The Hindu Goddess Parvarti

Areas of Influence: The Hindu Goddess Parvarti is the Goddess of love and devotion. She is the devoted consort of the God Shiva.

Parvarti is a representation of Shakti, the animating, female energy that gives the vital life-force to all of creation.

She is considered to be a very benevolent form of the Goddess and a balance to the more warlike and destructive energy of Shiva.

When Sati, Shiva’s first wife died, he grieved so much that he withdrew from the pleasures of the world. He chose the life of a hermit, moving to a cave to meditate and study. Without the God of war, the world became a dark place where demons became increasingly powerful. Fearing for their lives, the Gods petition Shakti to come up with a plan to get Shiva to return to the world. She created Parvarti hoping that her love would rekindle Shiva’s love of everyday life.

The Hindu Goddess Parvarti first tries to win Shiva’s affection by cleaning his cave and leaving offerings of fruits and flowers. When this fails she renounces her beauty, she goes into nature taking nothing with her and fasts.  Shiva is eventually moved by the austerities she performs and she becomes his wife.

Parvarti's Family: Formed from Shakti, she was fathered by Himavan, the Lord of the mountain. This is how she got the name Parvarti as it means “she of the mountain” her mother was Mena one of the cloud Goddesses.

She has two children by unconventional means; Kartikeya and Ganesh as Shiva is unwilling to give up his ascetic life style and fully embrace the role of an ordinary householder.


Symbolism of the Hindu Goddess Parvarti

The Hindu Goddess Parvarti is shown as a beautiful dark skinned Goddess, adorned in silk clothing and fine jewellery.

Her vehicle is a usually depicted as a lion or a tiger, illustrating her ability to control the wild forces of nature.

The number of arms she is shown with varies as does the weaponry they carry which can include a trident, conch, crossbow or chakram (a form of discus). 

In the background are mountains, indicating her earlier roots as a mountain Goddess as well as the sacred Mount Kaliash where she lives with Shiva.

This Goddess Parvarti is also shown nursing or cuddling the infant Ganesha.

When Shiva is worshiped in the form of the lingham, a specially shaped stone, Parvarti becomes the yoni, a representation of the opening to the womb.


Archetype of the Goddess Parvarti

The Nun:

The Nun is characterized by her intense devotion and dedication to her path. Their work requires great focus and includes not only spiritual paths but artistic and business pursuits. The Nun chooses celibacy to conserve energy for her vital work.

Shadow Nun is removed from everyday reality, introverted and self-righteous.

Although the  Goddess Parvarti brings up two children and is married, her most renowned quality is her devotion and love of the God Shiva. She is upheld as an example of the perfect wife, mother and devotee.


How To Work With This Archetype

The Nun: The Nun represents a total devotion to your work. This is the area of your life where you expend all your available energy.

If this is your Archetype you run the risk of becoming isolated and losing touch with friends and family. You may also become very judgemental of people who don't share your goals and vision. 


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