Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Om Namah Shivaaya

Hari OM

Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.

Monday is Maha-Shivraatri, the great night of Lord Shiva and His consort Parvati. Recall that last year, for each of February's Story-days, articles were written describing aspects of the Mighty One, He who sees to it that what is no longer required is destroyed, in order that what is new can arise. See the side bar for Sri Shiva label to review these.

India has many festivals, it cannot have escaped notice. Many, though, are local to certain geographical areas, or to specific cultural groups. There are several to which many attend on a larger scale and this is one such. All over India, some form of worship of Lord Shiva will take place.

It can be easy to look upon this deity and forget that the festival is about marriage and not birth, as majority other festivals are generally about. Whilst a significant focus is upon the Lord, Parvati is a strong figure Herself. Other names include Maheshvari (the power of the Lord Shiva), Mahodari (the 'large belly'...holding the universe as mother), Tapasvini (woman of austerities), Vaishnavi (invincible)… there 108 names, as is the tradition of all deities and gurus. Shakti (energy, power, strength) is the essence of this Goddess - that which feeds the creative and destructive forces as embodied by the trinity. Shakti appeared in many forms as the consort to all three aspects of the cycle of creation as represented by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  Without the Goddess principle, the God principle is nothing!

In Her own right, the Goddess took ten 'aspects', or forms. All these ten aspects are jointly known as Dasamahaavidyas and each one of them is a form that She undertook to destroy evil and bless Her worshippers.
   : Kali is the first representation of Goddess Parvati and She was known as the destroyer. She is also known as the Goddess of time.
   : Tara is known as the source from which the universe evolves as She is known to represent the power of the golden embryo. Boundless space or void is the other thing that She is known to represent.
   : Sodasi is the third representation of Goddess Parvati and is known to represent perfection and fullness.
   : The forces of the material world are represented by Vidya Bhuvanevari
   : Desires and temptations that often lead to destruction and death are represented by the fifth form of Goddess Parvati known as Bhairavi.
   : Vidya Chinnamasta is the sixth form of Goddess Parvati and is known to represent the created world in a continuous cycle of creation and destruction.
   : Destroying the world by fire is the seventh form of Goddess Parvati and is known as Dhumavati. After the world is destroyed by fire only the smoke and ashes will remain
   : Vidya Bagala is the eight form of the Goddess and is known to represent cruelty, hatred and jealousy. These are the negative aspects of any individual.
   : The power of domination is represented by the ninth form of Goddess Parvati and is known as Matangi.
   : Vidya Kamala, who is also known as Lakshmi, is said to be the Goddess of fortune.

Thus, in celebration of Masculine, the Feminine as acknowledged fully; two sides of the same coin. Indeed, there is a deity figure (murti) which represents this essential connection. 
The name is अर्धनारीश्वर/Ardhanārīśvara.

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  1. When I was very young, I thought being "consort" to a powerful man or god would be rather wonderful.
    Then I learned the meaning of "consorting with" as in "consorting with criminals" and I didn't like the idea quite as much, unless I could choose my favourite dashing/daring criminal.
    After that, I think, an automobile manufacturer called one of its cars a "Consort" — and that ruined the whole word for me, right then and there.
    Looking forward to seeing you this year, definitely in Scotland and maybe in Canada. Must look up flights from here to Ontario.
    Luv, K

    1. Hari OM
      The verb 'consort' certainly is as you describe in terms of 'being in cahoots'. The noun 'consort' pertains to the spouse of a reigning monarch, or simply to a husband or wife in terms of meaningful and fulfilling companionship. Thus your youthful desire was just fine and - I think - you may have become such, or found such, with regards to R.S. ...

      Ah the vagaries of the English language! Yxx


Hari OM
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