Often referred to as the most divine union of the entire Universe in hindu mythology, the marriage of Shiva, the Supreme God to the human incarnate of his literal other half, Parvati, is a legend filled with love, hope and devotion. While many people choose to take it literally, as a love story which met it’s logical conclusion after thousands of years of hard work, I would think the interpretation would be ghastly incomplete if the underlining message of a soul merging into it’s source of origin is neglected.
Sati’s mature reincarnation in the form of Parvati was born with an awareness of it’s connection with God. Her innate inclination towards Mahadev was observed even before she learned to speak. This self realized soul was supremely focused towards it’s goal even at a time when the physical form had not even learnt what terms like marriage and husband meant. Why and how did this happen?
Actually Parvati had fewer barricades to face to achieve her goa than her pervious incarnate, Sati.
Sati was born unaware and by the time, her true purpose was revealed to her, she was already shackled in the worldly chains of attachments, likes, dislikes and ego. Yet, armed with nothing but an exceptionally strong will, she walked the path already doomed. Through an unsuccessful union, she paved the way for Parvati by seeding her will and her unquenched longing to unite with God into her. This is probably the best example of the principle of Karma passing from one birth to another.
Even though Sati was repeatedly told about the infiniteness of the power inside her human body, she was unable to self realize (because this knowledge has to come from inside, not outside) which naturally made all kinds of penance or tapasya to purify her body, out of her reach. And yet she worked against her destiny and prepared all the ground work for Parvati.
Parvati, in stark contrast to Sati, aided by her Karma, was born self realized. Right from the beginning, she was conscious of being nothing but a separated bit from her source: Mahadev . This time the knowledge came from inside her, nobody had to tell her who she was. She knew.
Naturally, her purpose was very clear and focused: going back to her Source. Shiva was her identity. Shiva was her Ego. Therefore doing the tough penance and tapasya came very naturally to her which finally helped her transcend the boundaries of her human incarnation and prepared her to attain the Union with God.
I think we completely miss the point if we don’t realize that this is our own story. We are all Sati. God has importance in our lives but we have too many preoccupations to really go after him. Born entangled in the murky world of earthly attachments, we pass our lives unaware of what we actually are. The truth is we are all separated bits of God Energy, our Source: Shiva. Only to Him we belong and we will keep taking births upon births until we self realize this truth and devote our lives to find him and unite with him.
But the strong will of Sati which is present in all of us, can fasten the process of our journey and turn us into a Parvati sooner than others. It is possible if we collect the little glimpses of God’s presence in our lives like Sati did and make a shining mirror out of it which reflects back our true identity and pushes us on the path of self realization. And as explained magically through the legend of Parvati, once realized, nothing can stop you from going after your origin and uniting with Him. Once United or Mukta, you’ll find pure unending bliss resulting from attaining the completeness of your soul by merging into the Infinite: your original Source. That is the message of the Shiv-Parvati Marriage: It is the ultimate union of a human soul with God.
Intepreting the true meaning of religious legends take us nearer the original purpose of Puranas and Vedas, which are rich in allegory but have a pretty simple message to give through all of it which is : “ Shivoham” : I am Shiva.