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Parvati - Goddess of Love & Devotion - Hindu Goddess - Exotic India Art
Article of the Month - July 2001 by Nitin Kumar Email the author

Goddess Parvati and Lord ShivaThe Indian tradition is rich with goddesses. So varied are her manifestations and names that every village and every scripture, every art and artist create their own unique image of her. While sometimes she is a consort, at other times she is a fertility goddess; at times she is a benevolent figure yet at others she is horrific and malevolent. The tradition is especially replete with a number of goddesses who are associated with Shiva. But the one that is artistically and lovingly the most celebrated is Parvati. Unlike Durga and Kali who assume their own independent religious status in the Hindu pantheon and are worshipped and venerated ritually, Parvati engages the greater attention of poets and painters, musicians and dancers. Numerous are her aspects, varied are her persona, multiple are her attributes and many her names. Of all the mythic beings in the Hindu pantheon she is perhaps the most loved and undoubtedly the most giving of her love. In her we have the true celebration of Hindu womanhood. Of unsurpassed sensual beauty, her endowment is not merely physical but spiritual, not narcissistic but meant as an offering. In her, it can be said that we have the grand personification of the Hindu expression, as well as the concept of beauty.

In classical mythology the raison d'кtre of Parvati's birth is to lure Shiva into marriage and thus into the wider circle of married life from which he is aloof as a lone ascetic, living in the wilds of the mountains. The goddess represents the complementary pole to the ascetic, world-denying tradition in the Hindu ethos. In her role as maiden, wife, and later as a mother, she extends Shiva's circle of activity into the realm of the householder, where his stored-up energy is released in positive ways.

Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha

Much as in the Christian art of Medieval Europe, it is woman the Mother, the Madonna suckling a babe who has been painted with reverence, in the Indian Diaspora it is woman the beloved who has been painted with love and passion. The female friends of Krishna with their warm sensuous faces, eyes filled with passion, and delicate sensitive fingers, represent not the beauty of a particular woman, but the beauty of entire womanhood. In fact, she is there as the incarnation of all the beauty of the world and as a representative of the charm of her sex.

Parvati's name, which means "she who dwells in the mountains" or "she who is of the mountain, identify her with mountainous regions. She was the daughter of Himavat (Lord of the mountains) and his queen Mena. She is usually described as very beautiful. She showed a keen interest in Shiva from the outset, repeating his name to herself and taking delight in hearing about his appearance and deeds. While she is a child a sage comes to her house and after examining the marks on her body predicts that she will marry a naked yogi. When it becomes clear that she is destined to marry Shiva, her parents are usually described as feeling honored. Parvati too is delighted.

At some point during Parvati's attempts to attract Shiva's attention for the purpose of marriage, the god of love, Kama, is sent by the gods to awaken Shiva's lust. When he attracts Shiva's attention with sounds and scents of spring, and tries to perturb Shiva with his intoxicating weapons, Shiva burns him to ashes with the fire from his middle eye. But steadfast in her devotion, Parvati persists in her quest to win Shiva as her husband by setting out to perform austerities.

One of the most effective ways to achieve what a person wants in traditional Hinduism is to perform tapas, "ascetic austerities." If one is persistent and heroic enough, one will generate so much heat that the gods will be forced to grant the ascetic his or her wish in order to save themselves and the world from being scorched. Parvati's method of winning Shiva is thus a common approach to fulfilling one's desires. It is also appropriate, however, in terms of demonstrating to Shiva that she can compete with him in his own realm, that she has the inner resources, control, and fortitude to cut herself off from the world and completely master her physical needs. By performing tapas, Parvati abandons the world of the householder and enters the realm of the world renouncer, namely Shiva's world. Most versions of the myth describe her as outdoing all the great sages in her austerities. She performs all the traditional mortifications, such as sitting in the midst of four fires in the middle of summer, remaining exposed to the elements during the rainy season and during the winter, living on leaves or air only, standing on one leg for years, and so on. Eventually she accumulates so much heat that the gods are made uncomfortable and persuade Shiva to grant Parvati's wish, so that she will cease her efforts.

The marriage is duly arranged and elaborately undertaken. Shiva's marriage procession, which includes most of the Hindu pantheon, is often described at length. A common motif during the marriage preparations is Mena's outrage when she actually sees Shiva for the first time. She cannot believe that her beautiful daughter is about to marry such an outrageous-looking character; in some versions, Mena threatens suicide and faints when told that the odd-looking figure in the marriage procession is indeed her future son-in-law.

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva in loving embraceAfter the two are married they depart to Mount Kailasha, Shiva's favorite dwelling place, and immerse themselves completely in sexual dalliance, which continues uninterruptedly for long periods of time. The Love god Kama is resuscitated when Shiva embraces Parvati and the sweat from her body mingles with the ashes of the burned god.

