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Incarnation of Devi Parvati

(Ref: Shiva Purana - Rudra Samhita - Parvati Khanda - 1 to 6)

Devi ParvatiMeditation: I meditate on Devi Parvati who incarnated on Earth as the daughter of Himalaya and Menaka, when the devas invoked Her in the Himalayas to incarnate on Earth and be united with Shiva; and when Menaka and Himalaya underwent penance for twenty-seven years to get her as their daughter.

Birth of Menaka: Menaka was not an ordinary woman. She was Ayonija, not born from the womb. She was the daughter of Swadha and the manes (Pitr). Swadha, one of the daughters of Daksha was married to the manes (Pitr). Swadha gave birth to three virtuous daughters - Mena (or Menaka) the eldest one, Dhanya the middle one and Kalavati the youngest one. All the three daughters were mind-born daughters of the manes (and not born from womb). They are considered as the adorable mothers of the three worlds and Yoginis.

Curse on Menaka: Once the three daughters went to Vishnu Loka at Swetadwipa. There Sanaka and other sages arrived. Everyone stood up and bowed to the sages in reverence. Due to Shiva maya the three daughter did not stand up. Again due to Shiva maya Sanatkumara pronounced a curse on the three daughters to be born on earth. The three daughters asked for a way of salvation. Sage Sanatkumara said that Menaka will become the wife of Himalaya and in due course beget Devi Parvati as her daughter. Dhanya will become the wife of king Janaka and beget Devi Sita as her daughter. Kalavati will become the wife of Vrshabhana and will beget Devi Radha as her daughter. (Thus a curse pronouncing the destiny of the three daughters in fact awarded them great fate.)

Marriage of Menaka and Himalaya: Himalaya, the greatest mountain once wished to get married so that he can expand his race and serve the gods and the manes. The devas went to the manes and requested the hand of their divine girl Menaka for the good of the devas. The manes pondering over the curse on Menaka accepted this proposal. Menaka was married to Himalaya.

Menaka serving Devi Sati in the Himalayas: When Devi Sati incarnated as the daughter of Daksha and abided in the Himalayas with Lord Shiva after marriage, Menaka served the Devi as her own daughter. Himalaya also served Her during that time. (This can be considered as the first phase of service of Menaka).

Menaka serving Devi Sati in the Shivaloka: After Devi Sati gave up Her body in the fire of yagna, Menaka (as well as Himalaya) continued to adore Her in Shivaloka. (This can be considered as the second phase of service of Menaka).

Vishnu and devas invoking the Devi to incarnate Herself: Once Vishnu and the devas went to Himalaya and taking refuge in the Devi invoked Her with deep devotion narrating Her greatness. The Devi appeared before them in a divine form mounted on a divine chariot studded with gems. Her form was shining like million Suns and She was enveloped by a halo. The devas prayed to Her to incarnate Herself and become united with Lord Shiva again, to fulfill the works of the devas and make everyone happy. The Devi was pleased with the prayer of the devas. She consented to incarnate again and become united with Lord Shiva after severe penance.

Penance of Himalaya and Menaka: Thereafter Himachala and Menaka started performing severe penance. (This can be considered as the third phase of their service). During the penance, both recited the names of Shiva and Devi and meditated on them all throughout the day. They gave away charities to the brahmanas, observed fast on the eighth day of the lunar fortnight, and offered oblations on the ninth day with sweets, payasam and fragrant flowers. Menaka made clay idols of the goddess and adored Her on the bank of river Ganga at Ausadhiprastha. Sometimes she consumed water alone, sometimes she inhaled wind alone, all the time devoting Her mind to the goddess. In this way Menaka continued the tapas for twenty-seven years. Thereafter Devi appeared before her in a divine form surrounded by a halo of lustre. She granted the boon to Menaka to be born as her daughter. The Devi also gave the boon that she will have hundred sons and out of them one will become very powerful (Mainaka).

Incarnation of Devi: The Devi incarnated on the month of Chaitra during the ninth lunar day when Mrgashira constellation was presiding (after being in the womb of Menaka for ten months). She appeared during midnight. There was rain of waters and flowers from the sky. Vishnu and other devas appeared there to see the incarnation. With Her birth, the city of Himachala was filled with riches. The devas eulogized Her. Before assuming the form of a baby girl, She appeared in Her divine form before Menaka. Seeing Her divine form Menaka also eulogized Her. The Devi reminded Menaka of her worship and boon. She told that She has assumed the divine form to remind her of her earlier event, otherwise Menaka would not have recognised Her. She told that the parents should lovingly serve Her as Bhagavati or their daughter to become liberated. After She revealed the event of Her incarnation to Menaka She assumed the form of a baby girl.

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Last updated on Sep-2021

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