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Story of Ruru

There was another demon who wanted to marry Parvati as well. His name was Ruru. He happened to see Parvati and decided that this was the woman who would be his wife. He began to to perform tapasya so that his desire might be satisfied.

Brahma appeared before him and asked, Ruru, why are you performing such difficult tapasya? Can I offer you a boon?

That is a boon that not even I can grant you, said Brahma.

Brahma departed and Ruru continued with his meditation. This meditation was going on in a mountain named Malaya. And such was the power of Ruru's meditation that the mountain started to burn. The fires were so strong that even Shiva and Parvati had to run away from the mountain.

Lord, why are we running away? asked Parvati. Why don't you do something about the fire?

I can't, answered Shiva. This fire is on account of Ruru's tapasya and he is performing this tapasya so as to marry you. It is up to you to do something about Ruru.

Parvati decided that she would. While they were conversing, they saw a lion fighting with an elephant. Parvati slew the lion and skinned it. She wore the lion's pelt as clothing. Her hair became smeared with the lion's blood. Her appearance became terrible.

With a thunderous roar, Parvati went to where Ruru was. Ruru, she said. I have come. I am Parvati.

I am the one you have been praying for. Now stop meditating.

Rubbish, replied the demon. Parvati is beautiful. Her face is like the moon, her hue is golden, and her arms are like lotus stems. Just look at yourself. Your looks are terrible. You can't be Parvati. You are lying. Go away, I don't want you.

Saying this, Ruru struck Parvati with a mace. Parvati was angry at this and she hit Ruru with her fits. The two fought, with Ruru flinging boulders and trees at the goddess.

Parvati used her nails and her teeth to get at the demon. Ruru created several other asuras from his body. In retaliation, Parvati created many goddesses known as shaktis from her body. The shaktis began to eat up the demons.

Ruru fled. But Parvati pursued him to the ends of the earth. He fled to heaven. Parvati followed him there. He fled to the underworld, but Parvati pursued him there as well.

Finally, Ruru could flee no more. Parvati caught hold of him and tore off his head with her nails. She then drank the demon's blood. Parvati also skinned the demon.

Thus it was that Ruru was killed. On her return to Shiva, Parvati gave him the lion's pelt that she had so far been wearing and Shiva donned it. For her own clothing, Parvati put on Ruru's skin.



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