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Goddess Parvati who married Shiva by her devotion & penance


Consort of Lord Shiva. By rigorous penance, she won over Shiva, himself a great ascetic. Mother of Shanmukha and Ganesha. By becoming the wife of Shiva she paved the way for the spread of peace and felicity in the world. Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord Ishwara.

She has several names, each with a special significance. Since Ishwara or Shiva is also called ‘Bhava’ his wife is known as ‘Bhavani.’ She is ‘Parvati’, being the daughter of the king of mountains, Parvataraja. With the same connotation, she has two other names – ‘Girija’ and ‘Shailaja’.

As she is the source of all good things to all those who have faith and follow the path of virtue, she is ‘Sarvamangala.’ Since her childhood days, she was a devotee of Lord Shiva. She would constantly engage herself in meditation and worship of Shiva, without even changing the posture. So her mother Mena would out of exasperation say “Parvati, don’t do this tapas (meditation).” In Sanskrit ‘u’ is a word of address and ‘ma’ means ‘don’t’ or ‘not wanted’. Hence she got the name ‘Uma’.

After she grew up, she performed severe penance in the forest to secure Lord Shiva as her husband. Much moved by the hardship endured by her tender body, Mena frequently went near her fondly calling her “Uma”, Uma.” Who would not be thrilled by the story of the life of Parvati who, though born human, became, through hard penance the consort of Shiva and became Mahadevi, the great goddess?

Affection for and obedience to the elders, loyalty to tradition, determination steady devotion to Shiva, kindness towards those in trouble, perseverant effort till the completion of a good deed; these are the traits Parvati had. Her story is narrated in Sanskrit by Vyasa in the Shiva Purana.

The great poet Kalidasa has narrated it in the poem Kumara-Sambhava. The Kannada poet Harihara has dealt with the story in Girija-Kalyana, a mixture of verse and prose.


To the north of Bharata, there is the Himalayan mountain range. It is the highest in the world and occupies thousands of miles from east to west. From ancient times it has been a choice abode for the meditation of the sages.

Bharatiyas believe that it is the pleasure-haunt of the higher order of beings like the angels, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas and the Kinnaras. It is the home of different types of precious stones and rare plants like Jyotirmati which gives light.

For thousands of years, it has been believed that Lord Shiva’s realm of Kailasa is also there. In the plains below the Himalayas, there flows the river Ganga with its clear and holy waters. It is lined on both sides with the hermitages of sages. Nearby was the hallowed town of Oushadhiprastha ruled by king Parvataraja. Being the chief of all the Himalayas, he was called ‘Himavantha’.

He was a devotee of Shiva. With great respect for good men, saints and sages, he looked after his people justly and virtuously. He was also called Giriraja and Shailaraja. His wife was Menadevi. She was truthful and calm, devoted to her husband. After a while, they had a son, by name Mainaka.

The desire for a Daughter

Mena performed rituals

Later Menadevi developed a great desire to have a daughter – a daughter with beauty and character, knowledge and wisdom. It was her ambition to have a daughter who would be Lord Shiva’s wife. With that as her aim, she decided to undertake a penance to please Shiva’s wife, Gowridevi.

Giriraja was himself a devotee of Shiva. So, getting his consent for her penance was not so difficult for Mena. Having obtained his permission, she went to a serene spot. There she performed her meditation with severe concentration and obtained the favor of Dakshayani who stood before Mena and promised that she would be born as a daughter to her.

Soon afterward, Mena became pregnant. On an auspicious day, she gave birth to a female child. It was just as she had wanted. There was a shower of flowers. A cool, fragrant breeze spreading delight all around. Various instruments gave out music and musicians tuned up festive songs. Giriraja gave gifts to everybody; his mind was overjoyed and his hands were tired.

The Wonder Child

Though a couple of days elapsed after the birth of the child, it would not open its eyes or mouth. The baby did not even suck milk. Everyone was worried as to what should be done.

