Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Goddess of the Mountain

Detail, Allegory of Chastity, Hans Memling, Nederlandish, 15th century.

The Hindu goddess Parvati is the wife of Shiva, the personification of the Eternal Self. Parvata is one of the Sanskrit words for "mountain"; "Parvati" translates to "She of the mountains" and refers to Parvati being born the daughter of Himavan, lord of the mountains and the personification of the Himalayas. Shri Parvati is also called Gauri, meaning "of white or golden complexion". Gauri Mata (Mother Gauri) is the goddess of purity and chastity, and a benevolent aspect of Devi (Goddess); the 'brilliant'. Another form taken by Parvati, is the warrior goddess Durga, whose name means "inaccessible", or "fortress'.

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