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Paarvatee Jee-1

Devee Paarvatee Jee is the wife of Bhagavaan Shiv. Although she has several names, each with a special significance, still she is mostly known as Paarvatee. Because she is the daughter of  the King of the mountains, Parvataraaj (Himaalaya), that is why she is called 'Paarvatee'. With the same connotation she has two other names - 'Girijaa' and 'Shailaja' also. Himaalaya is called 'Himavant' also.

Since she is the wife of Shiv, she is called 'Shive', or "Shivpriyaa'. When Shiv is called as Bhav, so she is known as 'Bhavaane'.  As she is the source of all good things to all those who have faith and follow the path of virtue, she is caled 'Sarvamangalaa'. Since her childhood days she was a devotee of Lord Shiv. She would constantly engage herself in meditation and worship of Shiva, without even changing the posture. So her mother Mainaa would out of exasperation say "Paarvatee, don't do this Tapas (meditation)". In Sanskrit 'u' is a word of address and 'ma' means 'don't' or 'not wanted'. Hence she got the name 'Umaa'. When he was doing penance to get Shiv as her husband, she lived without eating even dry leaves, at that time she was known as 'Aparnaa'. It is interesting to read the story of the life of Paarvatee who, though born human, became, through her hard penance the consort of Shiv and became Mahaa Devee, the great goddess?

Her story has been narrated in Sanskrit by Ved Vyaas Jee in the Shiv Puraan. The great poet Kaalidaas has also narrated some of it in his poem Kumaar Sambhav. The Kannad poet Harihara has dealt with the story in Girijaa-Kalyaan, a mixture of verse and prose.

Himaalaya and Mainaa
To the north of Bhaarat Varsh, there is the Himalayan mountain-range. It is the highest mountain in the world and occupies thousands of miles from east to west. From ancient times it has been a choice abode for the sages to meditate. Hindu believe that it is the pleasure-haunt of the higher order of beings also like the angels, the Gandharv, the Yaksh and the Kinnar. It is the home of different types of precious stones and rare plants also like Jyotirmatee plant which gives light. It is also believed that Lord Shiv's realm of Kailaash is also there. Gangaa also comes out from this Parvat.

Nearby was the hallowed town of Aushadhi Prasth ruled by Parvataraaj. He himself was a devotee of Shiv. He was also called Giri Raaj and Shailaraaj. His wife was Mainaa. She was very truthful, calm and devoted to her husband. After a while, they had a son by name Mainaak. he is the same Mainaak who requested Hanumaan Jee to take some rest on hi when he was going in search of Seetaa.

Birth of Paarvatee
Later Mainaa developed a great desire to have a daughter - a daughter with beauty and character, knowledge and wisdom. It was her ambition to have a daughter who would be Lord Shiva's wife. With that as her aim she decided to undertake a penance to please Shiv's wife, Gauree. Giriraaj was himself a devotee of Shiv. So, getting his consent for her penance was not so difficult for Mena. Having obtained his permission, she went to a serene spot. There she performed her meditation with severe concentration and obtained the favor of Dakshayaanee who stood before Mainaa and promised that she would be born as daughter to her. Soon afterwards Mainaa became pregnant. On an auspicious day she gave birth to a female child. It was just as she had wanted. There was a shower of flowers. A cool, fragrant breeze spreading delight all around. Various instruments gave out music and musicians tune up festive songs. Giriraaj gave gifts to everybody; his mind was overjoyed.

The Wonder Child
Though a couple of days elapsed after the birth of the child, it would not open its eyes or mouth. The baby did not even suck milk. Everyone, was worried as to what should be done. Then, as advised by the family preceptor sage Garg Muni, Parvat Raaj had an idol of Shiv brought to the child and got the eyes opened with some treatment. The baby opened its eyes and folded its hands in salutation to the Lord. Butter which had been offered to Shiv was put into the child's mouth and the baby ate it. Then it began to suck milk from the mother's breast. Everyone was struck with wonder at this devotion to Shiv noticeable so early in the child. People thought that she would definitely win the favor of Shiv later.

She was given the name Paarvatee. As the days and months passed, the first sound she uttered was the name of Lord Shiv. The infant closed her eyes frequently as if she felt the presence of Shiv in her mind. By herself she often laughed, and showed joy and delight. When she grew up further, she showed great interest in playing with a ball or in the game of worshipping Shiv on the sandy banks of the river Gangaa.

Paarvatee's Previous Life
Read her full story  Dakh's Yagya

In her previous life she was the daughter of Daksh, known as Satee or Dakshayaanee. In that life also she was the wife of Shiv. She then went to attend a great sacrifice being performed by her father. There the proud Daksh in the full assembly spoke insultingly of Shiv. He insulted even his own daughter. Unable to bear the insult of her husband, Satee jumped into the sacrificial fire and immolated herself. Now the same Satee had appeared as Paarvatee in Himavant's house. If marriage. Parvataraaj's mind directed that he should give his daughter in marriage to Shiv only, as she had such great piety. But how to do that, without the bridegroom's people asking for it? Should he ask Shiv himself if he would marry her? What if he refused? Parvataraaj was hesitant.

