504 – Mutual imperfection

It leads to acceptance of each other. 

“Shiva, Parvati nu Saubhagya.” The meaning is: may you be as successful as Lord Shiva and Parvati in your married life.

Shiva and Parvati have been eternally married to each other. There is a divine strength which connects them.

Let us examine this heavenly relationship which consists of mutual imperfection leading to the union of prakriti (nature in all her aspects) and purusha (self, pure consciousness). Parvati is prakriti and Shiva is purusha.

Both Shiva and Parvati treat each other as equals. There is mutual respect and unconditional love. Shiva lost Sati, Parvati’s earlier incarnation and he was grief stricken. He carried her body, until Vishnu pierced it with an arrow and pieces of her fell all over India. These place where her parts fell became centers of pilgrimage for the Goddess.

The marriage of Parvati and Shiva

Parvati in her next incarnation was enraged with Shiva, and she was ready to leave. The energy she created from her penance was so strong that it made Shiva distracted, and he revealed his true form to her and they got married after he tested her. He changed his guise and approached Parvati. He asked her, why she was fasting and undergoing such a severe penance. Parvati replied that she wished to marry Shiva.

Shiva is a gentle soul, and he was shocked to see Parvati’s suffering. He continued in his queries. He asked her as to why she wanted to marry a man, who wore a tiger skin and smeared ash on his whole body. Parvati always had a short fuse and she snapped at him and said that he knew nothing about Shiva. She retorted that she was the incarnation of Sati and she was his other half. She was incomplete without Shiva and Shiva was incomplete without her.

Shiva was dumbstruck and mind you he is the god of destruction. Also, a tiger became her disciple, when he saw her performing her austerities. His name was Soma Nandin. Shiva revealed himself to her and took Parvati into his arms. She had become a skeleton as she had not eaten and her body was covered in dust. He let the Ganga bathe her as Ganga was falling from his dreadlocks. Parvati’s true beauty emerged.

On their wedding day, Parvati awaited Shiva at her father’s palace with her parents. Her father was Himawat, king of the Himalayas. Shiva arrived wrapped in snakes around his hair and neck and smeared in ash. Accompanying him were a whole host of gods, spirits, ascetics, sages, goblins, ganas and aghoris. Parvati’s parents and family almost fainted with terror when they saw this crowd. Parvati assumed the fierce form of Chandraghanta and persuaded Shiva to take the form of a prince. The marriage took place and they lived on Mount Kailash. Parvati blessed Soma Nandin the tiger, and made him her mount.

Shiva was not arrogant or proud

Shiva was a very generous and kind God. When people prayed to him, he granted their wishes. Parvati as a result never had a home as every time a house was built, some God would tell him that he needed an abode. Moreover, there was never enough food on the table. Shiva would go begging for food and then come home. Parvati had to take care of her two children, Nandi the bull, Soma Nandin, her tiger, Ganesha’s rat and Kartike’s peacock. Her patience gave way, and she left Shiva with Ganesha and Kartike. Now what happened was that also there was no food, in the universe. The gods went to Shiva and begged him to apologize. Shiva was a true Guru. He was not arrogant or proud. He went to Parvati and asked for forgiveness. She forgave him and the universe was blooming again.

We see in all their encounters that they treated each other with respect and unconditional love. Once during the festival of lights, Diwali, they were playing cards. Shiva was losing and with Vishnu’s help he won, as he was going to lose his tiger skin. Parvati was furious but as always, they made up. We play cards on Diwali honoring their relationship.

A relationship to be pure, genuine and harmonious has to have unconditional love, mutual respect, freedom from fear and equality. Both have mounts and Shiva’s mount is the gentle Nandi and Parvati’s mount is the fierce tiger. The mounts are never in conflict.

Aim Hrim Klim


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