Parvati’s Penance (Bal Kanda)

Kahi as brahmabhavan muni gayavu/ Aagil charit sunahu jas bhayavu//

Patihi ekant payi kah maina/ Nadh na mai samuche muni baina//

Naradji went back to Brahmaji’s abode. Now listen to what transpired afterwards. When she found herself alone with her husband, Maina, Himavan’s wife spoke, ‘Dear husband, I did not understand the words of the revered sage.’

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Jaum gharu baru kulu hoyi anupa/ Kariya bibahu suta anurupa//

Na ta kanya baru rahavu kuari/ Kant uma mam pranapiyari//

‘Where you find a suitable bridegroom, good family and clan, we should get our daughter married. Else it is better that she stays unmarried. Parvati is beloved to me like my own life breath.’

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Jaum na milihi baru girijahi jogu/ Giri jad sahaj kahihi sabu logu//

Soyi bichari pati karehu bibahu/ Jehim na bahori hoyi urd dahu//

‘If we do not find an appropriate groom for Parvati, everybody will mock that the mountain is imprudent by nature! Whenever you search for a suitable husband for our daughter, keep that in mind else you will regret it later.’

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As kahi pari charan dhari seesa/ Bole sahit saneh gireesa//

Baru pavak pragati sasi mahim/ Narad bachanu anyadha nahim//

Having spoke thus, Maina fell at her husband’s feet devotedly. Then Himavan spoke with great love. ‘Perhaps flames might spring up in the moon, but Narad’s words shall never be false.’

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Doha:

Priya sochu pariharahu sabu sumirahu Shri Bhagavan/

Parbatihi niramayavu jehim soyi karihi kalyan//

‘My dear, let go of all worries and pray to the Lord himself. The One who created Parvati will ensure all blessings in her life too.’

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Ab jaum tumhahi suta par nehu/ Tau as jayi sikahavanu dehu//

Karai so tapu jehim milahim mahesu/ Aan upayam na mitihi kalesu//

‘Now if you truly love your daughter, go and instruct her to do penance for gaining Shiva as her husband. There is no alternate way to remove the dilemma.’

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Narad bachan sagarbh sahetu/ Sundar sab guna nidhi brishketu//

As bichari tumh tajahu asanka/ Sabahi bhanti sankaru akalanka//

Naradji’s words are cryptic, pregnant with great meaning and reason. Lord Shiva is the repository of all beautiful qualities. Abandon your doubts and worries. Lord Shiv is pristine and pure in every aspect.

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Suni pati bachan harashi mann mahim/ Gayi turat udi Girija pahim//

Umahi biloki nayan bhare bhari/ Sahit saneh godh baidari//

 Pleased with her husnand’s words, Queen Maina got up and went to meet her daughter. Seeing Girija, the mother’s eyes welled up with tears. Maina seated Parvati on her lap.

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Barahim bar leti ur layi/ Gadgadh kand na kacchu kahi jayi/

Jagat matu sarbagya bhavani/ Matu sukhad bolim mridu bani//

The mother embraced the child multiple times. Maina was choking with emotion, and no words emerged due to her overwhelming love for Parvati. The Mother of the Universe (Parvati) understood her mother’s emotional turmoil. Soothing her, she started speaking in he sweetest words.

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Doha:

Sunahi matu mai deekh as sapan sunavahu tohi/

Sundar gaur subiprabar as upadesevu mohi//

‘Listen mother, let me tell you about a dream I had. A handsome, fair Brahmin saint was giving me advice…’

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Karahi jayi tapu sailkumari/ Narad kaha so satya bichari//

Matu pitahi puni yah mat bhava/ Tapu sukhprad dukh dosh nasava//

In my dreams the sage said, “Listen Parvati, whatever Narad said is true. So start your penance. Your parents are glad to accept the words too. Penance shall grant happiness and remove all sorrows.”