At that time Shiv was in a pensive mood because of his wife Satee's death, so he went to do Tap. He came to Gangaavataar near Aushadhi Prasth. He set up his Aashram there and started doing Tap.

Naarad Visits Himvaan
In the meantime sage Naarad Jee came to Aushadhi Prasth in the course of his sojourn. Seeing Naarad Jee coming Himvant welcomed him and honored him. He called his wife Mainaa and daughter Paarvatee also and they also greeted him respectfully. Himvant asked him - "O wise sage, my daughter Paarvatee is now grown up, what is her future, and who will marry her?"

"Listen, Parvataraaj. She who in her previous birth was Dakshayaanee and plunged to her death in the sacrificial fire, the same Dakshayaanee has taken birth i your house because of her devotion to her husband. Only Shiv can wed her and none else. There is no doubt that she will marry Shiv. It is not possible to please Shiv by mere external beauty or fondness. Piety, worship and penance are the ways of earning his favor. Paarvatee will certainly obtain Shiva's favor and marry him through her penance and meditation. This is certain." So saying Naarad left.

Now Paarvatee was very happy hearing Naarad's words, because Paarvatee had determined that throughout her life thereafter, her days should be spent only in the service of Shiv and in meditating upon him.

The Sight Of Shiv
Parvat Raaj came to know that Shiv was now in penance-grove at Gangaavataar. The spot was not very far from Aushadhi Prasth. He went to see Shiv. Shiv was sitting in meditation with closed eyes. Giriraaj sang the praise of Lord Shiv. Once Shiv opened his eyes just a little. Then Giriraaj said, "Great Lord Eeshwar, I am ready, at your service. Command me, for your needs." "Parvataraaj, I need your help that my penance should go on uninterrupted. People from your town flock to me here. See that no one comes like that. That is all I want from you."

Himavant returned to his palace. He ordered his people that none from among his servants and retinue, none from the palace-women or even children - should go near Shiv to see him. But he had it in his mind to appoint his daughter Paarvatee Jee somehow to attend upon Shiv. So the next time Parvat Raaj went to Shiv, he took Paarvatee along with him. Flowers, fruits and other articles of worship were with them to be offered to Shiv. Both of them sang in honor of Shiv for long and worshipped him. Shiv continued to be in his meditation. After a long time, he looked around.

Parvat Raaj pleaded - "O great Lord, I have brought my daughter who is a great devotee of yours. She cannot stay alive without worshipping you. Therefore do kindly permit her that she may come here daily with her companions, Jayaa and Vijayaa, worship you and then go back." Shiv said - "Parvat Raaj, if you so desire, you may come daily to see me. But leave your daughter at home. I am an ascetic, given to penance - and meditation. so women need not come in front me." Himavant repeated his request in a variety of ways. So at last Shiv had to agree that Paarvatee could attend on him. Shiv continued with his penance.

Paarvatee got up at dawn every day and with her companions Jayaa and Vijayaa went to Gangaavataar where Shiv sat in his meditation. She took with her all articles of worship. With the water from the river Gangaa, she washed Shiv's feet, offered worship and rendered all needed services. She was very beautiful. But Shiv's mind did not falter. He did not consider her as his wife.

Long ago there was a sage by name Kashyap. His one of the thirteen wives Diti ensued the Raakshas race. Her son Vajraang married Varaangi and they had a son named Taarak. He performed severe penance to please Brahmaa Jee, the Creator, and obtained two boons from him. The first boon was that there should be no one more powerful than he himself was. The second boon was that his death could come only from a 6-day old son born to Shiv who would fight with him as commander. Taarak was very sure and confident about this boon because Shiv was already deeply lost in penance and had no wife and had no chance of having a son. Even if he had a on, how can a6-day old child can kill him. He will surely kill him. Thus he thought that he became immortal.

Taarak was ruthless and wicked. Taarak felt that nobody in the world should acquire knowledge or become intelligent, but they might drink, to any extent. Taarak killed all kings who ruled over their subjects righteously. He drove away the deities guarding the Cardinal Directions and oppressed the angels. He destroyed the hermitages of the sages and had the homes and hearths of good men set fire to. All pious people and all the three worlds were full of painful cries because of his atrocities.

Unable to bear Taarak's harassment, Earth went to Brahmaa Jee along with sages and Devtaa and prayed for help. Brahmaa Jee said, "It is impossible for me to kill Taarak. Even Hari and Har also cannot kill him. He can be killed only by the 6-day old son of Har. An if Har has to get a son, he must marry Paarvatee Jee, but he is now, in penance. Paarvatee Jee goes to him every day to attend upon him, but Shiv does not even open his eyes and see her. So how can this marriage be performed? Of course I myself gave Taarak the boons he wanted. So I'll try to tell him not to cause unnecessary harm."

