Legend of Shakti Peeths

Lord Brahma performed a yajna (Vedic ritual of fire sacrifice) to please Shakti and Shiva. Goddess Shakti emerged, separating from Shiva and helped Brahma in the creation of the universe. Brahma decided to give Shakti back to Shiva. Therefore his son Daksha performed several yajnas to obtain Shakti as his daughter in the form of Sati. It was then decided that Sati was brought into this world with the motive of getting married to Shiva.

However, due to Lord Shiva's curse to Brahma that his fifth head was cut off due to his lie in front of Shiva, Daksha started hating Lord Shiva and decided not to let Lord Shiva and Sati get married. However, Sati got attracted to Shiva and finally one day Shiva and Sati got married. This marriage only increased Daksha's hatred towards Lord Shiva.

Daksha performed a yajna with a desire to take revenge on Lord Shiva. Daksha invited all the deities to the yajna except Lord Shiva and Sati. The fact that she was not invited did not deter Sati from attending the yajna. She expressed her desire to attend the yajna to Shiva, who tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually relented and Sati went to the yajna. Sati, being an uninvited guest, was not given any respect at the yajna. Furthermore, Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati was unable to bear her father's insults toward her husband, so she immolated herself.

Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva in Virabhadra avatar destroyed Daksha's yajna, cut off Daksha's head, and later replaced it with that of a male goat as he restored him to life. Still immersed in grief, Shiva picked up the remains of Sati's body, and performed the Tandava, the celestial dance of destruction, across all creation. The other Gods requested Vishnu to intervene to stop this destruction, towards which Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra, which cut through the Sati's corpse. The various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today.

At all the Shakti Peethas, the Goddess Shakti is accompanied by her consort, Lord Bhairava (a manifestation of Lord Shiva). Shakti is an aspect of the Supreme Being Adi parashakti, the mother of the trimurti, the holy trinity in Hindu mythology.