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    Kalyanasundara
     
     

    About Kalyanasundara

    Kalyanasundara – The Beautiful Union

     

    Kalyanasundara is the depiction of the marriage of ShivaShivaShiva
    Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ...
    and Parvati. The name KalyanasundaraKalyanasundaraKalyanasundara
    Kalyanasundara is the depiction of the marriage of Shiva and Parvati. The name Kalyanasundara is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to “beautiful marriage”.
    is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to “beautiful marriage”. The iconographic portrayal is found in many chambers and towers of temples as well as caves and scriptures all across India. It is regarded as one of the most fascinating and benevolent manifestation of Shiva in which he is accepting Shakti – ParvatiParvatiParvati
    After the death of Shiva's first love Sati, Shiva...
    – as his consort.

     

    Depiction

     

    The portrayal focuses on the mainly on the couple and is never depicted in its entirety i.e., only the major characters are shown. However, the complete Kalyanasundara scene comprises Shiva, Parvati, Parvati’s parents, and VishnuVishnuVishnu
    Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,..
    and LakshmiLakshmiLakshmi
    Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth...
    , BrahmaBrahmaBrahma
    According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)...
    and some other guests. Shiva is depicted to hold the right hand of Parvati in his, and Parvati’s parents are shown giving away their daughter to Shiva. The various guests are depicted dancing and playing drums. The vehicles of the deities i.e., Shiva’s bull and Parvati’s lion are also sometimes depicted in the scene. There are many Choladynasty bronze scriptures which depict only Shiva and Parvati.

     

    Legend

     

    According to various Vedic texts, Shiva withdrew himself from the world and went into seclusion after the death of his first wife SatiSatiSati
    The name Sati means true and justifying her name...
    . He cut off himself from the society and indulged in deep meditation. There was a powerful demon named Tarakasurawho realized the conditions of Shiva and thought to make the most out of his sorrow. Tarakasura He was a powerful demon who was fathered by Vajranaka. He was also known as Taraka and was always able to defeat Gods in wars. The heaven was almost on the verge of collapse. No one was able to stop him therefore all the Gods wanted Shiva to end him. Shiva was in extreme meditation and thus no one dared to disturb him. The Gods approached Kamadeva and him to create an untimely spring and break his mediation with the help of an arrow of lust. Ultimately it was Kartikeya who killed the demon as Shiva was extremely furious due to the act of Kamadeva. had a boon bestowed upon him by Brahma according to which Tarakasura could be killed only by son of Shiva. And as such Tarakasura started creating havoc and chaos all around the world and began to think of himself, in a way, as immortal. He defeated many gods and demigods and assumed their thrones. He knew that Shiva has become an ascetic and there was no way via which he could give birth to a son. Around the same time, there was a very beautiful girl named Parvati who was the daughter of Himavat, He is the personification of Himalayas. The term in itself means “having much snow”. He was the king of Himalaya Kingdom of Ancient India. He was the father of Ganga and Parvati. He was the husband of Vedic Minavati. He is mentioned in two holy texts which are Brahmanda Purana and Kena Upanishad. He is also mentioned in Mahabharata. The mountain is considered sacred and an epitome of spiritual wisdoms. It is the purest spot to mediate and perform penance. the king of Himalayas. She was a great devotee of Shiva and wanted to marry him. She began meditating and performed intense penance to please her deity. However, Shiva was not affected by anything as he was in deep meditation. The gods were in terror and decided to break Shiva’s meditation so that he could get married. They approached Kamadeva, god of love and told him to wake up Shiva from his meditation by disturbing him. KamadevaKamadevaKamadeva
    Kamadeva is regarded as the Hindu god of love and desire. The name Kamadeva is a conjugation of two Sanskrit words “Kama” and “Deva”. “Kama” means “desire” and “Deva” means “God”.
    assumed the form of a fragrant breeze and bypassed NandiNandiNandi
    Nandi is one of the most iconic and famous characters of Hindu mythology. He is the vehicle of Shiva and also the gatekeeper of the abode of Shiva and Parvati. 
    , the guard and bull of Shiva. He then struck Shiva with a flower due to which Shiva was disturbed and he woke up in fury. Shiva opened his third eye and burnt down Kamadeva into ashes. Shiva then also saw Parvati and was impressed and pleased by her beauty, love and devotion. She first told him to revive Kamadeva to which Shiva agreed. She then told him that she wanted to marry him. Shiva agreed to her proposal but wanted to test her devotion first. He then sent Saptarishi, the seven sages, to Parvati. They tried to make fun of and vilify Shiva and tried to persuade Parvati to leave him. However, Parvati was determined to marry Shiva and did not leave. Upon this Shiva approached Parvati in disguise of an old ascetic man. He told Parvati that it is of no use for such a lovely girl to waste her life for a man who lives a life of austerities. He told her that Shiva dances around in cemeteries, befriends ghosts and wears bones, skulls etc. as jewelry. This enraged Parvati and she upbraided the old man and told him to leave at one. To this Shiva was pleased by Parvati’s unflappable devotion and appeared in his true form and said that he would marry her. 

     

    On the day of their marriage, the royal family of Himalayas was ready to welcome the groom. Shiva approached there on his bull Nandi, Nandi is the mount of Lord Shiva. It is a bull which guards the Shiva and his devotees wore bones and skulls as jewelry and tiger skin as cloth, and was accompanied by ghosts and spirits. This frightened everybody and Parvati’s mother, Mena, fainted right on the spot. Realizing that he should rather mingle in the society and appear accordingly, Shiva instantly changed his appearance to that of a handsome man with beautiful clothes and jewelry, and a brilliant charisma. After some time, Mena regained her consciousness and realized the true mysterious powers of the deity and that appearance doesn’t matter. Then the ceremonies of the marriage proceeded. Brahma came to the marriage as the priest and Vishnu arrived there as the godfather of the bride. Shiva and Parvati performed all the rituals of marriage and got bound together as a couple forever. The whole scene came to be known as Kalyanasundara and the couple was blessed by gods and demigods from all around the world. Soon, the couple gave birth to a boy named Kartikeya. And as such, in accordance to Brahma’s boon, KartikeyaKartikeyaKartikeya
    Kartikeya is the son of Shiva and Parvatiand is regarded as the commander- in-chief the army of the gods. Being the son of the supreme couple
    killed Tarakasura and freed the world from his tyranny and brought joy and happiness all across the world.

     

    Worship

     

    Kalyanasundara holds significance mostly during the celebrations of the marriage of Shiva and Parvati in temples on many festivals. There is no particular temple as such which is dedicated to Kalyanasundara but the marriage scene is an ubiquitous sight in many places of historic and religious importance. Shiva and Parvati are together worshipped as Kalyanasundara, especially, by people who seek to find a suitable life partner. Married couples also offer their prayers to the deities in their unified form in order to consummate the marriage rituals.

     



     
     

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