As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 41
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Rama reveals the truth of four incarnations of Vishnu and then, Sati returns to Shiva but appears sad, distressed and forlorn and understands the dilemma and… Shiva abandons Sati
Rama earnestly made efforts to drive out doubts of goddess Sati. After a short while, he said again, “At the moment, with the blessings of Shiva, Sri Hari is born in the guise of four brothers. I am the eldest Rama the next is Bharata. Third is Laksmana and the fourth is Satrughana. O goddess, with the consent of my father, I came to the forest with Sita and Laksmana. An unknown wanderer of the night has abducted wife Sita and now, in a disillusioned state of mind, I am in search of Sita and here, Laksmana is with me. In this way, your holy darshana blessed me adequately, O goddess. Now, I know, everything will be auspicious. O mother Sati, I have no doubt that everything will turn out well. O goddess, I believe, I shall get your blessings and so I would get Sita shortly. With your blessings and commands, I shall protect Sita after killing a sinful rakasas, who abducted her. I am very fortunate that both of you showered mercy on me. A man getting blessings from you is sanctified and considered the greatest, O goddess.”
Sati heard and with a benign smile exhibited generosity and mercy. She was clear, as fears stood dispelled. After he revealed many facets of life of Shiva and Vishnu, Rama bowed before Sati, saluted the goddess, and then, wandered in the forest in search of Sita. After she heard mild and pleasing expressions of Rama admiring Shiva, she was full of high regard for prince Rama and felt delighted. On the other hand, when Rama remembered Karma, he was very sad. Again, his face looked pale as a pall of distress and frustration wore a veil of divine brilliance. She was unhappy and miserable when she looked at Rama and thereafter, returned to Shiva, standing under Vargada.
She was cheerless as the thought disturbed that she was not convinced when Shiva revealed the truth and therefore, did not harbour very good and noble feelings for Rama at that time. What she would say to Shiva, she seriously thought over but reached nowhere. Now, she was quite remorseful about behaviour. She reached near Shiva and saluted with feelings imbued with intensity of prayers and veneration and stood beside him silently but said nothing. She was forlorn and distraught. Sati’s original radiance seemed to have faded away.
Shiva realised Sati was disappointed. He thought for a while, and then, said affectionately, “How did you test him?”
Sati with a bowed head stood near him. She was desperate and melancholic, and appeared repentant. Maheshwara meditated for a while with eyes closed and came to know everything that distressed Sati. Possibly, it did not give cheers to him and so he decided to abandon goddess Sati. Shiva valued and cherished the principles of Vedic dharma and therefore, did not allow earlier pledge to go waste. He did not wish to destroy the truth of prophetic words said earlier. He was determined. After he discarded Sati within, he went back to the original abode situated on Kailasa Mountain.
While they were on way to Kailasa, a voice from above said, “O lord of gods, you are blessed. You are great. Your vow is superb. One finds no other great Yogi and Supreme God equal to you in the three worlds.”
When they heard the celestial voice from above the luminosity and radiance of Sati faded away.
She asked Shiva, “O swamy, my god, what kind of oath did you take? Please tell.”
After she asked, Shiva told about the pledge he gave about the marriage. At that time, Sati meditated on Shiva and the entire context and reasons were obvious to her. She came to know why he decided to abandon her.
“Sambhu abandoned me,” Sati thought and so she, the daughter of Daksa was extremely sad and aggrieved, and began to moan in sorrow. After Shiva understood the mind and feelings of Sati, he kept the secret alive and confined it to him only, and thereafter, began to tell other tales unrelated to the subject of grief and abandonment.
Shiva kept telling interesting tales and Sati listened to him while she thought seriously over providence and its writ. They reached Kailasa, the holy abode where Shiva ensconced comfortably on the divine seat. He restrained senses and varied inclinations of differing joys, and sat in deep meditation, and then, concentrated on the real image. Sati, in utter disconsolation and bleakness decided and began to live at her abode.
The divine couple – Parvati and Shiva – lived separately but never revealed the preordained break in relationship and after ages, Shiva terminated penance and thereafter, Parvati appeared before him.
Many did not know the nature of relationship between Sati and Shiva. Divine couple lived separately in dismal and miserable circumstances but none understood the celestial plan. Shiva the goddess and lord Shiva lived and did not reveal fissures in relations. Capable of transforming into any image, Parvati and Shiva continued to live for a long time, and therefore, many ages elapsed. Shiva was still in deep meditation.
After a long time, he opened his eyes and terminated tapa and penance. After she learnt that Shiva had completed tapa, goddess Jagdamba Sati arrived and with a distraught heart, bowed at the feet of Shiva.
The most generous lord requested her to sit exactly in front of him and then told many incidents with love and warmth. With the exercise of maya, he dispelled sorrow of the holy consort and now, she appeared cheerful and happy. However, Shiva did not desert the vow he took. The great relationship carried influence of delusory power in the backdrop. In truth, the celestial couple was warm and continued to work toward the wellbeing of the three worlds while they continued to shower blessings on devotees and stayed true and obedient to the devotees.
If a devotee knows the real objective of gods and goddesses behind the movement of the world and the mystery of life, he will definitely make life meaningful. Surrendering of ‘the self’ with devotion and faith purifies ‘the inner self’ and man begins to love man and humanity, and that is probably the message of the Supreme, who appears before a devotee in many forms and images.
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