Their lovemaking is so intense that it shakes the cosmos, and the gods become frightened. They are frightened at the prospect of what a child will be like from the union of two such potent deities. They fear the child's extraordinary powers. They thus plan to interrupt Shiva and Parvati's lovemaking. Vishnu goes with his entourage of gods to Kailasha and waits patiently outside the quarters of Shiva. Many years passed and yet Shiva remained closeted with Parvati. Vishnu spoke in a shrill and plaintive voice and entreated Shiva to come out and listen to their problem. When Shiva disregarded this, Agni (Fire) disguised himself as a pigeon and entered the bedchamber of Shiva. Parvati immediately sensed that her privacy was violated. Shiva withdrew and a drop of his semen fell on the ground. Agni in the form of the dove ate the drop of semen. Parvati however was disturbed and angry that the gods had assembled and interrupted her erotic pleasures, and cursed them that all their wives would be barren. She was particularly enraged at Agni for having eaten the seed of Shiva.

When Agni was unable to bear the fiery seed he went to the banks of the Ganga. At that moment, the wives of the seven sages had come down to bathe. Six of the wives felt cold and went towards Agni. Agni dropped the seed and the seed entered the wives and they became pregnant. When the sages found this out they admonished their wives who placed the embryo on one of the peaks of the Himalayas. Thus was born Kartikeya, a lustrous child with six heads. Shiva and Parvati were delighted at the birth of their son and it added much joy to Parvati who had longed for a child. We are sometimes told that her breasts oozed milk in affection when she first saw the child.

Lord Ganesha - son of Goddess Parvati and Lord ShivaParvati's maternal instincts were indeed the most powerful emotions in her life. While Shiva exulted in his romantic dalliance with her, the true mother in her longed for a child. She would entreat Shiva to beget her a son and make her a mother but the ascetic Shiva would hear nothing of it. She reminded Shiva that no ancestral rituals are performed for a man who has no descendants. Shiva assured her that he had no desire to be a grahastha, householder, for such a state in life brings fetters. Parvati was disheartened and seeing her in that state Shiva pulled a thread out of her red dress and made a son and gave it to her. Parvati held him to her breast and he came to life. As he sucked on her milk he smiled and Parvati, pleased, gave the son to Shiva. Shiva was surprised that Parvati had breathed life in a child made of fabric but warned that the planet Saturn would prove inauspicious for this child and as he spoke those words, the child's head fell to the ground. Parvati was overcome with grief. Shiva tried unsuccessfully to put the head back together. A voice in the sky said that only the head of someone facing north would stick to this child. Shiva deputed Nandi to find such a person. Nandi soon found Indra's elephant Airavat lying with his head facing north and began to cut it. Indra intervened but Nandi was eventually successful, although in the struggle one of the tusks of the elephant was broken. Nandi took the head to Shiva and thus was born Ganesha. The gods celebrated the birth and Parvati was pleased.

In a strange myth it is stated that Parvati had a third child, Andhaka, and an interesting legend is narrated behind his birth. In jest Parvati closed Shiva's eyes with her delicate hands and at once a darkness engulfed the world. The hands of the goddess were drenched in Shiva's fluid born of passion, and when this was heated by the heat of Shiva's third eye it grew into a horrific child, blind and gruesome. But Parvati, true to her nature, lovingly cared for this child as well. But as Andhaka grew, he became a demon lusting for his own mother, and was eventually put to death by Shiva.

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva

 

 

 

For the most part Shiva and Parvati's married and family life is portrayed as harmonious, blissful and calm. In iconography the two are typically shown sitting in happy, intimate embrace. There were also many moments of philosophical discourse between the two. While Shiva taught Parvati the doctrine of Vedanta, Parvati responded by teaching him the doctrines of Sankhya, for if Shiva was the perfect teacher, Parvati too, as a yogini was no less. Parvati was constantly by Shiva's side, encouraging, assisting and, participating in every activity of his.

 

 

 

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva Lord, alongwith their sons, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya

An important part of Shiva's daily routine was the preparation of bhang, his favorite intoxicant. Parvati would lovingly collect the best bhang leaves, crush them and then filter the decoction through a clean muslin cloth. At other times Parvati would help Shiva make a quilt that would keep them warm in the cold nights at Kailasha. At yet other times she would sit by his feet massaging them while Shiva reclined under a tree. Parvati's greatest pleasure was to serve Shiva and cater to his every need. Nothing was more important to her than being useful to her lord, tending to his every comfort and ensuring that he would not lapse into his solitary, self-denying ascetic ways. In these activities she combined the roles of a caring wife and an affectionate mother.

But Shiva and Parvati do argue and insult each other from time to time. Bengali accounts of Shiva and Parvati often describe Shiva as an irresponsible, hemp-smoking husband who cannot look after himself. Parvati is portrayed as the long-suffering wife who often complains from time to time to her mother but who always remains steadfast to her husband.

