Tuesday, 10 July, 2007

Sweet of Speech

SATI DEVI, THE wife of Siva and the daughter of Daksha, gave up her life as she was insulted by her father during the yajna performed by him. She was subsequently born to Himavan and Menaka as Parvati. She wanted only Lord Siva as her husband, and to achieve that purpose she set out for doing tapas. Menaka, while trying to prevent her from doing so said, “U (no), Ma (give up).” That is how she got the name of Uma.

Finding Menaka’s dissuasion of no use, Himavan took her to the tapovana (hermitage) where Siva was staying in the form of Dakshinamurthy and said, “This little child of mine wants to do tapas. Please allow her to be under your care.” Seeing Parvati, Siva said, “Why tapas at this tender age? Why not go home with father?” Parvati replied, “No, I won’t go.” Parameswara tried to dissuade her skilfully by saying, “I have conquered prakriti (nature) and so could concentrate on this tapas. If you are to be here you will be exposed to the ravages of prakriti. So please go back.”

Parvati was equally skilful, so she said, “Oh Lord! You say you have conquered prakriti. Without some relationship with prakriti how could you do tapas? You have just spoken. How could you do that without prakriti? How could you walk? Without your knowing it, prakriti is occupying your heart. If it is not for the sake of argument, if you are really above the influence of prakriti, why are you afraid of my staying here?” Siva was pleased with this and said, “Ingithagna! (you who are skilled in thought reading), Madhurvachani! (you who are sweet of speech) stay on!” and sent Himavan home.

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