As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 59
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Goddess takes birth as Uma in the house of Himalaya and Maina…arrival of Narada, who speaks about the qualities of daughter Uma, also reveals the truth of previous life of goddess, and further tells that she would free created beings and gods of heavens from suffering…worries of Shiva in the absence of Sati. Goddess looks after Shiva in meditation, when he meditates.
Himalaya and Maina happily and devotedly meditated for years so that they realise the solemn objective. It filled the heart and mind of Himalaya and Maina with thoughts and blessings of goddess. She was very much happy, and therefore, situated ‘the divine self’ in the womb of Maina.
Emitting smiles, the goddess said, “O Maina, earlier you served me through intense bhakti and I blessed you with a boon and agreed to take birth as your daughter for the benefit of gods and created beings. O holy spouse of Himalaya, today, I appeared in divine cosmic image and blessed you and so became your daughter. You enjoyed glimpses of the cosmic vision and so keep it mind. Now, you will remember that I descended on earth as a human being. Otherwise, you would have remained ignorant of divine image. Now, with feelings of devotion, you should shower love and affection. I bless you. I shall live and grow up and become wife of lord Shambhu-Shiva and accomplish the sacred task for the gods of heavens and liberate holy souls from suffering and anguish.” The mother of the world was quiet for some time and later entered into heart, soul and body of newly born daughter of Maina.
In worldly existence, the child began to weep that looked charming and the women around felt extremely happy. It proved an occasion of great pleasure to all. Sage Narada spoke about the virtues of Uma and later assured them of the great fortunes she would bring to Himalaya and Maina and the worlds and also to the gods of heavens and thus, thought of a solemn objective to free created beings and gods from sufferings wicked forces caused.
He revealed the truth, “O the king of the mountain, please do not worry. She was Sati, daughter of Daksa in previous birth, who blessed everyone and brought happiness. She was holy spouse of lord Rudra. She did not get expected respect and witnessed vituperation and condemnation against lord Shiva and so in anger, she resolved to jump into the sacrificial fire. Now, she took birth here and she, in truth, is goddess Jagdamba Shiva. Nurse no doubt, for she will be holy consort of lord Shiva.” It was cause of tremendous cheers and contentment for Himavana and Maina.
Maina had certain doubts about Parvati but Himalalya dispelled fears and suspicions and later asked Maina to offer sane counsel to daughter Uma – Parvati, who had already read the mind of mother. She spoke of a dream she had during the most auspicious moment of Brahma-muhurta. In the dream, a brahmin advised Uma to meditate on Shiva. When Maina talked about Uma’s dream, the king of the mountain was happy and he spoke of a dream he had also at the same time, which filled them with hope and bright future for Uma.
After ages, Shiva felt sad because of the absence of Sati and at that time, he received the news of Uma – Parvati, who was growing up in the house of Himalaya. He experienced moments of divine ecstasy and with many ganas he went to Gangotri and decided to undergo tapa, for he wanted solidity and steadiness and no extraneous thoughts of anguish of separation from the beloved goddess.
Himavana learnt about the arrival and thereafter, when he knew about the meditation and tapa of Shiva, he immediately rushed to the spot to pay obeisance. Shiva requested him to ensure that none disturbed him during his stay at the holy place so that he undergoes tapasya without any impediment. Himavana was happy and worked hard to fulfill the wish of lord. However, he advised him in strong words not to bring Parvati to the place, for it would not be good. ‘Men of tapa, meditation and penance should avoid alliance with women’ he had told Shail (Himavana), ‘because woman is the cause passions and kama and destroys roots of knowledge and detachment – vairagya, a path to deliverance.’
Parvati observed that her father was dumbfounded and mystified and therefore, she unambiguously said to lord Shiva, “O lord, you are symbol of knowledge and tapa and still you undergo severe penance. You knew that power, which inspired you to undertake more austere penance. The power that encourages one to do karmas is in fact, prakriti, the cause of creation, protection and preservation and destruction. O lord, who are you? What is subtle prakriti? Without prakriti, how Maheshwara in the image of lingam can exist? If created beings pay obeisance, pray and meditate on you it is because of prakriti. Think over and say what you have in mind.”
“O Parvati, I destroy prakriti because of strength I gain through rigorous and supreme tapa.” He spoke of tattva and held the view that saintly people should not nurse prakriti. However, Parvati – Kali did not agree to what the lord said. She was highly philosophic.
She said, “O lord, your voice is not beyond prakriti. Why you did not go away? Why did you take help of prakriti? You say whatever reality is, it has basis in reasons. Everything is under the influence of prakriti. Therefore, a man of tapa neither should say nor listen. Please understand. Whatever you hear, eat, see and do are all karmas of prakriti. To argue on the issue is waste of power and knowledge.”
She continued to say and at last, she said, “I do not want to say more. Please listen to me. I am prakriti and you are purusa is a truth. There is no doubt. Because of me, people recognised your image of nirguna and suguna. You are vulnerable if I am not…you cannot do anything. In spite of the fact that you hold restraint on senses – indirayas, you perform different karmas under the control of prakriti. How are you nirbikara – formless? Attached to me you remain. O Sankara, if you are away from prakriti and if this is true then, you should not fear when you are near me.”
Thus, she hinted at the tapa of Shiva who wanted no obstruction in the path of deliberation and who had frankly told Himavana, “Ensure total isolation…particularly, do not permit woman to enter the place of tapa.”
Shiva thought of reasons and arguments she had offered based on the science of knowledge. Later, he requested Himavana to permit him to move about on the beautiful mountain ridge and valleys so that he could think altruistically of the world. Himvana was indebted to him and modestly told him, “O lord Mahadeva, this world of gods, celestial beings, asuras and human beings belongs to you. I cannot say anything.” Shiva was happy and so he asked Himalaya to go back to his capital. Now, the lord of the mountain Himalaya visited the lord in meditation daily and took care that nobody disturbs. This time, Parvati – Kali with her friends also visited Shiva regularly and none stopped them not even powerful ganas of Shiva.
Parvati ensured cleanliness and purity of natural beauty and charm, took care of lord’s comforts during tapa and thus, served him well and pleased the lord immensely. Her devotion was enormous and Shiva wanted to see that Parvati – Kali is bereft of feelings of ego and pride and the moment she is free from the malice of self-image and conceit, at that time, he would accept her. He thought and was again engaged in intense tapa. Kali noticed him in deep tapa and with pure heart and mind continued to look after lord’s comforts.
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