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva sitting on the divine ox NandiBut Shiva too was passionate in his love for Parvati. Of the many games they played the one of great significance was the game of dice. Once it so happened that Parvati was initially losing to Shiva, but then gradually the tables turned and Shiva lost everything he had staked in the game, including the crescent moon, his necklace and earrings. When Parvati demanded that Shiva give everything he had staked, there was a fight between the two, much to the anguish of their attendants. Parvati removed Shiva's snake, the crescent moon and even his loincloth. The onlookers were put to shame and Shiva too was enraged and opened his third eye. Following this incident, the two separated. Shiva retreated into the wilderness and Parvati into her quarters. But she was tormented by this separation and at the bidding of her companions went in search of Shiva. She took the form of a shabari, a tribal woman, and approached Shiva who was deep in meditation. Shiva was attracted towards the shabari but when he realized that she was none other than Parvati, he realized his mistake and united with her much to their joy.

On another occasion, Parvati feels pique when Shiva calls her by the nickname Kali (blackie), which Parvati takes as a slur on her appearance. She resolves to rid herself of her dark complexion and does so by performing austerities. Having assumed a golden complexion, she then becomes known by the name Gauri (the bright or golden one). In some versions of the myth, her discarded, dark complexion or sheath gives birth to or becomes a warrior goddess who undertakes heroic feats or combat against demons.

The presence of an alter ego or a dark, violent side to Parvati is suggested in several myths in which demons threaten the cosmos and Parvati is asked to help the gods by defeating the demon in question. Typically, when Parvati grows angry at the prospect of war, a violent goddess is born from her wrath and proceeds to fight on Parvati's behalf. This deity is often identified as the bloodthirsty goddess Kali. For the most part, however, the myths emphasize Parvati's milder side. So out of character is Parvati on the battlefield that another goddess, it seems, must be summoned to embody her wrath and dissociate this fury from Parvati himself.

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva with their son, Lord Ganesha, in Kailash - their heavenly abodeThe main theme of the Parvati cycle of myths is clear. The association between Parvati and Shiva represents the perennial tension in Hinduism between the ascetic ideal and householder ideal. Parvati, for the most part, represents the householder. Her mission is to lure Shiva into the world of marriage, sex, and children, to tempt him away from asceticism, yoga, and otherwordly preoccupations. In this role Parvati is cast as a figure who upholds the order of dharma, who enhances life in the world, who represents the beauty and attraction of worldly, sexual life, who cherishes the house and society rather than the forest, the mountains, or the ascetic life. Parvati civilizes Shiva with her presence; indeed, she domesticates him. Of her role in relation to Shiva in the hymns of Manikkavacakar, a ninth-century poet-saint from South India, it has been said: "Shiva, the great unpredictable 'madman', is rendered momentarily sane (i.e. behaves in a socially acceptable manner) when in the company of the goddess. . . Contact with his properly cultured spouse seems to connect him with ordinary social reality and temporarily domesticates him."

Throughout Hindu mythology it is well known that one of Shiva's principal functions is the destruction of cosmos. In fact, Shiva has about him a wild, unpredictable, destructive aspect that is often mentioned. As the great cosmic dancer, he periodically performs the tandava, an especially violent dance. Wielding a broken battle-ax, he dances so wildly that the cosmos is destroyed completely. In descriptions of this dance, Shiva's whirling arms and flying locks are said to crash into the heavenly bodies, knocking them off course or destroying them utterly. The mountains shake and the oceans heave as the world is destroyed by his violent dancing. Parvati, in contrast, is portrayed as a patient builder, one who follows Shiva about, trying to soften the violent effects of her husband. She is a great force for preservation and reconstruction in the world and as such offsets the violence of Shiva. A seventeenth century Tamil work pictures Parvati as a patient child who creates the worlds in the form of little houses. Shiva is pictured as constantly frustrating her purpose by destroying what she has so carefully built.

Dance of Goddess ParvatiThe crazy old madman stands in front,
Dancing, destroying the beautiful little house
that You have built in play.
You don't become angry, but every time (he destroys It)
you build it again.

When Shiva does his violent tandava dance, Parvati is described as calming him with soft glances, or she is said to complement his violence with a slow, creative step of her own.

Parvati's goal in her relationship with Shiva is nothing less than the domestication of the lone, ascetic god whose behavior borders on madness. Shiva is indifferent to social propriety, does not care about offspring, declares woman to be a hindrance to the spiritual life, and is disdainful of the trappings of the householder's life. Parvati tries to involve him in the worldly life of the householder by arguing that he should observe conventions if he loves her and wants her. She persuades him, for example, to marry her according to the proper rituals, to observe custom, instead of simply running off with her. She is less successful, however, in getting him to change his attire and ascetic habits. She often complains of his nakedness and finds his ornaments disgraceful. Usually prompted by her mother, Parvati sometimes complains that she does not have a proper house to live in. Shiva, as is well known, does not have a house but prefers to live in caves, on mountains, or in forests or to wander the world as a homeless beggar. Many myths delight in Shiva's response to Parvati's domestic pleas for a house. When she complains that the rains will soon come and that she has no house to protect her, Shiva simply takes her to the high mountain peaks above the clouds where it does not rain. Elsewhere, he describes his "house" as the universe and argues that an ascetic understands the whole world to be his dwelling place. These philosophic arguments never satisfy Parvati, but she rarely, if ever, wins this argument and gains a house.

