Parvati

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Parvati also has wrathful incarnations, such as Durga, Kali, Tara, Chandi, and the Dasha Mahavidyas (ten great wisdoms), Tripura Sundari (Shodashi), Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagla Mukhi, Matangi and Kamala, as well as benevolent forms like Katyayani, Mahagauri, Kamalatmika, Bhuvaneshwari and Lalita.

Parvati (Devanagari: पार्वती, IAST: Pārvatī) is known as the motherly form of Mother Goddess Gauri Jagadamba, Parvati is another form of Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the gentle aspect of Maha Devi or Durga, the Great Goddess. Parvati is considered to be a complete incarnation of Adi Parashakti or Goddess Durga, with all other Goddesses being her incarnations or manifestations. Parvati is the mother of the Gods Ganesha, Kartikeya, Ashoka Sundari. Some communities also believe her to be the sister of Vishnu. She is also regarded as the daughter of King Himavan. Parvati, when depicted alongside Shiva, generally appears with two arms, but when alone, she is depicted having four, eight or ten arms, and is astride on a tiger or lion. Parvati is nominally the second consort of Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction and rejuvenation. However, she is not different from Sati, being the reincarnation of Shiva's first wife.Generally considered a benevolent Goddess, Parvati also has wrathful incarnations, such as Durga, Kali, Tara, Chandi, and the Dasha Mahavidyas (ten great wisdoms), Tripura Sundari (Shodashi), Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagla Mukhi, Matangi and Kamala, as well as benevolent forms like Katyayani, Mahagauri, Kamalatmika, Bhuvaneshwari and Lalita.

Quotes[edit]

