Devi Parvati’s wedding with Bhagavan Siva

Of the sixty daughters of Daksha Prajapati, Svadha was married to Pitras and gave birth to Maina, Dhanya and Kalavati. The three of them after coming of age decided to have a ‘Darshan’ ( casual view) of Lord Vishnu at Svethadvipa and among the visitors in- waiting were the Highly respected Sanaka Brothers but the three girls could not recognise them as they were offended and cursed them to take births on earth. Indeed the girls did not recognise them and begged of the Sages to lighten the curse. Since the girls were indeed unaware of the background of the illustrious Kumars, they blessed Maina to become the wife of King Himavantha and beget ‘Jagadisvari’ Herself; Dhanya would wed King Janaka and bless them with Devi Sita to wed Sri Rama; and Kalavati would marry Vrishabhan and bless Radha Devi as the special devotee cum beloved of Lord Krishna. Accordingly Maina Devi became the wife of Himavanta. Vishnu blessed the Himavanta couple with hundred virtuous sons and a daughter that the couple would indeed be proud of as She would be the Jadamba Herself! The Sons were born with wings but out of envy, Indra clipped the wings of all of them, except Minak who hid inside the Ocean as a mountain [who helped Lord Hanuman while crossing the Ocean to reach Lanka in His reconnaisance trip to find Devi Sita in the bondage of Ravana Asura.] The only daughter of Himavanta viz. Devi Parvati even from childhood became an intense devotee of Bhagavan Siva and had constant dreams of Her worship to Him in person. Both Himavanta and Queen Maina too had similar dreams regularly. Meanwhile, Bhagavan Siva like a lunatic became a restless globe trottrer after Sachi’s Yogic end for several years and resettled at Himavan Mountain for severe ‘Tapasya’. In the process of His meditation, He had memories of Sati and perspired and from His sweat was born Bhauma and Bhu Devi nurtured the child and eventually Bhuma became a high devotee and attained a position in the Solar System as Mangala Deva or Mars. Parvati requested her parents to seek a blessing from Siva to allow Her in His ‘Seva’ (Service) without disturbing Him at all. Siva did not agree but Parvati Herself emboldened to argue with Siva that She was ‘Prakriti’ or Nature and Siva was the Maha Purusha ( Almighty), that His meditation would have speedy results if Prakriti too served Almighty’s efforts as a supplement and that He could therfore agree to allow Her service to the Almighty and so on. Siva was impressed with her Spiritual knowledge and had agreed; every day Parvati used to up-keep Siva’s meditation- surroundings, fetch flowers and other requirements useful for the meditation and Puja by Bhagavan.