Goddess Parvati and Lord ShivaShiva is a god of excesses, both ascetic and sexual, and Parvati plays the role of modifier. As a representative of the householder ideal, she represents the ideal of controlled sex, namely, married sex, which is opposed to both asceticism and eroticism.

The theme of conflict, tension, or opposition between the way of the ascetic and the way of the householder in the mythology of Parvati and Shiva yields to a vision of reconciliation, interdependence, and symbiotic harmony in a series of images that combine the two deities. Three such images or themes are central to the mythology, iconography, and philosophy of Parvati:

  • The theme of Shiva-Shakti
  • The image of Shiva as Ardhanareshwara (the Lord who is half woman)
  • The image of the linga and yoni
Shiva Shakti

The idea that the great male gods all possess an inherent power through which they undertake creative activity is assumed in Hindu philosophical thought. When this power, or Shakti, is personified, it is always in the form of a goddess. Parvati, quite naturally, assumes the identity of Shiva's Shakti. She is the force underlying and impelling creation. In this active, creative role she is identified with prakriti (nature), whereas Shiva is identified with purusha (pure spirit). As prakriti, Parvati represents the inherent tendency of nature to express itself in concrete forms and individual beings. In this task, however, it is understood that Parvati must be set in motion by Shiva himself. She is not seen as antagonistic to him. Her role as his Shakti is always interpreted as positive. Through Parvati, Shiva (the Absolute) is able to express himself in the creation. Without her he would remain inert, aloof, inactive. It is only in association with her that Shiva is able to realize or manifest his full potential. Parvati as Shakti not only complements Shiva, she completes him.

Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva

 

 

A variety of images and metaphors are used to express this harmonious interdependence. Shiva is said to be the male principle throughout creation, Parvati the female principle; Shiva is the sky, Parvati the earth; Shiva is subject, Parvati object; Shiva is the ocean, Parvati the seashore; Shiva is the sun, Parvati its light; Parvati is all tastes and smells, Shiva the enjoyer of all tastes and smells; Parvati is the embodiment of all individual souls, Shiva the soul itself; Parvati assumes every form that is worthy to be thought of, Shiva thinks of all such forms; Shiva is day, Parvati is night; Parvati is creation, Shiva the creator; Parvati is speech, Shiva meaning; and so on. In short, the two are actually one-different aspects of ultimate reality-and as such are complementary, and not antagonistic.

Ardhanareshwara

 
 
 
 
Ardhanareshwara

The meaning of Ardhanareshwara form of Shiva is similar. The image shows a half-male, half-female figure. The right side is Shiva and is adorned with his ornaments; the left side is Parvati and adorned with her ornaments.

 

 

 

 

 

ArdhanareshwaraIn the text of Shiva-Purana it is mentioned that the god Brahma is unable to continue his task of creation because the creatures that he has produced do not multiply. He propitiates Shiva and requests him to come to his aid. Shiva then appears in his half-male, half-female form. The hermaphrodite form splits into Shiva and Parvati, and Parvati, at Brahma's request, pervades the creation with her female nature, which duly awakens the male aspect of creation into fertile activity.

 

Ardhanareshwara

 

 

 

 

Without its female half, or female nature, the godhead as Shiva is incomplete and is unable to proceed with creation. To an even greater extent than the Shiva-shakti idea, the androgynous image of Shiva and Parvati emphasizes that the two deities are absolutely necessary to each other, and only in union can they satisfy each other and fulfill themselves. In this form the godhead transcends sexual particularity. God is both male and female, both father and mother, both aloof and active, both fearsome and gentle, both destructive and constructive, and so on.

 

 

 

Shiva LingaLinga and Yoni

The image of the linga in the yoni, which is the most common image of the deity in Shiva temples, similarly teaches the lesson that the tension between Shiva and Parvati is ultimately resolved in interdependence. Parvati as a sexual entity succeeds in tempering both Shiva's excessive detachment from the world and his excessive sexual vigor. In the form of the yoni in particular, Parvati fulfills and completes Shiva's creative tendencies. As the great yogi who accumulates immense sexual potency, he is symbolized by the linga. This great potency is creatively released in sexual or marital contact with Parvati. The ubiquitous image of the linga in the yoni symbolizes the creative release in the ultimate erotic act of power stored through asceticism. The erotic act is thus enhanced, made more potent, fecund, and creative, by the stored up power of Shiva's asceticism.