Then, as advised by the family preceptor sage Gargamuni, Parvataraja had an idol of Shiva brought to the child and got the eyes opened with some treatment. The baby opened its eyes and folded its hands in salutation to the Lord.

Butter that had been offered to Shiva was put into the child’s mouth and the baby ate it. Then it began to suck milk from the mother’s breast.

Everyone was struck with wonder at this devotion to Shiva noticeable so early in the child.

People thought that she would definitely win the favor of Shiva later.

The naming ceremony for the baby was a grand occasion. She was given the name ‘Parvati.’ As the days and months passed, the first sound she uttered was the name of Lord Shiva.

The infant closed her eyes frequently as if she felt the presence of Shiva in her mind. By herself, she often laughed and showed joy and delight.

When she grew up further, she showed great interest in playing with a ball or in the game of worshipping Shiva on the sandy banks of the river Ganga.

In her previous incarnation, she was famous as Dakshayani, the daughter of Daksha. She was the wife of Lord Shiva. She then went to attend a great sacrifice being performed by her father. There the proud Daksha in the full assembly spoke insultingly of Shiva. He insulted even Shiva’s wife that is Dakshayani.

Unable to bear that sacrilege, she jumped into the sacrificial fire, offering herself to it. Now all the knowledge and qualities of her previous birth automatically appeared in Parvati. So she became learned in no time. Being also very beautiful, she shone with her youth.

Parvati attained the age of marriage. Parvataraja’s mind directed that he should give his daughter in marriage to Lord Shiva only, as she had such great piety. But how to do that, without the bridegroom’s people asking for it? Should he ask Shiva himself if he would marry her? What if he refused?

Parvataraja was hesistant.

Shiva in Penance

At that time Shiva was not in his palace on Kailasa. He was in a pensive mood as his wife Dakshayani had given up her life. He had become an ascetic. Giving up Kailasa and searching for a place suitable for penance, he had come to a sacred spot called Gangavatara near Oushadhiprastha on the Himalayan slopes. The place was full of the fragrance of musk and tall red cedars nourished by the waters of the Ganga.

Shiva in Penance

He set up a fire there and forgetting all affairs of the world, was in severe penance, meditating on soul and salvation

‘This is Certain’

The holy sage Narada once came to Oushadhiprastha in the course of his sojourn. He wanted to show the right part to good men who might at any time be worried not knowing what they should do in life. Likewise, he would go to wicked people like a well-wisher and put them on the path of self-destruction.

With this purpose, he had the habit of roving around in all the three worlds and upholding piety to God by singing songs of devotion. Thus when Narada came there, Giriraja and Mena welcomed him, saluted him and honored him with all hospitality. They called Parvati also to salute him. Mutual inquiries followed.

“O wise sage, my daughter Parvati is now grown into a young maid, what is her future, and who will marry her?”

“Listen, Parvataraja. She, who in her previous birth was Dakshayani and plunged to her death in the sacrificial fire because of her devotion to her husband is now your daughter. Only Shiva can wed her and none else. There is no doubt that she will marry Lord Shiva.

It is not possible to please Shiva by mere external beauty or fondness. Piety, worship, and penance are the ways of earning his favor. Parvati will certainly obtain Shiva’s favor and marry him through her penance and meditation. This is certain.”

So saying, Narada left.

Parvati was very happy with Narada’s words.

It was like wishing for milk, and getting it too because Parvati had determined that throughout her life thereafter, her days should be spent only in the service of Shiva and in meditating upon him.

The Sight of Shiva

Parvataraja came to know that Shiva was now in penance-grove at Gangavatara. The spot was not very far from Oushadhiprastha. He went to see Shiva. Shiva was sitting in meditation with closed eyes. Giriraja sang in praise of Lord Shiva.

Once Shiva opened his eyes just a little. Then Giriraja said,

“Great Lord Ishwara, I am ready, at your service. Command me, for your needs.”

