The story of Prajapati Daksha's daughter, Sati, married Lord Shiva is well known. And also that, Daksha organized a great yajna, in which Sati jumped into the sacrificial fire and committed suicide. Sati died, but her corpse did not burn. Virabhadra was sent by Lord Shiva to decapitate Daksha for being responsible for Sati's death and Shiva forgave by resurrecting him. The wild, grief-stricken Shiva wandered the universe with Sati's corpse. Finally, the lord Vishnu dismembered the body of Sati into 52 parts, each of which became Shakti Peetha, temple to a form of the Goddess.

This is the well know story of Sati and origins of the Shakti Peethas.

I would like to know the source of this popular story.

  • It is in Shiva mahapurana, andhra mahabhagavatham and many other Nov 17, 2016 at 7:45
  • More than one Puranas.
    – Rickross
    Nov 17, 2016 at 7:45
  • @ Rickross Good to learn that more the one dicuss about this story. I would like you to support me with the transcript .Atleast the basic minimum.
    – Ganesh
    Nov 17, 2016 at 8:28
  • 2
    I think both Shiva and Skanda Purana don't mention this. May be Shakta texts mention this incident.
    – The Destroyer
    Nov 17, 2016 at 9:51

1 Answer 1


Lord Vishnu cutting off Sati's body in pieces and the subsequent creation of the Shakti Pithas is described in book 7,chapter XXX of the Devi Bhagavatam.

He, the Ocean of Mercy, destroyed the sacrifice of Daksa, cut off his head and instead placed the head of a goat, brought him back to life and thus made the Gods free from all fears. He, the Deva of the Devas, then became very much distressed and going to the place of sacrifice, began to weep in great sorrow. He saw that the body of the Intelligent Satî was being burnt in the fire of the Chitâ. He cried aloud :– Oh my Satî! Oh My Satî! And taking Her body on His neck, began to roam in different countries, like a mad man. Seeing that, Brahmâ and the other Devas became very anxious and Bhagavân Visnu cut off the body to pieces by His arrows. Wherever the parts fell, S’ankara remained there in so many different forms.

King Janamejaya enquired:

51-52. Janamejaya said :– Where, in what places the several parts of the Satî fell? What are the names of those Siddhapîthas? And what is their number? Kindly describe these in detail, O Great Muni