Though most arts give Parvati a religious aura, including a certain poetic truth, there is also an expression of both the romantic and motherly love of Parvati. Possessing a measured grace and refinement about them, these representations have a certain earthy charm and spontaneity. In her this form, Parvati is not only more endearing and accessible, but also belongs to the shrine or the walls of the home. These are not mere icons or visual poetry, but mythic beings reduced to everyday reality. This real Parvati is the one that the common man can relate to, worship and celebrate, in his or her own personal way.


References and Further Reading

  • Dehejia, Harsha. Parvati Goddess of Love: Ahmedabad, 1999.
  • Dehejia, Harsha. Parvatidarpana: Delhi, 1997.
  • Dehejia, Vidya (ed.). Devi The Great Goddess: Ahmedabad.
  • Dhal, Upendra Nath. Goddess Laksmi: Origin and Development: Delhi.
  • Gandhi, Maneka. On the Mythology of Indian Plants: New Delhi.
  • Gupta, Shakti M. Plant Myths and Traditions in India: New Delhi.
  • Kinsley, David. Hindu Goddesses (Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition): Delhi, 1998.
  • Pande, Mrinal. Devi (Tales of the Goddess in Our Time): New Delhi.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the article. Any comments or feedback that you may have will be greatly appreciated. Please send your feedback to feedback@exoticindiaart.com.


This article by Nitin Kumar
Editor
http://www.exoticindia.com


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Article Reviews

  • @pavanka..
    I'm sure the interpretations of these texts are all true. Infact, these may be the real story in the texts. All those westerners who try to interpret these ancient texts are well versed in the language, culture and interpretations. They spent years together analysing different sources and meanings. And further, these texts ae not just interpreted by one person, but by very many of them. Some scholars from India would've joined this task as well.
    You may not have heard these stories, while growing up. That's absolutely alright. This is something that happens in every religion; because such ancient text undergo the scrutiny of time. And, today such explicit sexuality in sacred texts will be frowned upon.
    Just because you may be a hindu, does not make you well-versed in these, even if it is what you grew up learning. You see, that is the disadvantage of oral tradition. People reinterpret the stories to make sense of it in the present day.. when it reality the essence of the scriputres are lost in that way.
    Think about it.. why would scholars misinterpret the texts?? It would infact do no good for anyone. And to think of the money they put into into all of the study and preservation.. It would all be a waste of time and money; if they were to reproduce anunreliable version.
    - Across the globe
    24th Jul 2011
  • @javeria..
    the term God is seen differently by different people. You may posses a "loving" relationship with your God. However, when analyzing a culture, you should see their God as Gods, whether you like it or not. Gods across mythologies were very human-like.. it is only until Christianity came into being that Gods became the "right way- without flaw!" kind of an idea. Mind you - the christian Bible is in fact a modified version of the Hindu mythologies and the Hindu mythologies were also modified versions of ancient texts such as sumerian, babylonian, etc... Hindu mythologies are relatively recent compared to the greek. Therefore, it would be safe to assume that at one point either the 2 coincided or that the two had a common ancestory.
    No offence. But, this is science. In order to see the striking similarities; you have to be able to step out of your realm and see the religions and mythologies from a global perspective.
    The other proof that Hindu mythologies are relatively recent is that; in the Hindu mythologies the Gods are actually seen as 'noble' and 'ethical' people.. because initially, all the ancient religious texts state that the Gods were basically unethical.

    Another pointer - The sexuality portrayed in these Hindu mythologies aren't as bad as the one sin Greek/Roman or the ancient versions. The decreasing sexual representation is also well evident when comparing these texts!

    For example:
    Aristotle once said: "It would be absurd if someone were to say they loved Zeus."
    This explains the greeks' ideology of "do ut des" (Meaning: I give so that you give)
    They never loved their Gods, they just had to please them to get what they wanted. Similarly, Zeus never loved mankind.
    The ancient Greeks believed that the Gods were a way of defining the - that's right.."unethical"!!
    - Across the globe
    24th Jul 2011
  • these mythical tales seems to overlap with the Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek/roman mythologies...
    i'm assuming perhaps the Hindu version is a modification of the previous versions!
    - Across the globe
    24th Jul 2011
  • Well, the mother of the elephant whose head was cut and placed on Shri Ganesh's body is still weeping by the side of the baby elephant's body, waiting for the Godess to come and console her.

    Myths make interesting readings. Humans with their limited power of brains strive to understand the infinite and end up describing the same giving characteristics they are familiar with. That's what must have happened with the Mythologies of the entire world.The Creator, I believe, is much beyond all these.HE some times may even be finding it amusing to see the way in which we humans try to perceive HIM.

    When I read in mythologies or religious scriptures about the "killing" or "destruction" of evils by God in violent manner, I wonder, how come He, the ultimate Omnipotent, is hardly ever shown using his creative power to transform the minds of evil, and instead,almost always shown "destroying" or "killing" them!