The statue of the divine Hindu couple [Shiva- Parvati], the great god Shiva and his wife Parvati, would have probably been placed above a door to a temple. Hindu worshippers used sculptures to develop a close relationship with the gods depicted. ... - BBC.
Shiva-Parvati, Lakshmi-Narayan are in one sense the same person manifest in two different forms... - BBC.
Hindus believe Shiva and Parvati live in the Kailash mountains in the Himalayas....- BBC.
When the two boys [Ganesha and Skanda] were of marriageable age, Shiva and Parvati did not know which of the children to marry off first. So they proposed a competition: We shall celebrate the marriage of the one who first returns after having gone round the world. The clever Ganesha walked around his parents and said to them “You are the Universe”. He was considered the winner and his wedding was celebrated with Siddhi (Success) and Buddhi (Intelligence), the two daughters of the Lord of the World - Visharupa. ~ Alain Daniélou.
...She is also said to have been born when the goddess Parvati shed her dark skin; the sheath became Kali—who is also called Kaushika, “The Sheath”—leaving Parvati in the form of Gauri (“The Fair One”). - Wendy Doniger.
Ganesha is the eldest son of Shankara and Parvati. Karttikeya or Skanda is his younger brother. As regards the origin and birth of Ganesha there are several stories and legends enshrined in Puranas and Upa-puranas. - B.R. Kishore
  • The statue of the divine Hindu couple [Shiva- Parvati], the great god Shiva and his wife Parvati, would have probably been placed above a door to a temple. Hindu worshippers used sculptures to develop a close relationship with the gods depicted. Gods would only inhabit a perfectly made statue and sculptors had to ritually purify themselves before they commenced carving. Such statues were primarily for beginners. Experienced worshippers were expected to commune with the gods through prayer and meditation without images.
  • Shiva and Parvati were sitting on mount Kailash where Shiva lives and he was giving a class – a lecture – to a number of sages who had come to take his darshan. And Parvati was sitting on his lap. Now these sages were all ascetics – all celibate – and Shiva himself was sitting there, a very detached person, with his wife sitting on his lap – a very attractive wife. And this maharaja Chitraketu was passing by and he saw this scene and he thought it was very funny that all these ascetics and Shiva were sitting together having a class on spiritual life and detachment with this beautiful woman sitting on his lap with his arm around her. And he laughed. And no one took it seriously except Parvati. And Parvati thought this was offensive to her husband so she cursed Chitraketu that he would have to take life as a demon. So there’s this little kind of vignette of the character of Shiva and Parvati. Shiva very detached, never takes offense, and Parvati takes all his offenses on his behalf...
    • BBC in: "Shiva and Parvati sculpture"
  • Shiva-Parvati, Lakshmi-Narayan are in one sense the same person manifest in two different forms. So God is male and female. And the thinking behind that is that God cannot be something less than we are. So God cannot be not-female, because there are females here, so God has to have a female aspect.
    • BBC in: "Shiva and Parvati sculpture"
  • While other gods are depicted in lavish surroundings, Shiva is dressed in simple animal skin and in austere settings, usually in a yogic position. Parvati, whenever she is present, is always at the side of Shiva. Their relationship is one of equality.
  • Shiva's consort is Devi, the Mother-goddess. Devi has taken on many forms in the past, including Kali, the goddess of death, and Sati, the goddess of marital felicity. Her best known incarnation is Parvati, Shiva's eternal wife.
    • BBC in: "Shiva"
  • Shiva and Parvati are held up as the perfect example of marital bliss by many Hindus, and one is rarely depicted without the other.
    • BBC in: "Shiva"
  • At the time of Ganesha's 'birth', Shiva was away from the family home. On returning, and finding an unknown young man standing guard outside the bathroom of his wife, he naturally challenged him. Ganesha was equally unknowing of his father, and the two came to blows. The result was never in doubt, for Shiva is the greatest of the Gods, and the father killed his own son., by cutting off his (human) head. When Parvati found out what had happened and explained the circumstances to Shiva, the god undertook to restore Ganesha to life. This he did by ordering by one of his retinue to bring the head of the first he met. This was an elephant, and thus Ganesha was returned to life with an elephant’s head. Further, as compensation for the loss of his human head, Ganesha was entrusted by Shiva with the leadership of the members of his rowdy and dwarfish retinue (the ganas). Ganesha’s name means no more than ‘Lord of the Gana’. In recognition of his courage in the defense of his mother’s chamber, Ganesha is given custody over all doorways.
    • T. Richard Blurton in: Hindu Art, Harvard University Press, 1993, p. 105.
  • Parvati, (Sanskrit: “Daughter of the Mountain”) wife of the Hindu god Shiva is the benevolent aspect of the goddess Shakti and is sometimes identified with Uma. The legendary account of her marriage relates that she won Shiva’s notice only after severe ascetic discipline. The couple had two children, the elephant-headed Ganesha and the six-headed Skanda. Parvati is often represented in sculpture with Shiva—as an attendant figure, or looking on as he performs a miraculous feat, or engaged in a game with him in their mountain kingdom Kailasa—and is always depicted as a mature and beautiful woman. The Tantras—texts of sects worshipping Shiva—are written as a discussion between Parvati and Shiva.
  • Once directed by the other gods to arouse Shiva’s passion for Parvati, he disturbed the great god’s meditation on a mountaintop. Enraged, Shiva burned him to ashes with the fire of his third eye. Thus, he became Ananga (Sanskrit: “the Bodiless”). Some accounts say Shiva soon relented and restored him to life after the entreaties of Kama’s wife, Rati. Others hold that Kama’s subtle bodiless form renders him even more deftly omnipresent. than he would be if constrained by bodily limitation.
  • She [Parvati] makes her first major appearance in Sanskrit culture in the Devi-mahatmya (“The Glorifications of the Goddess,” c. 6th century CE), where she springs from the anger of the goddess Durga to slay the demon Raktabija (“Blood-Seed”). During the struggle a new demon emerges from each drop of Raktabija’s blood as it hits the ground; to prevent this, Kali laps up the blood before it can reach the ground. She is also said to have been born when the goddess Parvati shed her dark skin; the sheath became Kali—who is also called Kaushika, “The Sheath”—leaving Parvati in the form of Gauri (“The Fair One”).
  • Parvati has wrathful incarnations surely,
    As Durga, Kali, Shitala Devi, Tara, Chandi,
    She has benevolent forms like Katyayani,
    Kamalatmika, Bhuvaneshwari, Lalita, Gauri.
  • Parvati as the Goddess of Power does be,
    Who source of all forms and of all beings be,
    In Her all the power but exists undoubtedly,
    And She who the destroys all fear clearly be.
    • Munindra Misra in: "Chants of Hindu Gods and Godesses in English Rhyme", p. 158
  • The apparent contradiction that Parvati be,
    The fair one, Gauri, and the dark one, Kali,
    Suggests the placid wife, can change fully,
    To her primal chaotic nature as powerful Kali.
    • Munindra Misra in: "Chants of Hindu Gods and Godesses in English Rhyme", p. 158
  • Three images are central to the mythology,
    To iconography and philosophy of Parvati:
    They reconciliation, interdependence do be,
    And harmony of ascetic and householder be.
    • Munindra Misra in: "Chants of Hindu Gods and Godesses in English Rhyme", p. 161
  • Parvati is able to restrain Shiv dramatically,
    Shiv dwels in Parvati’s father’s house clearly
    This implies their relationships priority
    And her ability thwart Shiva’s will surely
    • Munindra Misra in: "Chants of Hindu Gods and Godesses in English Rhyme", p. 161
  • One day when Shiva had finished eating, he called to his wife Parvati to come and take her food too before it got cold. She pleaded that she had not finished repeating, according to her daily wont, the thousand names of Vishnu; whereupon her husband instructed her that it would suffice if she said the mere name of ‘Rama’ once for that had as much virtue as all the thousand.
    • Tulsidas in: "Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 45", p. 16

Encyclopedia of Hinduism[edit]

Ardhanarishvara, “The Lord Who is Half Woman,” is a form of Shiva whose left half is the Goddess Parvati or Shakti, with breast and sari drape. The iconic image is a popular one at temples and shrines to Shiva everywhere in India.
One myth has Chinnamasta as a form of Parvati, the consort of Shiva. Another sees her as Parvati in the form of Chandi. In both myths the goddess is begged for food by her attendants and cuts off her head to offer them her blood.
Karttikeya is the younger son of Shiva and Parvati; Ganesha is the elder son. There are many versions of his life story, as is usual in Hindu tradition.

