According to the Hindu Religion (Sanatan Dharma), Daksh Prajapati is one of the sons of Lord Brahma. He is often portrayed as an obese man having a stocky body, and protruding belly. His head was of an ibex-like creature with spiral horns.
It is said that Lord Brahma created Daksha from his right thumb. Daksh Prajapati was the father-in-law of Lord Shiva. His daughter Sati was married to Lord Shiva.
Prajapati Daksh has been so named because he is an expert in producing children. Daksha was the father of 24 daughters with his wife, Prasuti. The names of these 24 daughters are as follows:
- Shraddha (Respect)
- Bhakti (Worship)
- Dhriti (Steadiness)
- Pushti (Thriving)
- Thushti (Resignation)
- Medha (Intelligence)
- Kriya (Action)
- Buddhika (Intellect)
- Lajja Gauri (Modesty)
- Vapu (Body)
- Siddhika (Perfection)
- Santi (Expiation)
- Kirtti (Fame)
- Khyati (Celebrity)
- Sati (Truth)
- Sambhuti (Fitness)
- Priti (Affection)
- Smriti (Memory)
- Kshama (Forgiveness)
- Sannati (Humility)
- Anasuya (Without jealousy)
- Urjja (Energy)
- Swaha (Offering)
- Swadha (Oblation)
Of these, 13 were married to Dharma. They are:
The remaining 11 were married to:
- Khyati – married to Bhrigu
- Sati – married to Lord Shiva
- Sambhuti – married to Marichi
- Smriti – married to Angiras
- Priti – married to Pulastya
- Kshama – married to Pulaha
- Sannati – married to Kratu
- Anasuya – married to Atri
- Urjja – married to Vasishtha
- Swaha – married to Agni
- Swadha – married to Pitris
That’s not all; Daksha had 62 daughters with his wife Panchajani (Virani). Moreover, when he felt that these numbers are still not sufficient, he decided to have 60 more daughters.
It is said that Sati was the youngest daughter of Daksha. She wanted to marry Lord Shiva. Daksha did not like Lord Shiva and forbade their marriage. He considered Shiva as a wandering Sadhu.
Daksh Prajapati organized a “Swamyar” for the marriage of Sati. He invited all the Devas, Yakshas, and Gandharvas. However, he did not invite Lord Shiva. He intended to insult Lord Shiva by constructing his statue.
When Sati came to know about this episode, she put the garland around this statue of Shiva as a sign for her consent to marry him as her husband. It is said that Lord Shiva appeared before Sati and accepted her as his wife. Lord Shiva took Sati to his abode in Kailash Mountains.
Daksh became much angered with Lord Shiva.
Once, Daksha organized a huge Yajna. However, he intentionally avoided both Shiva and Sati. Daksha did not invite Shiva and Sati.
When Sati came to know about Daksha Yagna, she expressed her desire to attend the ceremony. However, Shiva discouraged Sati not to attend the ceremony where she and her husband were not invited. The parental bond was too strong for Sati, which made her ignore her husband’s advice.
So, Sati attended the ceremony alone.
When Sati arrived at the Daksha Yagna, she and Shiva were insulted by Daksh in front of the guests. Sati was unable to bear insult and immolated herself by running into the sacrificial fire.
When Lord Shiva got to know about this terrible incident, he invoked Veerbhadra to destroy Daksh Yagna. Veerbhadra and Bhoota Ganas marched toward the Yagna Shaala and destroyed all the premises. Daksha was decapitated. All the Bhoota Ganas celebrated victory.
Later, Lord Shiva forgave Daksh. He was brought to life by Shiva, who attached a goat’s head to Daksh. Yagna was allowed to complete. Daksh became free of arrogance and hatred.
Lord Shiva was in deep grief to see the remains of his beloved wife. Shiva did not want to part with Sati. So, he carried her corpse on his shoulder and began to wander about the world.
Lord Vishnu restored calm and got rid of Shiva’s attachment for his wife, Sati. Lord Vishnu severed Sati’s body into multiple pieces by using his divine weapon, the Sudarshan Chakra.
Sati’s severed body parts fell at various places where Shiva had traveled. The places where Sati’s body parts fell are known as Shakti Peethas.
Daksha Prajapati Goat Head
When Lord Shiva came to know about Sati’s death at the Daksha Yajna, he sent Veerbhadra to destroy the sacrificial fire.
Daksha hid behind the sacrificial altar.
Veerbhadra spotted Daksha and grabbed him by the cheeks. He tore off Daksha’s head and threw it in the fire, thus ending the life of Daksha.
Shiva Ganas demolished the Yajna Shaala.
All the Devas and sages went to Brahma. They told him about the death of Daksh. Brahma got distressed on hearing the end of Daksh. He, along with the Devas and sages, went to Lord Vishnu to seek a solution.
All of them wanted to revive Daksha. Lord Vishnu told them to fall at the feet of Lord Shiva. It is only Shiva, the “Pashupatinath,” who can instill life to Daksha.
So, they all went to Mount Kailash to meet Lord Shiva.
They sang praises of Lord Shiva and requested him to forgive Daksha and bring him back to life.
Lord Shiva summoned Veerbhadra and told him to bring Daksha’s body. So, Veerbhadra immediately presented the body of Daksha before Lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva saw the body of Daksha, he asked Veerbhadra, “Where is the head of Daksha.”
Veerbhadra responded and told Lord Shiva that he had thrown it in the sacrificial fire.
Now, Lord Shiva ordered him to bring the head of the sacrificial animal, the goat. Veerbhadra presented it before Shiva, who attached the goat’s head to Daksha’s body.
So, this is how Daksh Prajapati was revived with a “goat-head.”
Daksha Prajapati gets the head of a goat. He came to life again and fell at the feet of Shiva. Daksha apologized to Lord Shiva.
Now, Lord Shiva told Daksha that he would be reborn in Chakshusa Manvantara. He would take birth as the son of the Prachetas. Daksha then returned to his abode.
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