- Daksha is a RISHI, best known as the father-in-law of SHIVA. He is the son of the god BRAHMA and father of Shiva’s first wife, SAT I.Daksha is best known for the events surround-ing a Vedic sacrifice that he sponsored without inviting Shiva. When Sati found out that this special sacrifice was going to take place, she con-fronted her father. He replied with verbal abuse, which resulted in her death, because of a curse that had been placed on him. When Shiva heard, he (or his creation Virabhadra) cut off Daksha’s head and destroyed the sacrificial grounds. Daksha was later restored to life, with the head of a ram.In the epic and PURANIC literature, Daksha the rishi frequently appears in different cycles of creation. He is said to have had 50 daughters, 13 of whom were married to the rishi Kashyapa. His daughter Svaha was married to AGNI, god of fire; Sati was married to Shiva; and the 27 remaining daughters were married to the god of the Moon, CHANDRA, and are identified with the lunar aster-isms, stars that are seen to be astrologically related to the Moon.As a Vedic divinity Daksha is listed as one of the ADITYAS—SONS OF ADITI—although he is some-times said to be Aditi’s father. Thus, in some Vedic literature he is considered to be the grandfather of the gods and the asuras (antigods or demons), who are all brothers in Vedic literature. (See DEMONIC BEINGS; VEDAS.)Further reading: Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); Stella Kramrisch, The Presence of Siva (Princeton, N.J. Princeton University Press, 1981).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.