
36. Naina Devi Uttarakhand Eyes
37. Shondesh Madhya Pradesh Right Buttock
38. Shri Parvat Andhra Pradesh Right Anklet
39. Shri Shail Bangladesh Neck
40. Shuchi Tamil Nadu Upper Teeth
41. Sugandha Bangladesh Nose
42. Udaipur Tripura Right Leg
43. Ujaani West Bengal Right Wrist
44. Varanasi Uttar Pradesh Earring
45. Vibhash West Bengal Left Ankle
46. Virat Rajasthan Left Toes
47. Vrindavan Uttar Pradesh Ringlets of hair
48. Jalandhar Punjab Left Breast
49. Baidyanath Dham Jharkhand Heart
50. Biraja Temple Odisha Navel
51. Jugaadya West Bengal Big Toe
The 18 Maha Shakti Peethas
While the exact number and locations of Shakti Peethas are yet in dispute, there are some Maha Shakti Peethas that are absolutely certain. These are as follows:

1. Sankari Peetham Trincomalee Heart
2. Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Kanchipuram Eyes
3. Pradyumna Peetham West Bengal Stomach
4. Krounja Peetham Mysore Hair
5. Yogini Peetham Telangana Upper Teeth
6. Srisaila Peetham Srisailam Part of Neck
7. Shri Peetham Kolhapur Left Hand
8. Renuka Peetham Maharashtra Part of Back
9. Ujjaini Peetham Ujjain Tongue
10. Pushkarini Peetham Andhra Pradesh Peeta
11. Oddyana Peetham Odisha Right Hand
12. Draksharama Peetham Andhra Pradesh Navel
13. Kamarupa Peetham Guwahati Genitals
14. Prayaga Peetham Prayag Fingers
15. Jwalamukhi Peetham Himachal Pradesh Part of Head
16. Gaya Peetham Gaya Part of Breast
17. Varanasi Peetham Varanasi Throat
18. Saraswati Peetham Kashmir Lips
The Shakti Peethas at Kamakhya, Gaya and Ujjain are considered the most important, because they symbolize the most vital aspects of the Supreme Adi Parashakti, namely, Creation (Kamarupa), Preservation (Sarvamangala) and Annihilation (Mahakali).

The Sharada Peetham is now no longer in existence and lies in ruins near the LoC (Line of Control) between India and Pakistan. Instead, the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka is doing the work of propagating the worship of the Goddess. This, though, is not one of the Shakti Peethas.
In Hindu Literature and Worship
According to the Ramcharitmanas, during the Treta Yuga, Shiva and Sati together visited Rishi Agastya. The sage narrated to them the story of Lord Rama, one of the major avatars of Shri Maha Vishnu. Shiva wanted to meet Rama, but Sati, who did not realize his true divinity, wondered why her husband was so keep to meet a mere human being.

Shiva soon got a glimpse of Rama and was overtaken with love and adoration for him. Though Sati did not say anything at the time, she wondered why Shiva was so overwhelmed seeing this handsome prince. However, Shiva, being omniscient, understood what was going on in Sati’s mind. He asked her to go ahead and test Rama’s divinity.
Rama, in the meantime, realized that Sati was planning to test him and was amused thinking of what was to come next. Sati assumed the form of Sita, Rama’s wife, and approached him. Rama, however, merely smiled at her and asked her how Shiva was doing and why she was roaming in the forest alone, without her husband. After that incident, Sati beat a hasty retreat and returned to Shiva. She was sad and repentant that she had doubted both her husband and Rama.

Knowing that Sati was sad, Rama decided he would entertain her and bring her back to her usual cheerful mood. He gave Sati a darshan of himself along with Sita and his brother, Lakshmana. Sati saw them walking in front of her. She turned back hearing a sound and found them at the back as well. Wherever she looked, Sati found Rama, all the deities and the entire creation within him. This opened her eyes and made her realize the divinity that was Rama. Happy again, she returned to Shiva, also adoring Rama for life.
Rishi Markandeya composed the Devi Saptashati, containing seven hundred hymns, extolling the virtues of the Goddess presiding the Shakti Peetha in Nashik. They say that the idol there is also leaning a little to the left, in order to listen to the sage’s composition. These set of “Durga Stutii” hymns constitute an integral part of Vedic Shakti worship.

Another legend has it that the third eye of Goddess Sati fell below a tree in a mortuary in the Ishan corner of Vakreshwar. Here, the deity is referred to as Chandi Bhagwai Ugra Tara. This Shakti Peetha is called Tarapith and is located in Birbhum district of West Bengal. The Devi’s consort, Bhairava, gives darshan in the form of Chandrachur in this temple.

Some believe that the 64 Peethas of the Devi actually preserve the mortal remains of some great, unknown, ancient female saint or yogic practitioner. According to these sources, the legend of Kali could have evolved from her story and then merged with the current Hindu Purusha-Prakriti (static-dynamic; male-female) concept of Shiva and Shakti.

The Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam is a 27-day yagna festival, which is conducted in the jungle area in North Kerala. This festival commemorates the Daksha Yaga. It is believed that this was the location of the actual yagna of Daksha and that Devi Sati self-immolated on this very spot. The poojas and other rituals conducted here were prescribed by Shri Adi Sankaracharya himself.
Sati’s Perception of Life
Why did Sati have to take her own life? Why could she not have walked away when her father insulted her and her husband? Was it all really worth her taking her own life for such a seemingly insignificant reason?

There are several versions and even more interpretations on the story of Devi Sati. Each one of these versions also contains a hidden lesson one could probably learn from. It all depends on how we look at it; from what perspective.
Sati’s life was one which involved tremendous self-discipline and performing severe austerities, such as meditation, fasting and adhering to yogic vidhis. However, the difference between her and other yogis/yoginis was that she did not want to renounce anything. Quite on the contrary, she wished to attain her desire – that of marrying Lord Shiva. At the time that Sati was longing for him, Shiva was against material love in any form and actually detested the idea of falling in love. He was an ascetic, who had given up the samsara in its entirety.

Daksha was very much averse to Sati marrying Shiva. He did not like the latter’s appearance, behavior and the way in which he carried on with his life. Daksha was only devoted to Vishnu and hated Shiva. He was also highly materially inclined and loved to enjoy the various luxuries that samsara had to offer. He was highly religious and hence, Sati grew up in a religious, orthodox environment. However, she was drawn towards asceticism from a very young age and finally went on to marry an ascetic, who shunned any and all forms of religion. Hence, her entire function in this story was to bring the two opposing forces together.

Daksha and Shiva never saw eye-to-eye on anything. Eventually, however, it was Sati’s death; her ultimate self-sacrifice; that ended the conflict between her father and her husband. Her death, which may have seemed like a negative occurrence, was the one that finally restored peace on earth.

Hence, Sati giving up her own life can be viewed as a sort of extension of the yogic inclinations, which she had held on to, all her life. The Shiva Purana mentions that she did not actually burn in the fire, but rather, let the “yogic fire” present in her, consume her. When she was taking her own life, she was well aware how much she would be hurting her beloved husband. However, she also knew that she would come back in another life as Parvati and that she would again unite with Shiva. In this way,

She knew that her death was one with purpose and that each part of her severed body would serve to protect the dharma, and sanctify places as they fell onto the earth. In this way, the earth itself could be seen as the embodiment of Devi Sati. As the Universal Supreme Mother, Devi Sati is responsible for maintaining the process of creation, preservation and destruction. Her life symbolizes the philosophy that what is born must die and death ultimately goes on to create new life. By punishing Daksha for his pride and impudence, she also reinstates dharma back on earth.

Lastly, Sati is responsible for luring Shiva from his ascetic isolation and actively into samsara. However, once she had achieved that goal, she remained an ascetic at heart; in spite of continuing to enjoy marital bliss. In both life and in death, she worked to get the male-female forces of Purusha and Prakriti together, in order to restore balance in the cosmos.




Who is Devi Sati?
Devi Sati is an Indian Goddess, also called Dakshayani. She was the first wife of Shiva and her reincarnation Parvati was his second. Devi Sati is goddess of marital felicity and longevity, making her one of the most important Hindu goddesses. There are many legends about Sati and various sects of Hinduism adhere to different versions of the goddess. However, the varied legends do have many threads of her story in common. The most famous aspects of Sati’s story is her role in encouraging Shiva to actively participate in the world and her ritual fire sacrifice to uphold Shiva’s honor. It was this act that inspired the controversial custom of widow-burning, called ‘sati’ or ‘suttee,’ practiced by some Hindu communities throughout history.

Shiva and Sati
Even as a young child Sati was enamored with tales and legends of Shiva, another of the most important Hindu gods. As she grew up, she made clear her desire to marry him despite her father’s wishes that she marry one of the rich and noble princes who courted her.

Once she was of age, Devi Sati left her palace home and traveled deep into the forest to meditate and search for Shiva. Shiva is depicted in many forms in Hindu mythology, including being often represented as an ascetic, living in isolation and devoted to a simple life of meditation and wandering the world alone. He is considered to be both the lord of destruction but also creation from that destruction.

In order to attract him, Sati decided to live a life of isolation and poverty, even swearing off food and water. Seeing her devotion to him, Shiva finally appeared before Sati and agreed to take her on as his wife. It is for this reason that Sati is credited with bringing him into a more active role in the world. After Shiva’s promise to marry her, Sati returned to her home temple to wait for Shiva.

However, upon her return to the palace, her father, Daksha, renounced Sita’s intention to marry Shiva. Daksha was a devotee to the God Vishnu and considered Shiva of a lesser status and undeserving of his favorite daughter. However, Sati remained steadfast in her desire to marry Shiva, and she did so, leaving the palace again against her father’s wishes. In response, Daksha disowned her.

Self-immolation of Sati
Dashka organized an elaborate ritual and celebration known as a yagna. He invited many prominent princes and deities, but he intentionally slighted Shiva and Sati by not inviting them. Nonetheless, Sati insisted on attending. She tried to convince Shiva to attend as well, but he refused, warning that she would only find insult and humiliation at the ceremony.

