Monday, November 28, 2011


Shiva has a name called as Tripurantaka. ["Tri" means Three, "pura" means cities and "antaka" means destroyer. Tripurantaka means "the one who destroyed the three cities."] Do you know how he got that name?
The demon Taraka was destroyed by Lord Kartikeyan. After the defeat of Tarakasura, all the other asuras were driven to the underworld [it is called as "paatala"]. Tarakasura had three sons – Taarakaksha, Kamalaksha and Vidyumaali. Like their father they also wanted to be the most powerful of all creatures. The three asuras were also devout devotees of Lord Shiva. The three of them decided that penance was the only way to great power and performed sever penance for thousands of years. They prayed to Lord Brahma the Creator.
After they had performed penances for many years, Lord Brahma was pleased with them and appeared before them.
"Sons of Taraka, open your eyes." He said sprinkling water from his kamandalam on them.
The three of them were roused from their meditation and were delighted when they saw Lord Brahma. They bowed before Lord Brahma.
Lord Brahma said, "I am very pleased with your penances! Ask me anything within my power and I will grant the boon to you."
Vidyumaali spoke first, "Lord we should be the most powerful of all the creatures that you have created."
Lord Brahma smiled, "That is easy." When Lord Brahma raised his hands and blessed the three of them, Vidyumaali felt a great energy run through him. He flexed his muscles and turned to see his two brothers. Looking at the two of them, he realized that they were also as powerful as him.
The three of them turned to Lord Brahma and bowed before him. Lord Brahma smiled again, "Sons, your penance has been great. You still can ask for one more boon, if you desire..."
"Lord Brahma, if you please..," Tarakaksha cut in before either of his brothers could make another wish. "we would like to confer with each other, before we make a wish." Lord Brahma nodded as the three brothers huddled together, deciding what to ask next.
Tarakaksha said, "Brothers we cannot ask for immortality. Lord Brahma, always believes that whatever or whoever is born has to we have to ask for something else..."
Kamalaksha said, "Brother we have been living in the paatala all the time. We should also be able to live in the earth, skies and even the heaven! We have as much right as the Devas to live in the heavens..."
Vidyumaali cut in, "That is not important Kamalaksha,..we have to first make sure we are safe from the attacks of the devas. They keep attacking us and we are defenceless to protect ourselves from them..."
Tarakaksha held up his hands, as he thought over what his brothers had said. "All these things are important and I am know how we are going to get it..."
Vidyumaali and Kamalaksha saw as Tarakaksha turned to Lord Brahma, with a twinkle in his eyes. "Lord we have decided and please confer us with this boon..." Lord Brahma nodded asking him to continue.
"Lord we wish for three fortresses, it should be very strong and very difficult to break. The first fortress must be made of iron and it should be on the earth. The second one should be made of silver and float in the skies and the third fortress must be made of gold and must fly in the heavens." Brahma nodded puzzled by the boon, "The forts will be separate from one another and must come together only very rarely. Only a single arrow which can bring all the three forts together and burn them should be able to destroy us." Tarakaksha finished feeling very proud of himself. His reasoning was very simple. It would extremely difficult for anyone to shoot one arrow at three cities which would be together so rarely. He looked at his brother and his brothers looked back at him proudly, knowing that he had asked the right boon.
Brahma was however puzzled as he could not imagine the reason behind such a boon. However as he had promised to grant them the boons, he had no choice but to say yes to the boon.
Lord Brahma, then summoned Maya. Maya was a renowned asura architect. He was such a skilled engineer that he could build anything with his hands. Lord Brahma called Maya and explained about the three fortresses to Maya.
A born engineer, Maya was delighted at this challenge and soon set about building the strong fortresses, two of which would be flying. Maya completed the fortresses and handed them over to the three asuras. Tarakaksha, being the eldest and the one who had made the wish got the golden fortress and lived in the heavens. Kamalaksha being the second son took the silver fortress in the skies and Vidyumaali took the iron fortress. The three brothers knew that they would not see other for a long time as the forts would rarely come at the same time bid goodbye to each other and went to their own fortresses.
