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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sivaduti, Zivaduti, shivaduti

Śivaduti literally means 'one who sent Śiva as her assistant for negotiations’.

Devī or Pārvatī got this name because she sent her husband Śiva as a duta[1] to the demon-king Śumbha[2] with an ultimatum to retire to the pātāla[3] or face extinction at her hands. As a form of Durgā, she is one of the eight yoginīs like Brahmāṇi, Vaiṣṇavī and so on.

She has four arms, a large face and big lips. She is tall and has a fierce appearance. She wears a garland of severed heads. Her crown is of matted hair. Snakes are her ornaments. She is draped in a tiger-skin. In her four hands she carries a spear, a discus, a noose and a shield. She stands in the ālīḍhāsana with her feet on a corpse and a jackal. She is surrounded by a pack of wolves.


  1. Duta means servant or negotiator.
  2. Devimāhātmya 8.28
  3. Pātāla means nether-world.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore