Shiva and Parvati

Continuing with the idea that the constant attempt to find harmony between the Male and Female forces that drive the creativity of the Universe, here for those that are asking me questions is :
The Story of Parvati
After the death of Shiva”s first love Sati, Shiva isolated himself into a dark cave buried amongst the snow covered peaks of the Himalayas. He rejected the world outside so distraught was he by the lose of his first true love….


Meanwhile the demons lead by Taraka, rose from the netherworld and drove the devas, gods, out of the heavens. The gods sought a warrior who would help them regain the celestial realm.
Only Shiva can father such a warrior, informed Brahma.
But Shiva, immersed in meditation, was oblivious to the problems of the gods. As he performed tapas, meditations that produce great heat and energy, his mind was filled with great knowledge and his body became resplendent with energy. But all this knowledge and energy, bottled within his being, was of not use to anyone. (the need for the female to bring the male into the act of creativity)
Birth of Parvati
The gods invoked the mother-goddess, who appeared before them as Kundalini, a coiled serpent.
“I will coil myself around Shiva, wean out his knowledge and energy for the good of the world and make him father a child, said Shakti (the female force) .
Shakti took birth as Parvati, daughter of the Himavan, lord of the mountains, determined to draw Shiva out of his cave and make him her consort.
Parvati as Bogashakti (Bogashakti, “Boga” means Pleasure. “Shakti” Goddess, Energy )
Everyday Parvati would visit Shiva’s cave, sweep the floor, decorate it with flowers and offer him fruits hoping to win his love.
But Shiva never opened his eyes to look upon her charming face. Exasperated, the goddess invoked Priti and Rati, goddess of love and longing, to rouse Shiva out of his mediation.
These goddesses entered Shiva desolate cave and transformed it into a pleasure garden filled with the fragrance of flowers and the buzzing of bees.
Guided by Priti and Rati, Kama, the lord of desire, raised his sugarcane bow and shot arrows dripping with desire into the heart of Shiva.
Shiva was not amused. He opened his third eye and released the flames of fury that engulfed Kama and reduced his beautiful body to ashes.
The death of Kama alarmed the gods. Without the lord of desire man will not embrace woman and life will cease to be.?
“I shall find another way to conquer Shiva”s heart. When Shiva becomes my consort, Kama will be reborn” said the daughter of the mountain, Parvati.
Parvati went into the forest and performed rigorous tapas, wearing nothing to protect her tender body form the harsh weather, eating nothing, not even a leaf, earning the admiration of forest ascetics who named her Aparna.
Aparna matched Shiva in her capacity to cut herself from the world and completely master her physical needs. The power of her tapas shook Shiva out of his mediation. He stepped out of his cave and accepted Parvati as his wife.
Shiva married Parvati in the presence of the gods following the sacred rites and took her to the highest peak of the cosmos, Mount Kailasa, the pivot of the universe. As the world revolved all around them the two became one and Kama was reborn.
Parvati melted Shiva’s stern heart with her affection. Together they played dice on Mount Kailas or sported on the banks of Lake Manasarovar, discovering the joys of married life.
The goddess awakened Shiva’s concern for the world by questioning him on various issues. As he spoke, he revealed the secrets of the Tantras and the Vedas that he had gathered in eons of mediation.
Inspired by her beauty, Shiva became the fountainhead of the arts, of dance and drama. He sang and danced to the delight of the gods who were pleased to see his enchantment with the goddess. (Creativity)
shekhar

17 Responses to “Shiva and Parvati”

  1. gayatri says:

    if it hurts so much, why are you letting her go?

  2. heather says:

    Dear Shekhar
    Thank you for sharing this story, with your lucid explanations, here. The beauty of it makes me cry.
    love, Heather

  3. sheetalpeta says:

    Shekhar,
    It is nicely put. That should explain it to every one.

