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The first form of mother Durga among the nine, is Shailaputri. She is known as such, because she was incarnated from Himalaya the Emperor of mountains. Mounting a bullock the mother has a lance in her right hand and the lotus flower in the left. She is the first one among the nine aspects of Durga.
In her previous life she took birth from Daksa, the Prajapati as his daughter. Then she was known as Sati.
Once Prajapati Daksa organized a very big sacrificial ceremony in which he invited all gods to receive there sacrificial share. Lord Siva was the only exception.
When Sati came to know about the festivity arranged by her father, a strong desire arose in her heart to participate in the ceremony. She expressed her desire to Lord Siva and solicited his permission. Considering all pros and cons Lord Siva said-'Prajapati is displeased with me for the reasons known to him only. He invited in his function all gods and offered their sacrificial share to them. He did not invite me purposely; not even informed me. Under such circumstances it will not be proper for you to go there.' Sati was not convinced with the piece of advice given by the Lord. The eagerness to se the ceremony and the prospect of seeing the mother and sisters did not subside. The Lord saw that Sati was very keen to go there so he gave her green signal.
A sense of strange joy started waving in her heart. She made necessary preparation and started. But all her inthusiasm subsided like the bubbles the moment she reached She notice not even a scintilla of cordiality for her. Not only this she felt a sense of sarcasm and ridicule in what her sisters remarked. She was greatly pained with the insulting attitude of her own relative. The entire atmosphere was surcharged with a sense of disrespect for Lord Siva. Daksa passed certain humiliating remarks intended for Lord Siva. She watched all this and lost her balance. A mental storm made her full of remorse and anger. She repented on having overruled objection by her Lord.
She could not bear the insult of her spouse. Instantly she got her body burnt in yogic fire as the body was a gift of Daksa. The news of her demise reached Lord Siva and her decided to give a good lesson to Daksa. The entire sacrificial canopy along-with all paraphernalia was completely destroyed by his lieutenants.
In her next birth she incarnated her as Parvati the daughter of Himalaya and among Nava Durga she has been referred to as Shailaputri who was again known as Haimavati. According to one of the Upanisadic tales she in her Haimavati aspect defeated all prominent gods. Like her previous birth in this also Shailaputri got married with Lord Siva. The first and the most prominent among Nava Durgas, Shailaputri is of immense importance and her glories are endless. On the first day of Navaratra worship it is she who is worshipped. In this Puja of the first day Yogi's keep their mind concentrated on Muladhara. This is the starting point of their spiritual discipline.