Shiva, the God of creation and destruction, and Parvati, the Goddess of nourishment and power are one of the most celebrated couples in Hindu mythology. Their cosmic love story is nothing short of devotion and sacrifice and how their love stood the test of time and emerged as a paradigm for all their devotees.
This blog will unfold all the different aspects of Shiva-Parvati’s life and how they came together as a formidable couple.
The Incarnation of Shakti
As per various Hindu sacred texts, there are different stories related to the divine union of Shiva and Parvati.
After Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva passed away, Shiva refrained from any sort of social interactions and went into a deep meditative state.
However, before the death of Sati, Shiva gave a boon of immortality to Tarakasura, a demon who could only be killed by the son of Lord Shiva as per the boon granted by Lord Brahma. Tarakasura realized that this was a good time to take advantage of the boon and started threatening and killing the divine bodies. Both the earth and the heaven were in complete chaos.
This entire situation was horrifying. And this is when Parvati, the resurrected form of Sati came into the world as a daughter to Himavan, the Lord of the Himalayas and Apsara Mena. Parvati went through extreme rigors to convince Shiva to marry and accept her as his wife.
In the series of her attempts, Parvati then approached Kamadev the God of Love, and requested him to shoot his shot into Shiva’s heart to provoke him. Kamadev, who was always willing to do anything when it came to love and affection shot a bolt into Lord Shiva’s heart which instantly woke him up from the meditative state.
But this was not it. Shiva, highly infuriated by the fact that he was disturbed from his contemplation, opened his third eye and shot an arrow which instantly turned Kamadeva into ashes. Post this, Shiva shut all three of his eyes and went back into a meditative state.
This made Parvati more concerned about the situation as all her efforts turned out to be futile. Nonetheless, she didn’t step back but rather contemplated what to do next.
After a moment of reflection, she decided to win over the Meditating Shiva through strong penance. Parvati for a thousand years, stood on one leg over the hot coals and on the cold snow for the next millennium. It was during these years of self-reflection that she developed tapas, internal heat which further turned into her own power and energy. Her energy was so powerful and widespread that it even stirred Shiva which ultimately resulted in his awakening. After this incident, Shiva accepted Parvati as his wife and they were married off!
Shiva and Parvati were married off with great pomp and show, in the presence of all the heavenly deities. Everyone around was happy to have Shiva back and his union with Parvati. Their marriage stood out as a union of both feminine and masculine energies that marked the beginning of a whole new era.
Post-marriage, the couple was soon blessed with a beautiful son who was named Kartikeya. Kartikeya soon grew up into a tall, strong man and became a reason for the death of the demon Tarakasura.
Significance of Shiva-Parvati Vivaah
The union of Shiva and Parvati symbolizes the power of love and commitment. The love between Shiva and Parvati was not based on any physical attributes or any materialistic gain but rather on a profound spiritual connection. Their love stood out as a testament to the power of dedication and faith.
Besides this, their union also signifies the coming together of masculine and feminine energy across the universe. Shiva being the masculine energy represents destruction and transformation, while on the other hand Parvati, being the feminine energy, represents creation and nurturing. The union of both these forces which makes up the Ardhanarishvara is what sets the harmony in nature and the universe.
Popular Legends Related to Shiva and Parvati
One of the most popular stories related to Shiva and Parvati is regarding their son Ganesha.
The story begins when Parvati, longing for company while Shiva is away meditating in the mountains, creates a son using clay and ghee and brings him to life.
One fine day, Parvati goes to bathe, instructing her son to guard the entry point. While she was bathing, Shiva returned back from the mountains. However, upon reaching, he was prevented from entering by the young son he was unaware of being. Agitated by the restrictions, Shiva cuts off the head of the little boy in a fit of anger and goes straight ahead looking for Parvati.
Upon learning about the incident, Parvati started grieving the loss of his beloved son. Seeing this, Shiva promised her to bring Ganesha back to life.
Shiva went ahead looking for the first living being he could find and came across an elephant. He replaced Ganesha’s head with that of an elephant head and brought him back to life.
Another famous tale is about Shiva’s cosmic dance - Tandava!
Once Shiva, in all his furious state performed Tandava in an attempt to destroy the universe towards the end of a cosmic cycle. However, hereupon, Parvati intervened and convinced the Mystical Shiva to calm down, reminding him of his duties to preserve and serve the universe. Hereafter, Shiva succumbed and took charge of his responsibilities and commitments. Ever since then, Tandava has been considered a symbol of the balance between destruction and creation.
The love story of Shiva and Parvati will always be remembered as a tale of dedication, devotion, and perseverance. Their union is a representation of creation and transformation that will always serve for harmony in the universe. Shiva is powerless without Shakti (Parvati) as she is the ultimate source of his strength and endurance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :
Q1. What do Shiva and Parvati symbolize?
A. Shiva and Parvati together symbolize the power of transformation, creation, and nourishment.
Q2. What are the three powers of Shiva?
A. Creation, protection, and destruction are the three powers of Shiva.
Q3. Why did Vishnu cut Sati’s body into pieces?
A. Lord Vishnu cut Sati’s body into pieces to incarnate her and also to ease down the grief of Shiva over her death. Today, the locations where the pieces were dropped are turned into sacred sites of worship.
Q4. Which demon was killed by Kartikeya?
A. Tarakasura, a powerful demon in Hindu mythology was killed by Tarakasura
Q5. Why did Parvati create a child on her own?
A. While Shiva was away, meditating in the mountains, Parvati felt lonely and deprived of affection. To deal with this, he created a child (Ganesha) using clay and ghee (purified butter) and gave him life on her own.