Mahavidya (Great Wisdoms) or Dasha-Mahavidyas are a group of ten aspects of the Divine Mother or Kali herself or Devi (in Hinduism). The 10 Mahavidya are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the ravishingly beautiful at the other. The development of Mahvidyas represents an important turning point in the history of Shaktism as it marks the rise of Tantrik aspect in Shaktism.
The name Mahavidyas comes from the Sanskrit roots, with maha meaning 'great' and vidya meaning, 'revelation, manifestation, knowledge, or wisdom
The ten great learning or wisdom are related with Sati, Shiva, Gori, Parvati, all synonymous of the same Adi Shakti (eternal power). She is also known as Navdurga, Chamunda, Vishnupriya etc and is worshipped. The origin of this ten great knowledge is as follows.
Daksha Prajapati, the first ruler of our mortal world and the father ofSati, once performed aYagna (religious sacrifice) in which he invited all the deities and sages, except his own Son-in-law Lord Shiva, because of his jealousy towards him.
Sati wanted to be present at that occasion butLord Shiva refused to give permission, thinking it was improper for her to go without the invitation. But she was unmoved. She said "I will certainly go to the Yajna, I would either get the fortune of that religious sacrifice for my dearest, deity of the deities, husband (Lord Shiva) or else I would destroy that religious sacrifice itself."
Sati's eyes became red. She looked at Lord Shiva violently, her lips began to flutter, and her complexion became dark. The fire of her anger made her appearance look frightened and violent.
Such an appearance of Sati was frightening even for Lord Shiva. Her appearance, which had the blaze and radiance of Crores of mid-noon-suns, made her so fearful that he just ran away.
To stop Lord Shiva from running away in all the possible ten directions, Sati manifested herself in to ten different forms. These ten Shaktis (powers) of Sati are known as the ten great knowledges or 10 great learnings or ten Mahavidyas. These ten Mahavidyas provide knowledge of all possible sciences.