Feb 20, 2024
Feb 20, 2024
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 78
Parvati attains the objective even as she discloses the intents of penance and the sufferings of gods …lord Shiva reveals the divine plan of birth and the mystery of One God while the goddess seeks blessings for the created beings
Goddess Parvati achieved the most sacred objective of life. Pure determination and courage led her to attain glory of life unimagined for any other living being. Her face beamed with contentment and joy abundant. She felt enriched and satisfied as joys and comforts of life descended to provide refuge of divinity incarnate. After restraining feelings of tremendous gratification and elation, goddess Shiva looked at Shiva, who stood quite close to her. Moments of realisation seemed to fill goddess as she had attained the great objective.
She said to Shiva, “O lord of gods, you are swamy. Why did you forget me? For whom did you destroy the great yajna of prajapati Daksa many ages ago? You are lord Rudra and I am Parvati. O lord of gods, at this moment, you may say now, I have taken birth in the palace of King Himachal and through him, queen Maina gave birth. I did so to fulfill a great cause of the gods of heavens, whom a great daitya Taraka is presently persecuting and torturing. The objective is to get rid of the sufferings daitya Taraka perpetrates on gods and other celestial beings because they have failed to defeat the mighty demon. You know he holds the armour of boons Supreme Brahma granted.”
She said further, “O lord of gods, if you are happy and humane, then you become my husband. O lord, please accept the request. I take leave and shall go to the home of father Himavana. Now, it is time that you widely spread out the message of marriage so that everyone knows. It is an event of glory and prestige. O lord, you are capable of spreading delusion. Therefore, escort me to father Himavana, become a beggar and ask for my hand. Enhance the prestige and glory of father Himavana. Likewise, you make grihasthashrama (life of a householder) a great success. When the great sages, with your blessings give full knowledge and wisdom about everything divine and worldly then, father Himavana, relations and friends would obey your directives. I do not doubt it.”
After a pause, she resumed, “O lord, in earlier birth, when I was a daughter of prajapati Daksa, he offered me to you. At that time, you did not complete rituals of marriage as per the tenets of scriptures (sastras). Father Daksa did not worship various grahas (planets). Therefore, he could not complete or possibly thought to ignore many customary and obligatory rituals in the performance of ceremony relating to worship of deities for the peace, prosperity and harmony of a blissful conjugal life. Therefore, O lord Mahadeva, now, you should perform each ceremony religiously as sastras (scriptures) dictate so that realisation of lofty objectives of gods of heavens is easy. Each act should be perfect because it would usher into an era of peace after the child destroys daitya Taraka.” She put tremendous emphasise on the elimination of evil and thus, spoke of a noble cause.
She opined, “One should follow instructions regarding marriage. Father Himavana clearly knows that I was engaged in an austere tapasya for a noble cause.” She was silent.
Sadashiva (Shiva) was extremely pleased to hear wise Parvati, who appeared worried about the destiny of the gods of heavens for whom she had suffered for long and underwent severe tapa.
Shiva felt unique contentment and looked at the divine beauty and thought of the intense tapa and then said, “O Maheshwari, please listen to a matter of great import. It is correct, auspicious, and not detrimental. After you listen to what I say, do so. O woman, not all the created beings and Brahma are eternal. O dear beloved, whatever you see around, believe it as perishable. I am formless, eternal and shapeless, the great paramatma (the supreme soul), who is full of virtues (gunas) and assumes many forms and gunas. You see my image in everything everywhere. It is an image of unity in diversity. Oneness exists and still you see diversity.”
Shiva explained the mystery of one god, which one witnesses in many shapes, forms and images. He said further, “He, who is illumined by ‘the great Self,’ the same great lord I, the paramatma, was illuminated by the light of another lord. O goddess, I am free but you made me dependent. O goddess, you are the great embodiment of karmas and Prakriti, and you are the great mahamaya (the greatest delusory power). The entire universe created out of maya (delusion) is the truth and therefore, it is only delusion and illusion. Nothing appears real, O goddess, you must know. I, the atma (the soul of everyone), the great paramatma merely adorns it with the power of intellect. The souls of living beings nurture ubiquitous and universal thought of supreme Brahma. Everyone embodies the three great gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas).”
