The ancient Hindu text the Chandi tells the story of how the Divine
Mother Goddess was born to slay the demons who were threatening the
Gods themselves. When the evil demon king Mahishasura declared himself
to be the Ruler of the Universe, the blasphemy so enraged the Gods
that a powerful beam of light began to issue forth from the forehead
("third eye") of each of them. When the blinding beams of Vishnu,
Shiva, Brahma, Indra, Yama, Agni, and all the other Gods met at one
blazing point, the energy came to life in the form of a Goddess. Thus,
she is considered Shakti, the creative power of the Divine.
Each of the Gods gave Her His most powerful weapon: Shiva's Trident,
Vishnu's Discus, Indra's Thunderbolt. Roaring fiercely, Kali single-handedly
battled Mahishasura and his entire army of powerful, magical, crafty
demons. She devoured, slashed, tore, and crushed every one. But
even after the demons were slain, Kali's battle frenzy raged on.
She continued to dance wildly, slashing and ripping at the dead
demons, dancing from corpse to corpse, shaking the foundations of
the universe itself. The Gods realized they had to stop Her or the
universe would be destroyed.
So Shiva, Her Husband, stepped forward. He lay down among the corpses
on the battlefield, motionless. As Kali continued her dance of death,
She suddenly realized that She was dancing on top of a live body--and
it was that of Her Husband! Overcome with shame at the unthinkable
disrespect She was showing by touching Her Husband with Her feet,
She bit Her tongue and stopped Her dance.