  4. the neighbour says:

    Dear Shekhar
    I have seen the infinity in you and it does not take a very long time to see …. . You are reaching towards the infinite yet bound in limitations of a human. The acts of a maverick, a genius, a sadu, a wanderer, an intellectual, an aesthetic, a father…….. come out on the world stage when needed.
    Can you make this a whole, can you be all and all be you………..then nothing will matter……a BILLION dollars or non-existence! As you have the potential to not be YOU!
    But don’t disappear before you have shared with the world the BEAUTY through YOU!!
    ……..I wish I could do this……..I still need to build an ashram for you

  5. Bill says:

    I find your discourse on the Tandav Dance of Shiva compelling as I recently watched Michael Powell’s and Emeric Pressburger’s film “Black Narcissus”. (“Black Narcissus” is one of my all-time favorite films, alongside “Elizabeth”, of course). Close to the end of the film, as Sister Ruth flees down a corridor, she disturbs a lace curtain that reveals a statue of Shiva (Nataraja). At this point, Powell and Pressburger have exposed their allusions and metaphors. Sister Ruth’s resurgent sexuality has also inspired the impetus to destroy the convent and murder her Superior Sister Clodagh. From a psychoanalytical perspective, the freeing of the repressed sexuality is almost comical in its Freudian clichés. Nevertheless, I think the image of Shiva (Nataraja) works on a much deeper level in the film. Otherwise, I would not care for this film as much as I do.
    I have learned sansara mithya from my classes in Eastern Religions in college. Sansara mithya, if I remember correctly, means the visible world is a counterfeit. In “Black Narcissus”, there is a holy man, who remains transfixed on a precipice staring out over the Himalayas. He is Atman and Braham. He is indifferent to all mundane activity about him. He sees through the visible, sensual world, which the nuns cannot escape. The Himalayas only remind the nuns of a sensual past they thought they had escaped.
    Freudian clichés aside, the movie suggests that to experience Shiva (Nataraja), one is hurried through experiencing the riches of the unconscious. All that is wild floats to the surface of conscious awareness but it is also needs to be understood in a new and objective way or we may perish (more of a Jungian perspective). One experiences the birth of knowledge as the uplifted left foot grants eternal bliss to those who embrace Shiva (you need to make the first step, correct?, one needs to be open) and the other treads firmly upon the dwarf of ignorance, allowing the birth of knowledge (we need to identify our own shortcomings and patterns that block creativity).
    At the end of “Black Narcissus”, Sister Ruth does try to kill Sister Clodagh (the obstacle to her happiness) but she is also Clodagh’s shadow rising to the surface. And ironically, the unconscious monster, Sister Ruth, becomes the symbol of mourning, the one who perishes to unconscious forces. But then Powell and Pressburger move clouds over the Himalayas as if they were a mirage, that what Sister Clodagh has experienced was a mirage and unreal. As quickly as she has gained knowledge, it seems to slip away, seemingly to suggest she has had a glimpse of sansara mithya.

  6. heather says:

    Dear Bill
    Your lucid analysis of “Black Narcissus” has made me want to see the film. Thank you.

  7. K.A. says:

    Beautiful story, never had an idea of it earlier. Now, I know.
    Thanx so much.
    K.A.

  8. Lu says:

    Shiva and Parvati’s story is beautiful. Thank you.
    You say: Parvati is the creative force that awakens Shiva and makes him act. Is she the “muse” who inspires him. Or is she much more than that, the force of life? After all without her, Shiva would be so self-absorbed not to notice life passing by. You spoke of the need for the male to have the influence of the female.
    But why is she so passive? She tries to please him every way she can and he ignores her. Only after she engages in an ascetic experience similar to his, he recognizes her existence. I know the story ends positively and happily for everybody involved, but I feel a little sorry for her. I also worry… if this is what every woman has to do for her man…..then life can be very hard for women!
    I know of a similar story that, however, may not end in a positive way–at least if one accepts the traditional point of view. It is the story of Adam and Eve, a very happy couple who lived in an enchanted land, where suffering did not exist. One day Eve was convinced by a snake to defy the rule and eat an apple from a forbidden tree. Did she do it out of boredom? Or just out of rebelliousness? Or was she so gullible to believe a snake? I do not know; the fact is that she gave the apple to her companion. The consequence of this act of disobedience was expulsion from the enchanted land. From that day on, Adam and Eve had to work hard to provide for themselves; they also had to face pain and suffering that debilitated them. And from that day on, Adam felt resentful towards Eve, because “she” was the cause of his unhappiness.
    In both stories, the women awake the spirit of their men, but in your story the man recognizes the true value of his woman and embraces her. In your story the snake is a very positive symbol as well. This is why I prefer your story to mine.

  9. Bill says:

    To practice tapas is anything but a passive act. Tapas are strict austerity and we must turn away from the world we love. All around Parvati was the sensual world and in her mind she had to give up every sensation, the scent of the night flower, water, birdsong, the taste of plums or dates, until all connection with the earth is given up.
    It as if Shiva were waiting for Parvati’s desolation or wanted Parvati so starved, in the end, that she would refuse to see that finally nothing was left for her, as she turned away from the world so completely, and would believe instead, in the end, that Shiva was left for her.

  10. ppt says:

    Hi Mr. Kapur,
    I dont know if you have put this story in your own words, but I found a website which has this story with the exact words. I guess you need to give some references.
    http://www.lotussculpture.com/parvati1.htm

  11. Deepak Srinivasan says:

    Hi,
    Lu’s question, the gender specific active/passive roles as stereotypical…
    I personally have been asking this question, whether eastern hindu philosophy (i dont refer to it as religion, because it is a conglommeration of religions, like for example, two main streams, shaivsm and vaishnavism) is female power centric or claims to be male power oriented. Somehow, it is both and that that is because of its long history. I percieve humans in this geographic region asked this question time and again, what came first, the mother or the phallus? and at different times, depending on the energy quotients within the people of the culture, roles for active creative force was attributed to Shiva, Vishnu, Kali, Mahadevi etc…with alll their puranas claiming that all are the ultimate Brahman…so…
    to me, this resonates with Barbara Brennan’s (who happens to be a clairvoyant and a physicist)claim that the purpose of existence is not only to balance male and female energies within and merge and understand unity, but also to INDIVIDUATE into local spheres of energies of brahman, so there is definitely a unified force,but multiple essences…
    and actually, in eastern parts of India like manipur/assam, the indigenous peoples believed in the right-Active being feminine and the left-passive being masculine…so the feminine is the pro-active form..all interchangeable ultimately!
    anyway, i suddenly went into sharing my philosophy story whenI saw this post, forgetting it was a filmmakers blog…I has visited this link after a friend sent it to me and found \myth being discussed and was excited…excuse the philosophical slant to the post…just got carried away..
    Deepak

  12. AT says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have no intentions of comparing myself to you, but going through your thoughts, I very well feel the commonality between us. I have also huge inclination in the ancient and mythological literature and my favourite book is SHRIMADBHAGWATGITA.(actually its my life)
    I also belong to the Finance background as u were too, and I am also not enjoying or comfortable with my work, I very well feel that there are n number of ideas brimming up, but I wonder how to channelise them. I am a constant proscastinator which yields lot of stories in my mind, which I have started penning down as advised by one of my friends.
    I feel that I should be story teller, I dont know how to go about it. Can you give me a guidance in this regard.

  13. Jiten Bhardwaj says:

    Dear Shekharsaab
    Many years ago I remember following your tv programs on Channel 4, ithink. You had Shabana Azmi as one of the guests.
    (May I just correct that it is meditation not mediation.)
    I venture to send you a synopsis of my 30+ years of campaign in the UK for the sake of my child, well, she is a young lady now somewhere in England.
    As you are aware our kith & kin sacrificed their lives and resources for this, GB country in all the world wars and as it happens I went to Israel to help win them the Six-day war.
    Anyway, here it is, kindly breathe screen-life into it as you see fit.
    My other cinematic connections are through school:
    Parikshit Sahni and Sanjay Dutt but they are at the other end of the cameras, so here am I, chaff and chafing bits and all:
    A scoop of two centuries
    It is a scoop of the last and this century in the shape of a blog. It is well worth a wider audience. So am sending a copy to most of the reporters/correspondents as well, as soon as any one quotes chunks from it in her/his column I will supply more gripping facts and better details of miracles to that person. That will give the whole saga fuller contours of what it is: my decades long campaign in their own fatherland against the makers – and relinquishers – of the biggest empire ever. For the sake of my bright and lovely baby daughter, a young lady now living somewhere in England and for our kith and kin who with valour second to none sacrificed their lives in world war after world war in vain for Gt Britain, my dharma, duty bodes no other way.
    COPS Gazette Oct-Nov 06
    Over the last few years the Guardian, the Times and the Spectator have all cut-down their respective letter writers’ address till the latter were deprived of my posts. Infamy, the ‘free’ media, as they say in Carry-on films, has it in for me, for, I used to send the letter-writers unsolicited copies of COPS Gazette (CG): the latest issue is before you.
    Yes, I have appeared betimes in the Times letters columns with full address but that was before they put one and two together to find that the thorn in the side of the judiciary, police and the MPs is the same trouble-maker who writes letters to the papers in a semi-humorous vein. To perdition with me, not even a rejection slip comes my way now.
    Since you ask, my first letter in the Times some forty years ago was post-marked Layer de la Haye, Essex, it praised Harold Wilson’s stewardship in that during his regime a football club had won a European cup, England a cricket test series in the West Indies and the football World Cup and Sir Ivor the Derby.
    Yes, the Times Editor wrote to say that the last named (horse) had to be dropped in the published letter for it had been either born, sired or trained (or all three) abroad which disqualified it from being represented on the Wilson mantelpiece. My question was, which prime minister since, say Lord North, had a better record during his watch? We will go into what transpired after the Times published my letter, tomorrow, manana.
    Is it any wonder that when I fell foul of some sections of the pillocks of the establishment HW the PM let loose the dogs of police on me and passed the leash onto his successors. Forty years on am still losing a pound of flesh every time the regime changes.
    It seems my last appearance in the esteemed columns was at the time of the England cricket captain Atherton and his strange hand movement while fielding, as noted by the third umpire, making me wonder mildly if the captain’s odd hand movement in this post-Christian era was the equivalent of Hand of God during a football world cup match? More about that, yes, manana. It was posted from Bayford, Herts.
    I am trying to get CG more widely known, whether taken up by a columnist, playwright, novelist or a film producer etc for it shows yoga in action and that our dharmo rakhshti rakashtha (eternal laws protect those who live by them). You are welcome to make enquiries about myself before adopting this piece for publicity, writing a novel, Tv serial or a play based on its broad outline.
    I have been campaigning for over thirty years. The powers that-be have been unable to silence me, why, because my child’s welfare is, was at stake let alone her parents (Indo-English) too. [The campaign goes on, it is safer, marginally so, to keep shouting from rooftops.]
    My campaigns for election to the British parliament and my pamphlets would be libellous and slanderous to rightly land me in prison if my accusations were baseless. I have started exploring more urgently all avenues and media both (desi) Indian and international, as the years are at last catching up with me, so lets move on:
    Wonder if you will cast an eye on the synopsis hereabouts, am much more an active campaigner than anything else, taking on the might of the official British system in its own frontyard for decades on end is quite something. I continue to pay heavy price for it, is it possible for you to make the essence of what am on about available to a wider audience in India and abroad?
    If only the readers would send a reference of it to the various British High Commission (Embassy) just asking if there is any truth in my accusations, it would help. If the British say no, there is no truth in my accusations then why don’t they take me to court for libel and slander instead of heaping all sorts of trumped up charges on me along with police harassment, persecution, duffing-up while handcuffed (ask police Sgt Holmes & Co, Insp Ms Carpender, of Herts, Beds police 1970’s) and wrongful imprisonments.
    For what it is worth I hold the world record for most appearances in courts on trumped-up charges, about 200 and counting.
    If some brave soul does write to the High Commission and/or to a bigwig in London and keeps up the correspondence with pertinent follow-up questions, I would happily reward the brave heart £100 for expenses etc on receipt of the original letters or their bona fide copies. I am willing to pay the hundred pounds to each of the first seven do-gooders who keep in touch with emails to me.
