Parvati (Devanagri: IAST: Parvati) is known as the motherly form of Mother Goddess Gauri Jagadamba, Parvati is another form of Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the gentle aspect of Maha Devi or Durga, the Great Goddess. Parvati is considered to be a complete incarnation of Adi Parashakti or Goddess Durga, with all other Goddesses being her incarnations or manifestations. Parvati is nominally the second consort of Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction and rejuvenation. However, she is not different from Sati, being the reincarnation of Shiva's first wife. Parvati is the mother of the gods Ganesha and Kartikeya. Some communities also believe her to be the sister of Vishnu. She is also regarded as the daughter of King Himavan. Parvati, when depicted alongside Shiva, generally appears with two arms, but when alone, she is depicted having four, eight or ten arms, and is astride on a tiger or lion. Generally considered a benevolent Goddess, Parvati also has wrathful incarnations, such as Durga, Kali, Tara, Chandi, and the Dasha Mahavidyas (ten great wisdoms) Kali, Tara, Tripur Sundari (Shodashi), Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagla Mukhi, Matangi and Kamala, as well as benevolent forms like Katyayani, Maha Gauri, Kamalatmika, Bhuvaneshwari and Lalita.
Goddess Parvati is known by various names and each one of them has a certain meaning and significance associated with it. There are 108 names that are associated with the Goddess and these need to be spoken with reverence.
Goddess Parvati is often referred to as a symbol of love and devotion. She is one of the many forms of Shakti and is revered and worshipped by millions of people all over the world for her supreme power and beauty.
Lord Shiva had retreated to a cave to meditate after the death of his wife, Sati. It was during this time that the demons decided to attack heaven and drove away all the Gods living there. The Gods led by Lord Indra went to Mount Kailash to ask for help from Lord Shiva but they were unable to find him there,
The Gods asked for help from the Mother Goddess Shakti who told them that only a son born out of the union of Lord Shiva and his wife would be able to defeat the demons. She also promised them that Sati would be reborn as Parvati daughter of the mountains and marry Lord Shiva,
As promised by Goddess Shakthi, Parvati was born to the king of the mountains. Even from her young age she was totally devoted to Lord Shiva and wanted to win his love and affection. She started visiting the cave where he was meditating.
She started sweeping the floor of the cave and decorating it with beautiful flowers. Apart from this she also brought fruits for him but he remained unmoved by her devotion. Lord Shiva was known to have spurned her love and devotion as she was very dark skinned.
However she was determined to win his love and decided to do penance to become extremely beautiful and appealing. She went to the forest with nothing to eat and no clothes on her body and did very tough penance that pleased Lord Brahma. He decided to grant her wish of becoming very fair and beautiful.
After been blessed by Lord Brahma she visited the cave where Lord Shiva was meditating. He was mesmerized by her beauty and decided to marry her. Their union culminated in the birth of Lord Karthikeya who defeated the demons and restored peace in the heavens.
She is often referred as the embodiment of devotion in a marriage and is known to have reduced the anger of Lord Shiva immensely through her affection.
Lord Shiva, Parvati along with their two sons, Ganesha and Karthikeya are often referred to as a perfect family and Goddess Parvati is attributed to making the family perfect through her motherly love,
Goddess Parvati is known to have two forms. While she is calm and serene in one form she is depicted in an aggressive posture when she sets out to defeat the evil forces. Goddess Durga, Kali and Chandi are the various forms where she has an aggressive personality with weapons in her hands and anger in her eyes.
She is known to complement Lord Shiva perfectly in all aspects of life. The calm and serene beauty of Goddess Parvati is the perfect complement to the anger and violent nature of Lord Shiva. It is due to this that they are often referred to as Shiv Shakti or Ardhanareeswara.
She is also referred to as the mother of the Universe as most of the Goddess are reincarnation of her power (Shakti). She is known to eliminate the sufferings of her believers. Goddess Parvati has 108 names and there is a symbolic meaning associated with each one of them.
Goddess Parvati is referred to as Ambika and is considered the epitome of family and marriage. Women all over the world pray and revere her for a happy married life.