    I believe that doing things in moderation with intention to harm no one together with the desiring to realize the unlimited potential within us,should be the qualities we should be focusing on for our own evolution. The middle path, as preached by the Budhha, is also one of the better ways to leave a meaningful life.

    We should try not to harm any one, not just because God doesn't like that, but because it gives the much desired bliss to us.

    We may just strive to be good to one another and to our ownselves and leave the rest to manifest itself at HIS own will. Let's keep filling our eyes with that OWE,looking at the beautiful creations surrounding us.

    We haven't even stepped out of our own solar system. To know or to understand the Universe beyond that would take infinite time, which we are not in possesion of.

    In the mean time, we may keep reading the mythology and be amused ourselves to see our "ability" to reflect our own characteristics in the name of God!

    Hinduism is a great religion, so are the other religions of the world. Let's learn the basic things preached by each and every one of them..that's Love,compassion, harmony and respect for the enormity of this beautiful creation called Brahmaand-the Universe.

    I am submitting this with humbleness and with the full knowledge of my own ignorance!

    - Kalpak
    5th Feb 2010
  • Christians no offence your solutions are present in your holy books too!!!
    - jhageer
    19th May 2009
  • When I was a child I would think, what about looking for scientific proof or evidence of god? I dont need this anymore though.
    There is so much present on the earth. The best would be try talking to god yourself. I believe there is one ultimate god without a name in all religions and everybody believes him with different image form and story. This god stands for love more than anything else, so those christians haggin around here go back and do keep searching. For everone else has a concience which is god inside us which tells us when we do wrong or cause harm others. No religion or god asks man to be violent or harm man I am knowledgeable about this after years of study. The most peaceful religion is not Buddhism although yes it is peaceful but it retreats from people to a closed shell which means giving up from loving and caring for all. The other religions hold their positions where they are in surveys.
    - Jhageer
    19th May 2009
  • Pavanka, you had better get some education. Go and read about sexuality and its origins in spirituality. Are you a child or simply against life? This of course was brilliant and concise and a wonderful explanation of Shakti-Shiva
    energy that manifest in us all and the universe we live in. Mythology is an explanation of patterns in nature. Well said, dear Lakshmi...very well said.
    - Sylvia
    26th Apr 2009
  • where did you read this information about rape? could you please email me the web address.
    - tania
    10th Feb 2009
  • dear javeria...in hinduism we worship gods ...they are also humans but enlightened ones.they still exist and have power to control the universe.
    we pray to idols...it is not foolish...we invite the energy and offer our prayers to them. you can understand this concept only if you know the concept of illusion and kriya yoga and about 7 chakras in your body.
    According to me you are also god ...but you dont know it.if you have to know it you have to meditate and relize yourself
    - lakshmi
    28th Oct 2008
  • Best internet article I've found yet on Parvati, hands down. Really helped broaden my knowledge and deepen my connection with the Goddess and Siva.

    Many thanks!
    - Mary Smith
    12th Sep 2008
  • The author of this comment should consider abandoning stereotypes of Islam, and women in Islam, and actually read what the Qur'an says about women and paradise. The reward of paradise is prepared for women on equal standing with men, in spite of the mysogyny extremists in Islam, and the uninformed hyperbole offered by some westerners (See Qur'an 33:35). Islam is, agreed, the fastest growing religion in the world. Many of its converts are women, joining without coercion, in Latin America and other parts of the western world...a trend that should give the author of the comment pause.
    - demosthenes (hajjidries@gmail.com)
    21st Jan 2008
  • francis miville doesnt sound christian like his name.how can he take shiva and parvati as gods if he reads abt shivas killin by mistake and the luring pics of parvati
    - javeria
    20th Jan 2008
  • i read what sozin said and im shocked elephants head is not cared for . if ganeshs father was a god he wouldnt have mistaken to kill his son.if he was a god and fought with other gods how can hindus know which god created them.
    - javeria
    20th Jan 2008
  • when some hindus get in trouble they challenge their thought to be gods.they talk about the lives of their gods and how they died. thats alright if they are good but i dont understand why they worship people who looked like them besides the concept of god should be the one who brought us to life and who made mountains and who destines humans. who can a person destine others and that also a dead one.besides humans have 2 eyes how can a goddess most likely read all peoples hearts when they come to worship her
    - javeria
    20th Jan 2008
  • i see in programs that people start fighting with god and later on reach the conclusion if they are helped that their god is there but it doesnt prove that it is.
    - javeria
    20th Jan 2008
  • indians god
    - anarayan
    7th Jan 2008
  • I have a religion class and we are doing Hinduism and I just wanted to say that I don't understand how they believe in so many gods and in so different stories. It really is frustating to see how everything changes, nothings is reliable, and that makes if confusing.

