As the wedding season is upon us, let’s know more about the iconic marriage and procession of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
Shiva and Parvati
It is commonly said that if Shiva is the soul then, Parvati is the kundalini resting in the body.
Shiva went into deep mourning and isolation after his first wife, Goddess Sati, left her body. Shiva missed her sorely and was unaware of the fact that she had returned as Parvati. Born to the god of the Himalayas, namely Himavan and his wife apsara Mena, Parvati was the reincarnation of Sati. He was so deep in meditation and mourning that he was not ready to even look at Parvati. This led to the intervention of the services of Kamadeva, the god of love. Kamadeva succeeded in piercing Shiva’s heart with the arrow of love, but lost his life to Shiva’s anger while playing cupid.
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After being convinced by other Gods to marry Parvati, Shiva decided to test her devotion.
According to an article on VedicFeed, the Saptarishi (the seven sages) approached Parvati and mocked Shiva to dissuade her; however, Parvati remained resolute. Then Shiva himself, disguised as an old ascetic, visited Parvati and vilified himself in her presence. As an angry Parvati was about to leave, Shiva revealed his true form to her and promised to marry her, pleased with her love and devotion.
The Shiva-Parvati Wedding
Near Triyuginarayan village, Shiva and Parvati agreed to marry each other while they were on their way back to meet Parvati’s parents. Their marriage was solemnized in the month of Phalgun, a day before Amavasya. This day is celebrated as Maha Shivratri every year. Lord Brahma discharged the duties of the divine priest, while God Vishnu was responsible for the wedding preparations.
Lord Shiva is worshipped by both Devtas (deities) and Danavas (demons), and treats both of them fairly and equally. He invited and allowed both the clans in his marriage ceremony, showing his impartial behaviour. Everyone from demons, reptiles, scavengers, insects to deities were wholeheartedly and happily welcomed in the ceremony.
Lord Shiva invited all of his Ganas to the marriage ceremony. He also instructed sage Narada to invite all the deities, sages and celestial entities.
After receiving the invitation for Shiva’s marriage, the seven mothers- Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahai, Aindri and Chamunda dressed him up. Then, he performed all the requisite Karmas to pacify the planet. Finally, his beautiful marriage-procession proceeded towards the in-law’s house.
Shiva proceeded with his marriage procession which consisted of crores of his ‘Ganas’ and deities. Many deities like Vishnu were boarded on their vehicles.
First of all, Shiva sent Narada to Himalaya’s house to inform him about their (marriage procession) arrival. Himalaya sent his son Mainak to receive them.
Maina and Shiva
When the marriage procession was coming, Maina (Shiva’s mother in-law) curiously told Narada about her desire to see her son in-law. Shiva understood the conceit which her desire contained and hence, wanted to teach her a lesson. He sent all the other deities before him, one by one. As planned, Maina mistook each one of them to be Shiva but Narada later informed her that they were not her son in-law.
Maina wondered how handsome her son in-law must be if the attendants were so handsome. With this, Shiva arrived with his Ganas. His attire for his wedding was tiger-skin for the dress and a snake for a necklace. He had ashes smeared over him and his unkempt hair in matted locks! He was sat atop the Nandi the bull, his vahana.
Maina fell unconscious as she looked at this horrible sight. She was helped to regain her consciousness by the maidservants. As soon as she regained consciousness, she started crying and cursing everybody responsible for her daughter’s marriage with Shiva, including Narada, the Saptarishis, and even her own sons.
She even admonished Parvati by saying, “Did you do severe penance to get such a horrible husband like this (Shiva)?”, as per an article on VedicFeed.
Maina threatened everybody that if this marriage takes place then it would be the last day of her life. Many people tried to convince and console her, including Lord Brahma and Narada.
Lord Vishnu arrived and tried to pacify her anger by saying that her anger was baseless as she had not seen the real appearance of Shiva, which bestows benediction. Lord Vishnu and Narada then lauded him who on being pleased showed his most enchanting beauty.
Maina was now convinced, and at last, Shiva entered the Mandap (canopy) where the marriage ceremony was going to take place. He and Parvati were highly delighted to see each other.
After the marriage ceremony was over, Sage Garg helped Himalaya in performing the rite of Kanyadan, amidst the chantings of Vedic mantras.
Some people say that Lord Vishnu performed the Kanyadaan of Shiva and Parvati. Others say that the Triyuginarayan temple turned into the venue of the celestial marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The holy fire lit in the Agni Kund is said to be burning since then and blessed to burn eternally in front of the temple until time ends.
It is also said that Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma took a dip in kunds nearby to cleanse them of any sins and later on these named Rudra Kund, Vishnu Kund, and Brahma Kund.
Lord Brahma also marked the sacred venue with a Brahma Shila in front of the temple.