Sati was the youngest daughter of Daksha, king of all men. When Sati grew up, she fell inlove with Shiva, although her father wanted her to marry someone else. In the Swayamvara of Sati, Daksha invited all gods and princes except Shiva. But Sati cast her garland into the air, calling upon Shiva to receive the garland; and behold he stood in midst of the court with the garland about his neck. Daksha had no choice but to get Sati married with Shiva.
One day Daksha made arrangements for a great horse sacrifice and invited all the gods omitting only his son-in-law, Shiva. Sati, although uninvited, went to the celebration still, overpowered by her longing to see her family. When Sati arrived, Daksha humiliated, rejected and insulted her in front of others. Unable to bear further trauma, she ran into the sacrificial fire and died.
Shiva came to know about this and with deep sorrow and anger, plucked a lock of hair and thrashed it on the ground. With this gesture, Lord Veerabhadra was created. Virabhadra is believed to be the destroyer of Ajnana (ignorance)
To avenge the death of the love of his life, Shiva directed Virabhadra: "Lead my army against Daksha and destroy his sacrifice". Given his orders, Virabhadra appeared in Daksha's assembly like a storm and broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the holy priests, scattered the gods on all sides and finally cut off Daksha's head.
The warrior Virabhadra was known as a Destroyer, but his purpose was to destroy ignorance and the ego. Some destructions are necessary in order to usher in restoration. I am always inspired by the bravery and valor of Virabhadra, to conquer all things which cripple us yet we are too fearful to confront and make amends with.
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