SATI AND SHIVA
This is the tale of how Sati wins the heart of Lord Shiva. From childhood, Sati is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and by doing severe penance she manages to win Shiva's heart. On Lord Shiva's request Brahma convinces Daksha to accept Shiva as his son-in law. Shiva and Sati get finally get married on an auspicious day.
Daksha was not happy with the marriage. He was angry because his daughter had married against his wishes. In Satya Yuga, Daksha performed a grand yagna and invited everyone from the three worlds except Lord Shiva and Sati. This was done with the idea to disrespect and humiliate Lord Shiva. Sati was unhappy and went to convince her father, who not only didn’t listen to her pleas but insulted her husband Lord Shiva. Sati was unable to bear her father’s insults toward her husband, so she sacrificed her life by jumping into the yagna fire. When Lord Shiva heard about her death he became furious. He went to the place where Daksha was performing his yagna and destroyed the area. He created two powerful beings called Virabadra and Maha Kali from his matted hair. They destroy the yagna and Virabadra kills Daksha.
Lord Shiva then carried Sati’s body all over the world in a state of wild grief. At the request of all other gods, Lord Vishnu severed Sati’s body into 51 pieces with his Sudarshan Chakra, so that Lord Shiva could return to his sanity and once again take up his duties. Various parts of Sati’s body fell at different places which became known as Shakti Peethas. At all Shakti Peethas, the Goddess Shakti is accompanied by Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva).
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51 SHAKTI PEETHAS
1. Hingula (Hinglaj) Devi’s mind or brain fell here and the idols are Devi as Kotari (Durga) and Shiva as Bhimlochan (Terrible eyed or the third eye). The location is towards 125 km from
2. Sharkarare or Karavipur Devi’s three eyes fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahishmardini (Durga the destroyer of Mahishashur) and Shiva as Krodhish (the one who can be angry). It is near
3. Jwalamukhi, Kangra, Devi’s tongue fell here and the idols are Devi as Ambika (Mother) and Shiva as Unmatta (Furious). This is located near Pathankot, H.P.,
4. Sugandha Devi’s nose fell here and idols are Devi as Sunanada (Pleasing) and Shiva as Traimbak (Rudra). In the state of
5. On Bhairabha mountain near Avanti Devi’s upper lips fell here and idols are Devi as Avanti (Modest) and Shiva as Lambakarna (Long eared one). It is located near
6. Attahas (laughter) Devi’s lower lips fell here and the idols are Devi as Fullara (Blooming) and Shiva as Bhairabhvishesya (Lord of the universe). The place is in
7. Prabhas Devi’s stomach fell here and the idols are Devi as Chandrabhaga (Throne of the moon) and Shiva as Bakratunda (the one with the bent staff). This is near Mumbai where a launch goes to Bharoal which is near Prabhas.
8. Yanasthana Devi’s chin fell here and the idols are Devi as Bhramari (female Bumble bee or attendant of Durga) and Shiva as Vikrakatakkha (one with the crooked eyes or look). Other names are Devi as Chibuka (the one with the chin) and Shiva as Sarvasiddhish (the one who can provide all desires).
10. Gandaki (river) Devi’s right cheek fell here and the idols are Devi as Gandakichandi (the one who overcomes obstacles or Gandi) and Shiva as Chakrapani (Holder of the discus). Famous pilgrimage.
11. Suchidesha Devi’s upper teeth fell here and the idols are Devi as Narayani (the wife of Narayan) and Shiva as Sanghar. Panchasagar - Devi’s lower teeth fell here and the idols are Devi as Barahi and Shiva as Maharudra (the angry one).
12. Bhavanipur or Karota (river) Devi’s left seat or her clothing fell here and idols are Devi as Aparna (the one who ate nothing, not even leaves) and Shiva as Bhairabha (Destroyer of fear). The King of Nator and his grandson the Maharajah Ramakrishna used to meditate here. The seat, the yognakunda and five skulls are still here. In the month of Baisakha according to the Bengali calendar, there is a large fete or Mela here to celebrate Ramanavami or Deepanbita.
13. Shriparvata or Shri mountain Devi’s right seat fell here and the idols are Devi as Shri Sunadari (beautiful) and Shiva as Sundaranand (the handsome one).
