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Goddess Shodashi – About Mahavidya Shodashi

Shodashi Goddess is one of the dasa Mahavidyas – the ten goddesses of wisdom. Her name means that she is the goddess who is always 16 years old. Origin of Goddess Shodashi happens after Shiva burning Kamdev into ashes for disturbing his meditation.

Shiva after the death of Sati had entered into a deep meditation. Without his energy no creation was possible and this led to an imbalance in the universe. To bring him out of his deep meditation, Sati took birth as Parvati. But Parvati failed to wake up Shiva from his meditation. Kamadeva, or Manamatha, the God of love was given the mission of disturbing the meditation of Shiva by infusing the seeds of love. But the glance of an angry Shiva burned Kamdev into ashes.

Devas and Rati, the wife of Kamdev, prayed before Shiva for the life of Kamdev. Shiva then stared at the ashes and from it appeared a demon named Bhandasura. He was so powerful that he made the entire world his slave. Sage Narada then requested the Devas to perform a yajna and from the fire of the yajna appeared Goddess Shodashi.

The Devas then prayed to her to destroy Bhandasura and restore Dharma. She is believed to have fought the mother of all battles with Bhandasura – some scholars are of the view that Bhandasura took various forms and Devi appeared in different forms to annihilate him. Finally, she killed Bhandasura with the Kameshwarastra.

Goddess Shodashi is depicted as seated on a lotus that springs from the body of Shiva who lies on a bed whose four legs are Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and Rudra. Symbolically, it means that Goddess Shodashi is the supreme energy.

Shodashi also means sixteen and the belief is that at the age of sixteen the physical body of a human being attains perfection. Deterioration sets in after sixteen years.

Goddess Shodashi is also known as Tripurasundari. The name is also one of the thousand names of Durga.