The three fortresses being very strong was a safe place for the asuras inside. The three brothers ruled the place well and did not cause any hindrance to anybody. They lived peacefully and happily. The asuras from all over the world and the paatala came to live in the three fortresses and soon the fortresses were haven for all asuras.
The Devas were however jealous of the asuras well-being. Time and again they had tried and had failed to destroy Tripura [three cities]. However they also knew that there was nothing they could do about it either. The Asuras were not doing anything wrong and were just enjoying their lives without hurting other people. The Devas knew that the Trimurty [The Trinity of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma] would never destroy anyone who had not harmed anyone. The Devas had no choice but to wait for the Asuras to go to their cruel ways again.
Finally the inevitable happened. The asuras drunk by their power and feeling that they were invincible, wreaked havoc on the universe. They forgot the ways of peace and forgot they were great devotees of Lord Shiva. The Asuras started attacking the Devas and the sages and harassed them.
The war between the Devas and the Asuras was terrible. The war went so furiously that the earth actually slipped from the axis. Worried the Devas prayed to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu came in the form of the bull and picked up the earth in his horns and placed the earth correctly back in the axis.
However the Devas were unable to destroy the Asuras. The fortress was proving to be invaluable to the Asuras as the Devas could not penetrate it, let alone destroy it. The Devas tired of losing to the asuras went to Lord Brahma for help. Lord Brahma told the Devas of the boons he had granted the three asuras and how they could be destroyed.
"A single arrow!?..." Indra glanced incredulously at Lord Brahma, wondering how Lord Brahma had granted such a boon. "...How could anybody destroy not one... but three cities with one arrow?" Agni immediately sat down heavily on the throne behind him. "We are doomed..." he whispered. Agni still remembered that in the last battle, the Asuras had not just defeated them, the Devas had been demoralised.
"There is a way son," Lord Brahma was anguished that his boon had caused so much suffering to the Devas and the sages. The Devas looked at Lord Brahma expectantly, "The three cities is about to line up very shortly..."
Indra through up his hands, interrupting Lord Brahma. "A single arrow?...I don't think...I don't think anyone of us can shoot the three of the cities with a single arrow..."
"And, in what material do we make such an arrow, to pierce through the three cities..."Varuna started looking desperately, "It is impossible.." He said burying his head in his hands.
Lord Brahma replied softly, "Do not interrupt me, the next time. There is one person who can do this..." The Devas looked at Lord Brahma with disbelief. "...Lord Shiva..." Lord Brahma said. "Lord Shiva can shoot the three cities with a single arrow...."
No sooner had Lord Brahma uttered these words, the Devas rushed to see Lord Shiva in Kailash.
"Lord please save us..." Indra first fell on Lord Shiva's feet. The other gods followed. "You are the only one, who can save us, please Lord..."
Lord Shiva smiled, "What is the matter, Indra?"
Indra looked at the God, "Please Lord, do not pretend like you do not know anything...the asuras...Tarakaksha, Kamalaksha..." Indra trembled, thinking of the defeat at their hands, " and...Vidyumaali...Lord you have to save us..."
Lord Shiva looked at them sharply, "You were jealous of them, when they lived well and did no harm to you... were you not?"
The Devas hung their heads in shame knowing that they could not counter the God"s argument. "You were just always prayign that one of us would destroy Tripura did you not?...Then I guess you deserve this..." Lord Shiva said still looking angry.
Indra stood up still trembling, "Lord, we made mistakes but not punish us. Please save us... We are lost without you..."
Lord Shiva looked at the gods long and hard and deciding that they had learnt their lesson dropped the matter. He continued briskly, "I will do it..." The Devas looked surprised as they were expecting to get yelled some more. Surprise turned to joy as the Devas heard the words of Lord Shiva.
"Thank you lord...Thank you..." Indra shivered as he bowed once more to the three-eyed God.
