Sati, the better-half of Lord Shiva, was the daughter of the Daksha Prajapati. and Daksha Prajapati was a direct descendant of Lord Brahma. Sati married Lord Shiva against her father's wishes. Because of this, and with a view to insult Lord Shiva, the vain king Daksha performed a great havana ritual, which he invited all the gods and goddesses to - but he intentionally did not invite his son-in-law, Mahadev Shiva and his daughter, Sati.
Sati came to know about the yajna from Narad Muni and she sought Lord Shiva’s permission to attend. She argued that she, being the king's daughter, did not require any invitation from her father. Shiva realised that Daksha had the intention of insulting him. He also added that the sacrifice would not be fruitful even if Sati attended it. So He forbade Sati from attending.
Shiva's judgement infuriated Sati. She thought that Lord Shiva was treating her as an ignorant lady and not as the powerful mother of the universe which she was. To prove herself, she assumed the different forms of the Divine Mother. The mountains shook, the oceans raged and the entire world was mesmerised by her forms.
The frightened Shiva began to shake in anticipation of what was to come and tried to flee but was cut off by the different forms of the Divine Mother in every direction he went. She had multiplied herself in the ten different forms, known as Mahavidyas, thus guarding every direction. She blocked every path of Shiva and he had nowhere to flee.
The ten forms of the omnipotent Divine Mother are called the Das Mahavidyas. Every form has its own name, quality, story and mantras. The Mahavidyas are Goddesses of Wisdom. The term can be broken into three parts: 'Das', meaning 'ten', 'maha', meaning 'great' and 'vidya', meaning 'wisdom'. The first Mahavidya is Kali and the other Mahavidyas are Tara, Sodoshi, Bhubaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bogola, Matangi and Kamala.