“Parvataraja, my penance should go on uninterrupted. For that only I need help. People from your town flock to me here. See that no one comes like that. That is all I want from you.”

Himavanta returned to his palace. He ordered that none from among his servants and retinue, none from the palace-women or even children should go near Shiva to see him. But he had it in his mind to appoint his daughter Parvati somehow to attend upon Shiva.

The next time when Parvataraja went to Shiva, he took Parvati along with him. Flowers, fruits and other articles of worship were with them to be offered to Shiva. Both of them sang in honor of Shiva for long and worshipped him. Shiva continued to be in his meditation. After a long time, he looked around.

Parvataraja pleaded:

“O great Lord, I have brought my daughter who is a great devotee of yours. She cannot stay alive without worshipping you. Therefore do kindly permit that she may come here daily with her companions, Jaya and Vijaya, worship you and then go back.”

“Parvataraja, if you so desire, you may come daily to see me. But leave your daughter at home.

I am an ascetic, given to penance and meditation. So women need not come before me.’

Himavanta repeated his request in a variety of ways. At last, Shiva had to agree that Parvati could attend on him. With cause for the mind to deviate, those who still keep their minds firm are great men. Shiva had this Grit and continued with his penance.

Parvati worshipping Shiva

Parvati got up at dawn every day and with her companions, Jaya and Vijaya went from Oushadhiprastha to Gangavatara where Shiva sat. She took with her all the articles of worship. With the water from the river Ganga, she washed Shiva’s feet, offered worship and rendered all needed services. She was very beautiful. But Shiva’s mind did not falter. He did not consider her as his wife.


Long ago there was a sage by name Kashyapa.

From Diti, who was one of his wives, ensued the Rakshasa race. Her son Vajranga married Varaangi and their son was the Rakshasa Taraka. He performed severe penance to please Brahma, the Creator and obtained two boons from him.

The first boon was that there should be no one more powerful than he was. The second boon was that his death could come only from a son born to Shiva, who would, on the seventh day, fight with him as commander. Taraka was very bold and confident because Shiva was already deeply lost in penance and had no wife.

So no son could be born.

Taraka was ruthless and wicked. He hated sacrifices, charity, benevolent and righteousness. He was intolerant of people given to penance. Only Shiva could go on mediating because it was his advantage. Taraka felt that nobody in the world should acquire knowledge or become intelligent. But they may drink, to any extent. The angels were afraid of his arrogance and shivered with fear. They behaved like his slaves.

Taraka killed all kings who ruled over their subjects righteously. He drove away, the deities guarding the Cardinal Directions and oppressed the angels. He destroyed the hermitages of the sages and had the homes and hearths of good men set fire to. He pitilessly put to death all pious people and all the three worlds were full of pained cries.

Only Manmatha Can Help

Unable to bear Taraka’s harassment, sages and angels, all pious persons and goddess Earth herself, went to Brahma and prayed for help. Brahma said,

“It is impossible for me to kill Taraka. Even Hari and Hara cannot do it. He can be killed only by a son of Hara. If Hara has to get a son, he must marry Parvati. He is now, in penance. Parvati goes to him every day to attend upon him. But Shiva does not even open his eyes and see her.

So how can this marriage come about? Of course I myself gave Taraka the boons he wanted. So I’ll try to tell him not to cause unnecessary harm.”

Out of respect for Brahma’s words, Taraka remained in his Shonitapura without attacking the angels for a while. It gave the angels a little respite to meet sometimes and discuss what their course of action should be. Brahma Vishnu and Indra met together.

Brihaspati, the preceptor of the angels, was sent to Taraka, to negotiate an agreement. But that Rakshasa did not yield to plain good words or promises of gifts or even the attempt to create dissension among his group.

So there was war and the angels were defeated.

Again the angels met in the conclave. They were now engaged in making Shiva stop his meditation and marry Parvati. So they sent Brihaspati to Kusumapura to fetch Manmatha. Manmatha went to them with his sugarcane bow and flowery arrows along with his consort Ratidevi, and asked them, “What do you want me to do? Please tell me.”

