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Goddess Parvati - The Mother Goddess

Goddess Parvati – The Mother Goddess

Shailaja, Shailaputri, Adrija, Devi Maheswari, Himavathi, Girirajputri (daughter of the kind of mountains) or Girija and Narayani are all the names of the Hindu goddess Parvati. Parvati is said to be the reincarnation of Sati (Shiva’s first wife). It is hence important for us to get acquainted with Sati before getting to know the goddess Parvati.

Sati was the first wife of Shiva and was very dear to him. Old scriptures tell stories that Sati got married to Shiva against her father’s wishes. Daksha had organised a massive yajna (offering/Hindu ritual) where lord shiva was uninvited due to the conflict between the two. However since Sati wanted to attend it, they presented themselves at the occasion. Daksha insulted lord shiva for coming uninvited. Sati became exasperated by this insult,  jumped into the fire and sacrificed herself. Lord Shiva was deeply shocked and disheartened by this incidence. He was in deep grief and decided to keep himself aloof from the universe. He missed his dear wife Shailaputri.

Sati soon reincarnated as Parvati who was born to Queen Menavati and King Himavan. Her beauty left people speechless. She was fair, tender-hearted, kind and good-natured. In today’s world, she is the symbol of gentleness and the feministic aspect of the Devi shakti in Hindu culture. She is known as the daughter of the mountains by being the daughter of King Himavan whose name also happens to be Parvat.

Although Lord Shiva is considered to be very loving when it comes to his followers and devotees, he had become rigid and stubborn due to Sati’s death. How exactly did Parvati become Lord Shiva’s ardhangini (wife) then? Let’s understand the story of how they met, what did she do to prove her love and how did they become two bodies and one soul?

Parvati wishes to marry Lord Shiva but when her parents come to know of this desire, they discourage her and strictly stop her from doing this. The strong-headed Parvati fulfils her desire. Lord Indra sends the god of love and desire – Kamadev to awaken Shiva from his meditation. Things do not go as planned. Lord Shiva turns kama into ashes after he shoots an arrow of desire towards lord Shiva. Parvati does not become sad but she decides to work hard to win him over. She goes to the mountain to live a life just like lord shiva.

She begins her life of asceticism/ She does all the same things as lord shiva does. This draws his attention towards Parvati. He meets her in the form of a sage and tries to discourage her but her love was too strong to be bothered by any influences. Lord Shiva is very impressed by her dedication and love and finally accepts her. They get married and begin to reside in Mount Kailash. They become parents to Kartikeya – God of war and Ganesha – God of wisdom.

Parvati is often seen wearing a red saree and a headband. Goddess Parvati is known as the originator of the dance type – Lasya. It is the dance performed by Parvati to express joy, delight, excitement, happiness etc and is filled with grace, beauty, flexible body movements. To bring the cosmic balance, it is said that Lord Shiva performs Tandava and goddess Parvati performs lasya. It comes from the word lasyam meaning beauty and grace.

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