From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

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[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