The myth of Shiva and Sati is told in different Puranas, such as the Shiva Purana, the Bhagavata Purana and the Kalika Purana. While each purana offers a slightly different version, most of us are familiar with the story.
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Daksha Prajapati is one of Brahma’s sons, who is responsible for populating the earth. He has 62 daughters, who are given off to different gods and sages in marriage for that very purpose. Sati is Adi Parashakti – the embodiment of the cosmic feminine energy – who is born to Daksha and his wife, Prasuti. She is, therefore, also called Dakshayani. Right from childhood, Sati is devoted to Shiva, and can think of no other man to marry. She is persistent in her devotions, even as she blooms into a beautiful young woman. Daksha tries to present the best of princes and gods as suitors to her, but Sati is adamant. She goes so far as to forsake all her father’s palatial comforts and turns into a yogini to appease the ascetic Shiva. Eventually, Shiva is pleased by her tapasya and agrees to marry her.