It was at that juncture that a powerful Demon Tarakasura became a major menace to the World, especially Devas and Indra. He was the son of Vajrang, a son of Diti-wife of Kashyap, who had the deep-seated animosity against Indra in particular and Devas in general; Diti was pregnant with a wish to beget a powerful male issue who would conquer Indra and Devas and occupy heavens, since she had several of her descendants destroyed. But Indra used his mystic powers to kill the foetus which was cut into forty nine pieces and thus produced ‘Marudganas’. She became pregnant again and delivered Vajrang whose son was Tarakasura the most dreaded Demon of the date. Tarakasura was fortified with the boon from Brahma that excepting Siva’s son, none else should be able to kill him in the entire Universe! Knowing of the invincibility of Takasura, there was a great desire that Siva’s son must soon arrive and Devi Parvati’s wedding be expedited. As advised by Brahma, a big delegation of Devas was sent to Manmadha and Rati so that their good offices were utilised to kindle desires in Siva in favour of Devi Parvati, who is already in the vicinity of Siva in meditation.Thus prompted by Devas, Manmadha used his ‘Kama bana’(Arrows of Love) when Bhagavan felt a slight change in His attitude in favour of Parvati but soon recovered from His thoughts quickly and noticed that Manmadha was at work, became highly provoked and in a fit of immense fury opened His Third Eye and as a result, Manmadha was burnt as ash and indeed was a dreadful and instant action which stunned all Devas, Brahma, Vishnu, Devi Bhagavati and indeed the entire World. The ‘Nirvikara’ (Reaction-less) Maha Siva resumed His Tapasya as though nothing had happened, but Rati was inconsolable, Parvati was mystified and decided to take up rigorous meditation. There were group prayers by Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, their consorts and the whole lot of Devas; Bhagavan Siva got gradually cooled down a bit, as it was explained to Him that it all happened due to their own reasons of self- protection and defencelessness and narrated the matter in full. He gave the boon that in the next births, Manmadha would be born as Pradyumna to Lord Krishna and Rukmini Devi and even a few days of the child’s birth, a Demon named Shambara would throw the child in the Sea and eventually kill the demon and marry Rati Devi as Mayavati. Manmadha would join ‘Sivaganas’ and be visible only to Rati Devi, and she should await her rebirth in Dvapara Yuga. Parvati Devi performed severe ‘tapasya’ under the tutorship of Devarshi Narada and constantly carried out the ‘Japa’ of the Mantra ‘Om Namo Sivaya Namaha’ meticulously. Bhagavan did not agree to the proposal of marrying Parvati initially, but as convinced by Vishnu, Brahma and Devas conceded but ordered ‘Sapta Rishis’ to test Her seriouness. In course of time Bhagavan Himself appeared in the disguise of a Brahmana and tried to dissuade Her to wed a ‘Bhutnath’, a near ‘Digambara’, an uncouth and frightening entity with matted hair and serpents and ash all over His body and so on. Devi Bhagavati reacted vehemently and showed Him the door. But She felt that Her penance executed all along did not satisfy the Lord and out of desperation sought to jump into a Fire pit, when He gave the Darshan and said: ‘Why do you not realise that we are the Eternal Prakriti and Maha Purusha ourselves!’

When the wedding of Siva and Parvati was announced, the entire Universe got transformed with ecstasy. Sivaganas including Nandi and Bhairav went into raptures. Devas were relieved that the menace of Tarakasura would end soon. Great Sages, Brahma and Vishnu turned highly inward-looking spiritually as their souls hit pinnacles of fulfillment. The Union of Prakrti (Maya) and Maha Purusha explained the Quintessence of Vedas and Sciptures as the Super Energy of Unknown, Everlasting, All-pervasive, Endless, Unborn nature!Bhagavan Siva was in a light disposition and played ‘Leelas’, especially with Parvati’s parents, Maina and Himavanta. First, He disguised sporting a dress of a flippant dancer as ‘Nataraj’ at Maina’s residence and she tried to give Him a gold chain thinking that He was an ordinary dancer. When He announced that He was Siva, both of the parents of Parvati were not only not impressed, but refused to give away their daughter in wedding to Siva. Sapta Rishis had to appear and convince about Siva. As the bride groom’s party arrived the parents were under the illusion of each arriving Deity at the function as the bridegroom. And when actually Bhagavan did arrive, He sported a figure of a Bhutnath on Nandi the bull vahana with a frightening demeanor surrounded by Sivaganas, Bhutas, and Pisachas. Lord Vishnu had to intervene to say that what they saw was an illusion of Siva to test their basic faith. Devi Parvati was indeed amused with Bhagavan’s pranks.The Wedding Procession included the ‘Who Is Who’ of the Universe: the ‘Saptha Matas’ (The Seven Mothers viz. Bramhi, Mahesvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indri, and Chamunda; the full contingent of Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Planetary Heads and Devas, Sapta Rishis, Brahma Manasa Putras, Sages, Sivaganas, Pisachas, various manifestations of Devi Bhagavati, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Kimpurushas and personified Vedas and Sciptures and so on. The Whole World was in memorable bliss and elation. Indeed on this Holy Occasion, Bhagavan recalled Manmadha too back to active life to the greatest delight of Rati Devi too.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by
V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager,
India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India
The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in