Daksha Prajapati – Sati Devi, Maha Deva and ‘Shakti Pteethas’

Maha Muni Durvasa performed Tapasya of high quality to Devi Bhagavati and She was pleased with him and gifted a flower garland which was worn on his head. From there the Muni met Daksha Prajapati who asked for the gifted garland for worship; however he kept it in his bedchamber where he was intoxicated with the fragrance, got provoked by his animal instinct to sleep with his wife and worse still he abused Maha Deva. The Garland was also an extension of Bhagavati in whom the form of Sati Devi was present too and as a ready witness of Sati Devi’s silent protest against Her father whose remarks on Her husband were unjust, she had no alternative but to quit a body which was not worthy of Her father’s ancestry and thus sacrificed Her life by installing Yoga Fire. On learning of this, Lord Siva grew furious and created Vira Bhadra with several Bhadra Kalis, being ready to destroy the three Worlds. He picked up Sati’s dead body and performed furious Siva Dance to release His pent up emotions and intense feelings of love for Sati Devi and heightened anger for Daksha. Lord Vishnu cut off Sati’s body with arrows which were thrown away into hundred and eight places that were later known as Shakti Peethas. If Vishnu did not do likewise, Lord Siva might not cool down soon enough. Lord Siva’s followers destroyed the Sacrifice that was in the process already, but being an Ocean of Kindness, He installed the Sacrificed goat-head fixed on Daksha’s severed head, appeared at all the places wherever the body parts of Sati fell and blessed humanity to worship the Places as Holy Temples.

Veda Vyasa described the Siddha Peethas as mere hearing about these would destroy sins and worshipping the Deities would bestow powers.The face of Gauri is at Kasi with the name of Visalakshi; that in Naimisharanya as Linga Dharini; Lalitha Devi at Prayaga orAllahabad; in Gandha Madan by the name of Kamuki; in Southern Manasa as Kumuda; in Northern Manasa as Viswakama or the Provider of Desires; in Gomanta by the name of Gomati; in the Mountain of Mandara as Kamacharini; in Chaitraratha by name Mandotkata; in Hastinapura as Jayanti; in Kanyakubja as Gauri; in Malaya Mountain as Rambha; in Ekambara Peetha as Kirtimati; in Visve as Viswesvari; in Pushkara as Puruhuta; in Kedara Peetha as Sanmarga dayani; as Manda at the top of Himalayas; as Bhadrakarnika at Gokarna; as Bhavani at Sthanesvara; as Bilvapatrika at Bilvake; at Madhavi at Srisaila; Bhadra in Bhadresvara; Jara on Varaha Saila; as Kamala at Kamalaya; as Rudrani at Rudrakoti; Kali in Kalanjira; Maha Devi in Salagrama; Jayapriya at Sivalingam; Kapila at Mahalingam; as Muktesvari at Makota; as Kumari in Mayapuri; as Lalitambika at Sanatana; at Mangala at Gaya Kshetra; as Vimala at Puroshottama; as Utpalakshi at Sahasraksha; Mahotpala at Hiranksha; Amoghakshi at Vipasa River; Patala at Pundravardhana; Narayani as Suparsva; Rudra Sundari at Trikuta; Vipula Devi in Vipula; as Kalyani in Malayachala; Ekavira in Shyadri; Chandrika in Harischandra; Ramana in Ramatheertha; as Mrigavati at Yamuna; as Kotini at Kota Theertha; Sugandha at Mandhavadana; Trisandhya at Godavari; Rati Priya at Gandharva; Subhananda in Sivakundam; Nandini at Devika thata; Rukmini in Dvaravati, Radha at Brindavana; Devaki in Mathura; Paramesvari in Patala; Sita in Chitrakuta; Vindhyadhivasini in Vindhya Range; Maha Lakshmi at Karavira; Uma Devi in Vinayaka; Arogya in Vaidyanatha; Mahesvari in Mahakala; as Abhaya in all the Usna Thirthas; Nitamba in Vidhua mountain; Mandavi in Mandavya; Svaha in Mahesvari pura; Prachanda in Chagalanda; Chandika at Amarakantaka; Vararoha in Somesvara; Pushkaravati in Prabhasa; Devamata in Sarasvati; Paravara in Samudra thata; Mahabhaga in Mahalaya; Pingalesvari in Payosni; Simhika in Kritasoucha; Atisankari in Karthika; Lola in Utpalavartaka; Subhadra in Sona Sangam; Lakshmi at Siddhavana; Ananga in Bharatashrama; Visvamukhi in Jalandhara; Tara in Kishkindhya; Pushti in Devadaru Vana; Medha in Kashmira Mandala;Bhima in Himadri; Tusti in Visvesvara Kshetra; Suddhi in Kapalamochana; Mata in Karavarohana; Dhara in Sankhodhara; Dhriti in Pindaraka; Kala in Chandrabhaga River; Sivadharani in Acchoda; Amrita in Vena and as Urvasi in Vadari; also as Medicines in Uttarakuru; as Kuskodaka in Kusadwipa; as Manmatha at Hemakuta; as Satyavadini in Kumuda; as Vandaniya in Asvathha; as Nidhi Vaisravanalaya; as Gayatri in the mouth of Vedas; as Parvathi near to Siva; Indrani in Devaloka; Sarasvati in the face of Brahma; Prabha in Solar disc; as Vaishnavi in Matrikas; Arundhati among Satis or the chaste women; Tilottama among Ramas; Maha Devi in the form of Great Intelligence or ‘Samvid’; Bhramakala in the hearts of the embodied beings.

Veda Vyasa told King Janamejaya that even if one recited the names of the hundred and eight Devis, the person concerned would secure immense peace of mind and of course if one visited and worshipped the Deities-at least as many as possible- he or she would attain bliss.The aftermath of Devi Sati’s yogic immolation, Sadasiva’s unleashed anger on Daksha and the stormy events that ensued witnessed an awful era of sorrow and aimless existence. Sadasiva went into severe Tapasya and Devas lost their usual splendour. That was the time when Danavas gained an upper hand and their Chief Tarakasura who performed rigorous penance to Lord Brahma secured a tricky boon from him of invincibility except from Sadasiva’s son, knowing well that Lord Siva was upset by His consort Sati Devi’s yogic end and little possibility of Sadasiva’s re-marriage and begetting a child even in the distant future! Out of sheer desperation, Devas approached Maha Vishnu for help.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]