Sati, the consort of Shiva was the daughter of Daksha Prajapati a descendant of Brahma. 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. Sati learned about her father’s yajna from Narad Muni. She asked Shiva’s permission to attend the yajna, saying that a daughter did not need an invitation from her father. Shiva said that Daksha was trying to insult him, and so even if Sati attended the yajna, the fruit of the sacrifice would not be auspicious. Therefore he bade Sati not to attend the yajna.
Sati became furious – She thought that Shiva was treating her like an ignorant lady and not as the mother of Universe. So to show Shiva who she really was, she assumed a different form – the one of the Divine Mother. The oceans raged and the mountains shook, the atmosphere was filled with the wonder of her form. Shiva began to shake and tried to flee. In every direction that he tried to flee, the Divine mother stopped him. The Divine Mother had multiplied herself into ten different forms guarding the ten different directions and try as Shiva might, he could not escape from her, as she had blocked every escape route.