When he started to go, Parvati went near him and saluting
him, asked thus "Please
wait. Can you not give good advice to me in this matter?
Can you not guide me as to how I can win Shiva's favor?"
|APARNA - THE ONE WHO GAVE
UP, EVEN, EATING LEAVES
"Listen then," the youth said. "You are innocent. Though a young
maiden you have no wisdom. Why do you wish to marry that three-eyed person? What
an ill-starred person you are! His home appearance, natures are all peculiar.
He lives in the burial-ground. His ornament is the snake. The garland he wears
is of skulls. His weapon is a trident and he wears only animal skin. Most of
his hairs are scattered in the sky and the rest are matted locks. Poison in his
neck and ash all over the body. With Ganga and the moon fixed on his head he
is severely cold. He moves about on an ox, with demons and spirits as his companions.
He is also a beggar. You are beautiful and tender, whereas
he is ugly and austere.Don't you think of him and don't marry him."
Hearing these words, Parvati was in an unbearable anger. Her brows were knit
in a frown and eyes were red. Not able to hear these abuse
of Shiva, with trembling lips she said, "Vile man, you do not know anything about Shiva. Of course
the conduct of great persons will not be like that of the common men. Witless
persons who cannot understand it criticize like this. Shiva's glory cannot be
had by anyone else. Those who trust Him escape from sins. Though Shiva looks
a destitute, he can confer upon others all the riches. What if he lives in the
burial-ground? He is the lord of all three worlds. His looks
may be awkward, but he is the giver of felicity. He is the universal Lord. Though he sits on
a bullock, Indra mounted on his elephant, Airavata, touches his feet. There is
no need for so much talk. My mind is firmly rooted in Shiva.
None can change it. I am fully aware of Shiva's form, qualities and greatness. He has neither
deformity nor any defect."
Even as Parvati was speaking-thus, the young man's lips moved as if he would
again speak. Parvati called her friend and said, "Even as those who revile
great ones are sinners, people who listen to that abuse become sinners too. This
wicked man is about to speak bad words. Send him away. Or I myself will leave
this place." So saying, Parvati started to go away.
Suddenly the youth in disguise assumed Shiva's form and held Parvati's hand.
She bowed her head. Shiva told her, "O thou bowed beauty I am pleased with your penance and your love.
You have won over my mind. I have caused you much pain in testing you in many
ways. You must pardon that. Now come, let's go to my palace
It was true that Shiva, whom she trusted and won over with her tapas, himself
came to her and asked her to go with him. But Parvati did
not think it correct to go away with him as her husband then and there. It did not seem proper to
go away by herself without her parents performing the prescribed ceremonies of
"Lord, my father Parvataraja and mother Menadevi are there. Other relatives
are also there. You must come to my father and ask him for
my hand in marriage. I request that the wedding be performed with the prescribed
rites with the consent of elders and relatives." Shiva agreed to her words
since following the custom would be a sign of culture.
Just then Ratidevi came there in tears with the sorrow of separation from her
husband. She saluted them both. Parvati told Shiva, "O Lord, her husband
Kama, in his striving for the welfare of the world, has been burnt by the fire
of your third eye. I have assured her that I will beg you and get her husband
back. You must first give her husband."