His warnings proved true, as Daksha hurled insult after insult at Sati in front of his guests. He refused to listen to her explaining that her love with Shiva was true.

At this point, in the face of her father’s insults, Adi Parashakti made good on her original promise to end her human life and return in her goddess form if she were insulted. Sati transformed into the goddess in a terrible rage. In her rage, she threw herself into the ritual fire that was part of the yagna ceremony. She also vowed that Shiva would destroy Daksha.

Powers of Sati Devi
Sati Devi, including her reincarnation as Parvati, is considered the goddess of love, marriage, devotion, beauty, and children. She also strongly associated with fertility and self-determination, especially due to her extreme devotion to Shiva and Sati’s insistence on marrying him against her father’s wishes.

Significance of Goddess Sati
Sati is one of the most important goddesses in all sects of Hinduism, especially celebrated for her devotion to Shiva and self-sacrifice, held up as an example of the most pure form of femininity. Especially for the Shakti sect, or Shaktism, she is seen as a manifestation of the supreme goddess. For Shavism, another sect that considered Shiva the supreme being, she is also highly significant for her role as his devoted wife.

The Kottiyoor Ulsavam is a 27 day pilgrimage held in Kerala to commemorate the events of the Daksha Yagna where Sati immolated herself. There are shrines in the locations of the Shakti Peeshas where believers can place offerings and worship.

What is Sati known for?
Sati is known for being the devoted and passionate wife of the Hindu god Shiva. She is also known for sacrificing herself in a ritual fire to uphold Shiva’s honor. She is celebrated for being the goddess of love, devotion, and marriage and also for brining Shiva out of his isolation and taking on a more active role in the world.

Why did Sati burn herself?
Sati burned herself in a rage against her father and to uphold her husband Shiva’s honor. Her father opposed their marriage and insulted her and Shiva at a ritual. When she was born as the human form of the goddess Adi Parashakti, she had promised her father that she would return to her original form if she was insulted. Angry at her father’s insults, Sati threw herself into the burning ritual fire, destroying her human form and returning to her goddess form.

What is the difference between Parvati and Sati?
The difference between Parvati and Sati is that Parvati is the reincarnation of Sati. She was born to different parents, including the god of the mountains, making her the goddess of the mountains. Like Sati, Parvati did go on to marry Shiva and is seen as an important symbol of marital love and devotion. Parvati also had children with Shiva, unlike Sati.

Where is the birthplace of Devi Sati?
The birthplace of Devi Sati is believed to have been in Kankhal, near modern day Haridwar in northern India. This is where the location of her father Daksha’s kingdom was believed to have been.

Why did Shiva marry Sati?
Shiva married Sati because he was impressed by her extreme devotion to him. She had traveled deep into the forest and lived a life of poverty, refusing to eat or drink until he appeared to her. He decided to end his life of isolation and marry her due to the impact of her devotion to him.

Why did Vishnu cut Sati?
Vishnu cut Sati’s body into pieces in order to reincarnate her and ease her husband Shiva’s grief at her death. The believed location of the pieces of her body became sacred sites.



Adi Shakti is considered to be the original creator of the universe. She is the power that protects and destroys. She represents the fertile, bountiful earth, and is the protector of all life form. All goddesses are considered to be a manifestation of her.

The worship of the goddess has evolved over time. Local village goddesses of the forest, field, river and lake became versions of the one great female principle. Lakshmi, Saraswati and Parvati are also considered to be forms of Adi Shakti. The Devi Mahatmayam or the ‘Glory of the Goddess’, describes her as the fierce and beautiful goddess who fights asuras and wards off evil. She shields the gods against evil and stands up for the worthy.



“By you this universe is borne,
By you this world is created,
O Devi, by you it is protected.”
The Shakta tradition glorifies Devi, the consort of Shiva, as the World Mother who, as Shakti, is the energy giving power behind all creation. Shakti is shown in many forms. As Uma or Parvati, she is the gentle consort of Shiva. As Kamakshi or Rajarajeshwari she is the Great Mother. In the form of Durga she rides a tiger, the ego and arrogance that man must subdue. In her angry form she is Kali.

The earliest term applied to the divine feminine, which still retains its popular usage, is Shakti.

The word ‘Shakti’ is derived from the root ‘shak,’ meaning potency or the potential to produce, an assertion of Her inherent creative aptitude.

The word Shakti is used in a variety of ways ranging from its use as a way to illustrate the ultimate primordial creative power, to expressing the capacity or power of words to convey meaning. The word ‘Shakti’ is derived from the root ‘shak,’ meaning potency or the potential to produce, an assertion of Her inherent creative aptitude.

All interpretations of the word ‘Shakti’ hold common one parameter, Power. Specifically, Shakti means Power, Force and Feminine Energy. She represents the fundamental creative instinct underlying the cosmos, and is the energizing force of all divinity, of every being and every thing. Devotees believe the whole universe to be a manifestation of Shakti, who is also known by her general name Devi, from the Sanskrit root ‘div’ which means to shine.