Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord Ishwara. She has several names, each with a special
significance. Since Ishwara or Shiva is also called 'Bhava' his wife is known as
'Bhavani.' She is 'Parvati', being the daughter of the king of mountains, Parvataraja.
With the same connotation she has two other names - 'Girija' and 'Shailaja'. As she
I the source of all good things to all those who have faith and follow the path of
virtue, she is 'Sarvamangala.'Since her childhood days she was a devotee of Lord Shiva.
She would constantly engage herself in meditation and worship of Shiva, without even
changing the posture. So her mother Mena would out of exasperation say
"Parvati, don't do this tapas (meditation)." In Sanskrit u is a word
of address and 'ma' means 'don't' or 'not wanted Hence she got the name 'Uma'.
After she grew up, she perforrmed a severe penance in the forest with the purpose
of securing Lord Shiva as her husband. Much moved by the hardship endured by her tender
body, Mena frequently went near her fondly calling her "Uma", Uma." Who
would not be thrilled by the story of the life of Parvati who, though born human, became,
through hard penance the consort of Shiva and became Mahadevi, the great goddess?
Affection for and obedience to the elders, loyalty to tradition, determination
steady devotion to Shiva, kindness towards those in trouble, perseverant effort till the
completion of a good deed-these are the traits Parvati had. Her story is narrated in
Sanskrit by Vyasa in the Shiva purana. The great poet Kalidasa has narrated it in the poem
Kumara-Sambhava. The Kannada poet Harihara has dealt with the story in
Girija-Kalyana, a mixture of verse and prose.