Back to Home Page or Contents or Hindu Mythology or Article Index


Parvati may have originated among the Himalayan mountain tribes. As a fertility goddess, she is the youngest of the benign aspects of the goddess Shakti, and also appears as the reincarnation of Shakti. She also is the daughter of Himavan (the Himalayan) and Mena, a sister of Vishnu, and the younger sister of Ganga. She becomes the consort of Shiva, and, as such, personifies the ideal example of the devoted and steadfast Hindu wife. Her sons include Ganesa and Skanda.

She is presented to Shiva, the ascetic, as a beautiful dancing girl. When becoming aware of his lack of interest in her, Parvati pursues a life of self-denial until he finally appears to her as an old Brahman and takes her as his consort.

Parvati is depicted with two arms when accompanying Shiva, but four when standing alone; she may be elephant-headed or carrying Ganesa as a baby, and appears in many varieties. Her attributes are conch, crown, mirror, ornamented headband, rosary, and occasionally a lotus. She has been worshipped from about 400 AD to the present, but has no specific cult center. She is referred to in the Ramayana and Puranic texts. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 202

Home    Alchemy    Ancient Beliefs    Buddhism    Christianity    Demonology    Divination    Goddess and witchcraft    Great Mysteries    Hinduism    Islam     Judaism    Magic    Neo-paganism    Other    Paranormal    Past and present Beliefs    People    Places    Religions and sects    Rituals and texts    Shamanism    Stones    Theosophy African Mythology    Asian Mythology    Buddha Mythology    Egyptian Mythology    Greco-Roman Mythology    Greek Mythology    Hindu Mythology    Native American    Persian Mythology    Roman Mythology    South American Mythology