Virabhadra, a monstrous warrior, with thousands of arms, all of which carried weapons, was created from hair from the head of Lord Shiva. Shiva’s wife, Sati, threw herself into the fire at her father’s yagya, or religious ceremony, because he was very unkind to her. On hearing what had become of his wife, Shiva was so grief stricken that he tore his hair with his hands and flung it to the ground in despair. From these matted locks, Virabhadra was created. As you might expect, it did not go well for Sati’s father, Daksha, because Virabhadra decapitated him. However, Sati was eventually reborn has Shiva’s beloved Parvati and Shiva forgave Daksha. He brought him back to life, but gave him a goat’s head. Seems fair.
I love hearing these stories of gods and goddesses – like the Greek myths, there is something about them that is always alive and vital for us. So next time you perform any of the warrior poses, remember who you are impersonating!