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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