Another name for Manmatha is Kama. “Lord Kama,” Indra replied, “Now you have to confer a great benefit on the world. Taraka’s wickedness has become intolerable. The one to kill him is Shiva’s son, who is not yet born. But Shiva has not ended his penance. Without ending it his marriage cannot take place.

Parvati who is to be his wife is near him but Shiva does not as much as look at her. Now he must be made to fall in love with Parvati. And that, only you can do.” Kama realized the importance of his role. He now thought of aiming his floral arrow at Shiva and thereby ending his tapas. Even if he had to lay down his life in this venture, he would never mind. Would he not have done a great deed for the welfare of the world? So thinking, Kama arrived with Rati at Shiva’s penance-grove.

Kama is Burnt

No sooner did Kama approach Shiva, than did his ally, the king of spring, also came there. The grove around Gangavatara was charged with the charm of spring. The mango trees blossomed.

The Ashoka trees were in sprout. The cuckoo burst into melodious music. There was a pleasant breeze and the scent of flowers spread around.

The moonlight was captivating. The penance-grove of Lord Shiva looked a hypnotic realm. All this was Manmatha’s influence. He then stood before Shiva. A little away stood Rati. She prayed to God that no evil should befall her husband.

Just at that time, Parvati had also come as usual with fruits and flowers to worship Shiva.

Her friends were also there. Parvati stood with folded hands singing in praise of Shiva. Pleased with her devotion and delighted with her sweet voice, Shiva just for a moment stopped his meditation and looked at her once. Kama, decided that that was the most opportune moment and got ready to make Shiva fall in love with Parvati.

Unafraid of the eye of fire on Shiva’s forehead, he shot five of his arrows of flowers at his heart.

Shiva’s tapas were broken.

Manmatha is burnt into Ashes

This made Shiva angry. He opened the fiery eye on his forehead. With a frightening noise, a fierce blazing flame burst forth. It seemed the fire of final destruction had struck the body of Kama. As he stood, he was reduced to ashes.

Shiva, smearing his body with the same ash, disappeared.

Path of Penance

Seeing Kama burnt to ash by the third eye of Shiva, Rati fainted. When she regained consciousness, she was in tears and rolled on the ground in great grief. She implored Parvati to give back her husband as alms. She begged the angels. Parvati in kindness caressed her and consoling her, said,

“Rati, don’t weep. I will help you. I will beg Shiva and see that your husband comes back to life. You will have him as husband again. As I now get the one who was my husband in the previous birth, so your husband also will get another birth and have you as your wife.”

She gave the assurance. The angels also consoled Rati.

Parvati was greatly pained at the way in which Shiva had treated her. She told her companions

“The merciful Lord Shiva has not shown any kindness to me. Alas! He has gone away rejecting me. While I was coming here to the spot of his meditation every day and rendering service to him. He has disappeared without speaking a word to me. I know that he cannot be won over by mere beauty or charm but will yield only to devotion. I won’t give up my devotion. I will please him with the hardest penance and draw him to myself.”

When Parvati told her mother of her resolve, Mena said, “My dear daughter, you need not go out and perform penance. You have such a delicate body. Penance is a hard thing. Do stay at home and do your tapas.” Mena thus tried to dissuade her. But she could not succeed.

Just then the sage Narada came there. Parvataraja told him about his daughter. The sage said, “It is not proper to come in the way of her tapas.” He saw Parvati separately and told her to undertake her penance in the same place where Shiva was meditating. He taught her the great ‘Panchakshari’ the five-lettered mantra (incantation) to please Shiva – Om Namah Shivaya and blessed her.

Parvati’s Penance

Parvati obtained from her parents their permission and blessings. She then went to the sacred spot of Gangavatara. The same spot later came to be called the Gowri peak. Jaya and Vijaya also went with her to facilitate her tapas.

