Parvati is long and lean with broad womanly hips and thin legs and arms. In homes and temples throughout south India, statues of Lord Shiva are almost always accompanied by a statue of his loyal and loving wife, Parvati. Lord Shiva as Nataraja usually has Parvati as Shivakami in the standing posture beside him as he performs his dance of creation and destruction. This size Shivakami would be perfect to accompany a Nataraja statue between 15 and 24 inches. Her conical shaped headdress is typical of South Indian style. Parvati has a multicolored green, gold and green patina.
The Hindu goddess Parvati is a known as "the daughter of the mountain". Parvati is Shakti herself, the wife of Shiva. She is the benign aspect of the Mother Goddess Devi. Parvati is also considered as the supreme Divine Mother or Lady and all other goddesses are referred to as her incarnations or manifestations. Shaktas consider her as the ultimate Divine Shakti - the embodiment of the total energy of the universe.
The Story of Parvati
After the death of Shiva's first love Sati, Shiva isolated himself into a dark cave buried amongst the snow covered peaks of the Himalayas. He rejected the world outside so distraught was he by the lose of his first true love.
Meanwhile the demons lead by Taraka, rose from the netherworld and drove the devas, gods, out of the heavens. The gods sought a warrior who would help them regain the celestial realm.
"Only Shiva can father such a warrior," informed Brahma.
But Shiva, immersed in meditation, was oblivious to the problems of the gods. As he performed tapas, meditations that produce great heat and energy, his mind was filled with great knowledge and his body became resplendent with energy. But all this knowledge and energy, bottled within his being, was of not use to anyone.
The gods invoked the mother-goddess, who appeared before them as Kundalini, a coiled serpent.
"I will coil myself around Shiva, wean out his knowledge and energy for the good of the world and make him father a child," said Shakti.
Shakti took birth as Parvati, daughter of the Himavan, lord of the mountains, determined to draw Shiva out of his cave and make him her consort.
Everyday Parvati would visit Shiva's cave, sweep the floor, decorate it with flowers and offer him fruits hoping to win his love.
But Shiva never opened his eyes to look upon her charming face. Exasperated, the goddess invoked Priti and Rati, goddess of love and longing, to rouse Shiva out of his mediation.
These goddesses entered Shiva desolate cave and transformed it into a pleasure garden filled with the fragrance of flowers and the buzzing of bees.
Guided by Priti and Rati, Kama, the lord of desire, raised his sugarcane bow and shot arrows dripping with desire into the heart of Shiva.
Shiva was not amused. He opened his third eye and released the flames of fury that engulfed Kama and reduced his beautiful body to ashes.
The death of Kama alarmed the gods. "Without the lord of desire man will not embrace woman and life will cease to be."
"I shall find another way to conquer Shiva's heart. When Shiva becomes my consort, Kama will be reborn," said the daughter of the mountain, Parvati.
Parvati went into the forest and performed rigorous tapas, wearing nothing to protect her tender body form the harsh weather, eating nothing, not even a leaf, earning the admiration of forest ascetics who named her Aparna.
Aparna matched Shiva in her capacity to cut herself from the world and completely master her physical needs. The power of her tapas shook Shiva out of his mediation. He stepped out of his cave and accepted Parvati as his wife.
Shiva married Parvati in the presence of the gods following the sacred rites and took her to the highest peak of the cosmos, Mount Kailasa, the pivot of the universe. As the world revolved all around them the two became one and Kama was reborn.
Parvati melted Shiva's stern heart with her affection. Together they played dice on Mount Kailas or sported on the banks of Lake Manasarovar, discovering the joys of married life.
The goddess awakened Shiva's concern for the world by questioning him on various issues. As he spoke, he revealed the secrets of the Tantras and the Vedas that he had gathered in eons of mediation.
Inspired by her beauty, Shiva became the fountainhead of the arts, of dance and drama. He sang and danced to the delight of the gods who were pleased to see his enchantment with the goddess.
Parvati gave Shiva's aura to the gods. "From this will rise the warlord you seek," said the goddess.
The gods gave Shiva's aura to Svaha, consort of Agni, the fire god. Unable to bear the heat of the god Agni for long, Svaha gave the aura to Ganga the river goddess who cooled it in her icy waters until Shiva's aura turned into a seed.
Aranyani, the goddess of the forest, embedded the divine seed in the fertile forest floor where it was transformed into a robust child with six heads and twelve arms.
Six forest nymphs called the Krittikas found this magnificent child in a lotus. Over come by maternal affection they began nursing him. The six headed son of Shiva, born of many mothers, came to be known as Kartikeya.
Parvati taught Kartikeya the art of war and turned him into a the celestial warlord called Skanda.
Skanda took command of the celestial armies, defeated Taraka in battle and restored the heavens to the gods.
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Brass statues from India do not need much maintenance. The best way to maintain the statue is to simply dust the piece periodically to keep any dirt from accumulating. They can be used for both indoor and outdoor use.
"You can use soap, warm water and a cotton cloth to periodically go over the statue to remove any dust or dirt buildup."
You can use soap, warm water and a cotton cloth to periodically go over the statue to remove any dust or dirt buildup. If you are really interested in making the statue shine you can use some natural oil, like coconut oil or olive oil, and a cotton rag to wipe down the metal portions of the piece. You can use a toothbrush as well to get into the small crevices of the statue like the hands and hair.
Indian brass's durability makes it perfect for cold winters and hot summers of any climate. The metal can stand up to the harshest conditions of heat and bitter cold. We suggest you bathe the sculpture every couple of months so that dirt does not collect on the sculpture and then use a cotton cloth with some natural oil to give the statue a shine.
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