Definition - What does Parvati mean?

Parvati is the Hindu goddess of fertility, love and devotion. She is considered to be the nurturing and gentle aspect of shakti, the feminine principle in yogic philosophy. Shakti is also the name of the Universal Mother and forms part of the goddess trinity along with Lakshmi and Saraswati.

Parvati is Shiva’s wife and is a manifestation of his creative power and energy. It is Parvati that brings about the bond that connects all beings in the universe and releases them spiritually.

Icons of Parvati can be found in temples all over Asia. She is sometimes represented as the argha or yoni, while at other times she appears as a beautiful woman wearing a red sari. If depicted with her husband, she is shown with two arms but may have four when depicted alone.

Yogapedia explains Parvati

Parvati was created when Shiva had withdrawn from society to become an ascetic. The world was being terrorized by a female demon and only a son of Shiva could kill her, but Shiva could not be distracted from his spiritual path. Shakti took on the form of a beautiful goddess, Parvati, in an attempt to woo Shiva and bear him a son. But Shiva was not so easily distracted and so Parvati began her own austerities, eventually impressing Shiva so much that he took her as his wife and their son did destroy the demon.

The story of Parvati can be used as an example of what can be achieved when we harness our spiritual energy. She stands for discipline and determination. In refusing to be intimidated by Shiva, she finds her victory with grace.

Parvati is a figure of reason, freedom and true strength. She is associated with power and action. She is able to adjust to the needs of any situation in order to fulfill the role of Shakti as Universal Mother.

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