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Goddess Parvati: The Origin & Myth

In the Hindu religion, Parvati, the goddess of the Himalayas, is the archetypal mother goddess and fertility image. She is the consort of Shiva and the mother to Ganesha and Skanda. In this role Devi Parvati is the Goddess of divine power and strength.

 

The union of Shiva and Parvati represents the procreative aspect of nature not just literally but also metaphorically. The union of lord Shiva and Devi Parvati also symbolizes the regeneration of creative energies. The name “Parvati” is derived from the Sanskrit word Parvata meaning a mountain. Thus, Parvati literally means “the daughter of the mountains”. 

 

In Hinduism, Devi Parvati symbolizes regenerative power. She is the manifestation of the divine feminine energy Shakti. Parvati is the voice of reason, strength, resistance, and action. She is a devoted wife and a nurturing mother.

 

Devi Parvati Origins: Daughter Of The Mountains

In her previous incarnation, she was born as Sati. She was the daughter of Daksha (Prajapati), the son of Lord Brahma. She adored Shiva and wished to marry him. But as Lord Shiva was an ascetic, her father didn’t agree to this union. But she was adamant and married him. She started living on Mount Kailash with Lord Shiva. After a few years, her father planned a massive yajna to which all Gods and Goddesses were invited except Sati and Lord Shiva. She wanted to go to this event. Despite Shiva’s best efforts to persuade her against going, she went to see her parents.

 

But on arriving there, she was humiliated for his choice in marriage and living conditions. After some time, she couldn’t take it anymore and jumped into the raging flames. Shiva was furious upon hearing the news of her self-immolation. He dragged his wife’s half-burning body from the flames. As he was going over various mountains, Sati’s body parts dropped in various locations. It is believed that Sati’s body parts were dropped at 52 different places, known as Shakti Peethas.

 

Sati was reborn as Parvati and finally married Lord Shiva. Parvati is generally depicted as a gentle mother. She is also shown in her fierce forms, such as Durga and Kali. But she is always shown to be calm. Parvati is depicted as beautiful, fair  and benevolent.

 

Goddess Parvati

Mahadevi is considered to be the supreme goddess in Hinduism. And Parvati is considered a physical representation of Mahadevi in her complete form. All Goddesses are said to be the manifestations of this single great supreme deity. Her manifestations and incarnations are said to depend on her mood. She is considered Shakti, and hence, pure energy.

 

As Durga, she kills demons. She killed Mahishasura, Shumbha, and Nishumbha. The nine forms of Durga are said to depict a point in the life of Parvati. She becomes Kali at the request of Lord Shiva. She destroyed asura Daruk. But even after killing the demon, she couldn’t control her anger. To calm her, Lord Shiva appeared as a crying baby to arouse her maternal instincts. On hearing the baby’s cries, she turned back to being Parvati.

 

Meenakshi is another of her names. In this form, she has eyes shaped like a fish. She is said to be the daughter of a devout, childless queen. She was born with three breasts. Eventually she met Lord Shiva and returned to Mount Kailash as Parvati.

 

As Nanda Devi, she is the Goddess of bliss and resides in the hill state of Utarakhand. Goddess Parvati is also known as Shailputri in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of north India. As Sheetla Mata, she was incarnated to save the world from diseases. As Annapurna, she represents abundance. Parvati assumed this form to teach the inhabitants of Mount Kailash the value of food. In Buddhism, goddess TARA is said to be related to Devi  Parvati.

 

Parvati’s Manifestations and Motherhood

Through Parvati we can learn about motherhood that as a mother, a woman is not all about being gentle and nurturing, but a mother can be strong and fierce when we have to protect. Sometimes, we can lose control too and need some help to go back to our soft side, which is very normal and woman shouldn’t be ashamed when they’re in their fierce state. Hence, we need to develop a mechanism to find ways to get back in our soft and feminine state because it’s our normal and the most natural state we should be at. But when it is needed, we can jump right to our fierceness.

 

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