By Swami Harshananda
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 to the demon-king Śumbha with an ultimatum to retire to the pātāla 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.
- ↑ Duta means servant or negotiator.
- ↑ Devimāhātmya 8.28
- ↑ Pātāla means nether-world.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore