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Parvati Ki Tapasya

Parvati Ki Tapasya

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But Parvati had fallen in love with Shiva and she didn't know what she could do about it. She thought of Shiva all the time.

One day the sage Narada came and told her, Shiva is only pleased with tapasya. Without tapasya, even Brahma and the other gods do not get to see Shiva. Why don't you perform tapasya?

Parvati decided to do what Narada had asked her to. She asked her parents for permission. Her father agreed with alacrity. Although her mother Menaka was not at all keen that Parvati should perform difficult tapasya, she too eventually agreed.

Parvati gave up her jewellery and handsome clothes. She wore deerskin instead. There is a peak in the Himalayas known as Gouriskikhara. It is there that Parvati went for her tapasy. The meditation was very difficult. During the monsson Parvati meditated while seated on the ground. In the winter she mediated under the water. Wild beats dared not harm her. All the gods and sages assembled to see this wonderful tapasya. The gods and the sages also began to pray to Shiva. Lord, can't you see that Parvati is performing difficult tapasya? They asked. No one has meditated like this before. No one will meditate like this in the future. Please grant her what she wants.

Shiva adopted the form of an old brahmana (the first of the four classes) and appeared at Parvati's hermitage. Parvati welcomed the old man and worshipped him with flowers and fruits.

Why are you meditating? asked the brahmana. What is it that you want?

I wish to have Shiva as a husband, replied Parvati.

You are indeed stupid. Said the brahmana. That is like giving up gold for a piece of glass or giving sandalwood for mud. Does anyone give up the water of the Ganga and drink water from a well instead? Marry one of the gods instead, go and marry Indra. Shiva is a stupid fellow. He has three eyes and five faces. His hair is matted and his body is smeared with ashes. He wears snakes as garlands. He is always accompanied by ghosts, He has no clothes and no wealth. No one knows who his parent are. He live sin the forst and his throat is blue with poison. I think you are making a big mistake. Forget about Shiva and don't waste your life.

The brahmana's words angered Parvati. It is you who are stupid, she said. You don't know a thing about Shiva. He is the lord of everthing. You have insulted Shiva and cursed am I that I made the mistake of worshipping you. You are again going to say something nasty about Shiva. But before you can do that, let me go away. I shall not stay to hear Shiva insulted.

As Parfati was about to depart, Shiva adopted his own form and said, Where are you going? I thought that you were praying for me. You can't forsake me now. I am not going to let you go. Ask for a boon.

Please marry me according to the prescribed rites, replied Parvati.

Shiva agreed and Parvati returned home.



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