Goddess Parvati is the Goddess of Strength, one of the three Great Shakti. Devi Parvati is often equated with Adi Shakti and Devi Durga. As the daughter of Himavan, a King of the Himalayan Mountains, and Menavati, she is thought to be the younger sister of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Ganga.
Goddess Parvati is one of the many forms of Shakti, an unknown but animating feminine power in Hindu scriptures, the feminine energy of the universe. Goddess Parvati is a moving force that brings skill, strength, prowess, and genius as she infuses the world with her magic.
Who is Goddess Pravati?
Parvati Devi is a goddess of devotion, love, divinity, fertility, and power and is the consort of Lord Shiva. She is often depicted as a beautiful and gentle woman who is devoted to her husband and family. In Hindu mythology, Parvati is said to have taken on different forms, including Durga and Kali (fierce forms), in order to defeat demons and protect the world.
She is also considered the mother of the Hindu god Ganesha and the goddess of war, Kartikeya. Parvati is widely revered in Hinduism and is seen as a powerful and benevolent goddess who represents the feminine aspect of the divine.
Birth of Goddess Parvati
Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were impressed by Himavan’s devotion so Lord Vishnu gave him the boon that Himavan would become Lord Vishnu’s Bhakta/Devotee. Meanwhile, Lord Brahma was impressed because Himavan always worshiped the gods and goddesses every day, so Lord Brahma blessed Himavan’s wife to have a lovely baby girl. He also advised that many people would know her Parvati.
That very night, Mena had a dream that she met Adi Shakti, and Adi Shakti said she would be reborn for the world and be an intermediary. Then in her dream, Adi Shakti turned into light and entered Mena’s womb to become pregnant with a baby girl.
Devi Parvati was covered in Chhaya (shadow) at the time of birth and was very beautiful. However, in the meantime, Tarakasura told Bahrupa to kill Devi Parvati, and Bahrupa tried to do it, but Bahrupa fell onto a mountain slope, but Devi Parvati helped him; instead, she pulled Bahrupa’s hair.
Bahrupa was the Angel of Heaven, who Indra cursed to become a devil. Only Adishakti was capable of revoking Bharupa’s curse, and she did so. Bharupa then apologized to the baby and turned into an angel towards Heaven.
Goddess Parvati is known as Lalita, Uma, Gauri, Kali, Durga, Haimavati, etc. Durga (Goddess beyond reach) and Kali (Goddess of Time or Kala) are two fierce but potent forms.
As the mother of the universe, Parvati is known as Amba and Ambika, which means mother. Like Lalita, she represents the aspect of beauty.
Marriage of Pravati Goddess
Parvati was the reincarnation of Shiva’s former wife, the goddess Sati, who could not bear the insult inflicted on Shiva by her father Daksha, and committed self-immolation. While Shiva plunged into deep meditation from grief, the demon Taraka gained power over the world and the gods. Only the child of Shiva could defeat the demon, and the gods begged the Devi Parvati to be born again and marry Shiva.
To win the love of Shiva, Parvati settled next to him on Mount Kailash, but he, immersed in austerity, ignored her. Then Parvati also indulged in severe devotion. Conquered by her devotion and love, Shiva took her as his wife.
Despite passionate love, the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was childless. By the gods’ will, the seed of Shiva did not fall into the bosom of Parvati but into the Ganges. Skanda (Kartikeya), the conqueror of the Asura Taraka, was born on the banks of the Ganges.
At the same time, in Hindu Dharma, Skanda is considered the son of Shiva and Parvati and another child – Ganesha, whom Parvati fashioned from the ointment that anointed her body and revived her.
Goddess Pravati’s Symbolism
Parvati, the mother goddess, is normally portrayed as fair, beautiful, and kind gestured, wearing a red Sari. With Shiva, She is portrayed as having two hands. When alone or as an individual goddess, she is depicted as having four. These hands can hold a trident, a mirror, rosaries, bells, crockery, sugarcane stalks, or flowers (such as lotuses). One of Devi Shakti’s hands in front is in the Abhaya mudra (hand gesture for don’t be afraid).
In ancient temples, statues of Parvati are often depicted near calves or cows – the source of food. Bronze has been the main metal for her sculptures, while stone is the next most common material.
In different parts of India, images of local goddesses are associated with Parvati; therefore, she is known under various names: Meenakshi, Kamakshi, Lalita, and others. Often Parvati is understood as the Great Goddess (Devi), or Shakti, feminine energy. She is most revered as a symbol of female beauty, marital fidelity, and family happiness.
Parvati is expressed in many roles, whims, epithets, and aspects. In Hindu scriptures, she is the acting agent of the universe, the power of Shiva, expressed in nurturing and benevolent aspects as well as destructive and ferocious aspects.
Devi Parvati is the voice of support, reason, freedom, strength, resistance, power, action, and punitive justice. This paradox symbolizes her willingness to realign to reality and adapt to the needs of the circumstances in her role as a universal mother. She identifies and destroys evil to protect (as Durga) and creates food and abundance to feed (Annapurna).
Shiva Parvati: The Divine couple
In Hindu Tantrism, Shiva and Parvati are seen as complementary aspects of a single being: Shiva embodies pure consciousness, and Parvati embodies his shakti (energy). Sometimes Shiva and Parvati are portrayed in androgynous form (Ardhanarishvara). The tantric symbol of Parvati is the yoni (female genital organ) at the base of the linga, the symbol of Shiva. Along with the blissful hypostases, Parvati is a formidable Durga and terrifying Kali.
When is Goddess Pravati Worshipped?
In Hinduism, there are several festivals and occasions when Goddess Parvati is worshipped. Some of the main ones include:
- Navratri: This is a nine-day festival that is celebrated twice a year, once in the spring (Chaitra Navratri) and once in the fall (Sharad Navratri). During Navratri, devotees worship the goddess in her various forms, including Durga, Kali, and Lakshmi.
- Gauri Puja: This is a festival that is celebrated in the month of Shravan (July–August) and is dedicated to the worship of Parvati in her form as Gauri. It is believed that Gauri, the golden one, represents the power of nature and is a symbol of fertility and prosperity.
- Durga Puja: This is a five-day festival that is celebrated in the month of Ashvin (September-October) and is dedicated to the worship of Durga, who is considered an incarnation of Parvati.
- Vasant Panchami: This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the Hindu month of Magha, which usually falls in January or February. It is dedicated to the worship of the goddess in her form as Saraswati and also marks the arrival of spring.
- Teej: This is a festival celebrated by married women, where they worship Parvati in her form as Teej. This festival is celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada (August-September) and marks the onset of the monsoon season.
These are a few of the festivals where Parvati is worshiped, but there are many more festivals and occasions throughout the year when she is revered and worshiped by her devotees.