Hindu Goddess Parvati: Story & Other Names

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  • 0:04 Parvati, Daughter of…
  • 0:48 Marriage and Children
  • 1:39 Parvati's Other Forms
  • 2:31 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Tommi Waters

TK Waters has a bachelor's degree in literature and religious studies and a master's degree in religious studies and teaches Hebrew Bible at Western Kentucky University.

Parvati is the mother of two important Hindu gods, Kartikeya and Ganesha, and the consort of Shiva the Destroyer, but you may not know much about her. Learn more about Parvati and her various incarnations in this lesson.

Parvati, Daughter of the Mountain

Perhaps you know a bit about Shiva the Destroyer, one of the major gods of Hinduism. Shiva was in love with Sati, but when she died, he went into a deep depression and retreated to a cave. However, he was supposed to be the father of a great warrior. Eventually, he married his consort Parvati, who has an interesting story and several manifestations. Let's learn a bit more about her.

Parvati is an incarnation of the mother goddess of Hinduism, Shakti, who takes many incarnations through Hindu legend. Shiva was supposed to have a great warrior child, but he was withdrawn and heartbroken after the death of Sati. Shakti incarnated herself as Parvati and was born to the mountain Himalaya, who was also a god, in order to marry Shiva to produce the promised warrior son.

Marriage and Children

Parvati didn't find it easy to make Shiva fall in love with her. She waited on him like a servant, trying to help Shiva out of his depression, but he would not even look at her. She withdrew to the forest as an ascetic, which is someone who undergoes self-discipline and avoids partaking in desires of the flesh. Parvati was given the name Aparna during this period.

Because Parvati was on a similar ascetic level as Shiva after her time as Aparna, he decided to marry her. The two lived in the kingdom of Kailasa, which was on top of the mountain at the center of the universe. They lived together well, partaking in dice and other games together. Because Shiva was supposed to have a great warrior son, Parvati helped him birth Kartikeya by passing Shiva's seed along to various deities to create this god. Parvati wanted another son, though Shiva did not, and decided to make one from clay and earth. This became Ganesha, the elephant-headed god.

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