"But there is something you need to do..." The gods looked as Lord Shiva spoke, "you have to make all the preparations for battle...Prepare the chariot and the weapons for me."
"How do we do that, my Lord?" Agni asked softly, still not believing that Lord Shiva had agreed to help them.
"Make Prithvi [the earth] my chariot, if Lord Brahma consents, he will be my charioteer, Chandra and Surya..." He said pointing to the Sun God and the Moon God, who came forward, "you will be the wheels of the chariot." The Gods bowed. Lord Shiva then turned to the other gods, "Break up Mount Meru to be my bow and ask Vasuki, the Snake God to be the Bow string and..." Lord Shiva said softly, "ask Lord Vishnu, if he is willing to be the arrow..." The Devas nodded realising that Tripura could not be destroyed easily. There was a lot of work to be done.
It did not take a lot of convince Lord Brahma to be the charioteer. When the Devas approached Lord Vishnu to be the arrow, Lord Vishnu smiled. There was a huge arrow there in Lord Vishnu"s place. It gleamed and looked so sharp and beautiful that the Devas joy knew no bounds. They knew that Tripura"s days were numbered.
As the gods were taking the Vishnu arrow to Lord Shiva, Agni came with Vayu, after breaking up Mount Meru and had made the bow.
Agni spoke first, "I don't understand, why Lord Brahma said, Lord Shiva is the only one who can shoot the three cities," He said looking at the sharp Vishnu arrow, "Why, with this arrow and bow even I can hit the three cities...It is no big deal..."
The other gods also slowly voiced their opinion. Indra said, "I don't think Lord Shiva could have done with without our help..."
Then Vayu continued, "So we can say, we are the ones who actually are going to destroy Tripura, not Lord Shiva..."
" are at Kailash..." Indra cautioned, as the gods arrived at Lord Shiva's home and silently handed over the weapons to the God.
After taking the weapons, Lord Shiva spoke, "Tomorrow, the three cities will align themselves, I will take care of the rest.."
The gods smirked slightly thinking that they were the ones who had actually done all the hard work, whereas Lord Shiva was claiming that he was going to destroy Tripurantaka....
Lord Shiva said nothing.
The next morning, the cities were aligning themselves, Lord Shiva got on the chariot, when the hub of the wheel broke. The gods looked aghast wondering how such a thing could happen. However Lord Shiva remembered that he had forgotten to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganapati, his son before starting a new venture. [It is customary among Hindus to invoke Lord Ganesha as he is considered the remover of all obstacles.]
After Lord Shiva prayed to Lord Ganesha, and set the hub right and the chariot took off!
The three cities aligned together and the gods were looking proudly of how they were responsible for the destruction of Tripura, when Lord Shiva got out of the chariot. The Devas looked at surprise when the God smiled when the three cities were perfectly aligned. The three cities started burning when Lord Shiva smiled at the three cities. The smile had destroyed the three cities and not the war machines of the Gods.
The Gods looked aghast and realised that they had committed a second blunder, they had been too proud of themselves and had not realised the true power of the Lord. Again shame-faced, they looked on as Tripura burnt and their weapons were lying useless!
Lord Brahma interfered on behalf of the Devas, "Shiva, please do not do this. I agree that they were proud and they had not realised your power but please do not do this..."
Lord Shiva remained unmoving . Lord Brahma continued, "If you do not use the weapons of the Gods, they would always have a bad name...Please Shiva..." Lord Brahma pleaded for quiet some time when Lord Shiva finally relented. He then got on the chariot and shot the Vishnu arrow from the bow made of Mount Meru on the already burning Tripura.
Thus along with the destruction of Tripura, Lord Shiva also destroyed the ego of the Gods. It is believed that the Rudraksha came from Lord Shiva's eyes, when he destroyed Tripura. [Rudra is Shiva and aksha is eye]
The gods with their pride humbled, worshipped Tripurantaka – the destroyer of the three cities of the asuras.