14. Karnat Devi’s two ears fell here and the idols are Devi as Jai Durga (the victoriuos Durga) and Shiva as Avirooka.
15. Vrindavana Devi’s hair fell here and idols are Devi as Uma (Devi) and Shiva as Bhootesh (or provider of all desires). Playgorund of Lord Krishna and the gopis.
16. Kirit Devi’s crown or headdress fell here and idols are Devi as Vimala (Pure) and Shiva as Sangbarta. Take the train to Ajimganj. The temples are on the shore of the ganges near Batnagar. (in
17. Shrihatta Devi’s nape of the neck fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahalakshmi (the goddess of prosperity and wife of Mahavishnu) and Shiva as Sarvananda (the one who makes everyone happy). Devi’s temple is Near Shrihatta town and Shiva’s temple is near Jainpur. Shivaratri and Ashokashtami are celebrated with a Mela (carnival). Take train from
18. Nalhati Devi’s vocal pipe fell here and the idols are Devi as Kalika (Durga) and Shiva as Yogesh. By train from
19. Kashmir Devi’s neck fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahamaya (the great Illusion) and Shiva as Trisandhyasvar. The famous pilgrimage is Amarnath. There is a Shiva linga of glacial ice which expands and contracts with the seasons.
20. Ratnabali Devi’s right shoulder fell here and the idols are Devi as Kumari (Durga) and Shiva as Bhairabha (Remover of fear).
21. Mithila Devi’s left shoulder fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahadevi (Devi) and Shiva as Mahodara (the big belied one). This is near Janakpur station.
22. Chattagram (also called Chattal) Devi’s right arm fell here and the idols are Devi as Bhavani (Devi) and Shiva as Chandrashekhar (the one who has the moon as the crown). It is said that Mahadeva has himself pronounced that he will visit Chandrashekhar mountain regularly during Kali yuga. This is near Sitakunda station. This is in Bangladesh.
23. Manav Kschetra (Field) Devi’s right hand or palm fell her and the idols are Devi as Dakhchayani (Durga) and Shiva as Amar (Immortal). Take train from Howrah station to Guskar station and then a few miles to Kogram. Mahadeva is considered Siddhidayaka or provider of all wishes.
24. Ujjaini Devi’s elbows fell here and the idols are Devi as Mangalchandi (Durga) and Shiva as Kapilambar (one who wears the brown clothes). Shiva is siddhidayaka.
25. Manibandha Devi’s middle of the palms fell here and the idols are Devi as Gayatri (Saraswati) and Shiva as Sarvananda (the one who makes everyone happy).
26. Prayag (three rivers meet here) Devi’s ten fingers fell here and the idols are Devi as Lalita (beautiful). Another name is Alopi and Shiva as Bhava. Near Tribeni ghat there is Banitirtha ghat (Quay for boats). Allahabad is the train station.
27. Bahula Devi’s left arm fell here and the idols are Devi as Bahula (Abundant) and Shiva as Bhiruk (who is also Sarvasiddhadayaka). Arrive at Katoa rail station and then go to Ketugram which is a pilgrimage.
28. Jalandhar Devi’s right breast fell here and the idols are Devi as Tripurmalini (Durga) and Shiva as Bhisan (Gruesome). Jwalamukhi is the nearby Tirtha and train goes from Delhi to Jalandhar.
29. Ramgiri (or Chitrakoot mountain) Devi’s left breast fell here (another opinion is that her Nala or Jaghanasti fell here) and the idols are Devi as Shibani (the wife of Shiva) and Shiva as Chanda. Near Bilaspur station and a walk of 2 miles.
30. Vaidyanath Devi’s heart fell here and the idols are Devi as Jaidurga (Victorious Durga) and Shiva as Vaidyanath. It is in Bihar. Joshidi is the train station.
31. Utkal, Orissa, Devi’s navel fell here and the idols are Devi as Vimala (the pure one) and Shiva as Jagannath (the ruler of the world). This is near the Jagannath temple of Puri in the state of Orissa.
32. Kanchidesh Devi’s skeleton fell here and the idols are Devi as Devagarbha and Shiva as Ruru. Bolpur station to Kopar river banks. There is a well for worship.