Parvati’s penance was rigorous. In the summer of sweltering heat, she lighted fire on all four sides and did her penance amidst five fires. In the rainy season, she sat on the rock in the pouring rain and meditated. In winter she stood neck-deep in the cold water of the pond and meditated on Shiva.

She never cared for any kind of difficulty, sorrow or pain, and focused mindfully on Shiva. She wore flaxen cloth with twisted hair top and chanted the mantras or prayers with the rosary in hand. She excelled the rishis or sages in going on with the penance conquering hunger and thirst. In the early stages, she was eating fruits; gradually she gave up that also. She ate leaves or ‘parna.’ Then she left off that also and got the name ‘Aparna,’ continuing her hard penance.

Many came to her penance-grove now and then and returned with wonder at her determination and with sympathy too.

It was the greatness and effect of Parvati’s penance those all-wild animals of that forest became mild. The young of the deer rolled about on a tiger in their sleep. Venomous vipers would not bite anyone. Rats played with snakes. The penance grove was a kingdom of love, an abode of affection and kindness. But the heat generated by Parvati’s tapas began to burn the angels.

Parvati's Penance

All of them prayed to Shiva. They appealed to him to be pleased, with Parvati and marry her.

Testing Time

For any effort to gel its proper reward, the effort has to be evaluated. Such evaluation depends on the test. The moment approached for testing the strength and essence of Parvati’s penance. Her tapas had this effect: kindness did blossom in Shiva. His mind was softened. Still, he wanted to test her mind. He sent the seven sages known as the ‘Saptarishis’ to find out her firmness.

Parvati saluted the sages who went to her. Her friends Jaya and Vijaya rendered hospitality. The sages asked of Parvati the reason for her tapas and who her preceptor was. She narrated everything. And the sages replied “Well, listening to the words of Narada, you went the wrong way.

Don’t do this penance for Shiva. Nor should you marry him.” But she did not heed their words.

She had already decided that qualities mattered more than appearance. She told them of her resolve thus –

“I feel that I am already married to Shiva. If he does not accept me, I’m not going to marry any other person. There cannot be two marriages for me.”

The sages were pleased with her firmness.

They blessed her by saying “May your wish succeed!” and went to Kailasa. They narrated all this to Shiva. They said that it would not be proper to subject her to any more pain with the pretext of testing her mind. But Shiva thought that he should himself test her firmness.

He changed his real form for that purpose. He disguised himself as a young student and went to Parvati’s penance grove. He sat in the shade of a small mango tree near her. Thinking that a Brahman youth had come as a guest, Parvati’s friends went to him and made inquiries about his welfare. They gave him water to wash his feet and then some good fruits to eat. Then the youth pointed at Parvati and asked them,

“Who is she? Why is she performing this penance though so young? Is there none to stop her tapas? None to check her and advise her?”

Hearing these words of his, Parvati became angry. She stopped her meditation, put aside the rosary, and stared at the youth.

Then the young man, pretending to be sympathetic, began asking several questions.

“At the prime of your youth, why are you engaged in this tapas in this forest, ignoring cold and heat and rain, hunger and thirst?”

he asked. With a sign of her eye from Parvati, Vijaya told him everything and said,

“My friend thus desires to wed Shiva and hence this tapas.” The disguised youth laughed loudly and said. “O, I understand.

What more can I say? It’s your will and pleasure.

So let me go.”

When he started to go, Parvati went near him and saluting him, asked thus “Please wait. Can you not give good advice to me in this matter?

Can you not guide me as to how I can win Shiva’s favor?”

“Listen then,” the youth said. “You are innocent. Though a young maiden, you have no wisdom. Why do you wish to marry that three-eyed person? What an ill-starred person you are! His home appearance, nature is all peculiar.