The remaining asuras came to Lord Shiva and begged for forgiveness. Realising that the asuras had leant from their mistakes, Lord Shiva smiled and made them his Shivaganas[Shiva's attendants]!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Matsya Avatar

In Hindu mythology there are four eras [yuga] – Satya yuga, Treta yuga, Dwapara yuga and Kali yuga. Each Yuga is supposed to be a day for Lord Brahma. One day of Lord Brahma is 4320 million human years. After the end of every yuga Lord Brahma goes to sleep. The power of Lord Brahma’s creation comes from the Vedas. When Lord Brahma sleeps there is no creation and the universe comes to an end.
Lord Vishnu is the God of Preservation. Whenever the earth was in danger and when evil threatens to overpower good, Lord Vishnu descends from the heaven to incarnate on the earth. There are ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. [Dasavatar – Das meaning "ten" and avatar is "incarnation", the last avatar – Kalki avatar is yet to come] The first avatar of Lord Vishnu is called as Matsya Avatar [Matsya means "fish"].
In the Satya Yuga there was a king by name Manu. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. His greatest desire was to see Lord Vishnu with his own eyes. For this he performed severe penances for thousands of years.
The Satya Yuga was about to end and a great flood was to come and destroy all the life on earth to start afresh for the next Yuga. Lord Brahma after a day full of creation, was tired. He wanted to go to sleep and was soon snoring loudly.
While Lord Brahma was sleeping an asura Hayagriva emerged from Brahma’s nose. With Brahma asleep, Hayagriva realized that it was the right time to take in all the knowledge of the Vedas. Hayagriva concentrated and soon absorbed the knowledge in the Vedas. He then hid deep inside the ocean, thinking that nobody would find him there.
Lord Vishnu saw this and was worried. If the Vedas were stolen by the asura, the knowledge of the Vedas could not be passed on to the Next Yuga. As a Preserver, it was his job to make sure the knowledge survived to the next Yuga.
Wondering what to do, Lord Vishnu looked at Manu performing penance. Lord Vishnu smiled realizing that he could complete quiet a lot than just save the Vedas…
The next morning, Manu went to the river to begin his prayers. He took the water in his hands and held it high above his head and offered it to the Lord Vishnu to mark the beginning of his prayer. He was about to pour the water into the river, when he heard a tiny voice from his hands. "O great king! Please do not put me back in the river…"
Surprised Manu stared at his hands. In the palms of his hands was a tiny fish, squirming. The fish looked at Manu, pleading, "Please do not put me back in the water. There are so many bigger fishes in the water, they will eat me. Please, O great king…"
Manu looked at the tiny fish with pity. As a king it was his duty to protect anybody who came to him for help. The king readily agreed and put the fish inside his "kamandalam". [Kamandalam is a small jug carried by sages in those days to carry water]
Manu finished his penance and went home for the night. He had left the fish inside the kamandalam, knowing that the fish would be safe inside. He woke up next morning hearing a strong voice, "O king…Help me…Your kamandalam is stifling me. I cannot breath in here…" Surprised Manu looked at his kamandalam, only to find a big fish staring at him from the top of the kamandalam. The fish was pushing the sides of the jug as the jug was too small for it.
Overcoming his surprise, Manu ran inside his house to get a bigger vessel. The fish gulped few breaths and said softly, "Thank you, kind king."
Manu smiled and was about to walk out the home to begin his morning prayers, when he heard an even more powerful voice, "King, this vessel in too small for me. Please get me another one."
Manu blankly stared as the fish stared out of the vessel he had got just minutes back. The fish was again struggling for breath. Manu brought the biggest vessel in his house and threw the fish inside it. The fish thanked him and after checking that the vessel was big enough for the fish, still puzzled, was about to walk out of the house, when he heard a strong voice, "I am sorry this vessel is also not sufficient for me, king"
Manu stared in disbelief as he saw the huge fish stare out of the big vessel. However realizing that this was not the time for questions, he carried the fish and ran to the river, where he had found the fish and threw the fish inside.
