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There are multiple stories related to the origin of Goddess Mahakali:

  1. The Rudra Samhita 2.53 of the Shiva Mahapuran mentions that when Nandi informed Shiva about Sati's death, he became very furious. He angrily pulled out a locks of hair and dashed it against the mountain, which got divided into two parts. From one part manifested the valiant Veerbharda and from the other part Mahakali.

  2. In the Uma Samhita 5.16 of the same Puran Bhagawati manifested herself in the form of Kali from the mouth and eyes of lord Vishnu at the time Madhu and Kaitabh are born from Vishnu’s ear-wax and attack Brahma.

  3. According to Matsya Puran Kali emerged when Parvati meditated to become fair and a goddess named Koushiki emerged out of her cells.

  4. And then of course are the accounts in Devi Mahatmya and Devi Bhagwat Puran regarding her emerging from the forehead of Goddess Ambika.

So do these different stories refer to different Kalis or to the different times Kali emerged? Also which of these appearances could be the oldest one?

  • Kali that appeared from hair of Shiva was Bhadra Kali, not Mahaa Kali. Bhadra Kali is different than Kaal Ratri (Kali, form of Aadi Shakti) as per my knowledge. – Rishabh Sep 8 '17 at 8:36
  • Cool but what about the other stories? – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Sep 8 '17 at 8:50
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    Hmmm partially yes.. not sure whether the story of Madhu and Kaitabh is way before Sati and Parvati or it is just one of the anomalies of Kalpa Bheda. Also there are other version like that of Linga Puran that talks about a different origin of Kali from Parvati. I wish someone could post something helpful for either of the questions. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Sep 8 '17 at 18:02
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    Hmmm so then the first story would be that of her emerging at the time of Madhu and Kaitabh. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Sep 9 '17 at 8:36
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    @Dr.VineetAggarwal Yes chronologically, it seems to be the first instance in the Kalpa when she manifests herself. – Surya Sep 9 '17 at 15:45

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