Sunday, February 3, 2008

Shiva's Wives and Children

Shiva has many wives, which are the symbols of feminine power, also known as sakti. They are well known and also worshiped. There are four of his wives that stand out the most, they're names are: Parvati, Umma, Durga, and Kali. Each of the four goddess stand for something important in life.
Parvati, who has beauty and youth, is the goddess of love and romance. She is also known to be the mother of Ganesha. It is to be known that Shiva was to kill Ganesha, however he ended up adopting him as his own. Another of Shiva's wives, Umma, is the goddess of motherhood. She is seen to be kind, caring, and sweetnatured. Durga, is the goddess of justice. She is seen as a strong, courageous woman who is determined to reestablish justice. Kali, the last of the four well known wives, is known to be the goddess of death. She is morbid and appears to have a gothic apperance to her look and tends to be very wild and unpredictable.
There were two sons of Shiva. Ganesha and Skanda. Ganesha seems to be the most well known. He was known to overcome obstacles and also known to have the head of an elephant. He is also seen to have good luck along with him and also called "Lord of beginnings," "Lord of the host", he is jolly and good natured and is seen riding a mouse or rat. Skanda, Shiva's second son also called Kartikeya, Kumara, or Subramanya , is known to be a great, divine worrior, and also known as the god of war. He is the leader of the divine armies and carries characteristics such as being handsome, fit, strong, and is seen to be riding a peacock.


Deacon Thom said...

Good summary, Alisha. Hopefully you cansee that many of the "gods" or wives of the gods are in fact either one or at least complimentary. For example, the various "wives" af Shiva represent the stages of life. From birth and youth to the wisdom of the elders and death, one generation brings forth the next. SOmething to think about, because the line between thinking of this religion as only being polytheistic is not so clear even in the minds and beliefs of many Hindus. Many Hindus are, in fact, monotheistic, seeing the various gods and related myths as being
manifestations of one God.

Willie said...

I thought it was interesting that Shiva had so many wives. Both of Shiva's sons were successful.

Alisha said...

Monotheistic? Meaning Hindus believe there is only one god? If so I disagree.

Carolyn Garcia said...

I think it's neat that in a culture that is seen by many as oppressive to women, the goddesses are clearly so important. That shakti is specifically female energy and wisdom in all its many forms-- passionate, nurturing, powerful, unpredictable.
Deacon Thom, I never knew some Hindus see themselves as worshiping different manifestations of the same God. Never thought of it that way.