The fish gulped a few breaths inside water, "Thank you…king. You have protected me. But please don't leave me here. I am afraid the other bigger fishes may eat me…"
Manu began to get suspicious, but he was a king. He could not just stop protecting someone who had come to him for help. He stared at the fish for long and before his very eyes saw the fish getting larger and larger, till it had covered up the entire river.
The same routine followed again. Manu carried the fish from one river to another river, but the fish kept getting bigger.
Finally he dropped the fish inside the ocean, only to find that the fish grown to full one side of the ocean. Looking at gigantic fish, a sudden flash came to Manu. He bowed before the fish, "Narayana, you are Lord."
The fish smiled, "You wanted to see me and here I have come." Manu stared with tears in his eyes, as a huge horn grew on the head of the fish.
"My Lord, you have granted me my only desire. I want nothing more. What do you want me to do now?" Manu said prostrating before the fish.
"Manu, the Yuga is about to end in seven days. There will be a great flood and all living things on the earth would perish. I want you to build a big ship. Take the seeds of all plants, the male and female of every animal, and the seven sages along with their families. Take them all on the ship"
Manu nodded. The fish continued. "Don't forget to bring Vasuki, the snake God also." Manu nodded again as he watched the fish tear through the ocean to the other side.
One half of the fish’s work completed, the fish went to the other side to complete the other reason for the incarnation. On the other end of the ocean, the fish saw Hayagriva guarding the Vedas. Seeing the huge fish, Hayagriva was terrified. What a huge fish…However no sooner than he had thought this, the fish attacked him. The fish was so huge, that a single push sent the asura reeling. Still dazed Hayagriva tried fighting the fish, but the fish was huge and powerful.
After a brief and futile struggle, the asura was dead. Once the asura was dead, the vedas imbibed by him went back to Lord Brahma, who was still asleep.
On the other side of the ocean Manu was building his ship. He had also brought the seven sages with their families.
Soon there were torrential rains which washed away everything. The water level kept increasing and very soon there was a flood. The ship wobbled and many times was about to capsize, but Manu and that others were steadfast in their belief that Lord Vishnu would protect them.
Soon the fish came as promised, "Manu, use Vasuki as a rope to tie my horn to the ship" It bellowed loudly, above the roar of the rain.
Once the fish was tied to the ship, the fish guided the ship in sea and kept the ship safe while the storm raged outside. The fish taught the Vedas to Manu and the others during the voyage. After the storm abated and everything was washed away, the fish deposited the ship at Mount Himavan for the people there to continue the new yuga.

Click here for audio story. Voices by SA Krishnan and family

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati

We know that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Goddess Parvati is Lord Shiva’s Shakti, his power.

Do you know how they got married? The story of their marriage starts with the evil demon – Tarakasura.
Tarakasura was a very powerful demon and had performed severe penances. Neither the humans nor the Devas were powerful enough to defeat Tarakasura. Tarakasura terrorised the Devas and the humans. Though the Devas tried to fight back, they could not match the demon’s power or ferocity.
Unable to fight Tarakasura, all the humans and the Devas went to Lord Brahma for help. That was when Lord Brahma told them that only Lord Shiva’s child was powerful enough to destroy the demon Tarakasura.
The Devas were in a fix. Lord Shiva had married Goddess Sati. However since Sati's death, Lord Shiva had retreated to the Himalayas and was deep in penance. His meditation was so deep powerful that he could not be disturbed.
The Devas then again went to Lord Brahma for help. Brahma asked them to worship Mahadevi, the great Goddess of which Sati was an incarnation.
The Devas worshipped Mahadevi. Mahadevi appeared before them and told the Devas that she would reincarnate and marry Shiva. Their offspring would defeat Tarakasura.
Soon enough Himavat, king of Himalayan Kingdom and his Queen Menaka had a beautiful girl child. They named the child "Parvati". Parvati means "of the hills".