    Yes I have nearly one thousand pounds sterling to spare for such a just cause because we as a people have paid dearly with life and resources to our erstwhile British empire masters to save them in their world wars and for their greed. And, I went to Israel’s aid in the Six-day war but some years later in the U.K the Jews tore my young family apart. More:
    Double-crossed by the Jewish & Christian wadua*
    Indians in their millions including my two elder brothers helped Britain win the world wars. [My brothers: the late Lt-Col M.L Bhardwaj of 1/1 Gorkhas and Capt Ram Swarup Bhardwaj of 3/9 Gorkhas who was later killed in action in the Kashmir war at Poonch;- war memorial at Dharamshala commemorates his sacrifice.]
    I joined the Artillery Regiment but rheumatic fever affected my heart valve, therefore I was medically boarded out on pension at age 19, then emigrated to U.K, so, our kith & kin put their lives on the line with valour second to none and won the world wars for the Allies. I opted to go to Israel to help it win the Six-day war. Lets see what Britain and its white Jews & Xtians bestow by way of thanks on those with colour in the skin like me.
    Playing the royal card
    May I drop a few names to advance the cause I have been pursuing for the past few decades in England, the campaign was stopped more than once but the authorities would neither redress the horrid wrongs nor forget about me.
    As it happens the Daily Telegraph (London) carried the news of my divorce on the front page about 30 years ago. I was shown it when I went to meet my informally adopted mother, the late Miss Rose W. Verner of Layer de la Haye, Essex. Miss Verner was a keen ornithologist, so another war-spinster of the village, the late Miss Cicely Poland, used to say that Rose Verner had three passions in her life, to wit:
    Bird-watch, Badger-watch and Bhardwaj.
    Miss Verner pre-deceased Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by a few years, they were cousins. The Verners male line had died out about forty years earlier thanks to the wars so they ceased to appear in Burkes Peerage, the lords bible.
    The last but not the least name I wish to drop, I mean uphold is the late Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, one of the Few that won the Battle of Britain. We met in India, he and his team were working in a lepers’ colony. I was cured of my dread of catching the awful disease of disfigurement and worked for the Cheshire Homes there and later on in England in the Home for the Incurably Ill.
    Both my elder brothers held the King’s Commission in the last War, the eldest was in the thick of war from day one, going up and down Burma and Malaya. By the time the middle brother was commissioned into the British India army the tide of war did begin to turn in the Allied’s favour.
    Now we turn to my, well, derring-do:
    U.K Jews and their Xtian cohorts tore apart my young family, usurped our house 30+ years ago by perverting the course of justice
    I am the Indian EX-zionist, was back in Luton after many years to appear in its Crown Court on Wednesday 16th August 06. Am still naming the culprits who tore apart my family and usurped our house. Thanks to a few miracles I have survived the official plan to have me certified insane, locked-up in Pentonville prison for ‘life’, wrongful imprisonments, being handcuffed and duffed-up.
    Why? All because in the beginning I had contested a parliamentary election to proclaim in public that I had been convicted in a London court on a trumped-up charge of assaulting police Sgt Hole outside the House of Commons. From then on I am a marked man.
    Clerks of the court at St Albans and Luton’s Tunstall were bully boys as was police Sgt Holmes and his gang. Insp Sains (Essex Police in the 60’s), Comd Ayling (Met Police 70’s) & Supt Wardop? (of Herts, 80’s), each ‘investigated’ my formal complaints only to dismiss them; I have made no formal complaint of other instances of wrongful arrests and imprisonments etc but I write about them in my leaflets.
    Am presently on bail. My next court appearance is on Fri 24 November 06, 9-45AM (postponed yet again, to 15 Feb 2007 as the police witness failed to turn-up for some unknown reason) at the Stevenage Magistrates’ Court; it has already accused me of contempt of court for submitting in my defence a less trenchant copy of CG than this.
    The leaders of the culprits were the MPs C Simeons, I Clemitson & G Bright now replaced by M Roe, O Heald and P Lilley; the perverters of the course of justice: lawyers Nathan Miller of Miller & Co, David Young of Wms & Co, Thakrar & Co, the learned (sick) counsels Francis Phillimore, C Miskin, Jane Phillips; misc: Gerry Silver, ISKCON et al.
    To think our kith & kin, with valour second to none, put their lives on the line in world war after world war to save this country from its fellow-Europeans and I went to Israel – not considered invincible then – to win the Six-day war in 1967, only to have the wadua* Euros speak to us with forked tongue. Without our sacrifices and resources Churchill’s Brits would have lost both wars.
    No, I had not forgotten that Nathan Miller is – (Was, eh? RIP, it is thirty years too late for me to doff my hat, now what? rot in peace is rip, ok) – he was a South African immigrant Jew and apartheid-trained lawyer. He and his cohorts were provided criminal cover-up by successive chief rabbis, Home Office ministers and all the Euro-Jews (Michael Howard, Lds Goldsmith, Janner, QCs, our ‘free’ media etc). I have contested a few more parliamentary elections, during the past couple of years, I was a candidate at the Brent East and Leicester South by-elections. The wadua* and their fellow-semitics have more learning to do from us heathens: why tag a baby with an Asbo** when
    1) daily yoga for babe in arms, better still on the outstretched legs of mother, followed by a massage will do wonders for them and later-on to the community, and
    2) Vedic maths will give such a stimulus to the 10 to 100 years old that far, far fewer miscreants and malcontent will roam the mother earth.
    Memo to jihadi & other terrorists: do it my way and live to name the culprits to their face, cheers.
    Jiten Bardwaj, editor COPS Gazette – just an arresting name. Oct-Nov 2006.
    *wadua: white as death uber alles.
    **Asbo: Anti-social behaviour order, if unaware. Prime Minister Blair has lately pronounced that the new-born could be marked for corrective measures by the state.