    The gods, goddesses and their stories clearly have a message but still, like how can you be certain that the god you believe in, the god you have been told stories of is really what you think it is.
    - andrea (lindaconchita@hotmail.com)
    19th Sep 2007
  • OMG! THIS IS ALL BULLSHIT ABOUT SHIVA! iam so pissed they'ed actually put this garbage online! hinduism is one of THe most oldest religions in the WORLD!!!! and reading this as a hindu makes me angry, i repeat THE STORIES TOLD HERE , ARE FALSE. you really need to be a hindu to understand the shive puran. Our language,culture and customs not properally understood by westeners and the complete shit posted up is insulting to hindus.RAJ these stories are false and no accurate at all, u shoundnt give into them. And i do agree with Rohini its all been changed, all corrupt. there is a god, no doubt about that just gotta pick with one suits u, if that makes sense....
    - pavanka
    8th Jul 2007
  • Ok ,the stories mentioned in this eg. the one about them fighting etc... are actually made up after the main stories had been told. This is known by many hindus, the stories are altered to fit time and situation. This is done to show the common ground between god and man- thus showing both cruelty and love.Shiv only sounds like a "mortal man" because we make him sound so, yes these myths did take place but not the versions we hear today No one will ever know the full story because its been cut up so much .i'd also like to add that some words when translated into english just dont sound rite, leading to misinterpretation. Ganesha was not born like that, shiv never went to any war ..or it would be an epic like the mahabarrath.I think the bottom line comes down to what we as human want out of life, our morals etc.. the little things like shiv calling parvati kali sounds too modern, and too much of a likely situation. God dosent care about colour or caste remember? how can they contradict themselves you must ask. i think westeners get the wrong idea after hearing these stories, watch the tv serials like Ramayan,oh namash shiva etc.. those the the versions widely accepted.
    - Rohini
    7th Jul 2007
  • This is so wrong about our god Shiva..Should not put anything about sexual stuff online bout our god...
    - Bhavan
    20th Mar 2007
  • Reading about Siva is great, but the likelihood of misunderstanding is tremendous. The best way to learn about Siva is to study under someone who knows Siva.
    - AgniK
    19th Mar 2007
  • Hi...This is for Martha...will ya please count me in on that...you said it for me too...(I am always torn between the ascetic and the domestic ideals -- that's the story of my LIFE..)
    - Kesh Dadwal (keshdadwal@gmail.com)
    27th Jan 2007
  • Dear Readers:
    I have brought up the following mythology here about Ganesh seen in a different site - may add some value to the readers....

    Mythology
    Centuries ago during a war between the Gods and the Demons, Lord Shiva was away for a long time. His wife, Goddess Parvati, afraid of being alone for an extended period used her divine powers and created a son, Ganesh, and gave him the responsibility of protecting the house. When Lord Shiva and his army, returned victorious to his home, Parvati was in her bath, and Ganesh had been strictly instructed not to allow anyone in. Angered by Ganesh's refusal to allow him in to the house, Lord Shiva and his army chopped off the boy's head. When Parvati came out of her bath, she was shocked and grieved to see her son dead. Lord Shiva, to pacify, her proclaimed that the head of Ganesh would be replaced by that of the first creature that came up the hill. As luck would have it the first visitor to the hill was an elephant and his head was promptly cut off and placed on that of Lord Ganesh, and life was restored to the son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. To pacify his wife further and compensate for the act of killins own son, Lord Shiva bestowed upon Ganesh the powers of a God and blessed him that henceforth no activity will begin without invoking your name and blessings. Since then, it is said, no new venture - the inauguration of accompany, the opening of a shop, the foundation of a building, entering a new home - is deemed complete by Hindus without a Ganesh puja.

