At that time Shiva was not in his palace on Kailasa. He was in a pensive mood
as his wife Dakshayani had given up her life. He had become
an ascetic. Giving
up Kailasa and searching for a place suitable for penance, he
had come to a sacred spot called Gangavatara near Oushadhiprastha on the Himalayan
slopes. The place
was full of the fragrance of musk and tall red cedars nourished by the waters
of the Ganga. He set up a fire there and forgetting all
affairs of the world, was in a severe penance, meditating on soul and salvation.
|PARVATI - DAUGHTER OF
The holy sage Narada once came
to Oushadhiprastha in the course-of his sojourn.It was his wont to show the right part to good men who might at any time be worried
not knowing what they should do in life. Likewise he would go to wicked people
like a well wisher and put them on the path of self-destruction. With this purpose
he had the habit of roving around in all the three worlds and upholding piety
to God by singing songs of devotion. Thus when Narada came
there, Giriraja and Mena welcomed him, saluted him and honored him with all hospitality. They called
Parvati also to salute him. Mutual enquiries followed.
"O wise sage, my daughter Parvati is now grown into a young maid, what is
her future, and who will marry her?" asked Giriraja. "Listen, Parvataraja.
She who in her previous birth was Dakshayani and plunged to her death in the
sacrificial fire because of her devotion to her husband is now your daughter.
Only Shiva can wed her and none else. There is no doubt that she will marry Lord
Shiva. It is not possible to please Shiva by mere external beauty or fondness.
His favor can be won only by piety, worship and penance. Parvati will certainly
obtain Shiva's favor and marry him through her penance and meditation. This is
certain." So saying, Narada left.
Parvati was very happy with Narada's words. It was like wishing for milk, and
getting it too, because Parvati had determined that throughout her life thereafter,
her days should be spent only in the service of Shiva and in meditating upon
Parvataraja came to know that Shiva was now in penance-grove at Gangavatara.The spot was not very far from Oushadhiprastha. He
went to see Shiva. Shiva was
sitting in meditation with closed eyes. Giriraja sang in praise of Lord Shiva.
Once Shiva opened his eyes just a little. Then Giriraja said, "Great Lord
Ishwara, I am ready, at your service. Command me, for your needs." Shiva
replied, "Parvataraja, my penance should go on uninterrupted. For that only
I need help. People from your town flock to me here; see that no one comes like
that. That is all I want from you."
Himavanta returned to his palace. He ordered that none from among his servants
and retinue, none from the palace women or even children should go near Shiva
to see him. But he had it in his mind to appoint his daughter Parvati somehow
to attend upon Shiva. The next time when Parvataraja went
to Shiva, he took Parvati along with him. Flowers, fruits and other articles of worship were with them
to be offered to Shiva. Both of them sang in honor of Shiva for long and worshipped
him. Shiva continued to be in his meditation. After a long time, he looked around.
Parvataraja pleaded, "O great Lord, I have brought my daughter who is a
great devotee of yours. She cannot stay alive without worshipping you. Therefore
do kindly permit that she may come here daily with her companions, Jaya and Vijaya,
worship you and then go back."
"Parvataraja, if you so desire,you may come daily to see me. But leave your
daughter at home. I am an ascetic, given to penance and meditation so women need
not come in front me" said Shiva.