Stories of Shakti
1) Traumatized by the atrocities of Shumba and Nishumbha, all the Devatas started glorifying Mahashakti. Paravati devi asked “Who are these Devatas calling? A divine devi emerged from her body and said- “These people are calling me.” Since this divine effulgence had emerged from Paravati ji, she is also known as Kaushitaki. As she separated from Parvatiji, the form of Parvatiji transformed into Kali. That great Mahashakti killed the two commanders Chanda-Munda along with Shumba-Nishumba. During the war, the consorts of all the Devatas assisted the goddess and entered the battlefield wielding the weapons, ammunitions and vehicles of their husbands. The Chamunda form appeared out of Devi’s body, and licked all the blood of Raktabeeja. All the Shaktis of the Devas had merged into Devi’s body.
2) This Bhramarambha Shakambhari form of Devi would manifest millions of bees from her body and kill all the demons. This Devi, out of mercy, gives rise to fruits and vegetables and saves people overcome by severe famine.
Description of Navadurga (9 forms of Adi Shakti)
1) Shailaputri- She wears a crescent moon on her hair, She has two arms. She mounts on a bull. She holds Trident in one hand while her other hand shows the Abhayamudra. She is fair complexioned.
2) Brahmacharini- She has Two arms. She holds a string of beads (Mala) and a Kamandulu in her hands. She is fair complexioned.
3) Chandraghanta- She rides a tiger and has 10 arms, She holds a Trishul, sword, bow, arrow, Ascetic pot (Kamandalu), beads, lotus, one hand is in Abhayamudra, while the other hand gives blessings, she wears red robes. She is fair complexioned.
4) Kushmanda- Rides a tiger, has 8 arms, holds a disk, club, beads, ascetic vessel (Kalash), lotus, arrow, bow, Kamandulu. She wears Pink robes. She is fair.
5) Skandamata- Rides a lion, has 4 arms. She holds a lotus in both her hands. Swami Kartikeya with his six heads sits on her lap. She is fair complexioned.
6) Katyayni- She mounts on a lion. She has 4 arms. One hand gives blessings while the other shows Abhaya Mudra. She holds a lotus and a sword, Wears pink robes and is fair in complexion.
7) Kalaratri- Loose-opened hair, mounts a donkey, wears a garland of skulls, is black in complexion, She has 4 arms, She holds a sword, skull in her hands. One had gives blessings while the other is placed in Abhaya mudra. She has three eyes.
8) Mahagauri- Mounts a white bull, Wears white robes, Extremely fair in complexion, has 4 arms, She holds a Trishul, Damru, a blessing hand and in the other hands is in Abhaya mudra.
9) Siddhidatri- She is seated on a lotus, Wears red robes, has 4 arms. Holds a conch, disk, club and lotus in her hands. The siddhas, gandharva, Yakshna, muni, Devatas and humans serve her.
Description of 10 Mahavidyas
1) Kali- Mounts on a corpse, a moon rests on her head, has three eyes, wears a garland of heads, her hair is freed-open, She holds a sword and a head. One hand blesses while the other is in the Abhaya mudra, her tongue is outwards. Mahakala is her husband. Her timing falls between midnight to sunrise.
2) Tara- Mounts on a corpse, has three eyes, Hair is left-open, wears dear skin, holds a moon on her head, wears a garland of heads, Holds a sword, cutter, blue lotus, and a bowl to collect alms. She has 4 arms. Her husband is Akshobhya. Tara’s time starts from morning.
3) Shodashi- She glows like the pleasant rays of the sun. She has three eyes and 4 arms. She holds a noose, goad, bow and arrow. She is seated on a lotus in the Padmasana posture. Her husband is the 5-headed Shiva.
4) Bhuvaneshvari- Her complexion is like that of the rising sun. She wears a moon on her hair. She has a sturdy torso, three eyes and a smiling face. One hand showers blessings while the other displays the Abhaya mudra. She holds a noose and goad in her hands. Her husband is Triambak.
5) Chinnamasta- Fair complexioned, nude, wears a garland of heads, she holds her own head in her left hand, while in the right hand she holds a sword. She is extremely fearsome. She drinks blood. Kabandha Shiva is her husband.
6) Tripura Bhairavi- Her complexion glimmers like a thousand suns. She wears red-colored clothes and a garland of heads. Her mouth is smeared with blood. She has 4 arms, holds a mala, book, gives blessings with one hand with another hand shows the Abhaya mudra. She has three eyes, wears a crescent moon on her head and sits on a lotus. Her husband is Kalabhairva.
7) Dhumavati- White complexioned, restless, wears dusty white clothes, a long body, hair left loose-open, devoid of jewelry, sad. She mounts a chariot with a crow symbol, She holds a winnowing platter, has hanging breast, two arms and gloomy eyes. She is a widow. Her other hand shows the Tarjan mudra.
8) Bagala- She is seated on a jeweled-alter admist the ocean of nectar. She is molten gold in complexion, Wears yellow robes and is decked with ornaments. She has two arms, holds a club in one hand while pulls the tongue of the enemy with the other. Her husband is one-headed Maharudra.
9) Matangi- Dark in complexion, wears a crescent moon as the head-stud, has three eyes. She is seated on a jeweled seat. She has 4 arms, holds a sword, shield, noose and a goad. Her husband is Matang Shiva.
10) Kamala- She has a Golden glow. She sits on a lotus seat, holds a lotus in two hands, while the other two hands have the blessing and Abhayamudra respectively. 4 elephants carrying golden pots are giving her a bath with nectar. Her husband is Sada Shiva.
Shakti in other scriptures
Apart from these forms, Shakti has innumerable manifestations. She being the source of creation has infinite names and forms. From time to time she assumes various forms to kill the demons and protect her devotees. Her extensive glorification is well-described in the Devi Bhagavat, Markandeya Purana, and various Tantric sources. You will find a story where Shri Rama conducts a Devi Puja to conquer the demon-king Ravana. He vowed to offer a thousand blue lotuses to the goddess. Inorder to test Rama, Devi hides one lotus from the site. To fulfil his vow, Sri Rama, was about to peck his lotus-eyes with an arrow, when Devi appeared before him and stopped him. Even in the Mahabharata, at Sri Krishna’s orders Arjuna performed Devi Puja before the start of the Mahabharata war. The glories of Shakti have been far extensively covered right from the Vedas to the Puranas, Upapuranas and scriptures like the Mahabharata. It is this one Mahashakti who is worshipped in various forms and names.