    - sozin
    3rd Sep 2006
  • I agree with Raj too - many gods throughout the world are insane. The Christian god tortures for eternity, the Greek gods raped, etc... the gods are like humans because humans created them. But then again, maybe the idea of religion is to make our everyday lives sacred, or come to some understanding of how the world works. But still... hardly seems a fine thing to worship cruelty and Raj has a point, he's a finer man than many evil gods. Hopefully most people are.
    - jheidi (heidihopippi@yahoo.com)
    6th Jul 2006
  • i as a christian will think of this site as predudice if my review isn't printd.....i have been learning bout parvati and think he is a wonderful consort of SHIVA to beleive in i my self dont belive in Shiva but i now respect how other people belifs cant be sed to be wrong just because you dont agree with them
    - grace
    13th May 2006
  • I am absolutely under the same impression and do agree with the opinion of Raj about the article. It seemed to me all about the sex and abnormalities beyond today’s civilized concepts and social behavior. I am really suspicious about the genuinity of all that written in this article. From this, nothing can be found beneficial to learn or to take as good as godly to maintain the personal, family or social life. As showing respect to the god or goddesses, the patterned lifestyle may be considered for an enjoyable occasion but not for the lifetime where lots of responsibilities are associated in a daily life. As being one in a typical sub continental family I reasonably feel odd to tell this story to my kids particularly when it comes to worshiping shivlingam - a pair of genital organs. Description of Ganesha or Kartikeya, a lustrous child with six heads is abnormal. There many on this page are having complementary words for this article but it is purely emotional I believe rather than realizing its practical applications of any sort. Godly or religious activities / teachings are for the followers to find the light from darkness, to have the guidance towards truth from falsehood for salvation of the mankind but sorry to say - in it, found nothing of such kind. However, as said - these are all myths and not necessarily to be true to consider or to follow. To me - its a huge hangover of bhang.
    - sozin
    - sozin
    30th Apr 2006
  • This is a really good article. It explains the balance between the thwo worlds beautifully. I agree with Francis Millille, as said that "God Shiva as the most woman-respecting God ever.." because Parvatima is always shown sitting next to him, It shows that they are equal.
    - shivani
    12th Feb 2006
  • it is a good article celebrating the divine mother and all that she stands for . She is the one how brings about harmony in nature and has the power to create and nourish . She in communion with the great lord shiva brings about balance in this universe. but mankind must learn to have gratitude and any abuse to this abandance will bring about disharmony.
    - sridevi
    21st Sep 2005
  • I'm about to perform as Parvati with Shiva in a Bharatnatyam Show your explanation helped a lot to get me involved in the character and understand better this beautiful union .
    Thanks,
    Jessy
    - Jessy
    16th May 2005
  • Answer to Raj. Look, it is told in Puranas that EVERYTHING Shiva does is all to engoy it, 'cause it is the only reason for everybody to act. Ok, Parvati and Shiva fight - I'm sure they like it. Have you ever tried to live in constant, I mean endless tenderness? At last it becomes unbearble. It also worth remembering that our own moralities are artificial, created by whatever - traditions of the place you live in, TV, ads, teachers, books you read and so on. So all this trash doesn't fit Gods. Nice, if I've helped you. to discuss ferther, write to me anybody having ideas: uma_ni@rambler.ru
    - Uma
    12th Feb 2005
  • This is an answer to Raj -- I don't know if I can help you, but when I first learned of Shiva two years ago I thought, "Now, that is GOD!" God conventions seem to me to be beyond human convention; we can't make nature -- we might think our social convention is "goodness" but GOODNESS is beyond that. I just felt tremendously relieved and an intense sense of identification on reading Shiva's stories -- wow, the veils torn down. "Unless you have chaos within you, how can you give birth to a dancing star?" Nietszche wrote that in Zarathustra.

    I love this article; very clear, wonderful reading -- I am always torn between the ascetic and the domestic ideals -- that's the story of my LIFE (without the Bhang...) I don't think there's any reconciliation...
    - Martha Kennedy
    8th Jan 2005
  • beautiful ABOSOULTY beautiful
    - Anna
    2nd Jan 2005
  • My friends
    After reviewing this all, Shiva has all the qualities of a man. somewhere he rapes anasuya with BRahma and vishnu, somewhere he indulges in sex with another woman, some where he is ready for sex thinking parvati as other woman. What's all this. Somewhere he is beaten by other saints. Even parvati complains her mother about him. Sometimes they fight. Then just let me know how can I beleive he is a God. Even I have got some good qualities when compared to him. Just explain me, if somebody can. A god with so many good qualities. Just imagine, if I ask a your girl to show her yoni, how does she feel. here parvati's yoni is being worshipped. if a woman and her husband is indulged in sex and if we go to her father and to see them during sex. how does he feel. Today after reading this My mind is changing. Can somebody help me out
    - Raj
    19th Jul 2004
  • Wonderfully written article. Read with open mind, it shows balance between good and evil, beauty and beast... all so human!
    - SP Singh
    12th Jun 2003
  • Thank you for so beautiful a review. When I compare such profundity with the platitudes of contemporary Islam, I fall in dismay hearing the latter religion is the most expanding in the world. In Shaivite hinduism one is engaged in sublimating sexuality so as to make it divine, but as for the Muslim paradise, it promises to the holy warrior just holy dolls that have no will of their own. The Hindu way, ascribing divine status to both man and woman, and impelling man to see a goddess in every woman, is a far cry from the Muslim world, where sexuality is viewed as a function where, in its ideal form (in paradise) woman is reduced to the stand of a flesh-covered doll. The feminists of the world should take note of that fact, and stand for God Shiva as the most woman-respecting God ever contrived by mankind.
    - Francis Miville
    20th May 2003
  • Thank you so much for the always beautifully written, informative
    "mythology" sections of your website. I greatly enjoy them and
    appreciate your efforts.
    - Annette Solyst
    15th Jul 2001
  • greetings! Namaste! Thank you for emailing this
    Beautiful Story of the Divine Loving in All Forms.
    In Caring Gratitude. Sarva Mangalam
    - OMPADMAKULA
    15th Jul 2001
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