Parvati was a beautiful child, full of zest in her childhood. However she was fiercely devoted to Lord Shiva. Even in her childhood she preferred praying to Lord Shiva, instead of playing with her friends.
Parvati was very well educated and very beautiful. Fame of her beauty and intelligence spread throughout the country. Suitors came from different parts of the country to marry her. However Parvati rejected all of them. She wanted to marry Lord Shiva and no one else.
When she repeatedly rejected her suitors her father asked her, "Parvati, don't you wish to get married? Why do you keep rejecting all the princes who have come?"
Parvati looked defiantly at her father, "Father, have you seen the princes? She said looking scornfully, "I cannot marry them...They are not what I want..."
Queen Menaka said quietly, "Does that mean that there is someone else you want?" She asked smiling at Parvati.
Parvati blushed, "Mother!"
King Himavat looked surprised looking from mother and daughter. "Well, who is it?"
Parvati shyly stared at her feet and whispered, "Lord Shiva," her eyes shining radiantly.
King Himavat though flabbergasted at first, then slowly nodded his head. Yes Lord Shiva, the Lord of the three worlds was the good match for his daughter.
But then he remembered how Shiva had become an ascetic and was deep in penance. "Parvati, my child. Lord Shiva has retired to the Himalayas. How can you hope to marry him..."
"Narayana...Narayana..." A mischievous voice came from behind them. All the three of them turned around startled, to see Sage Narada behind them. Sage Narada was Brahma’s son and roamed all around world. He was a mischievous sage and always getting himself and others in trouble. The only reason he always escaped from being cursed was all his exploits always ended well for all the people concerned.
Sage Narada knew that Parvati was Goddess Mahadevi reincarnated and had come to marry Lord Shiva.
Parvati was the first one to salute Sage Narada. Sage Narada blessed her and said, "You are born to be the mother of the Worlds. You have to go and fulfil your destiny."
King Himavat and Queen Menaka also saluted Sage Narada. King Himavat then said, "Sir, Parvati wants to marry Lord Shiva...She has just told us..."
Sage Narada then turned to Parvati, "What you have chosen is not an easy path to follow. But you must succeed. Not just for your own sake but for the sake of many other people. It is your destiny." Parvati felt something deep stir within her. But she still could not fully realise that she was the great Goddess Mahadevi.
Sage Narada then turned to King Himavat, "Take your daughter to Lord Shiva. Ask him to accept Parvati's help to perform his daily prayers. "
King Himavat nodded. Sage Narada, his work accomplished vanished from there.
The next day, along with Parvati, King Himavat travelled to the foot of the Himalayas, where Lord Shiva was meditating. They waited patiently for Lord Shiva to open his eyes.
Lord Shiva opened his eyes after a long time not even aware that the two of them were there. He first saw Paravti but was not able to recognise that Parvati was infact his Shakti – his beloved Sati. He then turned his attention to King Himavat. "What brings you here, King?" He asked.
King Himavat bowed, "My Lord, this is my daughter Parvati. She has been your fierce devotee from her childhood. She wishes to serve you while you do your puja."
Shiva nodded and agreed to it. "If that is what she desires, then she can help me around." King Himavat then left Paravti there and left for his kingdom.
Shiva nodded to Parvati, "I am going too need some flowers for the puja. Would you please..."
Parvati nodded and left in search of the flowers...
Soon she was with Lord Shiva and helped him in everything. While he was meditating, she would wait on him gazing at him. She would have all the things ready so that he could perform the puja after his meditation.
The Devas sighed with relief when they saw Parvati waiting on Lord Shiva. They thought that soon Parvati would convince Shiva to marry her. However, as the days passed, the Devas grew worried. Parvati's charm was not working on Shiva. Shiva remained immune to her. They were not sure how long they could hold up against Tarakasura. So in order to speed things up, they went to Kamadeva – the God of Love.
Indra the Lord of the Devas explained to Kamadeva, "I think Parvati needs our help. Shiva is not affected by Parvati's charm or beauty. I think you have to break his meditation by firing your love arrow at him so that he can atleast notice Parvati's beauty."
