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Devi Parvati - The Shakti and consort of Lord Shiva

BY Mr Shiv Sagar June 17,2020
Devi Parvati - The Shakti and consort of Lord Shiva

Devi Parvati – The Shakti and consort of Lord Shiva

The Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva. She is known by several names, Durga, Shakti, Uma, Sati, DhashaBhuja, Gauri, Annapurna etc. She has 108 names which she is known by depending on her mood and form.She is the mother of all creation and the epitome of strength.

It is commonly believed in Hindus that a woman has strength that she chooses not to exercise. The strength is not solely physical it is her tenacity and inner strength that it evokes.Parvati Devi is most significantly depicted in a red attire symbolising fertility and creation.

''Parvati Devi is most significantly depicted in a red attire symbolising fertility and creation.''

The beginning

Sati: It is said that there was a beautiful princess Sati, who fell in love with a Yogi, ( Lord Shiva) such was her love that she renounced the worldly pleasures and married him and went away to live with Shiva in the Himalayas, much to her father Daksha’s dismay. Her father later organised a Yagya ( a sacred prayer ritual praying to the fire god) . He had deliberately not invited his daughter or her husband.

Sati asked her husband if they could go, he replied ‘ It is your home, you may go anytime but I on the other hand should not if I am not invited.’ Sati went to the Yagya without her husband, upon realising that her husband was being insulted by the other kings and her father himself she threw herself into the fire and self-immolated herself. Such was her love for Lord Shiva.

''Upon her death Lord Shiva went into deep meditation and renounced his duties as the Destroyer in the holy trinity. Upon with the gods and celestial beings worried about the worlds balance and requested Sati to be born again . She then was born to the King HImavat, the personification of the great Himalyan Mountains and the Heavenly Nymph Mena. Parvati is also the sister of the River Ganga.''

Uma  or Parvati is considered to be the goddess of light ot the Lady of the mountains She Imparts the vital virtue of balance to humanity. She is depicted as a beauty with power. Another name given to her is Goddess Shakti which in Sanskrit means power.

Uma : She derives her name from the word U-ma which means Don’t Do this!, as she did her penance to attain lord Shiva her worried mother asked her to stop. Hence giving her the name Uma. Her penance pleased Lord Shiva and he married her. She is the mother of Lord Ganesha -the god of prosperity and Lord Kartika -The god of war .

Durga : Durga is the Shakti Roop of goddess Parvati, in this form she embodies the strength gods put together and empowered her to destroy evil. Shakti is pure energy , untamed, unchecked and chaotic. And in anger or wrath she takes the form of Mahakali.This form of Parvati is the most powerful of all gods as together she has the strength of 10 gods in her in this form.

The creation of Durga: The heavens and the gods were being terrorised by an Asura( Demon)  called ‘Mahishasura’, as the name ‘mahish’ suggests he could take form of a buffalo). Many a celestial beings had been killed by this evil abomination in their attempt to kill him. The gods approached Shiva for help, as they failed to kill him on several occasions.She is also known as Mahisasur mardini meaning the killer of the asura Mahisasura

''Mahishasura had a boon that, no man, no celestial being could kill him, as so he didn’t die even if he was imphaled by weapon by a man. But Mahishasura, had been arrogant and not asked for the boon to be protected from a woman. He had thought that a woman was so weak that he did not need it.So, when Shiva was asked he asked Goddess Parvati to kill him,  Parvati asked ‘If all the men in the heavens and earth were not able to do it, how will I?.''

To this the gods imparted their powers to her as she was already present in them as a form of Shakti. Thus she manifested herself from various gods. She is often depicted with ten arms holding the weapon of the various gods. She is also known due to this as DashaBhuja ( the one with ten arms) .Devi Durga, in this form killed Mahishasura and became the Goddess Mahishasura Mardini. Until thid point the Goddess Parvati was revered as the goddess of fertility and abundance.

The weapons of Durga are the Trident of Shiva, the counch of varuna , the sudarshan chakra of Vishnu, bow and arrow of Vayu and Surya , the lotus of Lord Brahma , Sword, club or Mace , thunderbolt of Lord Indra, snake  and axe of Vishwakarma.

Each of these weapons signify a higher meaning of consciousness.

  • 1.Trident signifies the 3 basic gunas represented by the three points of the trishul. 1. tamas( inactivity), 2. rajas( hyperactivity)  and 3. sattva( purity or positivity).
  • 2.The conch, given by Lord Varuna,( God of the sea) ,has the primodal sound called “AUM” from with the entire universe has emerged.
  • 3.The chakra or the discus, revolving on the finger of Devi Durga, shows that the goddess is the centre of all creation.
  • 4.The lotus standing for the divine consciousness of a soul, given be lord Brahma.
  • 5.The Sword or Kharga signifies sharpness of mind and the power to overcome negativity.
  • 6.The bow and arrow, symbols of energy, given by Lord Vayu ( god of wind) and the Sun god Surya.
  • 7.The mace  exhibit’s the love and loyalty to mother Durga
  • 8.Thunderbolt gifted by Lord Indra ( the King of the Swarg lok or the residing King of the heavens), which symbolises confidence.
  • 9.Abhay Mudra one of the hands is always blessing her devotees, signifying that she will always look after her devotees.
  • 10.Axe which she received from lord Vishwakarma, signifying that there should be no fear when fighting evil.

Goddess Durga is said to have been prayed to by ‘Lord Rama” before the great war of Lord Rama and Ravana and pleasing her with prayer.

Kali :  The story of Kali is , that Durga Devi was approached by the gods to save them. As there was an Asura called Rakthbeej who had  attained a boon that when he was slain, ever drop of his blood would create another clone of him. Thus rendering him immortal. No matter how hard the Devas had tried to kill him they never succeeded and so they approched Shakti.

She was blessed by the gods, that she forgets who she is so she could kill and drink the blood of Rakthbeej before if drops on the ground.Hence  she is seen with severed heads around her neck as she in this form, another thing about this form is that she was unstoppable with the power of Shakti and no memory of  her being a devi.

''She killed even the Devas as she did not remember her true identity. The Devas requested Shiva to interwene and stop her, Shiva Lay down on her path of destruction, when she held Shiva’s head to decapitate him she recognised her husband and returned to her original form of Devi Parvati.''


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