Free teacher training
Loka Hatha Yoga offers free teacher training for yogis seeking to volunteer with the Sheriff's Office, or provide other public service. Your help is needed. Whether you have no prior experience, or lots of prior experience, we need your help.
We invite you to participate and contribute. Contact email@example.com, or (970) 778-2835 for more information
Book 7 Chapter 31 Srimad Deva Bhagavatam - the birth of Parvati
The name of Parvati connotes a rock, or stone - as the daughter of the mountains or even the Shiva Lingam; it connotes what is beyond (para-), what fulfills and fills and is suitable (parv-), what was asked for or begged (-vati).
Sati's body had just been burnt; her true nature as Shakti was not known. Sati was Shiva's first wife, and to Shiva appeared to be mortal. The word "Sati" means "awareness" or "skillful attentiveness." Shiva was grieving. Shiva carried the partially cremated body about, utterly senseless. He meditated upon upon the form of Sati. Shiva's Samadhi was so profound that it first held everything still, and then reversed the paths, even of of the planets - the oceans stilled and began to merge with the mountains and islands and sky. The world was without joy, all beings were anxious or indifferent. This led to sorrow, and disease. The gods - and all beings - had their natures reversed, as if they had passed through a mirror of the soul.
At this time, a great Asura, named Taraka, received a gift from Brahma and became invincible. He conquered every world, and became rule of the universe. But the terms of the gift were not without exception (gifts from Brahma typically included at least one exception, since Brahma cannot give any extremity, not being an extremity himself): Taraka would remain invincible, except against the son of Shiva. Taraka knew that Shiva's wife had died, and he had no son - and would marry no other being. Taraka, remembering the ancient animosity between the Devas and the Asuras, punished the Devas severely. The Devas wept, and could see no end to their distress: "Shiva has no wife! How can he then have a son?"
Vishnu observed the distress of the Devas and learned of what Taraka had done. Vishnu assured the Devas, "do not be anxious, Shakti is aware of your distress. It is merely due to your faults that She shows Her indifference - Her indifference is meant to teach you, not destroy you. When a mother frightens and reprimands a child, it is not that she has became merciless; so will Shakti never be merciless to you. A child commits an offense if they do not live up to their mother's expectations; so too must you take refuge in Shakti, by improving yourselves." Vishnu, with his consort, Laksmi, then demonstrated to the Devas how to undertake the improvement required of them by Shakti. "You lack devotion," instructed Vishnu. High in the mountains, Vishnu taught the Devas Bhakti Yoga. Vishnu then taught them how to use mantra, combined with sacrificial action.
Soon, the Devas were improved sufficiently to recognize their numerous faults, and taking vows of self-improvement, held those vows. In this way, they emulated Shakti, and achieved Her expectations. The mantras were soon repeated constantly, their minds became singly focused, their action singly focused, and supreme sacrifices were made: the worst parts of their nature were painfully given up.
Soon, the Devas began to understand the true nature of Shakti; they no longer required sleep or rest. Over many years they became enlightened beings, and their enlightenment illuminated Shakti - right before them, among them. Together, they birthed Shakti. Shakti was as bright as lightning, red, cool like the moon, lustrous like the sun: the melody of the Vedas were personified in Her. There was fire above, below, on all sides - even in the middle. The fire had no beginning or end, but ignited the entire world.
In the midst of that light, the Devas were able to see Shakti: not as a woman, not as a man, not as a Deva, nor an Asura, nor any kind of Being. Then Shakti took form: Shakti became it became female, and a Deva - an exceedingly beautiful Deva. She was wearing beautiful and rich jewels, which shown in Her light. She wore ornaments on her waist and ankles, which tinkled as she walked. The smell of perfume enlivened the senses. On her forehead there was the sign of the half-crescent of Shiva. Her hair sparkled in the firelight. Her eyes sparkled in the firelight. The Puranas use many words to describe her beauty: she was the embodiment of awareness - holy allurement. She was Samadhi itself.
The Devas choked on tears of joy, they praised Her, and sang sweetly to Her, praising Her, loving Her devotedly. For they had by self-improvement become capable of that devoted love. And She loved them in return, with devoted love. Shakti was no longer Sati, but Parvati.