Kamadeva thought that over, "But Parvati would win over Lord Shiva. The Great Mahadevi promised us. Why should we interfere?"
Indra sighed, "Tarakasura is becoming a menance. None of our powers combined can match his power and he has been hurting innocent people. We have speed things up..."
Finally Kamadeva agreed and decided to help them out, "Yes. I will do it."
Kamadeva went home to tell his wife about his "assignment". Rati however was not happy. "But Shiva is deep in his penance. Won"t he be angry if he learns that you have disturbed his penance?"
Kamadeva’s eyes momentarily clouded. But then as he resolutely nodded his head and smiled, "Yes. But even if it so, I have to do this. Don’t worry my dear." He said stroking Rati’s cheek and smiled, "I will be back."
Rati gave a fearful smile and realised that her husband’s mind was made up. She gave Kamadeva a forced smile and nodded her head.
Kamadeva picked up his flowery bow with the sugarcane arrows and went to the place where Shiva was meditating.
There Parvati was helping Shiva, collect the flowers. She was arranging the flowers, when Kamadeva picked up his bow and fired five arrows at Lord Shiva.
Shiva momentarily felt a sudden jerk as if being awakened. He suddenly gazed at Parvati as if realizing for the first time how beautiful she actually was. He felt captivated by Parvati's beauty and was about to talk to her, when Lord Shiva shook his head. Something is not right. I should not be thinking of this. My Sati is dead. I am performing penance. I cannot be attracted to another woman now. Lord Shiva resolutely pulled himself together. Through his power of meditation he realised that Kamadeva had been upto some mischief because of which he had lost concentration.
Lord Shiva has three eyes. His third eye is in his forehead and is always closed, for good reason. The third eye if opened would burn up anyone in its path!
Now Lord Shiva angrily blazed at Kamadeva and opened his third eye. Poor Kamadeva! He was burnt to ashes!
After burning up Kamadeva, Lord Shiva cooled down a little. He closed his third eye. But he was still angry with himself for losing his concentration. He angrily turned to Parvati, "I do not wish you to help me. Leave me alone. Your charms will not work on me. Leave and go back to your family." So saying Lord Shiva turned on his heel and stomped off to his retreat to continue with his penance, which had been disturbed by Kamadeva.
Parvati was distressed that Shiva had spoken harshly to her and had left her. Parvati was sure that no matter how much she cajoled Shiva, he would never agree to let her help him again.
Parvati realised that she could not give up now. The days she had been with Shiva, she realised that she was more in love with him than she realised.
She wondered how she was to make Shiva accept her, when she heard a familiar voice behind her. "Narayana... Narayana..."
Parvati turned and saluted Sage Narada. Looking at Sage Narada she knew that he was here to offer her help. Narada smiled and said, "You are right, my lady. Giving up is not an option. Lord Shiva cannot be won by charm and beauty, but he can be won by devotion."
Parvati looked at Narada and realised what she had to do. She would perform penance to win her love. Parvati was not afraid of the penance. In fact she welcomed it. Without saying a word, she saluted Narada and went to a grove in the Himalayas. No matter how hard it was , she would win her love.
Rati came to know of her husband’s death and came sobbing to Parvati as she was too scared to go to Lord Shiva. She cried her heart out to Parvati, who comforted her. "Rati, listen to me. I will win Shiva." She said resolutely, "And when I do, I promise Kamadeva will be reborn." Parvati spoke knowing that it would happen, perhaps not immediately. But it would.
Rati nodded her head tearfully and left the grove.
Parvati began her penance. She did not care about the hardships she had to face or about the harsh weather around her. All she cared about was that she had to win Lord Shiva.
She worshipped Lord Shiva for years, but the Lord never appeared. As Parvati meditated fiercely, she realised the truth about herself. Parvati realised that she was an incarnation of Mahadevi and that it was her destiny to become Shiva’s Shakti.
