Feb 26, 2024
Feb 26, 2024
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 67
On persuasion of Indra, Narada arrives in the palace of Himavana, learns about the predicament Parvati faces, reflects over the events and fate of Kamadeva, goddess’s genuine worries and therefore, consoles and then, advises Parvati to meditate on Shiva and undergo penance and tapa
Possibly, lord Indra inspired celestial sage Narada and therefore, he arrived in the mountains of Himalaya. King Himavana greeted sage Narada and asked courteously about the wellbeing of sage and thereafter, Narada sat comfortably on a divine chair. When asked, Himavana told everything about Parvati. He told how she served Shiva and how anger of lord burnt down Kamadeva. Sage Narada heard and learnt about the anguish of Himavana, the king of the mountains.
He said, “O king, you worship lord Shiva.” He counseled, took leave of Giriraj, remembered Shiva, and afterward, he thought to appear before goddess Kaali (Parvati) when she was alone. Narada always thought about the wellbeing of created beings. He was a learned man and the crest of the wise men of the three worlds.
He appeared before goddess Kaali (Parvati), “O goddess Kaalikei, please listen. I say because empathy fills me and I am worried about your happiness and wellbeing. My words will benefit, lead you to do noble and virtuous acts, and bestow boons of pleasure and joy. You, no doubt, served Mahadeva but you did it without tapa and still, with pride. Shiva is generous to the humble and innocent, and when he found you haughty and conceited, he chose to destroy sense of pride you nursed. O dear Shivei, Mahashwara is a detached yogi. He burnt Kamadeva with the fire of fury and left you untouched and unhurt. It is because Shiva loves devotees. Therefore, you undergo austere tapa and penance for a long time and meditate on Shiva. When rigorous tapasya at the feet of Shiva ennobles and sanctifies, he will accept you as a consort. I am sure a benign and generous Sambhu (Shiva) would not abandon you. O goddess, you try to please Shiva assiduously even if you look obstinate. Do not accept a husband other than Shiva.”
Sage Narada said very clearly. Parvati (Kaali) heard sage’s noble counsel and appeared happy. With devotion and folded hands, she said, “O holy sage, you are the wisest, and that you are engaged in the well-being of the universe is a matter of great significance. Kindly instruct and give me mantra so that I meditate on lord Shiva.”
Sage Narada educated and granted benefit of mantra (Shivmantra) and asked Parvati to meditate on lord Shiva. Later on, sage Narada told her about the tremendous influence of mantra on devotees.
“When lord Shiva listens to the chanting of mantra, it delights the lord extremely and happily he blesses the devotees. Therefore, mantra bestows on its devotees the desired fruit.” Sage Narada, after emphasising the implication and impact of mantra, asked her to follow it religiously.
At last, he told, “O holy woman, you meditate on lord Shiva and undergo tapasya and only if you chant mantra, you can delight and captivate the great lord. The lord will bless you with the most desired reward. Otherwise, nothing is possible.”
Sage Narada properly initiated Parvati. Thus, she was equipped with the divine mantra and it strengthened her resolve to undergo tapa rigorously.
After the departure of sage Narada, Parvati decided to undergo austere tapa. She asked friends Jaya and Vijaya to go to Himachal – Himavana and Maina and seek permission. Himachal agreed. However, mother Maina tried to stop Parvati from going to the forest. She did not want Parvati to suffer hardships and so dissuaded her daughter out of love and affection. She had many reasons to offer. She asked Uma (uma means do not go out) not to go away from the palace. Later on, because of this reason people began to call Sati, Parvati or Kaali or Uma. After some gentle persuasive words, Maina also agreed and therefore, Parvati was free. At that time, Uma remembered Shiva and felt great relief and joy. She left home with friends and went to the forest to undergo tapa. Before the severe penance, she discarded royal dress, ornaments and comforts, and thereafter, covered the body with the skin of a stag, and went to Gangotri (a holy tirtha), the origin of holy Ganges.
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