33. Kalmadhava Devi’s right hips fell here and the idols are Devi as Kali (another form of Durga) and Shiva as Asitananda. By praying to the Devi profusely pilgirms can obtain their desired objective.
34. Sone (near Sone river) Devi’s left hips fell here and the idols are Devi as Narmada and Shiva as Vadrasen.
35. Kamakhya (or Kamroop) Devi’s yoni fell here and the idols are Devi as Kamakhya (personification of love) and Shiva as Umananda. This is near Gauhati in the state of
36. Devi’s two knees fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahashira and Shiva as Kapali. This is in
37. Jayanti Devi’s left thigh fell here and the idols are Devi as Jayanti and Shiva as Kramadiswar. In Bengal near Sri Hatta.
38. Magadha Devi’s right thigh fell here and the idols are Devi as Sarvanandari and Shiva as Bomkesha. Inside Shrihatta at Jayantipargana near the base of the Kahshia mountain Devi’s legs are placed here. Srihatta to Kanairghat by boat and then walk 2 miles. In West Bengal.
39. Tripura Devi’s right foot fell here and the idols are Devi as Tripurasundari and Shiva as Tripuresh. Devi is grantor of all wishes or Sarvavishta pradyani.
40. Khirgram Devi’s right toe fell here and the idols are Devi as Yogadaya and Shiva as Khirakantha. Take Eastern Indian Railway to Bardwhan station. Take Bardhwan Katoa Rail to Nigam station. Nigam station to Khirgram (village) is 2 miles. A mela (fete) is held during Baisakha Sankranti.
41. Kalighat (Kolkotta) Devi’s four small toes from her right foot fell here and the idols are Devi as Kali and Shiva as Nakulish or Nakuleswar. Famous pilgrimage located in Kolkotta in the state of West Bengal. Kali is a dark complexioned form of Shakti who has taste for blood and death. She rules over the cremation sites and is worshipped by devotees on a dark and moon less night. She is a popular deity of Bengal. kali is the female version of Kala or end of time.42. Kurukshetra (or fields belonging to the Kuru family where the battle of the Mahbharata was fought between the Kurus and Pandus) Devi’s right ankle fell here and the idols are Devi as Savitri or Sthanu and Shiva as Aswanath.
43. Bakreswar Devi’s mind or the centre of the brows fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahishamardini (the slayer of Mahishasur or Durga) and Shiva as Bakranath. Near Ahmedpur station. There are seven hot springs and also the Paphara (remover of sins) river. The Mahamuni Ashtabakra found enlightenment here. On Shivaratri (night) there is a grand Mela (fete) here.
44. Jessore Devi’s centre of the hands fell here and the idols are Jashoreswari and Shiva as Chanda (Moon or the one who holds the moon).
45. Nandipur Devi’s necklace fell here and the idols are Devi as Nandini and Shiva as Nandikishore.
46. Varanasi (Benaras) Devi’s earrings (Kundal) fell here and the idols are Devi as VishwaLakschmi (The provider of wealth to all) and Shiva as Kala (Time or the end of time). Famous pilgrimage in UP and one of the oldest cities in the world. The Puranas say that this city exists even after the Pralaya.
47. Kanashram or Kalikashram Devi’s back fell here and the idols are Devi as Sharvani and Shiva as Nimisha.
48. Lanka - Her feet bells (Nupur) fell here and the idols are Devi as Indrakschi and Shiva as Rakchaseswara. Indrakschi was created and worshipped by Indra in person.
49. Virat Devi’s small toes of the feet fell here and idols are Devi as Ambika and Shiva as Amrita (nectar of immortality).
50. Bivasa Devi’s left ankle fell here and the idols are Devi as Bhimarupa and Shiva as Sarvananda.
51. Trisnota Devi’s left feet fell here and the idols are Devi as Vramari (Bumblebee) and Shiva as Iswar (God). On the banks of Tista river in Shalbari village in Jalpaiguri district in
Shiva takes revenge on Daksha. But Brahma and Vishnu plead with Shiva to bring Daksha back life as a yagna once started has to be completed. Shiva then agrees to revive Daksha but does so by giving him the head of a goat. When Sati ends her life by immersing herself in the yagna fire, she is reborn as Parvati, the daughter of a great king Himavat, ruler of the