She realised that she was Sati in her previous life who had given up her life because Daksha – Sati’s father has insulted Shiva. She realised that her love for Shiva transcended everything, because she was for all purposes Shiva’s...half. Both Shiva and Parvati were incomplete without each other.
With her meditation, Parvati became very powerful. With her powers of penance, she soon gave up all food, water or even air. The other sages meditating in the Himalayas would come and visit Parvati and admire her tenacity. Parvati was so engrossed in her meditation that she never noticed any of them.
However Parvati’s penance was so powerful that the Devas could bear it no more. The whole kingdom of the Gods began to get hot as Parvati meditated. The Gods rushed to Brahma. Brahma and Vishnu together went to Shiva and told him that Parvati’s penance was to end, or the whole Kingdom would burn.
Shiva realised that Parvati was not just another mortal and that she was special. But could she be my Sati. He wondered...
The next day as Parvati was about to begin her penance, when she saw a young ascetic staring at her.
Parvati looked at him, "Is there a reason you are staring at me like that?"
"Yes" The ascetic said looking at her mystified. "My lady, I have watching you for a few days. Once you start performing your penance I have never seen anything like it. You have not eaten. People come and go, you do not seem to realise it. Your meditation is very powerful. Why would you..." He stopped.
Parvati nodded asking him to continue.
"...What would prompt such a beautiful lady like you to perform such a penance." The ascetic said shrugging his shoulder, "I mean, what would be worth that..."
Parvati smiled, "Love, young sir. Love. I do all this for love."
The young man looked at her baffled, when Parvati smiled, "Lord Shiva. I wish to marry him. I will win him over by my devotion." She said simply.
When Parvati finished, the young ascetic looked surprised and then burst out laughing. Parvati looked surprised seeing the ascetic laugh.
"You wish to marry..." he said still laughing, "...Shiva. You mean the three eyed God..." He said still unable to control himself. "I mean... why waste your beauty and intelligence on someone like that... who smears ashes on himself and wears skulls... And my Lady, did I forget to tell you he is homeless and just roams around in graveyards...Do you mean that Shiva..."
Parvati eyes started blazing when she heard the ascetic making fun of Lord Shiva, "Yes. I mean that Shiva and also the Shiva who is the master of the three worlds." She said pride shining in her voice. "That Shiva who cannot be understood by pathetic puny minds like yours..." She said scornfully, wishing she had never spoke to the ascetic.
The young ascetic opened his mouth to talk, when Parvati held up her hands fiercely, "DON’T SAY ANOTHER WORD" She said emphasising each word, angry through and through. "It is not only a sin to talk like this, it is bigger sin to listen to this rubbish..." Saying she stomped and was about to turn away, when she saw a flash. The young ascetic disappeared and standing in that place was the man whom she had dreamed her entire life. Lord Shiva...her Shiva.
Shiva looked tenderly at Goddess Parvati, thinking her words That Shiva and also the Shiva who is the master of the three worlds... She had said that with pride. When she had said that, something changed in him. He realised that she was his Shakti. She was indeed his wife reborn...
"Parvati, I am sorry. I should have realized it earlier. But..." Lord Shiva shook his head.
In their eyes they saw that they both belonged to each other. They had always been together. Just with different names. Lord Shiva was the father of the universe and Goddess Parvati the mother.
Goddess Parvati shyly turned to Lord Shiva, "My Lord, you have to come to my father and ask for my hand. It is the proper thing to do."
Lord Shiva nodded and went back to Kailasa, whereas Goddess Parvati returned to her father’s home.
Then Lord Shiva came and asked Himavat permission to marry his daughter. Himavat readily agreed and thus Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati celebrated their wedding with great pomp and show.
After their marriage, Goddess Parvati gave birth to Lord Kartikeyan, who defeated and killed the evil demon Tarakasura.
True to her promise, after her marriage with Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati requested Lord Shiva to bring back Kamadeva to life. Smiling the Lord obliged and Rati got her husband back!