Constance Jones, James D. Ryan in: Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Infobase Publishing, 2006

  • In fact, she [Minakshi] in the temple of Madurai] appears late enough not to be identified with Parvati, his usual spouse, but as a separate wife. Likewise, the Tamil god Murugan became identified as the youngest son of Shiva and Parvati.
    • In: p. xxi
  • It is said that Shiva revealed the secret of immortality to Parvati at this cave. Beneath the tiger skin on which Shiva sat, pigeon eggs later hatched. Those who do pilgrimage to this place often see the immortal pigeons incubated by the Lord.
    • In: p. 23
  • Andhaka (Blind One) is the blind demon born to Shiva and Parvati in the following way: Parvati was joking with Shiva and covered up his three eyes with her hands. As she did this, the entire cosmos fell into darkness. Parvati's hands began to sweat as they covered Shiva’s potent third eye. From the sweat of her hands heated up by the third eye of Shiva, arose Andhaka, an angry black blind demon.
    • In: p. 37
  • Literally “She who is abundant [purna] with food [anna],” the goddess Annapurna is considered a form of Durga or sometimes of Parvati, both being wives of Shiva. In her iconography she is light colored and stands on a lotus or sits on a throne.
    • In: p. 39
  • Ardhanarishvara, “The Lord Who is Half Woman,” is a form of Shiva whose left half is the Goddess Parvati or Shakti, with breast and sari drape. The iconic image is a popular one at temples and shrines to Shiva everywhere in India.
    • In: p. 43
  • Uma, sometimes called PARVATI, is the principal goddess of Bali; she is the Goddess of the Mountain Gunung Agung, where she dwells as the consort of Shiva, the Great Ancestor. She has many manifestations. As Uma, she nourishes and causes seeds to germinate.
    • In: p. 67
  • One myth has Chinnamasta as a form of Parvati, the consort of Shiva. Another sees her as Parvati in the form of Chandi. In both myths the goddess is begged for food by her attendants and cuts off her head to offer them her blood.
    • In: p. 120
  • In one tale she [Matangi] emerges from leftover food that Shiva, Parvati, Vishnu, and Lakshmi have just eaten. Another myth calls Matangi a sister of Shiva, cursed by Parvati to be reborn in an untouchable (Dalit) family, forced to survive on leftovers.
    • In: p. 121
  • The most common story of his [Ganesha's] origin is that he was made by Parvati, who rubbed off material from her skin and formed it into a shape of a person. She set this “child” Ganesha to guard her shower or inner chamber.
    • In: p. 161
  • Parvati, his [Shiva's] second wife and the daughter of the Himalaya mountain, may well have been a distinct divinity in ancient times. Later, as Durga and Kali became recognized as wives of Shiva, many of the local goddesses lost some or all of their original character and began to be understood as Durga or Kali under other names.
    • In: p. 168
  • In one example, Himavat has a ragged beggar thrown from his house only to learn later that this was Parvati's beau Shiva, with whom she had become enthralled.
    • In: p. 185
  • Kali first appears in developed literary form in the Devibhagavatam of the 11th to 12th centuries, where she is seen to be Parvati, wife of Shiva, who becomes completely black out of fury when battling the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha.
    • In: p. 221
  • Karttikeya is the younger son of Shiva and Parvati; Ganesha is the elder son. There are many versions of his life story, as is usual in Hindu tradition.
    • In: p. 228
  • She is considered the reincarnation of Shiva’s first wife Sati. She also goes by the name Uma. The first textual mention of Parvati/Uma is in the Kena Upanishad (600 BC) many scholars believe that Parvati was a mountain goddess of the indigenous, non-Aryan people of India who was absorbed into the Brahminical tradition.
    • In: p. 326
  • Paravati is born according to most stories to lure Shiva away from asceticism so that he will produce a son. The gods are desperate for this to happen, since only a son of Shiva can kill the otherwise invincible demon Taraka. However, Shiva ignores all of Pravati’s seductions....Pravati then sets out on a quest to gain Shiva’s love by doing austerities, such as standing on one leg for many years, and gains great merit. The gods noticing the tremendous power that Parvati is securing, ask Shiva to grant her wish to marry him. Shiva, impressed by Parvati’s devotion and steadfastness agrees to marry her. The marriage is often described, depicted, and enacted in Indian literature and tradition.
    • In: p. 326

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