Shiva raised many questions and reminded Sati of the divine scheme. “O goddess, who are the major planets? Do you know the main seasons and the mystery of many little planets? What did you say about Shiva? Do you know those particular duties that emerged, and the Holy Scriptures assigned? Because of the distinction between gunas and karmas, you and I took birth to bestow joy, comforts and pleasures on devotees, for we, the gods exist for the devotees. Devotees are the cause and the affect.”
He said again, “You are the subtle image of the three gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas). You are apt in the images of saguna (an embodiment of virtues and gunas namely – sattva, rajas and tamas in forms and definite images, and you are also nirguna (amorphous, formless or beyond the qualities of gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas), who is Supreme Lord. I am the soul of all the bhutas (created beings), eternal and formless. I assume the body for devotees. O daughter of mountain, I cannot go to father Himalaya and I cannot beg like a bhikshu or a beggar. O dear Girija, a man of supreme gunas (virtues) loses glory and honour if he says ‘give me’. To ask for something symbolises small and narrow heart and intellect, and tininess of mind of an individual. Therefore, he is very small. O woman of great largesse, what else do you say after you know the whole truth?”
He put a great taxing, agonising and apt question. After a moment, Shiva said, “O beloved, I do everything as you consent. Therefore, do whatever you wish.”
After she heard godly words of Shiva (Sankara) she saluted and said, “O lord, you are the soul and I am the prakriti. I see nothing to contemplate on the subject. We are free and independent and therefore, are nirguna (formless) but are under the control of devotees and therefore, become saguna (assume shape or figure or image). O lord Sambhu and O great lord, you make efforts and do as I requested. It is a prayer. O lord Sankara, please beg and therefore, give an opportunity to father Himavana to become a great benefactor, a man of charity. O Maheshwara, I have been your devotee (a bhakta) forever. Be kind and generous.”
She made an earnest plea. Shiva stood beholding and tried to analyse words of great import and implications. Even, the gods lie low when wider and universal questions of humanity, peace, harmony and sovereignty of godly men over wicked forces arise. One can anticipate time even for gods when to sacrifice sacred areas of gods’ interests and privileges.
Parvati said again, “O swamy, I was your servant and consort in every birth. You are beyond Brahma. You are the Supreme Lord and nirguna. You are beyond prakriti (beyond change). You are formless (nirbikara). To deliver devotees from sufferings and tortures, you also become saguna (assume some form or take birth as an incarnation like lord Rama), and then you are the great delusory power. You create playful scenes with delusory powers and assume the form of a great thespian of delusions. O lord, I know you fully and am aware of each aspect of the powers of illusion and delusion you exercise. What is the use of saying anything? O knower and the creator of the universe, please show compassion. O lord, kindly spread delusion, and expand glory and prestige. It will benefit living beings.”
Parvati continued to sing hymns of praise and saluted Shiva many times and afterward, she bowed and folded hands in reverence and stood quietly before the great lord. Shiva accepted everything Parvati desired and for the holy woman, he relinquished certain principles for wider benefit and wellbeing of the created beings. Lord’s acts meant to benefit the gods of heavens and created beings were, no doubt, many. However, previously he harboured certain reservations. He wanted to put to test severe tapa of Parvati so that he could comprehend its depth, enormity and genuineness. He wanted to know Parvati’s determination and tenacity to pursue a specific cause. He knew sacred objectives and therefore, emitted a satisfying smile that filled Parvati with elation and supreme euphoria.
Shiva was immensely happy and thereafter, he disappeared and went to Kailasha. Now, saintly Kaali (Parvati) fascinated him and he concentrated heart and mind on her. When he reached holy abode, he narrated everything to saintly Nandi. Bhairava and other important ganas (counselors of lord Shiva) learnt about the great news, and so, it filled every divine soul with immense delight and in excitement, they celebrated the occasion. All sufferings were over and Rudra felt he lived in a splendid land of joy and pleasure.
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