He lives in the burial-ground. His ornament is the snake! The garland he wears is of skulls. His weapon is a trident and he wears only animal skin. Most of his hairs are scattered in the sky and the rest are matted locks. Poison in his neck and ash all over the body!

With Ganga and the moon fixed on his head, he is severely cold. He moves about on an ox, with demons and spirits as his companions. He is also a beggar. You are beautiful and tender, whereas he is ugly and austere.

Don’t you think of him and don’t marry him.” Hearing these words, Parvati was in unbear-able anger. Her brows were knit in a frown and eyes were red. Not able to hear this abuse of Shiva, with trembling lips she said, “Vile man, you do not know anything about Shiva. Of course, the conduct of great persons will not be like that of the common men.

Witless persons who cannot understand it criticize like this. Shiva’s glory cannot be had by anyone else. Those who trust him escape from sins. Though Shiva looks destitute, he can confer upon others all the riches. What if he lives in the burial-ground?

He is the lord of all three worlds. His looks may be awkward, but he is the giver of felicity. He is the universal Lord. Though he sits on a bullock, his feet are touched by Indra mounted on his elephant, Airavata. There is no need for so much talk. My mind is firmly rooted in Shiva. None can change it. I am fully aware of Shiva’s form, qualities, and greatness. He has neither deformity nor any defect.”

Even as Parvati was speaking thus, the young man’s lips moved as if he would again speak.

Parvati called her friend and said,

“Even as those who revile great ones are sinners, people who listen to that abuse become sinners too. This wicked man is about to speak bad words. Send him away. Or I myself will leave this place.”

So saying, Parvati started to go away. Suddenly the youth in disguise assumed Shiva’s form and held Parvati’s hand. She bowed her head. Shiva told her, “0 thou bowed beauty, I am pleased with your penance and your love. You have won over my mind. I have caused you much pain in testing you in many ways. You must pardon that. Now come, let’s go to my palace on Kailasa.” Ask the Elders.

It was true that Shiva, whom she trusted and won over with her tapas, himself came to her and asked her to go with him. But Parvati did not think it correct to go away with him as her husband then and there. It did not seem proper to go away by herself without her parents performing the prescribed ceremonies of the marriage.

“Lord, my father Parvataraja and mother Menadevi are there. Other relatives are also there. You must come to my father and ask him for my hand in marriage. I request that the wedding be performed with the prescribed rites with the consent of elders and relatives.”

Shiva agreed to her words since following the custom would be a sign of culture.

Just then Ratidevi came there in tears with the sorrow of separation from her husband. She saluted them both. Parvati told Shiva – “0 Lord, her husband Kama, in his striving for the welfare of the world, has been burnt by the fire of your third eye. I have assured her that I will beg you and get her husband back. You must first give her husband.

Though Parvati was now in her happy days, she had not forgotten the sorrows of others. She did not ignore the need to remove the sufferings of others. Shiva, who was merciful, said

“Be it so. Whenever Rati wants him Manmatha will come to her even without a body and make her happy.

Manmatha gave up his life so that the world could be happy. Whenever the people of this world remember him, he will yet come unseen and do well to them. Later in the Dwapara eon he shall be born son to Sri Krishna and will be resplendent as the true husband of Rati.”

Shiva conferred his favor thus, as requested by Parvati, and then went back to Kailasa with his routine. All his devotees, sages and retinue in Kailasa were overjoyed. Parvati returned to Oushadhiprastha with her companions. As one who had won Shiva’s favor, she was welcomed with great splendor.

Shiva Weds Parvati

Parvati Weds Shiva

Shiva sent for the Saptarishis, the seven sages who were very wise and pious, and requested them to go to Himavanta. Parvataraja was in immense joy that the greatest of sages had come to request for his daughter to be Shiva’s bride.

Giriraja exclaimed

“My good fortune has borne fruit! My righteousness has yielded a fragrant flower! The tree of my good race has borne fruit!”

That he would be the father-in-law of Shiva, the world’s, preceptor, put him into a transport of joy. The marriage was fixed.

