This legend is associated with the destruction of
Daksha's sacrifice and the origin of the Shakti Peethas of India. This is
one of the eight legends portraying Shiva as the destroyer of evil.
Sati, the consort of Shiva was the
daughter of Daksha Prajaapati a descendant of Bhrama.. Sati had married
Shiva against the wishes of her father. The vain Daksha performed a great yagna (with the
sole aim of insulting Shiva), to which he invited all of the gods and goddesses except his
son in law Shiva. Against Shiva's wishes, Sati attended this sacrifice and was insulted by
her father. Unable to bear this insult, Sati immolated herself.
Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva through Veerabhadra,
destroyed Daksha's sacrifice, cut off Daksha's head and replaced it with that of a goat,
as he restored him to life. Still crazed with grief, he picked up the remains of Sati's
body, and danced the dance of destruction throughout the Universe. The other gods
intervened to stop this dance, and the disk of Vishnu cut through the
corpse of Sati, whose various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the
Indian subcontinent and formed the sites of what are known as Shakti Peethas
An image of Dakshaaari Murthy, the
slayer of Daksha is enshrined at Tiruppariyalur near
Thanjavur. The Veeratteswarar temple here is one of the 8 Veerata stalas
celebrating Shiva as the destroyer of evil forces.