  14. Prabhjit Dhamija says:

    Hi Shekhar, The inner God in me seems to be in tune or in creative harmony(a better word, if word can make my point) with your inner God….i am 33 and its been a feeling from years.
    Being a human, i somehow have this belief that the realised ones if they stay back in worldly life(like movies etc. in your case) are surely going to be flowered with a very wonderful family life. And I was quite sure about you too – a few years back. I am curious to know the real TRUTH between you and your wife Suchitra. And I am sure you will have no inhibitions to share it.
    Additionaly, I am enlightened to know that you are inwardly considering to create a movie on budhdha…do it right from his materialstic life abundance to his complete spiritual abundance…it is going to be a real job, probably the most difficult and most sparkling effort of your life. Even I have always wanted to do it in my heart(as by-product of my spiritual inclination for the human race to live a truly complete life) and may do it in digital formnat…as i am not a film-maker by profession. All the best for your journey to the core of your existense.

  15. Rudra says:

    Shiva and Shakti are not mythologies , rather the spiritual history that makes up the eternal dharma of mankind otherwise called ‘Hinduism’ in these days.
    The story of Shiva and Shakti is handed down to us through the Smritis , or sacred compilations.Shiva’s body is eternal existence itself ,the supreme godhead , the source of divinity. Like water and wetness , there is really no real difference between Shiva and Shakti.
    The apparent difference is for those that cannot see deeper. Really , Shiva and SHakti are dynamic dual that wholly dissolve eachother and yet are independent.
    Human mind especially , those minds that are constrained to think of SHiva and Parvati as a story alone will never find the truth. In fact , Shiva and Shakti are the timeless eternal couple that form the source of all creation.
    The conversations of the SHiva and SHakti are the puranas and the tantras. In some instances , Shakti is the Guru and in other instances , SHiva is the Guru.
    Rudra.

  16. fari says:

    Very well written. Very impressive!

  17. John says:

    I am looking for the complete story of the wedding of Shiva and Shakti on the Internet. I’d be gratefull for any help.

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