Saturday, February 22, 2020


Goswami Tulsidas has beautifully described the story of Shiva’s marriage with Parvati in Ramcharitmanasa, the famous epic describing the story of the Ramayana.
Did Shiva come in his Rudra Avtara as a bridegroom ? Was Rishi Narda knowing these facts?Queen Maina , Parvati's mother was told something like this by some terrified children who were the first to see this unique marriage party of Shiva .
"Tan Chhaar bayaal kapaal bushan nagan jatil bhayankara,
Sang bhoot preit pisaatch jogini bikat mukh rajnicharaa." 
(The groom has his body smeared in ash, and he wears serpents and skulls by way of ornaments. Except these coverings, he is otherwise naked, sports a thick lock of knotted hairs on his head, and generally looks very fearful. He is accompanied by horrifying ghosts, phantoms, ogres and female spirits who have strange faces and mouths, and who move out only during the night .)
The children did not know the importance of Parvati’s Tapa. These innocent children didn't know who Shiva actually was to whom Parvati wanted to marry . 
Hara is another name of Shiva . In Kashmir, Shivratri was known as Hara-Ratri which later came to be known as HARA-RAATH ( Shiva's night in Kashmiri ) or HERATH. There was a practice in Kashmir to worship HARI-HARA or Vishnu and Shiva together as one entity . Hari-hara idols /images from Kashmir are displayed in many Museums world over. The scriptures say:
" Sivasya hridayam vishnur-vishnoscha hridayam sivah." meaning Vishnu is the heart of Shiva and likewise Shiva is the heart of Vishnu.
Shivratri is generally celebrated as a Union of Shiva and Parvati( Uma ) or Shiva and Shakti. Some people believe that Shiva performed Tandava on Shivratri while many believe that Shiva became Neel Kantha on this day .
Shiva -Parvati worship is popular in Thailand, Bali, Cambodia ,Nepal and many more countries. I saw many temples dedicated to Shiva Rudra, Dewa Siva and Dewi Parvati in Bali.In Tantrik Buddhism , Parvati is worshipped as Tara.
Kashmiri Pandits also worship Parvati as Bhadrakali, Shailputri, Mahakali , Ambika ,Uma, Gauri ,Prakriti and Tripura Sundari. The Devi Mantra "Sarva-Mangala-Maangalye Shive Sarvaatha-Saadhike -Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayani Namos-tute " is also a Parvati mantra and often recited in Kashmiri Pandit families. 
To get rid of the fear of death , Kashmiri Pandits continue to recite ' Ati beeshan kattu baashan yama kinkar Patali , krititaadan paripeedan maranagama samaye, umayasaha mama chetasi yamashasana nivasan, Shiv Shankar Shiv Shankar hara me har duritam " from Shiva Chamar Astuti.
The sages say:
" Shiva is a householder yet fiercely independent ascetic . Shiva is innocence divinified .Shiva is the supreme Yogi. Shiva is the greatest dancer in this Brahmanda .As Rudra , Shiva is ferocious . Shiva is trustworthy guide . Shiva is a blissful lover. As Dakshinamurti, Shiva is a benevolent teacher who accords wisdom to seekers of salvation. Shiva is the protector . Shiva is the destroyer.Shiva is beyond the cycle of death and birth. He maintains the law and order in this universe. As Neelkantha, Shiva is the ultimate well-wisher of all living creatures . Shiva is Ardhnarishvara or beyond the classification of male and female. As Ardhnarishvara , Shiva personifies the dissolution of sectarian strains in this world. It represents two conflicting ways of life which are needed for continuity of creation in this universe. None can exist without the other ."
(Avtar Mota)

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