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After Lord Brahma created the world, he made several divine beings using his mental powers. The most prominent among them were the seven wise sages, also known as the Saptrishis or the enlightened ones. Next, he brought to life Sage Narada, who became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. He then created Manu and Shatrupa, the first humans, to populate the earth. He also created Kamadeva, the god of love. Lord Brahma was proud of his creations by the time he created Daksha. Hence Daksha symbolized his ego.
One day, Lord Brahma invited Lord Vishnu to his abode, Brahmaloka, and shared his hidden desire with Lord Vishnu. “I can’t forget my humiliation by Lord Shiva,” he said. “Is there a way to get Lord Shiva attached to a woman and make him seek materialistic pleasures of life?”
Lord Vishnu advised Lord Brahma to forget his animosity towards Lord Shiva, but Lord Brahma did not relent.
Finally, Lord Vishnu said, “Only the Divine Goddess can take birth in this world and become the wife of Lord Shiva. You must instruct your son Daksha to perform penance so that she can take birth as his daughter.”
After Lord Vishnu left, Lord Brahma summoned Daksha and said, “You must appease Maa Adi Shakti, or the Divine Goddess, and request her to take birth as your daughter.”
Daksha accepted his father’s command. Daksha and his wife, Virani, went to a secluded place and began their penance. They controlled their senses and desires and started praising the Divine Mother of the universe. They ate simple food and performed all the sacred tasks for years.
Finally, the Divine Mother appeared before them and said, “I am pleased with your devotion and prayers. Ask for a boon.”
Daksha said, “O Divine Mother, we request you to take birth in our world as our daughter.”
The Goddess smiled. She said, “I will take birth as your daughter. Later, I will perform severe penance and marry Lord Shiva after securing a boon from him. However, I have one condition. If you ever disrespect me, I will abandon my body and withdraw my soul immediately.”
Daksha and Virani promised never to disrespect the Goddess.
She said, “Soon, I will take birth in this world as your daughter. You will forget this conversation once you reach your palace. I do not want any preferential treatment. Love me as much as you love your other daughters.”
Daksha and Virani returned to their palace. A few months later, Virani gave birth to a daughter. When Daksha heard the news, he rushed to meet his wife. He saw his daughter lying beside his wife. Daksha lifted his daughter in his arms. She smiled for the first time, and he was overjoyed. Daksha and his wife organized a grand feast to celebrate the birth of their youngest daughter. Daksha gave away gifts to the priests and holy men. All the gods came to the feast and congratulated the couple.
One day, the divine sage Narada came to Daksha’s palace. Daksha welcomed him and said, “O Holy Sage, please come and bless my daughter and suggest a suitable name for her.”
When Narada looked at Daksha’s daughter, he said, “She symbolizes purity and virtue. You should call her Sati.”
Daksha liked the name and named his daughter Sati. Sati became Daksha’s favorite daughter, and he spent a lot of time with her. Sati also loved her father and idolized him. Sage Narada often visited the family. Sati looked forward to his visits. Narada would often narrate stories of Lord Shiva to her. Sati enjoyed these stories very much. Even as a child, she adored Lord Shiva. As she grew up, her devotion toward Lord Shiva grew stronger.
When Sati attained womanhood, Daksha received several marriage proposals from valiant kings and princes. However, Sati refused these proposals because she wanted to have Lord Shiva as her husband.
When Sati expressed her desire to Sage Narada, he said, “Lord Shiva is an ascetic. He has no interest in this materialistic world. You live in a palace, surrounded by all the luxuries of life. Can you give up this life and lead an austere life? He can be won over only with penance and devotion.”
Sati was determined to marry Lord Shiva. She placed a Shiva Linga in the garden and began to worship the lord. She began to live the life of an ascetic and gave up all the luxuries of life. When Daksha came back from the tour of his kingdom, he was shocked to see his daughter dressed in simple clothes, meditating in the palace’s garden.
An angry Daksha approached Sati and said, “What are you doing here?”
Sati replied calmly, “Father, I wish to have Lord Shiva as my life partner. From now on, I will lead a simple life, just like him.”
Daksha said, “You are the daughter of Daksha Prajapati. You have no dearth of good suitors. Why are you performing penance to live with a nomad when you can live a happy and prosperous life with the life partner I choose?”
Sati politely refused, affirming that she would only marry Lord Shiva, and resumed her penance. An angry Daksha returned to the palace.