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In the Ṛg Veda, Dakṣa appears as the male principle of creation or creative energy. This role is modified and personified in Epic and Purāṇic mythology, where Dakṣa is said to be (a) Prajāpati, produced by Brahmā; he is regarded as a secondary creator (or son of the secondary creator) and seer (ṛṣi), present in each cycle of creation (manvantara), and particularly associated with the power of the sacrifice (yajña). The best-known myth concerning Dakṣa tells how his sacrifice was destroyed by Śiva (in his ferocious Vīrabhadra form) after the god had been deliberately excluded from it. Dakṣa was then decapitated by Śiva, but restored to life (in some accounts with a goat's head) once Śiva had been promised his proper share of the sacrifice by the other gods. Some versions of the myth tie Śiva's anger to the suicide of his wife, Dakṣa's own daughter, Satī, caused by the insult her father offered the god.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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