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Tapbal rachayi prapanchu bidhata/ Tapbal Bishnu sakal jag trata//

Tapbal sambhu karahim sanghara/ Tapbal seshu dharayi mahibhara//

It is due to the strength of penance (Tapbal) that Brahma creates, Vishnu maintains and Shiv annihilates the universe. It is due to the strength of penance that Seshnag carries the heavy burden of Mother Earth.

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Tap adhar sab srishti bhavani/ Karahi jayi tapu as jiyam jani//

Sunat bachan bisamit mahtari/ Sapan sunayavu girihi hankari//

‘ Hey, Bhavani, all creations are based on the strength of penance. Knowing it true in your soul, go and do penance.’ Queen Maina was astounded on hearing Parvati’s words. She immediately informed Himavan about Parvati’s dream.

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Doha:

Bedasira muni aayi tab Sabahi kaha samuchayi/

Parbati mahima sunat rahe prabodahi payi//

Then Sage Vedasira arrived and explained everything to all. Knowing about Parvati’s glory,  (Her true destiny) everybody became pleased.

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Ur dhari Uma pranapati charna/ Jayi bipin lagim tapu karna//

Ati Sukumar na tanu tapu jogu/ Pati pad sumiri tajehu sabu bhogu//

Embracing her beloved Shiva’s lotus feet in her heart, Parvati went to the forests and started her intense penance. Though her very young, beautiful body was unsuitable for undertaking such hardships, in her utter devotion to the Lord, she gave up all pleasures.

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Nit nav charan upaj anuraaga/ Bisari deh tapahim manu laaga//

Sambat sahas mool bhal khaye/ Sagu khayi sat barash gavaye//

In her heart, ardent attachment to her beloved began and in the extremity of her meditation, she forgot all the surroundings. For a thousand years she subsisted on merely fruits and roots, and for the next hundred, ate saag (made of green leaves).

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Kacchu din bhojanu baari batasa/ Kiye Kadin kacchu din upabasa//

Bel paati mahi parayi sukhayi/ Teeni sahas sambat soyi khayi//

Some days she consumed only water and air and the rest , she did very intense fasting. The dried Bel leaves which fell down on earth, for three thousand years, that was Parvati’s lone food.

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Puni parihare sukhanevu parna/ Umahi namu tab bhayavu Aparna//

Dekhi Umahi tap kheen sareera/ Brahmagira bhaim gagan gambheera//

When she stopped partaking even dried leaves, Uma became known as ‘Aparna’ (The one who refused parna or leaves). As Parvati’s body weakened due to her penance, a majestic Brahma-vaani aka divine voice emanated from the skies…

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Narad Predicts Parvati’s Future (Bal Kanda)

Doha:

Sada suman phal sahit sab drum nav nana jati/

Pragati sundar sail par mani aakar bahu bhanti//

The trees became heavy with beautiful flowers and luscious fruits in the majestic mountain. Many precious stones and gems were to be found in those regions.

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Sarita sab puneet jalu bahahim/ Khag mrig madhup sukhi sab rahahim//

Sahaj bayaru sab jeevanh tyaaga/ Giri par sakal karahim anuraaga//

Sacred, pristine waters flowed through the rivers. All animals and birds, including the bumble bee, was happy. The animals stopped expressing natural hostility to one another and cohabited with affection on the Himavans.

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Soh sail Girija grih aayem/ Jimi janu Rambhagati ke payem//

Nit nutan mangal grih taasu/ Brahmadik gaavahim jasu jaasu//

How did Himavan shine on the arrival of princess Parvati? Like a devotee of Shri Ramji becomes glorious in his bhakti. Everyday there was an auspicious function in the house of the King Himavan whose glories were praised by Brahma and other sages.

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Narad samachar sab paye/ Kautukahim giri geh sidhaye//

Sailraj badh aadar keenha/ Pad pakhari bar aasanu deenhu//

When sage Narad heard all these intriguing tales, he went to visit Himavan’s home. The King welcomed him with great hospitality. After washing his guest’s feet reverently, he made him seated comfortably.

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Naari sahit muni pad siru nava/ Charan salil sabu bhavanu sinchava//

Nij saubhagya bahut giri barna/ Suta boli meli muni charna//

Having bowed before Narad’s feet with his wife, the King sprinkled the water that washed the sage’s feet all over his palace. The King spoke gratefully about the graces he had been blessed with and calling his daughter, asked her to bow at Narad’s feet.

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Doha:

Trikalagya sarbagya tumh gati sarbatra tumhari/

Kahahu suta ke dosh guna munibar hridayam bichari//

The King said, ‘Naradji, you are omniscient and can see all the three epochs-past, present and future. Now , tell us about our princess’s qualities.’

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Kah muni bihasi gudh mridu bani/ Suta tumharu sakal guna khani//

Sundar sahaj suseel sayani/ Naam Uma Ambika Bhavani//

Narad smiled mysteriously and said : ‘Your daughter is the epitome of all good qualities. She is beautiful, well behaved and understanding. She is known by many names- Uma, Ambika, Bhavani.

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Sab lacchan sampan kumari/ Hoyihi santat piyahi piyari//

Sada achal ehi kar ahivata/ Ehi tem jasu paihahim pitu mata//

The princess is resplendent with all excellent qualities of character. She will be her husband’s beloved. Her married life will be very auspicious, happy and eternally blessed. She shall glorify her parents’ due to her personality.

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Hoyihi pujya sakal jag mahim/ Ehi sevat kacchu durlabh nahim//

Ehi kar namu sumiri sansara/ Triy chadihahim patibrat asidhara//

Sage Narad said, ‘She will be worshipped across the world and all those who pray to her shall be granted every wish. Women shall recite her name and scale the sword of pati-vrata dharma.’

Note: Narad says that Parvati shall be the embodiment of devotion to her husband and Lord. So women shall emulate pati-vrata dharma by following her path.

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Sail sulachhan suta tumhari/ Sunahu je ab avagun duyi chari//

Agun aman matu pitu heena/ Udaseen sab samsay cheena//

‘Now listen, King of Mountains! Your daughter is filled with excellent qualities. Listen now to few of her inferior aspects. A man who is devoid of qualities, dignity, an orphan, indifferent, careless…’

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Doha:

Jogi jatil akaam mann nagana mangal besh/

As swami ehi kah milihi pari hast asi rekha//

‘… a yogi (mendicant), with matted hair, detached heart, naked, attired inauspiciously…well, she shall get a husband as I described. The lines on her palm reveal what I said.’

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Suni muni gira satya jiyam jani/ Dukh dampatihi Uma harshani//

Naradahu yeh bhedu na jana/ Dasa ek samuchab bilgana//

Hearing Naradji’s words and knowing in their hearts that it shall turn out true, the royal couple felt sad while Uma was ecstatic. Sage Narad did not understand what was transpiring because although they all seemed equanimous outside, all were understanding the matter differently within.

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Sakal sakhim Girija Giri Maina/ Pulak sareer bhare jal naina//

Hoyi na mrisha devarishi bhasha/ Uma so bachanu hridayam dhari rakha//

All the maids, Parvati, Himavan, Maina his royal consort all were thrilled by the rishi’s prophecy. Their hair stood on the end and eyes welled up with tears. Realizing that devarshi’s words cannot be false, Parvati accepted those words in her heart.

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Upajevu Siv pad kamal sanehu/ Milan Kadin mann bha sandehu//

Jaani kuavasaru preeti durayi/ Sakhi uchhang baidi puni jayi//

Parvati started loving Lord Shiv  but she wondered about how she would meet Him. Understanding that the situation was not appropriate to enquire further, the young princess hid her overwhelming love for Shiv and went to sit on her maid servant’s lap.

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Chuti na hoyi devarishi bani/ Sochahim dampati sakhim sayani//

Ur dhari dheer kahayi giriravu/ Kahahu nadh ka kariya upavu//

Knowing that the sage’s words would turn out true, the King and Queen, and all the maids started worrying. Himavan gathered courage slowly and pleaded, ‘Now, tell us about a way out, sage.’

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Doha:

Kah munees Himvant sunu jo bidhi likha lilar/

Dev danuj nar nag muni kovu na metnihar//

Naradji said: ‘ Hey Himavan! Whatever the destiny has written on the forehead, that cannot be removed by either devta, man, naga or saint.’

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Tadapi ek mai kahavu upayi/ Hoyi karai jaum daivu sahayi//

Jas baru mai barnevu tumh pahim/ Milihi Umahi tas samsay nahim//

‘Yet, I will suggest a way. If the gods support, it might be successful. The husband of Uma shall be exactly as I described, there is no doubt about that.’

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Je je bar ke dosh bakhane/ Te sab Siv pahim mai anumane//

Jaum bibahu Sankar san hoyi/ Doshavu guna sam skah sabu koyi//

‘Whatever poor qualities I described about Uma’s bride groom, in my opinion, all these are manifest in Lord Shiva. If Uma gets married to Shiva, everybody will praise all those negative aspects also as meritorious qualities.’

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Jaum ahi sej sayan Hari karahim/ Buddh kacchu tinh kar doshu na dharahim//

Bhanu krisanu sarb ras khahim/ Tinh kah mand kahat kovu nahim//

‘Just like Lord Vishnu sleeps on Seshnag’s body, the scholars can never ascribe any negative qualities to Lord Shiva! The Sun and Fire , Surya and Agni consume good and bad alike, but nobody finds fault with either.’

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Subh aru asubh salil sab bahayi/ Sursari kovu apuneet na kahayi//

Samaradh kahu nahim doshu gosayi/ Rabi pavak sursari ki nayim//

‘Both pure and contaminated objects float on the Ganga, yet nobody calls her impure! Similar to Surya, Agni and Ganga, nobody would hail anything extraordinary as damaged.’

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Doha:

Jaum as hisisha karahim nar jad bibek abhiman/

Parahim kalap bhari narak mahu jeev ki ees saman//

‘If a mortal is arrogant about his wisdom, he will be cast into Narak for an aeon. How can a living being be equivalent to the all-free Lord?’

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Sursari jal krit baruni jana/ Kabahu na sant karahim tehi pana/

Sursari milem so pavan jaisem/ Ees anisahi antaru taisem//

‘Even if Gangajal is mixed with liquor, the sages do not drink it. But it is the same Ganga whose waters purify everybody. That is the difference between the omnipresent Lord and mortal beings.’

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Sambhu sahaj samardh bhagwana/ Ehi bibah sab bidhi kalyana//

Duraradhya pai ahahim mahesu/ Asutosh puni kiyem kalesu//

‘Lord Shiva is the epitome of ability because he is Bhagwan himself. This marriage will be very auspicious. However, appeasing Lord Shiva through prayers is a formidable task. But He gets pleased with sincere devotion.’

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Jaum tapu karai kumari tumhari/ Bhaviya meti sakahim Tripurari//

Jadhapi bar anek jag mahim/ Ehi kah siv taji doosra nahim//

‘If your daughter can undertake penance, focusing on Lord Shiva, his heart can be conquered. Though there are many eligible bridegrooms in the universe, there is nobody more suitable that Lord Shiva for Parvati.’

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Bar dayak pranatarati bhanjan/ Kripasindhu sevak mann ranjan//

Icchith phal binu siv avaradhem/ Lahiya na koti jog jap sadhem//

‘Lord Shiv grants his devotees whatever they wish, and removes the sufferings of those who seek his refuge. However, if you do not meditate on the Lord, even intense penance and prayers shall not yield any results.’

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Doha:

As kahi narad sumiri hari girijahi deenhi asees/

Hoyihi yah kalyan ab samsay tajahu girees//

Having spoken thus, meditating on the Lord, Naradji blessed princess Parvati. Then he said, ‘King of Mountains, let go of your anxiety. Auspicious occurrences are due.’

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