Out of respect for Brahmaa's words Taarakaasur remained in his Shonit Pur city without attacking the angels for a while. This short break gave the angels a little respite to meet sometimes and discuss what their course of action should be. Brahmaa Vishnu and Indra met together. Brihaspati, the preceptor of the Devtaa, was sent to Taarak, to negotiate an agreement. But that Raakshas did not yield to plain good words or promises of gifts or even the attempt to create a dissention among his group. So there was a war and the Devtaa were defeated. So again Devtaa met together and decided that there is no other alterative to stop Taarak's atrocities except to kill him and for this they have to request Shiv to marry. So they sent Brihaspati Jee to Kusum Pur to fetch Manmath. Manmath came to them with his sugarcane bow and flowery arrows along with his consort Rati, and asked them, "What do you want me to do?"

Another name for Manmath is Kaam Dev. Indra said - "O Kaam Dev, Please help us. Taarak's wickedness has become intolerable. And he can be killed only by Shiv's son, who is not yet born. The problem is that Shiv has not ended his penance yet. Without ending it his marriage cannot take place. Paarvatee who is to be his wife is near him but Shiv does not so much as look at her. Now he must be made to fall in love with Paarvatee. And only you can do that."

Kaam Dev realized the importance of his role. He now thought of aiming his floral arrow at Shiv and thereby ending his Tapas. Even if he had to lay down his life in this venture, he would never mind. Would he not have done a great deed for the welfare of the world? Thinking thus, Kaam Dev arrived with Rati at Shiv's penance-grove.

Kaam Dev Is Burnt
No sooner did Kaam Dev approached Shiv, than did his companions - the king of the seasons Vasant, also come there. The grove around Gangaavataar was charged with the charm of spring. The mango trees blossomed. The Ashok trees were in sprout. The cuckoo burst into melodious music. There was a pleasant breeze and the scent of flowers spread around. The penance-grove of Lord Shiv looked a hypnotic realm. All this was Manmath's influence. He then stood before Shiv. A little away stood Rati. She prayed to God that no evil should befall her husband.

Just at that time Paarvatee Jee also come as usual with fruits and flowers to worship Shiv. Her friends were also there. Paarvatee Jee stood with folded hands singing in praise of Shiv. Pleased with her devotion and delighted with her sweet voice, Shiv stopped his meditation just for a moment and looked at her once. Kaam decided that that was the most appropriate moment and got ready to make Shiv fall in love with Paarvatee. Unafraid of the eye of fire on Shiv's forehead, he shot five of his arrows of flowers at his heart. Shiv's Tapas was broken. This made Shiv terribly angry. He opened his third eye. With a frightening noise a fierce blazing flame burst forth from it and reduced Kaam Dev to ashes. Shiv, smearing his body with the same ash, disappeared.

Paarvatee Goes for Penance
Seeing Kaam Dev burnt to ashes Rati fainted. When she regained consciousness, she was in tears and rolled on the ground in great grief. She implored Paarvatee to give back to her husband as alms. She begged the Devtaa too. Paarvatee in kindness caressed her and consoling her said - "Rati, don't weep. I will help you. I will beg Shiv and see that your husband comes back to life. You will have him as husband again. As I now get the one who was my husband in the previous birth, so your husband also will get another birth and have you as wife." Both Devtaa and she assured her.

Paarvatee was greatly pained at the way Shiv had treated her. She told her companions - "The merciful lord Shiv has not shown any kindness to me. Alas! He has gone away rejecting me. While I was coming here to the spot of his meditation every day and rendering service to him, He has disappeared without speaking a word to me. I think I will have to please him with my penance."

So she went to her home and told her mother about her resolve. Mainaa said - "My dear daughter, you need not go out and perform penance. You have such a delicate body. Penance is a hard thing. Do stay at home and do your Tapas here only." Mainaa thus tried to dissuade her, but all in vain. Just then the Naarad Jee came there. Parvataraaj told him about his daughter. Naarad Jee said, "It is not proper to come in the way of her Tapas." He saw Paarvatee Jee separately and told her to undertake her penance in the same place where Shiv was meditating. He taught her the great 'Panchaaksharee Mantra' the five-lettered Mantra (incantation) to please Shiv - "Om Namah Shivaaya" and blessed her.

Paarvatee took permission and blessings from her parents and went to Gangaavataar. The same spot later came to be called the Gauree peak. Jayaa and Vijayaa also went with her to facilitate her Tapas. Paarvatee's penance was rigorous. In the summer she lighted fire on all four sides and did her penance amidst five fires (Panchaagni). In the rainy season she sat on the rock in pouring rain and meditated. In winter she stood neck deep in the cold water of the pond and meditated on Shiv. In early stages she was eating fruits; gradually she gave up fruits, then she ate only leaves. After a while she left that also and got the name A-parnaa. Because of the greatness of Paarvatee's penance all wild animals of that forest became mild. The young of the deer rolled about on a tiger in their sleep. Venomous vipers would not bite any one. Rats played with snakes. The penance grove became a kingdom of love, an abode of affection and kindness. But the heat generated by Paarvatee's Tapas began to burn the Devtaa. All of them prayed to Shiv. They appealed to him to be pleased with Paarvatee and marry her.

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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/26/13