53-102. Vyâsa said :– O King! I will now describe those Pîthas (Sacred places), the mere hearing of which destroys all the sins of men. Hear. I describe duly those places where the persons desiring to get lordly powers and to attain success ought to worship and meditate on the Devî. O Mahârâja! The face of Gaurî fell in Kâs’î; She is well known there by the name Vis’âlâksî; that which fell in Naimisâranya became known by the name of Linga Dhârinî. This Mahâ Mâyâ is known in Prayâg (Allahabad) by the name of Lalitâ Devî; in Gandha Mâdan, by the name of Kâmukî; in the southern Mânasa, by Kumudâ; in the northern Mânasa, by Visvakâmâ, the Yielder of all desires; in Gomanta, by Gomatî and in the mountain of Mandara, She became known by the name of Kâmachârinî. The Devî is known in Chaitraratha, by the name of of Madotkatâ; in Hastinâpura, by Jayantî; in Kânyakubja by the name of Gaurî; in the Malaya Mountain, by Rambhâ; in the Ekâmrapîtha, by Kîrtimatî, in Vis’ve, by the name of Vis’ves’varî; in Puskara, by the name of Puruhûtâ. She is known as Sanmârga Dâyinî in the Kedâra Pîtha; as Mandâ, in the top of the Himâlayâs; and as Bhadrakarnikâ in Gokarna. She is known as Bhavânî in Sthanes’vara, as Vilvapatrikâ in Vilvake; as Mâdhavi in S’rîs’aila; as Bhadrâ in Bhadres’vara. She is known as Jarâ in Varâha S’aila; as Kamalâ in Kamalâlaya; as Rudranî in Rudra Kotî; as Kâlî in Kâlanjara; She is known as Mahâ Devî in S’âlagrâma, as Jalapriyâ in S’ivalingam; as Kapilâ in Mahâlingam, as Mukutes’varî in Mâkota. As Kumarî in Mâyâpurî, as Lalitâmbikâ in Santânâ; as Mangalâ in Gayâ Ksetra, as Vimalâ in Purusottama. As Utpalâksî in Sahasrâksa; as Mahotpalâ in Hiranyâksa; as Amoghâksî in the Vipâsâ river; as Pâtalâ in Pundra Vardhana. As Nârâyanî in Supârs’va, as Rudra Sundarî in Trikûta; as Vipulâ Devî in Vipulâ; as Kalyânî in Malayâchala. As Ekavîrâ, in Sahyâdri; as Chandrikâ in Haris’chandra; as Ramanâ in Râma Tîrtha; as Mrigâvatî in the Yamunâ. As Kotivî in Kotatîrtha; as Sugandhâ in Mâdhavavana; as Trisandhyâ in the Godâvarî; as Ratipriyâ in Gangâdvâra. As S’ubhânandâ in S’iva Kundam, as Nandinî in Devîkâtata; as Rukminî in Dvâravatî; as Râdhâ in Brindâvana. As Devakî in Mathurâ; as Parames’varî in Pâtâla; as Sîtâ in Chitrakuta; as Vindhyâdhivâsinî in the Vindhyâ range. O King! As Mahâlaksmî in the sacred place of Karavîra, as Umâ Devî in Vinâyaka; as Ârogyâ in Vaidyânâtha; as Mahes’varî in Mahâkâla, as Abhayâ in all the Usna tîrthas, as Nitambâ in the Vindhyâ mountain; as Mândavî in Mândavya; as Svâhâ in Mâhes’varîpûra. As Prachandâ in Chhagalanda, as Chandikâ in Amarakantaka; as Varârohâ in Somes’vara; as Puskarâvatî in Prabhâsa. As Devamâtâ in Sarasvatî; as Parâvârâ in Samudrtata; as Mahâbhâgâ in Mahâlayâ, as Pingales’varî in Payosnî. As Simhikâ in Kritas’aucha; as Atis’ânkârî in Kârtika; as Lolâ in Utpalâvartaka; as Subhadrâ in S’ona Sangam. As the Mother Laksmî in Siddhavana; as Anangâ in Bhâratâs’rama; as Vis’vamukhî in Jâlandhara; as Târâ in the Kiskindhya mountain. As Pustî in Devadâru Vana; as Medhâ in Kâs’mîramandalam......

Not quoted all the Pithas but there are 108 of them in all.

O Janamejaya! Thus I have mentioned to you the one hundred and eight pîthas (sacred places or seats of the Deity) and as many Devîs

  • Do you know which Purana mentions Vishnu using Sudarshana Chakra to cut Sati's body?
    – The Destroyer
    Nov 17, 2016 at 15:40
  • 1
    There's no reason to downvote it as user wanted to know "death story of Goddess Sati". Anyways, i nullified it by upvoting. OP should highlight if he primarily wants to know about Vishnu cutting Sati's body.
    – The Destroyer
    Nov 17, 2016 at 15:53
  • 1
    Yes. Saw it. Good answer. I actually read only 2 books of Devi Bhagavatam. BTW, do you know individual stories or legends of 52 Shakti peetas? We can provide info about them like 12 jyotirlinga s (as Q&A). Also, questions about Devi are very less on this site when compared to other Gods.
    – The Destroyer
    Dec 27, 2016 at 15:06
  • 1
    Thanks,Yes you are right ....About the 51 peethas i know few legends from a bengali book..
    – Rickross
    Dec 27, 2016 at 15:09
  • 1
    Then you can post Q&A discussing their legends and importance :)
    – The Destroyer
    Dec 27, 2016 at 15:11

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