Parvataraja sent for Vishwakarma the architect of the angels. With his help, a marriage-pavilion was built, which was extremely beautiful and a wonder to set eyes upon. The extensive hall for the marriage assembly was unique. The wedding of Shiva and Parvati was performed with great splendor.

The welfare of the World

The wedlock of Shiva and Parvati opened as it were the portals of the world’s bliss. Shiva is the world’s father. Having married him, Parvati became the mother of the universe. The son born to her later was Kartikeya.

He was commander of the army of the angels attacked the Rakshasas, killed them and reestablished the path of virtue and righteousness. Tarakasura was killed. The other son of Parvati is Ganesha or Gajamukha. He places obstacles to the wicked deeds of bad men and removes impediments in the way of good men. He also gives knowledge and wisdom.

Extending the World’s Knowledge

Shiva, who is Mahadeva or the Greatest God, is also known as Sarvajna and Vageesha. Sarvajna means one who knows all, Omniscient. Vageesha is the lord of knowledge. Parvati had, during her days as a student, learned the material as well as the spiritual branches of knowledge through well-qualified teachers.

Still, she had the desire to learn more. She was not only proud that her husband was Sarvajna but also had the learner’s curiosity to know more. Through her learning, she desired the spread of knowledge the arts and the intellect all over the world.

In Shiva’s assembly, not only Parvati but the angels and other divine beings, as well as sages, learned wisdom by listening to the educative stories, the morals and doctrines, and histories and poems, narrated by Shiva. The one who requested him to narrate all those was Parvati.

Parvati learned the Sanskrit language and grammar from Shiva. The rules of grammar taught by Shiva are famous as “Maheshwara Sutras.” Later a sage by the name of Panini publicized them on the earth. It is well known as Panini’s Grammar (‘Paniniya Vyakarana’).

Prosody, or metrical science, important for poetry. It explains the poetical structure. As Parvati desired to know it, Shiva taught that to Parvati first then a sage by name Pingala learned it and made it known on the earth. His work on ‘Chandas’ or prosody was written in Kannada as’Chandombudhi’ (in 990 A. D.) by the poet Nagavarma.

Similarly, several other branches of knowledge like dance, architecture, astrology, spells, and painting and so on are said to have been taught by Shiva to Parvati and then became known to others. Parvati had a great curiosity to know philosophy also.

Shiva teaching Parvati

She wanted the Ramayana to be taught to her with its philosophical content. Pleased with this request, Shiva taught her “Adhyatma Ramayana.’ Brahma learned it and in turn, taught Narada. Narada narrated the story to sage Valmiki who passed it on to Lava and Kusha the twin sons of Sri Rama. This is known as “Srimadlyana.” Later the sage Vedavyasa composed Adhyatma Ramayana in Sanskrit. It is well known to this day.

The ‘Panchatantra’ also, which is full of moral stories eagerly listened to and enjoyed by children even today, is believed to be a collection of tallest told by Shiva to Parvati in the first instance.

Not only was Parvati often discussing philosophy and matters of this world with Shiva but was also sometimes venturing into deeds of bravery.

The Mahabharata says that when Shiva went to Indrakeelaka in the guise of a tribal king of huntsmen to see Arjuna’s valor directly, Parvati also went with him as his tribal wife.

Goddess Chamundeswari is believed to be one of the incarnations of Parvati. She took that form to kill a rakshasa by name Mahishasura.

The wicked Mahishasura was harassing human beings and the angels. Chamundeswari killed him on the Vijayadashami day. Then she took abode on a hill in Mahishamandala where the demon ruled earlier. This is the Chamundi hill near Mysore City in Karnataka. The hill is 3489 feet above sea level. The present-day Mysore is the Mahishamandala over which Mahishasura reigned.

Kali and Durga are also incarnations of Parvati.

As her devotees believe, Parvati assumed all these forms to kill the wicked in the world and protect the virtuous.

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