OM Namah Shivaya – I bow to Shiva
In contemporary culture, Shiva is depicted in films, books, tattoos and art. He has been referred to as “the god of cool things” and a “bonafide rock hero”. Popular films include the Gujarati language movie Har Har Mahadev and well-known books include Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy, which has sold over a million copies. On television, Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev, a mythological drama about Shiva on the Life OK channel was among the most watched shows at its peak popularity. Shiva is also a character in the Xbox game Dark Souls, with the name Shiva of the East.
Parvati is the wife of the Hindu god Shiva – the protector, the destroyer and regenerator of universe and all life. She is the daughter of the mountain king Himavan and queen Mena. Parvati is the mother of Hindu deities Ganesha and Kartikeya. Some communities also believe her to be the sister of the god Vishnu and the river-goddess Ganga.
According to different versions of her myths, the maiden Parvati resolves to marry Shiva. Her parents learn of her desire, discourage her, but she pursues what she wants. Indra sends the god Kama – the Hindu god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, to awake Shiva from meditation. Kama reaches Shiva and shoots an arrow of desire. Shiva opens his third eye in his forehead and burns the cupid Kama to ashes. Parvati does not lose her hope or her resolve to win over Shiva. She begins to live in mountains like Shiva, engage in the same activities as Shiva, one of asceticism, yogin and tapas. This draws the attention of Shiva and awakens his interest. He meets her in disguised form, tries to discourage her, telling her Shiva’s weaknesses and personality problems. Parvati refuses to listen and insists in her resolve. Shiva finally accepts her and they get married. Shiva dedicates the following hymn in Parvati’s honor,
I am the sea and you the wave,
You are Prakṛti, and I Purusha.
– Translated by Stella Kramrisch
After the marriage, Parvati moves to Mount Kailash, the residence of Shiva. To them are born Kartikeya , and Ganesha – the god of wisdom that prevents problems and removes obstacles.
Shiva is considered the Great Yogi who is totally absorbed in himself – the transcendental reality. He is the Lord of Yogis, and the teacher of Yoga to sages. As Shiva Dakshinamurthi, states Stella Kramrisch, he is the supreme guru who “teaches in silence the oneness of one’s innermost self (atman) with the ultimate reality (brahman).
Har Har MahaDev
‘Everyone is Lord Shiva’