How Many Wives did Lord Shiva Have?
The illustrations found in the Puranas about the life of Lord Shiva seem very contrasting and incomprehensible. Although, there is no disagreement in the public about his name, life and other things.
The Puranas disclose that both Shiva and Mahesh were independent entities. The formless form of Shiva that is explained, in fact he isn’t just the husband of Parvati, he is the Parabrahma Sadashiv. Shankar is known as Mahesh. Lord Shiva had four wives in total. Let’s know about them a little more today.
First wife: Mata Sati
As stated in the Puranas, Prajapati Daksha was one of the Manas sons of Brahma who resided in the Himalayan region. Although many say that their location is somewhere else. Prajapati Daksha had two wives, Prasuti as well as Veerani. Prasuti gave birth to 24 girls and Veerani had 60 girls. Thus Daksha had 84 daughters from both his wives and thousands of sons. In India, Daksha’s daughters are worshiped in some form or the other and all are seen in connection with Mother Durga. Sati was Prasuti and King Daksha’s daughter. Prasuti was Swayambhuva Manu’s third daughter. Sati married Lord Shankar even though her father was against it. Although, Prajapati Daksha got his daughter married to Lord Shankar only on the advice of Brahma. Inspite of this, he was not satisfied with their marriage.
Once Daksha organized a huge yagya but did not invite his own son-in-law and daughter to the yagya. Even after that, Sati reached the yagya. Daksha expressed his unhappiness on seeing his daughter’s arrival and made derogatory marks about Shiva in front of Sati. It broke her heart and she felt utterly humiliated to hear such things about her husband. She could not bear the pain and jumped into the Yagya Kund and gave up her life. This is where the story of Sati transforming into Shakti started. When Shiva heard the news of Sati’s self-immolation, he sent Veerabhadra, who beheaded Daksha and eradicated the sacrificial ground. After that, Shiva took the burnt body of Sati on his head and danced the Tandava and began traveling on earth. Witnessing this disturbed the three worlds, Lord Vishnu began cutting Sati’s body into pieces with the Sudarshan Chakra.
In this way, wherever the part of Sati’s body and all her ornaments she wore fell, the Shaktipeeth came into reality. A sum total of 108 Shaktipeeths are mentioned in Devi Bhagwat, whilst 72 Shaktipeeths are mentioned in the Gita. 51 Shaktipeeths have been explained in Devi Purana. Presently only 51 Shaktipeeths are found, but their existence is in jeopardy due to the presence of some Shaktipeeths in places such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Second wife: Parvati
Sati was born in the Himalayas to King Himavan and Queen Mainavati, after Daksha. Mainavati and Himavan did not have any daughter, so they prayed to the Adishakti. Adishakti Mata Sati gave him a benefit to take birth as a girl child. The duo named the girl Parvati. The name ‘Parvati’ actually means queen of the mountains. Parvati is also known as Gauri or Mahagauri. Some scholars also believe that she has been called Uma. She is called the Girija, Shailputri as well as the queen of mountains. Maa Parvati had killed the demons like Shumbh, Nishumbh, Mahishasura and many more and all of them have been revered as Navdurga. Although, Adi Durga Mata is displayed as the consort of Parabrahma Sadashiva who is the parent of Brahma, Vishnu as well as Mahesh. Mother Parvati is also illustrated in the form of Durga.
It is believed that the world became very powerless after Sati’s self-immolation. The Mahatmas stricken by that awful situation worshiped Adishakti Devi. A demon known as Taraka had defeated everyone and also had monopolized Trilokya. Brahma had given him power and also said that he would be killed only at the hands of Shiva’s auras son. Getting to know that Shiva is powerless and wifeless, Tarak and other demons were very pleased. Post that the Gods went to the shelter of the Goddess. The Goddess, pleased with the beauty of the Himalayas (Himman), told the deities that her power will be born in the form of Gauri in the house of Himman. Shiva will marry her and they are going to have a son, who will kill Tarak.
Mother Parvati went to the forest for remorse at the behest of Devarshi to achieve Lord Shiva as her husband. Lord Shankar sent the Saptarishis to Parvati to testify Parvati’s love. The Saptarishis went to Parvati and tried to make her believe in every way that Shiva is aughad, inauspiciously dresses and hairless. They tried to convince her that she is the daughter of a great king and that he won’t be a suitable groom for her. She will never be happy by marrying them. Even after making a lot of efforts, Parvati still remained firm on her thoughts. Witnessing her perseverance, the Saptarishi was very contented and blessed Parvati to be successful and she once again came back to Shiva.
Third wife: Mata Uma
It is salient to know whether Parvati was called Uma or there was someone else named Uma. Goddess Uma is also known as the Goddess of the Land. Maa Uma Devi is known as the goddess of kind and simple heart. She soon becomes satisfied and happy when she is worshipped. The word Maheshwar is used in association with Uma, namely Mahesh and Uma. It is saif that when Shankar ji arised in the form of Mahesh, then Parvati also became Uma. There is a place in Kashmir known as Uma Nagari. This city is located in the Himalayas in the North of Anantnag region and Uma Devi is known to be seated here. Devotees believe that the goddess herself stays here in the form of a river that forms the shape of Omkar, which means the whole world, along with five springs. According to another legend, Uma Devi belonged to Uttarakhand. There is also a mythological temple of her at a place called Karnprayag in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. According to believes, the people of Dimri caste are known to be the maternal uncles of Uma Devi, while the Shiva temple at Kaparipatti is said to be her in-laws.
Fourth wife: Mata Mahakali
Maa Kali is said to be the fourth wife of Lord Shiva. Kali had killed the dreadful demons. It is said that many years ago there was a demon whose even a drop of blood fell on the earth, thousands of Raktabeej were born from it. It was not under the control of any God to eradicate this demon. Then Maa Kali had saved the three worlds by killing this horrific demon. Even after killing Raktbeej, the anguish of the mother was not subsiding, hence Lord Shankar laid down at her feet. By mistake, the feet of Maa Kali fell on the chest of Lord Shiva after which her anger subsided.
Mother Kali regretted of setting foot on Shiva and because of this great sin, she had to wander for many years in the Himalayas to make atonement. When Maa Kali meditated on Lord Shiva on the beautiful banks of river Vyas, finally Lord Shankar appeared to her and in this way Maa Kali got freedom from her sin that was done by mistake. This place in Kangra Paragpur of Devbhoomi Himachal is now popularly known as Kalinath Kaleshwar Mahadev.
Mahakali is one of the key places in Gujarat. This temple is located near Champaran, the old capital of Gujarat, which is about 50 km from the city of Vadodara. Now it is known as Pavagadh region. Pavagadh Temple is located on top of a high hill. The second temple of Kali is in Ujjain and the third temple is located in Kolkata.